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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Latest and Greatest? » » Magic Is Dead by Ian Frisch (12 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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scott0819
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From the Harper Collins blurb:

Magic Is Dead: My Journey into the World's Most Secretive Society of Magicians

In the vein of Neil Strauss’ The Game and Joshua Foer’s Moonwalking with Einstein comes the fascinating story of one man’s colorful, mysterious, and personal journey into the world of magic, and his unlikely invitation into an underground secret society of revolutionary magicians from around the world.

Magic Is Dead is Ian Frisch’s head-first dive into a hidden world full of extraordinary characters and highly guarded secrets. It is a story of imagination, deception, and art that spotlights today’s most brilliant young magicians—a mysterious club known as the52, who are revolutionizing an ancient artform under the mantra Magic Is Dead.

Ian brings us with him as he not only gets to know this fascinating world, but also becomes an integral part of it. We meet the52’s founding members—Laura London, Daniel Madison, and Chris Ramsay—and explore their personal demons, professional aspirations, and what drew them to their craft. We join them at private gatherings of the most extraordinary magicians working today, follow them to magic conventions in Las Vegas and England, and discover some of the best tricks of the trade. We also encounter David Blaine; hang out with Penn Jillette; meet Dynamo, the U.K.’s most famous magician; and go behind the scenes of a Netflix magic show. Magic Is Dead is also a chronicle of magic’s rich history and how it has changed in the internet age, as the young guns embrace social media and move away from the old-school take on the craft.

https://www.harpercollins.com/9780062839282/magic-is-dead/
J M Talbot
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Just finished it, found it last week by accident in my local book store as I had not heard anything about it. Interesting read, did not agree with everything but that is part of the point of the book. Overall well written and agree or disagree with some of the philosophy it will make you think about magic and where it is going. It did for me anyway.

John
Morganjj
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Read it, know of the various players, didn't much like it. A lot of talk *about* the people involved, but very little interesting happens.

I think Ian is rather too enamoured with the people he's writing about, and he forgets that he needs to bring us into that world.

I very much don't see it breaking out in the same way as The Game or Moonwalking With Einstein did, because it fails to make the world of magic very interesting.
DavidKenney
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This is a video I made about the book ... but it's probably not a review https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EiEYLyxPihw
Winnes
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Quote:
On Mar 6, 2019, DavidKenney wrote:
This is a video I made about the book ... but it's probably not a review https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EiEYLyxPihw


That was brilliant Smile
RodrigoGrando
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Quote:
On Mar 6, 2019, DavidKenney wrote:
This is a video I made about the book ... but it's probably not a review https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EiEYLyxPihw


Best video I've ever seen on your channel. Congrats!
stanz
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Wow....this is beyond brilliant. I get it now. Everybody - don't watch the video. Don't. Don't. You will, but don't.


Quote:
On Mar 6, 2019, DavidKenney wrote:
This is a video I made about the book ... but it's probably not a review https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EiEYLyxPihw
pegasus
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Yes. Very good. Kudos to David.
phillsmiff
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I love how David simultaneously rips on Daniel Madison and also creates something that has legitimate value as a commentary on magic.

Phill
Check out the incredible Neural Miracle playing cards on Kickstarter:
-+: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/phillsmith/incredible-magic-with-the-neural-miracle-playing-cards :+-
lumberjohn
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I find this type of thing a bit silly -- this holier than thou approach to magic or any art form that we shouldn't imitate others and should be always making our own thing. The fact is that with any art, you must begin by imitating others. That is how you learn. You study people that are better than you -- people that have mastered what you want to do. And because magic is a performance art, you must then perform to get better. And there's nothing wrong with performing the way the masters do and learning what works for you and what doesn't. Obviously you shouldn't slavishly imitate others throughout your career. That would be completely unfulfilling, and would not be art. Art requires an original contribution from you. But that can involve many things other than starting from scratch. For example, you could take the routines of others, pull them apart, and re-combine them with other routines in novel ways. The use of sampling is now routine in the music world with resulting compositions recognized as unique art forms. The "all original or bust" approach also fails to consider the needs of new professional magicians. They care more about their routines connecting with their audiences than creating new art. Tried and true routines from the masters are the closest thing to sure fire as they can get. Let's not shame them. Yes, it would be ideal from a personal growth perspective and possibly even from and entertainment perspective that they ultimately work in more original material, but no one can say with confidence that original material will in all cases make them more money than performing the routines of others. And this should be ok! To each his or her own. There is no right way or wrong way. There is only what works for you.
reignofsound
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Couldn’t watch that review to the end, even if a **** take of Madison.
aligator
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Quote:
On Mar 7, 2019, lumberjohn wrote:
I find this type of thing a bit silly -- this holier than thou approach to magic or any art form that we shouldn't imitate others and should be always making our own thing. The fact is that with any art, you must begin by imitating others. That is how you learn. You study people that are better than you -- people that have mastered what you want to do. And because magic is a performance art, you must then perform to get better. And there's nothing wrong with performing the way the masters do and learning what works for you and what doesn't. Obviously you shouldn't slavishly imitate others throughout your career. That would be completely unfulfilling, and would not be art. Art requires an original contribution from you. But that can involve many things other than starting from scratch. For example, you could take the routines of others, pull them apart, and re-combine them with other routines in novel ways. The use of sampling is now routine in the music world with resulting compositions recognized as unique art forms. The "all original or bust" approach also fails to consider the needs of new professional magicians. They care more about their routines connecting with their audiences than creating new art. Tried and true routines from the masters are the closest thing to sure fire as they can get. Let's not shame them. Yes, it would be ideal from a personal growth perspective and possibly even from and entertainment perspective that they ultimately work in more original material, but no one can say with confidence that original material will in all cases make them more money than performing the routines of others. And this should be ok! To each his or her own. There is no right way or wrong way. There is only what works for you.


Excellent post. I quoted it rather than liked it simply because it deserves a second reading.
Expertmagician
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Tough review to watch... wow....
Before I read any reviews I saw the book in an airport book store and when I thumbed through the book it looked interesting, so I bought it.

No comments for me yet because I am reading some other material...however, it is on my "to read" list.
Long Island,

New York
no2ss
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Quote:
On Mar 6, 2019, DavidKenney wrote:
This is a video I made about the book ... but it's probably not a review https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EiEYLyxPihw


1. That was amazing.
2. Some of the comments responding to it are hilarious.
3. Your responses to comments are even better.
Consultthemind1
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This book is terrible, how this has gained any traction is beyond me. Filled with unbelievable stories and anecdotes whilst being paraded as “Non-fiction” is a Joke. The intro of the book (hidden between two leaf pages) states “This a work of non-fiction. I have however allowed myself certain storytelling liberties, including, for the sake and clarity, compositing certain conversations and adjusting the chronology of a few events”. This says all it needs to say about the authenticity of some of the events/ back stories of some of the characters. Outside of that, imagining it was all real or ignoring it either way the book goes nowhere. Ian’s life story was more interesting than hearing about some of the people he considered “key players” in the book. The chapter on his father was beautiful and you could feel the emotion leaking out of the written page, it was written with heart and soul the rest lacked anything like it. In essence the book peaked too early on. The history lesson in the book I cannot see anyone outside of the magic world caring about. It was copied and pasted page filler to pad out the book. Of course this is my opinion and it’s probably an unpopular one but if Madison and Laura think the idea of creating a group of peformers that are the elite in their field whilst expressing a specific agenda/ philosophy is new then they are sadly mistaken. Google “the legendary 13” the 52 seems like a poor rehash of that group and the players in the legendary 13 will always be (for me) much better performers/ creators as they actually changed what we do.

David.
djrosen
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This is available from Amazon Audible for those that prefer audio books. Picked it up, haven't listened yet.
https://www.audible.com/pd/Magic-Is-Dead......62896644
joneseymagic
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You can print anything you like in a book, and some people will accept it as gospel. This author has painted "The 52" as the future of magic - fair enough if the book's all you''ve got to go on. The reader can choose whether to accept or reject the author's opinion, based on faith alone. If, however, you ever have the misfortune to witness performances by some of this "elite" group, then it becomes much harder to accept that this mob is as good as it gets. If it is, and this is the future, then I agree with them "Magic IS dead"!
AutarchicFlux
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Useless, pretentious, disgusting, idiotic drivel. I’m also glad to see we’re finally making fun of what a talentless, insufferable twat Madison is.
reignofsound
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In my opinion I don't think Laura London is the future of magic?
scottvraneshfallin
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Quote:
On Mar 12, 2019, AutarchicFlux wrote:
Useless, pretentious, disgusting, idiotic drivel. I’m also glad to see we’re finally making fun of what a talentless, insufferable twat Madison is.


I am hesitant to say that Madison is talentless. I've seen him perform some skillful gambling demonstrations. He's a decent cardist. He has put some work in to be sure. Still, I find all practitioners of Kayfabe (*always* being in character) to be dreary and tiresome and agree that summing up Madison as an "insufferable twat" is where this should be left.
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