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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Books, Pamphlets & Lecture Notes » » Jamy Ian Swiss "Shattering Illusions". You've got to read this book!!! (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Profile of cachorro
Just thought that I would put it out there for those of you interested in reading books about magic but not necessarily about tricks!

Just picked it up last Friday: Jamy Ian Swiss "Shattering Illusions".

Can't put the book down. Excellent!!! Some times very provocative, but yet a delight to read!

Let me know what you think!!!

Take care.

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Profile of HuronLow
i'm considering buying it... anybody with more reviews?
The T&R Project.
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Profile of psychic
Isn't the book more theory than a book with tricks & routines?

Thanks in advance!
dAvId tOnG
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Profile of dAvId tOnG
I bought this book the moment it was out on the market. It is a very good book with lots of provocative essays. It will make you think about what you are currently doing. Not a single trick in the book, just secrets. Secrets that will make you a better performer. Secrets that will make your head spin like a top. I predict many will pass by this book, especially those who are constantly looking for new tricks and ignore the theories. And sadly, these are the people who are missing out something great in the art of magic .........
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Profile of jw_2101
Oh I agree this is a good book. Provocative yeah... but well thought out and not just a rant... this is not easy to achieve!! Had trouble putting it down as well. Bad, bad, bad, during exam times... No tricks at all just food for thought. A good buy. Smile
He is no fool who would give what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.
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Profile of Sergeant
Shattering Illusions by Jamy Ian Swiss

I did not like this book.
In my opinion this was one long rant, and not a well structured one at that.

Mr. Swiss’s style is condescending colorful and at times mean spirited.
There seems to be some contradictions or at the very least some unfinished thoughts. In one essay Mr. Swiss states that secrets are not a moral issue. Any one can own a secret and the real power is in how you wield that secret. Then later, in another essay he attacks the video magic world for putting so many secrets in the hands of the public.
At times, his essays ramble with a strong odor of self-importance as he talks of his skills and name drops for reasons not quite clear to the reader.

The book also contains a large helping of creative name-calling that simply has a bad taste in my mouth. There are some solid thought foundations in the book “Why magic sucks and Odometer Ethics are two of them, but I am not sure that we need to be insulting and self-absorbed to make the point.

I think if someone wants to learn how to increase their performance skills and gain conceptual thinking then read one of the following books:
Strong Magic
Our Magic
Anything by Eugene Burger
Brain Food

Save your money and purchase a book takes the high ground, this books seems to be the magical equivalent of a Howard Stern show.

Dave Egleston
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Profile of Dave Egleston
While I agree with some of what "Sargeant"(?) says - one of the problems we have today is, we're afraid to hurt someone's feelings - but there is no intent to do that. Speaking straight and being honest can be very helpful.

I'm watching American Idol right now and every week we see one of the judges afraid to say - "Awful;" instead we hear, "You look great." That contestant walks away thinking they did something good and not aware they were completly out of tune, thus not giving them an opportunity to improve their performance if they get another chance.

Buy the book - read the book - enjoy the book

Gryphon Magic
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Profile of Gryphon Magic

It was about time that a book like this was published. The great thing about Jamy is that he is one of the few guys that speaks the truth openly, and this book says it all.

Maybe some parts are hard to believe, contradictions, etc., but the point here is that Magic could be heading in a horrible direction. He writes of the information age, and how everything is open. If this is our culture now, then what will happen in the future?

This book made me realize that you actually don't have to be attached to the magic world, since it is secret. You should improve upon what you do in your own magic. Magic for real people.

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Profile of Isramagia
The book did make me think and I for that I'm glad I invested in it. To tell the truth, some of it was over my head and I believe I should be reading it periodically until I get some of it.
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Profile of ixnay66
They've been saying the same things for years. There was a time when you had to be in the "inner circle" to learn secrets. Then books became readily available in the 70s and the same arguments came up. Now it's videos and the internet. It all sounds like something my dad would say:

"Back in MY day..."
Rich B.
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Profile of Rich B.
I enjoyed the book and it did make me think about my magic differently, but there were contradictions in parts of the book.

He talked about ethics and rewarding the originators of effects in one essay, and in another claims he only owns 1 or 2 videos because he doesn't like that media for learning. That's ok, but he also says he "borrows" all videos he sees because he can't see purchasing any.
Rich B.
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Profile of mafedi
Where can i buy this one?
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Profile of ThorstenHappel
On 2003-04-03 09:19, mafedi wrote:
where can i buy this one?

mafedi, if you want to buy it directly from Jamy Ian Swiss, go to

"If this be magic, let it be an art ..."
-- William Shakespeare, The Winter's Tale, Act 5, Scene 3
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Profile of Gerben
I have a question about this book

I've got a lot of older Genii's from the beginning of the 90s. I really like Jamy Ian Swiss's essays and plan to purchase this book someday.

In the magazine, his essays were only 2 pages long. How can it then be that the book is 300 pages, while it only has 20 essays? I know the dimensions of the book won't be the same as the magazine, but then still it shouldn't be more than 100 pages. Can anyone tell if the essays have been expanded, so they are now much longer? If not, can anyone then give me another explanation for this? (unless it's a real magic trick that can't be exposed here of course Smile)
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Profile of ddyment
To answer a previous question, the essays have been expanded/updated somewhat for this book, though realize that a page in a magazine translates to significantly more than one page in a book! Magazines like The New Yorker frequently publish short novels within the pages of their regular weekly editions.

Jamy Ian Swiss is a gifted writer to be sure, and a talented executor of card sleights, but bear in mind that you're reading performance advice from a guy who (literally) puts audience members to sleep when he performs at "Monday Night Magic" in NYC. I've seen this happen myself, and heard the same from others, so this isn't just idle gossip.

His chapter on mentalism is particularly mean-spirited (perhaps befitting his well-known animosity toward performers of same), and is logically inconsistent. He even puts down PEA members (the vast majority of whom he's never met), and then goes on to praise people who are PEA members!

... Doug
"Calculated Thoughts" is available at Vanishing Inc. and The Deceptionary :: Elegant, Literate, Contemporary Mentalism ... and More
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