Ricky Jay in not a magician, and would cringe at the term. He is a deceiver. Unlike more convention illustionists, like Copperfield, Jay never asks you to suspend your disbelief. In his live stage shows, he is out to deceive you, and he wants you to know it. He defies the laws of physics before your very eyes in his live stage show, and in this remarkable book, he introduces you to people who have done the same over the centuries. This is not a man you want to play cards with!
In this book, Jay takes you on a journey spanning centuries of some of the most deceptive, fascinating, and truly bizarre characters that have populated the fringes of the conventional world. The characters in this journey are truly bizarre, but truly human. Jay doesn't merely describe their acts. He presents them as real human beings, living in a world all their own. They may seem to be 'freaks' but Jay presents them to you with a dignity and admiration that is rarely seen in this genre.
Jay is as adept at playing games with words as he is with games of cards. Jay has a true love of language, and revels in the poetry of the con man. As a curator of rare books, he loves the history of con men, and other things that we all love to see, if not fall victim to. He describes how we today fall for the same tricks as we did centuries ago.
Jay clearly loves the people who he describes in his book. He introduces you the the people behind the acts. The reader is introduced to these hoaxsters and con artists as real people, living in a real world. He gives them a unique dignity.
Ricky Jay has the gift of a true appreciation for language. He plays the same games with words as he plays with cards. Jay never views his subjects as 'freaks' who are exploited. He presents them as unique people with very unique talents.
This book is a pleasure to read. At times, you'll laugh out loud, and at times you'll cringe. But you will never be bored.
Ricky Jay will take you on a fascinating journey into a most unique and bizarre world.
Fans of Ricky Jay will love the book. And those who don't know about Ricky Jay will be introduced to a new world, and introduced to one of the most fascinating people in the world today. There are only two types of people in the world -- those who think Ricky Jay is a genious, and morons. And if Mr Jay reads this review, I want you to autograph my copy of this book!