Tag Archives: Jim Ottaviani

Levitation

Hermetic Library Fellow T Polyphilus reviews Levitation: Physics and Psychology in the Service of Deception. A Story about Stage Magic. [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library] by  Jim Ottaviani and Janine Johnston.

Ottaviani Johnston Levitation

This graphic novel is the first I’ve read with an annotated bibliography. It’s a fictionalized history of a single trick of stage magic, how it was devised, and its passage through three generations of performers. Although some supporting characters are purely fictional, the three magicians and the stage technician who serves as narrator are all actual historical figures.

The technical explanations that make up much of the book are not boring, nor do they seem too digressive. The ending, factual as it evidently is, has a small and quizzical taste of tragedy to it.