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For other authors named Philippe Petit, see the disambiguation page.

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About the Author

Philippe Petit is the world's most famous high-wire performer, making more than eighty high-wire walks around the world. He also street-juggles, lectures, and practices close-up magic. He is the subject of the Academy Award-winning documentary film Man on Wire. When he's not traveling, Philippe show more shares his time between the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine in New York City and a small hideaway in the Catskills. show less

Works by Philippe Petit

Associated Works


Common Knowledge

Nemours, Seine-et-Marne, France
Places of residence
New York, New York, USA
High-wire artist



This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
"Make no mistake. I frown upon books about creativity."

This is how Philippe Petit opens *Creativity: The Perfect Crime.* And this is definitely not your typical book on creativity. In it, Petit explores his own creative process, but rarely gives concrete advice (though there is plenty of abstract advice). But anyone who reads the opening paragraph, and then expects a typical book about creativity, has missed the author's point entirely.

This book is more an exploration of one person's creative process, not a blueprint for others to follow. And while this book has drawn comparisons to *The Creative Habit* and *The Artist's Way* it is not like those books at all. There are no exercises, no clear explanations of how he takes a project from inception to completion.

Instead, it is a look inside a creative mind, meant to be an inspiration, a place to look for ideas. It is not a how-to-be-creative book, but a how-the-author-is-creative-and-might-inspire-you book.
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rumbledethumps | 9 other reviews | Mar 23, 2021 |
Very interesting - I like knots and knotting, and this has a lot of knots usefully presented, with the what and why to use as well as how to tie. There are some problems with the ebook formatting - some images which are supposed to be little circled numbers to correspond with instruction steps are huge, and overlay words; in some places, words are missing (possibly run off the side of the screen) after a tangle with these images. More importantly, there are a lot of knots here, and just reading through the book they all run together in my memory. I'll need to go back and check them over and over - and that's relatively difficult to do in an ebook. Not impossible, but difficult - searching and bookmarking the interesting ones will take some time. But it will be worth doing, I think - next time I pick it up I'll have some cord handy to try the knots. The stories are mildly interesting, and frequently serve to explain exactly why this knot works in this situation.… (more)
jjmcgaffey | 1 other review | Dec 31, 2020 |
I got this book through the Amazon Vine program to review. It was an interesting blend of handbook and memoir. I learned some interesting things about high wire walking, but it felt disjointed and was incredibly short.

This book kind of goes into how to start high wire walking, but it also talks about what high wire means mentally and emotionally to Petit. This is by no means a history of Petit’s high wire walking or a guide on how to get started.

While there are some interesting tidbits in here on high wire walking and some of the work that goes into it...they are just that, tidbits. You have to wade through a lot of philosophical thoughts on high wire walking to get to the meat of it.

I personally thought the writing felt a bit disjointed and that it didn’t flow all that well. It is a very quick read though; took me maybe 40 minutes to read it.

Overall this was okay but not great. There is a bit of interesting info in here, but you have to wade through a lot of soft ideas to get to that info. The writing wasn’t the best, although maybe that was the translation. I pretty much thought..”eh, well whatever” when I read this. I was happy it didn’t take a lot of my time to read but disappointed that I didn’t learn more about high wire walking.
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krau0098 | 2 other reviews | Aug 30, 2019 |
Unlike the stuntman, whose performance is calculated to emphasize every hair-raising risk, to keep his audience panting with dread and an almost sadistic anticipation of disaster, the good high-wire walker strives to make his audience forget the dangers, to lure it away from thoughts of death by the beauty of what he does on the wire itself.

Yes, the beauty! It’s what I most remember of the documentary, “Man on Wire” -- the delight and wonder that left no space for dread as Petit reclined…laughed…danced! on the high-wire between the twin towers of New York’s World Trade Center. That was as close as I’d come to experiencing Petit in person, until here -- where his vignettes of essay and poetry invite me into his physical and mental preparations and practices…and nearly onto the wire itself.… (more)
DetailMuse | 2 other reviews | May 26, 2019 |


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