Magic is Dead by Ian Frisch - Book
The author takes us inside a secret society of magicians, of which he is a member. They call themselves the 52. A group of misfits bonded by troubled pasts and a passion for illusion, mystery, and casting aside the tired cliches of magic that are so prevalent. This is a portrait of the past, present, and future of magic.
Publisher: Dey Street
From the Back Cover
Have you heard?
Magic . . . is dead
Ian Frisch was dead broke. Hustling to make a name for himself as a journalist, feverishly pitching ideas while squatting in a New Hampshire office building, he needed a story that was going to take his career to a new level. He also needed a confidence boost. When he landed on the Instagram page of Chris Ramsay, he believed he had found what he was looking for. But what began as a profile of a magician using the internet to cultivate his fan base, quickly became a ride through underground magic, one that ripped open Frischs life in the process.
Magic Is Dead is the mantra of a secret society of magicians, of which Ramsay is a member. They call themselves the52. A family of misfits bonded by troubled pasts and a passion for illusion, mystery, and casting aside the tired clichés of magic that are so prevalent, the52 has two goalsto keep their qualifications for membership in the shadows, and to transform the art form that the members revere. With Ramsay as his guide, Ian attends private gatherings; meets the masters in the field like Penn Jillette, Dynamo, and David Blaine; and is invited into the inner sanctum of a world he never knew existed. Forming close bonds with the founders, Laura London and Daniel Madison, he is welcomed into the group, if puzzled as to why. And when he is invited to become the most unlikely member, his initial goal of writing a great story is replaced by something far more personal.
Rich with the history of magic from the very dawn of the art form, full of details about the business of making magic today, and populated with a cast of charactersboth well known and unknownthat comes alive on the page, Magic Is Dead is a page-turning and often surprising work of immersive journalism. But coupled with this is a deeply personal story of a young man searching for himself.
From the dark alleys of Blackpool, England, to the glitz of Las Vegas to the back lots of Hollywood where magic is being crafted, here is a portrait of the past, present, and future of magic. Written with psychological acuity and a keen eye for detail, Magic Is Dead is an engrossing tale that will keep you guessing until the very end.
About the Author
Ian Frisch has written for The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Washington Post Magazine, Bloomberg Businessweek, Playboy, Wired, and Vice. He has appeared on Bloomberg Television and speaks regularly at universities both about writing and entrepreneurship, and was a finalist for the 2016 Associated Press Sports Editors Explanatory Award. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
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