Penn Jillette: Card Trick as Rhetorical Tool

Inside Magic Image of Magician and Author  Penn Jillette Penn Jillette is a gifted and entertaining writer of things magic and otherwise.  We have reviewed his written work on this unworthy magic web site in the past and we’ll have a review of his newest book, God, No! Signs You May Already be an Atheist and Other Magical Tales next week.

Mr. Jillette could probably write a pretty decent Magic for Beginners book and teach basic sleights effectively.  But that’s not how he chooses to use his remarkable talent.  Like his silent partner, Teller, Mr. Jillette uses magic as a device or tool to offer his unique and usually correct perspective (from our point o’ view) of the topic or issue he has chosen to explain.

His writing seems effortless and spontaneous.  We would like to think that style is a result of thousands of drafts, re-writes, third-party editing, and gut-wrenching revisions.

We presume, however, his writing style reflects his true persona.  We don’t have that gift.  In fact, the sentence, “We don’t have that gift” took two and a half hours to craft.  We began with “we not as good as he is at writing that way,” worked our way towards “he is better at writing than speaking and he is very good at speaking too,” and finally “We don’t have that same ability that he, Penn Jillette has.”

Our point?  We like Penn Jillette’s writing.

In fact, we are not ashamed to say we would marry his writing if such a thing were possible.  We don’t know if that makes us gay for wanting to marry the writing style of a man, but if it does, we’ll take those slings and arrows and make lemonade served in slings with arrows for stirrers.

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