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Learned Pigs and Fireproof Women by Ricky…
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Learned Pigs and Fireproof Women (1986)

by Ricky Jay

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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» See also 4 mentions

Showing 5 of 5
A well-written book on a fascinating subject. While it's not Ricky Jay's fault that the sources on stories included herein are scarce and untrustworthy, it does make for a frustrating read. The catalog nature of the book means there's little depth, and often a dry breadth to the list of individuals, acts, and events presented. ( )
  mrgan | Oct 30, 2017 |
Contents:
Introduction
1. Harry Kahne: The Multiple Mental Marvel
2. Procine Prophets and Pig-Faced Ladies
3. Attenuation as Art: Willard, The Man Who Grows
4. More Than the Sum of Their Parts: Matthew Buchinger, Sarah Biffin, and Other Anomalies of Nature...
5. Blind Tom
6. Max Malini: The Last of the Mountebanks
7. Datas: The Man Who Knew Too Much
8. Equine Amusements
9. Genius or Charlatan? Walford Bodie, M.D.
10. Born to a Drier Death Than Diving: Samuel Gilbert Scott and Other Daredevils
11. A Few Words About Death and Show Biz: Washington Irving Bishop, J. Randall Brown, and the Origins of Modern Mind Reading
12. Laroche: The Sisyphus of the Circus World
13. Arthur Lloyd: The Humorous Card Index
14. Enterology: Getting into Boxes, Bottles, and Trouble with Seamus Burke and Others
15. Incombustible Men and Fireproof Women
16. Stones, Swords, Snakes, and Other Entrees
17. Le Petomane: The End
For the Curious
Acknowledgments
Index
( )
2 vote | bookishbat | Sep 25, 2013 |
What a fun and informative book! It is a look at a world with which I am completely unfamiliar, and it's fascinating. Ricky Jay explores unusual performers from the past few hundred years of (primarily) Western history, including magicians, mediums, animal performers, and those who in less politically correct times would have been called "freaks." Jay does a nice job of profiling the performers without giving away trade secrets. His personal collection of advertisements and photographs provides the illustrations for the book, and they are wonderful. I recommend this book for anyone looking for something a bit "different." It provides historical and cultural information you may not easily find elsewhere. The best surprise was how well-written the book was. I expected that, being an entertainer himself, Jay's talents may not have extended to writing. Fortunately, he is very literate and erudite, and makes his subject entertaining, interesting, and easy to understand. Lots of fun! ( )
  glade1 | Aug 27, 2010 |
You can open this book at almost any page and be drawn immediately into the odd and unusual lives of entertainers from the medieval era to the twentieth century. As you read, you find yourself thinking that this person must surely be the most original personality in the book--until you turn the page. Ricky Jay clearly loves his subject, and has a writing style that's just as entertaining as his topic. ( )
1 vote emmelisa | Jan 4, 2008 |
Lively writing style and unusual subject matter render Ricky Jay's Learned Pigs and Fireproof Women one of the most entertaining books for those interested in magic history. Yet Learned Pigs offers both style and substance -- Jay is a scholar who unearthed some remarkable material for this beautifully illustrated book. Purists will argue that this is not strictly a book about magic history -- but its pages are filled with tales of bizarre and exotic performers including several conjurers. ( )
1 vote trickbooks | Nov 20, 2007 |
Showing 5 of 5
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ricky Jayprimary authorall editionscalculated
Leopold, IngeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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This book is dedicated to
my wonderful friend
CHARLES EARLE MILLER
a unique, eccentric, and remarkable entertainer
First words
A nervous participant was ordered to aim and shoot a pistol at an East Indian man he had never even met.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0374525706, Paperback)

A cult classic and a work of remarkable scholarship restored to print.

Ricky Jay is one of the world's great sleight-of-hand artists. He is also a most unusual and talented scholar, specializing in the bizarre, exotic, and fantastic side of the human species. The youngest magician to have appeared on television, Jay has become well known for his astonishing stage show as well as for his cameos in such movies as Glengarry Glen Ross and, most recently, Boogie Nights.

Jay's unparalleled collection of books, posters, photographs, programs, broadsides, and, most important, data about unjustifiably forgotten entertainers all over the world made this unique book possible. An investigation into the inspired world of sideshows, circuses, and singularly talented performers, Learned Pigs and Fireproof Women is history of the most unusual--and irresistible--sort.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:41 -0400)

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