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Beating a Dead Horse The Life and Times of Jay Marshall Hardcover – Color, March 9, 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 540 pages
  • Publisher: Junto Publishing; 1ST edition (March 9, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 098250683X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982506837
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 8.1 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,270,259 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Ben R. Whiting on January 19, 2010
Format: Hardcover
The print quality of this book is better than any similar book I've seen. Every page is color. Most importantly, it's a FANTASTIC read! Some entertainer/magician bios, while interesting and informative are quite dry and really only hold interest for entertainers and magicians. Beating a Dead Horse is a book ANYONE can read and enjoy, you'll find yourself laughing, crying, laughing, amazed, laughing, stunned by some of the things you'll learn, laughing ... did I mention rolling on the floor laughing? Sandy Marshall held absolutely nothing back about his father's life, the good, the bad, the ugly, the beautiful, and the hysterical. And what I think I like the best is the value! I've never spent less than $150.00 for a similar bio of this quality (aka Cardini, Fred Robinson, Herb Zarrow, Al Baker, etc...) and this superb book is only $70, unless you get one of the limited special editions that includes an Audio book with the forward voiced over by TELLER(great speaking voice)! Sandy genuinely is more concerned with people hearing his father's story than he is with making a buck. It's an all too rare trait this day and age in the entertaining and magic communities and every community in general! Highly Recommended!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By David P on October 27, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Do you need to be a magic aficionado to enjoy this book? I'm not....and I did.

Do you need to have known Jay Marshall to enjoy this book? I never met the man, but I couldn't stop turning the pages.

The great mystery writer, Elmore Leonard, when asked to advise young writers on how to be successful said: "Leave out the boring parts".

Likewise, I would advise those interested in biography to "write about interesting people"....and boy, does the subject of this book qualify!

He was (this from the prologue) a magician, ventriloquist, puppeteer, musician, writer, magazine editor, publisher, historian, inventor, joke smith, balloonologist, fabulist, bibliophile, juggler, wit, Punch & Judy performer, origami aficionado, chapeaugrapher, storyteller, and comedian...whew!...how can you go wrong?!

Was there anything that Jay Marshall wasn't interested in? It appears not. Ok, now throw in hundreds of photographs...anecdotes about famous magicians (that means the ones even I've heard of (Houdini, Blackstone, Copperfield, Penn & Teller) as well as tidbits about the famous we've all heard of (Sinatra, Cary Grant, Bea Lillie) and it all combines into a most enjoyable read for both the magic fraternity and all the rest of us.

Mr. Marshall billed himself (tongue in cheek) as "one of the better cheaper acts" This delicious biography would seem to belie that...or at least the "cheaper" part. Nicely written, beautifully illustrated and expensively produced, it takes us on an interesting (remember - leave out the boring parts!) journey through an interesting mans life. What more can you ask for?
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Format: Hardcover
A skilled stage magician, Jay Marshall was also a pioneer who brought his art to audiences using the then brand new medium of television. Far more than a simple stage performer, Jay Marshall continually reinvented himself, created his own ads, pulled off some astounding publicity stunts, and once taught himself to play the bagpipes in order to land a job. He was especially fond of practical jokes and a 'devil with the ladies'. One of the most sought after show business performers of his day, Jay Marshall appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show fourteen times; opened for Frank Sinatra in Las Vegas; appeared in three Broadway show productions; and played such iconic venues as The Radio City Music Hall, the London Palladium, and the Palace Theatre. "Beating a Dead Horse The Life and Times of Jay Marshall" is a superbly written, profusely illustrated, 540-page biography of an inherently fascinating man who was also the author's father, who provides special insights into both the personal and the professional sides of Jay Marshall, making "Beating A Dead Horse" a terrific read and a welcome addition to community library American Biography and '20th Century American Show Business History' collections.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
well written and researched... and a great insight into a remarkable performer. Great photos and the book is produced to a high standard.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I met Jay Marshall at several Florida State Conventions, but I never laughed so hard as I did reading Sandy's book.
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More About the Author

Alexander "Sandy" Marshall has more than forty years' experience as a writer, director, producer, and actor. For twenty-five years he was CEO of Sanmar Productions, Inc., a successful New York-based film company. A two-time Emmy Award-winner (seven nominations), he has also won the Clio Award, Golden Eagle, Gold medals at the New York Film & TV Festival, and a dozen international awards. His Emmy Award-winning film, The Revenge of the Sons of the Desert was released on The Laurel & Hardy Collection Volume 1 by Twentieth Century Fox in 2006. His play And in the End: The Death and Life of John Lennon received critical acclaim for productions in Great Britain and Australia. In 2009, he produced the shows Carny Trash, Short Guys with Glasses, and Fooling Buddha. Sandy is also a lyricist, and collaborates with his talented wife, Susan Palmer Marshall. He wrote The Remember Project as a companion book to their 9-11 tribute-CD, Remember. No stranger to magic, Sandy is related to two Deans of the Society of American Magicians: his grandfather Al Baker and his father Jay Marshall. Sandy divides his time between New York City and Chicago writing, producing, and creating magic. His column, "Sandy's Rants" appears in The Newest Tops (www.topsmag.com). He is guest professor at Syracuse University, an avid Cubs fan, and insists anybody can have a bad century.

Photo credit: David Linsell.