Big Secrets

From "backward masking" Satanic messages in rock 'n' roll music, to what really goes on at a Freemason's initiation; from Colonel Sander's secret recipe to how to "pass" the Rorschach inkblot test and thus fool the psychiatrist into believing you really are sane. This book has lots and lots of "secrets" that many people have wondered about, but didn't know how to go about answering.

Magician levitation tricks; how to saw a woman in half; how to tell if a dollar bill is counterfeit; the formula on how Coke (r)(tm) is probably made. This book has it, and more. Where is Walt Disney burried? Are there secrets in credit cards? How does one mark playing cards? How does one fool a polygraph ("lie detector")? What radio frequencies does the CIA commonly use? Big Secrets (ISBN 0-688-04830-7 William Morror & Co., 1983, 228 pages including index) discusses all these secrets, and more.

I was somewhat distressed to find that the author, William Poundstone, has printed for general readership some of the secrets to the prestidigitation art. If magic act secrets were to be common knowledge, the delight one takes in being fooled by stage magicians may deminish; perhaps the audience would decrease. To my mind, the author should have left out some of these secrets.

However, the author does expose Uri Geller as the cheep, rather third-rate stage magician that he is, and not the amazing "psychic" that Geller claims to be. This information is obvious to anyone who thinks, but some people actually believe Uri Geller has magical, mystical, occult, metaphysical powers and abilities. (The Amazing James Randi exposed Geller years ago: some people still haven't got the news.) Kreskin's simple mentalist act is also exposed.

This book was fun to read: I stayed up late at night to do so. On the Shy David Book Review Scale from one to six stars (six being best), I think this book deserves three stars.

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