Tuesday, September 6, 2005
You know the bit about magicians never revealing their secrets? Jim Steinmeyer is one of those secrets, the man behind the tricks of Doug Henning, David Copperfield, and Lance Burton, among others. You've likely never heard of him because, well, he's a magician. His new book with the virtuosic title The Glorious Deception: The Double Life of William Robinson, aka Chung Ling Soo, the "Marvelous Chinese Conjurer" chronicles the exploits of a magician who died in 1918 during an act called Defying the Bullets, which he failed to do. Turns out Soo wasn't the Chinese master he claimed to be, but a middle-aged American and a former conjurer's assistant with a second family and a mistress in London. How'd Robinson pull it off? Well, he was a magician. Steinmeyer reads at 7 p.m. at the Booksmith, 1644 Haight (at Cole), S.F. Admission is free; call 863-8688 or visit www.booksmith.com.

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