|Shattering Illusions by Jamy Ian Swiss |
With 2001's Shattering Illusions, Jamy Ian Swiss cemented his role as magic's preeminent essayist. Perhaps no book ever written on the subject of magic has been so controversial and debated as Shattering Illusions, and it remains relevant and topical today. This book is a neo-classic and worthy of careful study.
Long out of print and on virtually every "must-read" magic list since its first printing, Shattering Illusions is finally available again, in a brand-new edition that features a new cover design and layout.
Shattering Illusions contains twenty essays that will reshape the way you think about magic. Jamy Ian Swiss examines why we do magic at all, what it means to be "commercial" in magic, what makes for good and bad magic, why critics and the public hold magic in such low regard, and much more.
Praise for Shattering Illusions:
"Jamy Ian Swiss is an esteemed colleague, a terrific performer, and someone who cares very deeply about the art of magic... For Mr. Swiss, complacency is not an option... Shattering Illusions contains no tricks, but it contains many of the real secrets of successful magic... Shattering Illusions is an important book. Buy it. Study it. Think about it. You'll be a better magician for having done so."
- Michael Close, MAGIC, November 2002
"Splendidly written... At their best, these essays remind us of the wonderful, the fleeting, the transcendent feelings we've had while experiencing the performance of a magic effect, and give us reason to pause and reconsider our own objectives... This is an entertaining, illuminating and provocative collection by a man who possesses a profound affection for magic. Every generation seems to produce a few voices that shout from the wilderness, waking us from our complacency, pointing out alternative paths and cajoling us to do better. Jamy Ian Swiss will certainly be remembered as one of those voices."
- David Regal, Genii, December 2002
"I honestly don't know of a single person in magic and/or mentalism that would not be healthier after a good dose of this book... In one of my favorite chapters ('Mentalism Grows Up'), Mr. Swiss writes about mentalism. But how can this be? After all, I have heard for years that Jamy Ian Swiss despises mentalism. Well, I hate to be the one to break it to you, but that is simply not the case. (Although he has told me that he hates bad mentalism, and who can argue with that?) The views that he expresses are very well thought out, and they could help raise mentalism to the level of true artistry, but only if it divorces itself from the backroom charlatans... In my opinion, all of Shattering Illusions is in the "must-read" category, but I believe that the final two chapters are truly definitive... People often discuss what books they would want with them if they were stranded on a deserted island. In the case of Shattering Illusions, I will pack two copies in case one gets damaged."
- Rick Maue, Voices (Deceptions Unlimited), December 2002
"This is an important book, one that should be read and reread by everyone thinking him or herself a magician."
- Phil Willmarth, Linking Ring, December 2002