BUCHINGER GETS GREAT PRESS!
“A beautiful book…A delicious read…The improbable matter and elegant manner of the
writing put me in mind of Borges.” Jay lives to dumbfound like any magician, only with a
passion that extends backward in time and outward into remote regions of the recherché.
—Peter Schjeldahl, The New Yorker
The magician Ricky Jay, considered by many the greatest sleight-of-hand artist alive,
is also a scholar, a historian, a collector of curiosities. Master of a prose style that qualifies
him as perhaps the last of the great 19th-century authors... his most enduring interest is
a fellow polymath, an 18th-century German named Matthias Buchinger.
—Charles McGrath, The New York Times
This impeccably designed book …is truly awe inspiring.
—Jim Ruland, The Los Angeles Times
A much-needed introduction to a valuable, lost wunderkammer. But Jay’s work
is also a polymathic replica of the zeitgeist of languages and wonders
in which Buchinger lived and worked.
—Erik Morse, The Paris Review
Matthias Buchinger must have been some kind of genius.
—Ken Johnson, The New York Times
In his elegant new book, “Matthias Buchinger: ‘The Greatest German Living,” Ricky Jay,
a magician, actor, and writer, explores Buchinger’s life through written testimony,
through stories and memories, as well as through the beautifully rendered images
of Buchinger’s intricate work.
—Beverly Beckham, The Boston Globe
An odd poetry surrounds details of Buchinger’s life, evoked with a light touch in Jay’s
beguiling “biographical compendium full of surprises and synchronicity.”
—Christopher Benfey, The New York Review of Books
A wryly agile, affectionate, and deeply tantalizing inquiry into the obscure legacy
of an almost unimaginable subject... Amply and handsomely illustrated.
—Howard Hampton, Bookforum
[A] sumptuous, scholarly, witty new book…Ricky Jay’s prose sparkles with humor and passion.
—Teller, The New York Times Book Review
It’s a study of both a fascinating 18th century polymath and a fascinating 21st century
polymath who loves him… Jay, for all his background in deception, has been exacting
in his pursuit of the truth, and he has written about Buchinger with great empathy and
insight, and absolutely no sentimentality. He understands that some novelties are
worth preserving. Many magicians can make people vanish, in other words,
but here is one who can bring a man back from the dead.
—Christian Donlan, The New Statesman