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Mental Magic: Surefire Tricks to Amaze Your Friends (Dover Children's Activity Books) Paperback – December 17, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Martin Gardner was a renowned author who published over 70 books on subjects from science and math to poetry and religion. He also had a lifelong passion for magic tricks and puzzles. Well known for his mathematical games column in Scientific American and his "Trick of the Month" in Physics Teacher magazine, Gardner attracted a loyal following with his intelligence, wit, and imagination.

Martin Gardner: A Remembrance
The worldwide mathematical community was saddened by the death of Martin Gardner on May 22, 2010. Martin was 95 years old when he died, and had written 70 or 80 books during his long lifetime as an author. Martin's first Dover books were published in 1956 and 1957: Mathematics, Magic and Mystery, one of the first popular books on the intellectual excitement of mathematics to reach a wide audience, and Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science, certainly one of the first popular books to cast a devastatingly skeptical eye on the claims of pseudoscience and the many guises in which the modern world has given rise to it. Both of these pioneering books are still in print with Dover today along with more than a dozen other titles of Martin's books. They run the gamut from his elementary Codes, Ciphers and Secret Writing, which has been enjoyed by generations of younger readers since the 1980s, to the more demanding The New Ambidextrous Universe: Symmetry and Asymmetry from Mirror Reflections to Superstrings, which Dover published in its final revised form in 2005.

To those of us who have been associated with Dover for a long time, however, Martin was more than an author, albeit a remarkably popular and successful one. As a member of the small group of long-time advisors and consultants, which included NYU's Morris Kline in mathematics, Harvard's I. Bernard Cohen in the history of science, and MIT's J. P. Den Hartog in engineering, Martin's advice and editorial suggestions in the formative 1950s helped to define the Dover publishing program and give it the point of view which — despite many changes, new directions, and the consequences of evolution — continues to be operative today.

In the Author's Own Words:
"Politicians, real-estate agents, used-car salesmen, and advertising copy-writers are expected to stretch facts in self-serving directions, but scientists who falsify their results are regarded by their peers as committing an inexcusable crime. Yet the sad fact is that the history of science swarms with cases of outright fakery and instances of scientists who unconsciously distorted their work by seeing it through lenses of passionately held beliefs."

"A surprising proportion of mathematicians are accomplished musicians. Is it because music and mathematics share patterns that are beautiful?" — Martin Gardner

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 11 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 5
  • Series: Dover Children's Activity Books
  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications (January 14, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 048647495X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486474953
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.4 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #873,982 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

For 25 of his 95 years, Martin Gardner wrote 'Mathematical Games and Recreations', a monthly column for Scientific American magazine. These columns have inspired hundreds of thousands of readers to delve more deeply into the large world of mathematics. He has also made significant contributions to magic, philosophy, debunking pseudoscience, and children's literature. He has produced more than 60 books, including many best sellers, most of which are still in print. His Annotated Alice has sold more than a million copies. He continues to write a regular column for the Skeptical Inquirer magazine.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Djawari Awi on November 26, 2000
Format: Paperback
I recommend this book for math magic lover. All the math tricks have pre-determined outcomes that either absolutely certain or have a high probability of being correct. Because the tricks has pre-determined outcomes, we will not be able to do the trick twice to the same audience.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Masson Dim on August 28, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The tricks are surely good, but all the set ups are at the begining and all the answers at the end. The back and forth is terrible on the kindle.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Larry Betz on December 16, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A fun book for young Magicians, also has some ideas that can be food for thought for older Magicians to develop and put into their shows. A great value considering the high price of a lot of Magic books these days. --L Betz
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By Laurie Steinke on March 30, 2014
Format: Paperback
Not exactly what I was looking for, but I can use bits and pieces of it in my classroom. I probably would buy it again.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 9, 2002
Format: Paperback
Martin Gardner is an excellent writer and his other books have been a delight to read. Perhaps I would not have expected as much from this book if it had been labeled as being written for the 8 to 12 year old. Very young magicians are likely to enjoy this, but most adults interested in "mental magic" will probably be disappointed.
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