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4.3 out of 5 stars
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on July 6, 2001
I am pretty sure the tricks described herein wouldn't work with the people I know, as all of the stunts involve a lot of acting and dialogue as part of the set-up. That said, who cares? This book is hilarious, and as a simple work of comedy, it kills. The now-familiar Penn rants are hysterical, and the descriptions of the duo's friends and favorite places are quite interesting. In particular, the review of the Mutter Museum in Philadelphia (of anatomical and pathological specimens, medical instruments, etc.) is a dark and touching tribute. There is a confusing piece of fiction about a man granted three wishes that I found odd, but otherwise, the book's flow was nice and seamless. As with the live P & T show, there are a lot of great quotes and witticisms. No great work of literature, this, but an extremely effective piece of travel writing that is a hair more intelligent than other books similarly categorized.
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on June 8, 2000
After rereading his brilliant, unexpectedly moving essay "In the Muetter Museum," which is featured in this book, I'm beginning to think so. Of course there's also Penn to deal with, and his trademark in-your-face crassness gives a distasteful edge to this compendium of tricks, stunts and random prose entertainments. I have a feeling P&T may have shot their wad with "How To Play With Your Food," which is their finest book to date (and unfortunately out of print now.) There's nothing in this to rival the glowing pickle, the Satanic tortilla, or that incredible story about Penn and the milkshake. But it is P&T, and thus sacred and beloved of all fans of cutting-edge entertainment, and a worthy contribution to the literature of the skeptical movement.
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on September 21, 1999
I just got my copy of "How to Play in Traffic" and was awake looooong into the night reading it (and often laughing outloud!). Apparently, judging from a couple of the reviews, some people thought this was supposed to be a book on performing magic tricks and were disappointed. But having read the other Penn&Teller books, I was very pleased to find the book was sooooo much more -- the hilarious anecdotes, the funny prose, the wonderful pictures. If you're in to P&T, this books is a pleaser! :-)
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on November 12, 2002
Penn & Teller, the self-proclamed "bad boys of magic" and ripoff artistes come through again. This is a very funny book of travel stories plus antics that you, yourself can do, while on the road. Tricks include making the Virgin Mary appear in any photograph, doctoring the flight safety card, how to stop a shaken pop can from exploding in your face and make another one explode in someone else's instead, and how to make someone pick a card which is engraved on an actual cenotaph. Lots of mean fun to be had.
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on December 27, 1997
Penn & Teller have added one more hit to their series of "How to ..." books. If you haven't read their previous two books, what the h___ is wrong with you!? Get to it. The bad boys of magic will show you how to have a great time fooling your friends and neighbors into being a bit less gullible in a time when gullibility is the norm. Better than that, Penn & Teller are alcohol free, drug free, and religion free role models for the future. God bless 'em
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on May 18, 1999
even if you're not the hugest p&t fan (ha!) i swear on ron jeremy you'll start to fall in love after reading this book....besides some pretty dang good (well, entertaining) stories and twisted insights, you'll find a plethora o' tricks and scams that give life a nice, zany twist (it also makes people very afraid of you, which can be a very fun thing). penn's story about comedy timing and teller's bit on the mutter museum are two of my favorites. buy the goshdarn book!!!
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on December 8, 1998
If you've read "Cruel Tricks for Dear Friends" and "How to Play with your Food," I think you'll be mildly disappointed here. Not nearly as many tricks as the other books, and Penn's near constant injections of his political views are intrusive. Still, its got some darn funny moments and there ARE a few good tricks. If you've never picked up a P&T book before, don't start with this one. If you've got the other two, what the hell, complete the set.
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on January 2, 1999
This book is definitely one of the funniest, most intriguing travel books i've ever read! From the tricks to the jokes, this is one of the best! Be the god of carbonation by moving fizz from one can to another, know how many coins a person has just by listening to them, or how to show someone their "guardian vegetable"! If your going to read one book this year, read this (or TV guide, but then read this!)
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on September 7, 1998
Wow Penn and Teller have done it again with another great book. It is the exact same style as the other two, But it still is great. The tricks are cool, the storys are funny and you also get free gizzmos in it. If you like magic you will love this book. an amazing feat in writing and penn and teller have done it again. This is from an English fan and they never play in England but we still love ya!!
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on October 20, 1998
After reading several reviews on this site giving the book 5 stars I expected at least a MOSTLY entertaining book. Some of the tricks are cool, some of the book was fun to read but mostly boring. Definately not a 5 star book (unless you live and breath Penn and Teller). A better book would be MAGIC FOR DUMMIES!
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