Astonishing Essays - Prison Magician (Volume 3)

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4.5 | 8 reviews
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Astonishing Essays - Prison Magician (Volume 3)

25.00 usd

Book by Vanishing Inc. Magic (25.00)

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Astonishing Essays - Prison Magician (Volume 3) - magic
Astonishing Essays - Prison Magician (Volume 3) Astonishing Essays - Prison Magician (Volume 3) Astonishing Essays - Prison Magician (Volume 3) Astonishing Essays - Prison Magician (Volume 3) Astonishing Essays - Prison Magician (Volume 3) Astonishing Essays - Prison Magician (Volume 3)

Diary of a Prison Magician is an autobiography written by a prison inmate-magician serving a life sentence. He speaks about doing magic "on the inside" and the unthinkable obstacles of performing magic in such a hostile environment. At turns fascinating and touching and funny, this volume speaks to the enduring power of magic not only for spectators, but also magicians.

Astonishing Essays is our most ambitious publishing project to date. It's a TEN-VOLUME collection of small, attractive books that will make you a better magician. The concept is simple: we pair the very finest intellects in magic with a topic they're passionate about. Each collection can be read in one sitting; it's meatier than an article but shorter than a full book. Think of it as "novella" size. Brew yourself a cup of coffee, get comfortable in your favorite chair, and open Astonishing Essays to be transported to a new world. These books will challenge the way you think about your magic and expand your horizons.

Softcover. 105 pages.


Customer reviews for Astonishing Essays - Prison Magician (Volume 3)



This was so far one of my favourite reads from the astonishing essays series and though the author isn't specifically named there are clues that can help you try and work it out. The story is also touched upon in Joshua Jays book "How Magicians Think" but this expansion certainly added to the story



I have purchased 3 of the 9 essays thus far, and they are always fascinating reading!
This one about the gentleman in jail was just amazing. What a story! I recommend this one for sure.


Dan Thorpe Guitar Ltd

when the book arrived I started reading it and before I knew it I had read the book cover to cover.
The author talks about any aspects of his life inside and how magic has saved him. This is a great book for magicians and none magicians.
It is written openly and isn't a feel sorry for me book. He talks about his ups and down of prison life. I highly recommend this book.

VI Monthly


This little book got me back into reading again and that says a lot. You got a sad glimpse of prison live in the United States. But also a wonderful peek of the possibilities of magic.

No tricks explained, but one could argue about theory. Because maybe this little book tells a lot about what magic should be.

A very inspirational story in a nice little book.



Having worked for the KY Dept of Corrections, I can see the authors story with an insiders view. His story of survival, loneliness and daily life is the real deal. His story is one of truly taking lemons and making lemonade.



This book was a complete page turner. I was fascinated by the author's story of life in prison as a magician, and as a human being. Parts made me laugh, and parts made me choke up. I also learned about the California Prison System. Thank you Joshua Jay and Vanishing Inc for producing this book. Loved it and will read it again. I highly recommend it for the power of magic in even the worst environments. This book will not teach you any tricks, but it will give you a greater appreciation for the art of magic. Get it.



To be honest, it's ok. If you've ever known someone in prison or seen interviews etc. It's essentially the same story. "I didn't do it". "Conditions are bad". "I wish I was a better father, son, etc." It's the same story, this guy just happens to know magic.

You get a glimpse into how difficult it is to get props and how performing can work for an against you. After that it's just bravado and more stories about missing family. Given what the author has been convicted of, it's hard to feel bad for him but it was cool to read, however I wouldn't do it again


Chi Han

Amazing content.

This was the least 'theory' of the 3 essays that have come out so far, but is by and large the most gripping.

The magicians perspective, self reflection, and outlook towards magic are painfully radiant, and his stories on self-improvement and dedication to the craft are things that more magicians everywhere should share.

The Magic Rainbow opens with a large discussion on what magic is. Darwin Ortiz gives a very persuasive argument for part of a definition (I think kept short for teaching purposes) in his Strong Magic and Designing Miracles books. If you want another perspective read this book.

That said I have to talk about the quality if the printing. The outside was everything I expected, uniform cover, very beautifully done. However the inside was quite poorly printed. I am not sure if it is just my copy and they ran out of ink, but towards the end of my book a series of the pages are lightly, just half printed. It is still readable so I didn't want to rate it lower than 3 stars, but for 25 dollars I am expecting a much higher quality printing. I know that the content is by far the more valuable thing, but having to strain to read words is unacceptable at this price range.


Community questions about Astonishing Essays - Prison Magician (Volume 3)

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.

  • Anthony asks: Is this written by the same prisoner who inspired Balance?

    • 1. Vanishing Inc. Magic responds: You ask a very interesting question. However, I am afraid that we are unable to discuss any details with regards to the author of this essay.
  • Al asks: Can we get these signed?

    • 1. Vanishing Inc. Magic responds: The magician in question is in prison. He will not be able to sign any books. Sorry.
    • 2. Steve answers: Can we get mine signed through you?
    • 3. Anon’s answers: You can’t. Source: am Anon’s son. I’m not joking. Luckily, I have my copy inscribed.
  • David Matkin asks: You seem to have several "Astonishing Essays"is there any plan to release a "Box set" of them?

    • 1. Vanishing Inc. Magic responds: If we ever make a box set, it will be in a way that will add to the books (we don't plan on selling a discounted complete set, for example).
  • Jeff asks: I perform for a prison ministry on their daddy-child days so I have a heart for our incarcerated men and women. I would be quite happy if some of the proceeds for purchasing the Prison Magician would be sent to his prison account. Does that happen?

    • 1. SGKYDUYEN answers: I think Vanishing will do that, for this kind of question please send an email to for an accurate answer
    Post an answer to this question
  • Loren asks: Hi guys, Love the provocative prison Magician who is doing life. Is there a reason why he wishes to be anonymous? I don’t mean to come here to speculate the authenticity of what's being sold. With that said, I find it hard to understand and would have a great appreciation knowing. I have interest in this purchase if it could be backed by some credibility. Of course being credible gentleman with a reputable site I am hoping to get some insight in this matter. Thank you for taking the time to consider my request.

    • 1. SGKYDUYEN answers: I think he just wants to want to keep the secret to protect his family somehow. You can contact Josh, I think he can give you an accurate answer
    • 2. Jeffrey answers: "I have interest in this purchase if it could be backed by some credibility". I understand on its face what you mean here but where would card magic be if no one had ever purchased "The Expert At The Card Table" by E. S. Andrews? He was certainly "a man with no credibility" both for his time and still today. I kind of prefer "not knowing" thus not pre-judging because I might not like an effect or set if notes (for example) that he may have put out before. I would consider this booklet to be "Pure" in a sense. I look forward to picking this one up over several others just to see what an isolated individual can add to the art.
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