Astonishing Essays - John Lovick (Volume 9)

By John Lovick
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Astonishing Essays - John Lovick (Volume 9)

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Book or download by John Lovick (Book $25.00 or download for $18.75)

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For most of us, one of the best ways to learn is to study the work of the people who have gone before us. But deep, critical analysis of specific performers or performances are rare in magic. In music, painting, literature, film, dance, architecture, and other arts and disciplines, entire books have been written which examine, explore, and deconstruct single works of art. As far as we are aware, no one in magic has done that until now.

One of the masterpieces of modern magic is Penn & Teller’s “Quote of the Day”, just one of the many iconic pieces in this influential duo’s repertoire. It is an extremely entertaining and deceptive piece, which touches on topics that are controversial, topical, and hilarious. In Get Outta My Way, I’m Going to Hell, John Lovick puts this showstopper under the microscope and dissects it to discover why it works so well and glean lessons that you can learn from and apply to your own work.

In 80 pages, Lovick presents a uniquely in-depth, moment-by-moment, close analysis of that one unforgettable trick. His unprecedented essay includes a complete transcript of the original Penn & Teller routine, accompanied by detailed analysis of its scripting, structure, staging, audience interaction, ad-libbing, and more. But he also looks at the overall picture and discusses larger issues regarding, mentalism, prediction effects, premise, procedure, and performance. Get Out of My Way, I’m Going to Hell is a post-graduate lesson in magic as a performing art, revealing countless lessons for any thoughtful student and performer. And we hope that this will be the beginning of a new genre in magic that we all will benefit from.

“It seems to be a book about one trick. But it’s really about everything to do with performance. There are lessons in there for all of us. It’s terrific.”Mac King

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Customer reviews for Astonishing Essays - John Lovick (Volume 9)



Of the nine Astonishing Essays, this is one of my favorites. I have others that I think were great but this one is quite different and special. I believe it’s the first time that an effect has been analyzed with a theatrical eye. Each element of the effect is there for study. When you read it, it’s apparent why it took longer than expected to finish.



I'm a fan of the Astonishing Essays series. These little books help round out all kinds of corners in my magical thinking. Lovik's book is a real treasure. Obsessive, funny and deeply insightful, it carries far more value and wisdom that I would have expected from such a small volume.



I read it in one sitting and I’m still thinking about it. There is so much gold in here it’s a steal at the price it’s offered at



Can one dinky book (only 83 pages - bah!) about one lousy trick really save your magic and nudge you off the path of eternal damnation? I say "Hell, Yes!" Read it. Read it again. Repent. It's not too late...



Peak Handsome



I loved this essay! I have always been a Penn & Teller fan. But, the way this essay was written made it truly fascinating reading! This will definitely be something to read and re-read every so often.
Well done!
I wish that someone would do one of these on Ricky Jay, my all-time fave and influence.
But really, you can never have too much Penn & Teller. They are so witty and intelligent. Great little book!

VI Monthly


When Lovick speaks, I listen. His obsession with this one effect has evinced a musing of intricate detail leaving few, if any stones, unturned. It reads as a commentary on Penn & Teller's routine in real time as transposed to the written word, leaving at least this reader in awe of the beauty and depth of P&T's creativity and of Lovick's analysis of it.
No, you won't learn the "secret," but you'll gain insight into the secrets that allow the likes of P&T to flourish in the world, not just of magic, but of theatrical entertainment in general.
Whether this experience is worth $25 to you depends entirely on your budget and your thirst for insight into process as opposed to effect. I found it riveting.



John Lovick’s most recent book is so good – on so many levels – that I read it all in a single sitting. I’m now going to read it again, this time in smaller bites, so that I can fully absorb its lessons.

It’s that good.



Worth the read.



I like John Lovick and Penn & Teller as much as anyone, so I wanted to love this book. However, it should be a chapter in a bigger book about them. As a standalone book that sells for $21, it is, in my opinion, too short or too expensive. And while the book does look nice, the gold writing on the cover of the previous one that I bought is fading away fast. Still an interesting read if the price is not an issue.

Let's hope that John Lovick is busy writing the rest of a book about Penn & Teller.


Community questions about Astonishing Essays - John Lovick (Volume 9)

Have a question about this product? It's possible others do too. Ask here and other Vanishing Inc. Magic customers will be able to respond with assistance! Alternatively, email us and we can help too.

  • Steve asks: A book without tricks. Correct? What trick is it about? A Penn and Teller trick? (Quote of the Day)? Is it an easy, thoughtful, enjoyable read?

    • 1. Vanishing Inc. Magic responds: Correct. No tricks. It is an essay that examines one P&T trick in detail. It will take you a couple of hours to read max, but the ideas contained in this short essay will stick with you forever. It is easy and fun to read.
  • Chris asks: Is there a YouTube video of P&T performing the trick?

    • 1. Vanishing Inc. Magic responds: Not that we are aware of. But you get a full description of it and the script.
  • Joseph asks: Why don't you ever put page counts when you are selling a book? Please provide that.

    • 1. Gordon answers: The final paragraph states it is 80 pages. (But I agree in general, it would be great if VI would providing binding and page count info in standardized format.)
    Post an answer to this question
  • Caleb asks: For those of us who are not familiar with the trick, can you provide a brief description of it? Thanks!

    • 1. Jim answers: It’s a Bible prediction.
    Post an answer to this question
  • Michael asks: Counting the John Lovick "Astonishing Essays No. 9" (i.e., "Get Out of My Way, I’m Going to Hell" booklet), a search reveals that six of these nine Astonishing Essays are listed on the VIM site. Three are not. What are the titles and authors of the missing three volumes and, are the missing three volumes OOP, OOS...or a combination of both? Thanks for the information.

    • 1. Vanishing Inc. Magic responds: Steve Cohen (Volume 1) Rob Zabrecky (Volume 2) Prison Magician (Volume 3) Lawrence Hass (Volume 4) Robert E. Neale (Volume 5) Andi Gladwin (Volume 6) Tina Lenert (Volume 7) Jamy Ian Swiss (Volume 8) John Lovick (Volume 9) All of these are currently listed on our site :-)
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