I just finished reading "The Glorius Deception" and must say that it seems to me to be the best writing that Jim Steinmeyer has done to date. The story is masterfully told in an exciting and gripping manner.
I do feel that to get full benefit while reading this book, it is nice to have Todd Karr's "The Silence of Chung Ling Soo" at hand. This option will allow the reader to refer to diagrams of effects, beautiful posters, better photos, and additional info as the "deception" unfolds and various things are mentioned. It is also nice to have "The Howard Thurston's Illusion Show Work Book" (volume one) at hand to compare Thurston's version of the Crystal Lantern Illusion to the beautiful plated version of Soo's as described by Steinmeyer. Soo's show was, indeed, one I would have liked to have witnessed. There is plenty of new info in this book. For example - I had no idea that Soo ever had a version of Maskelyne's levitation. Was this built with the all important rollers like the Kellar/Thurston model for transport or from the partially correct "plans" Goldston published (and were repeated in the Dr. Q book, The Owen book, etc.)? Several of the illusions in Soo's show would go over very well today with slightly altered methods. Also, handy to have at hand would be the Goldston "Locked Books".
There could have been alternate titles for Steinmeyer's latest book. A few which come to mind might be:
The Importance of Getting a Prenup
One Wife is Enough
How to Have Your Life's Work Destroyed By Heirs
How To Destroy a Well Equipped Shop In One Day
Like many a good book, this text brings up a variety questions (what ifs) in the reader's mind - questions which can never be answered. Would Soo's ideas and versions of illusions have been lost to time without the Goldston exposures? If Dot had inherited the show with all of its apparatus/illusions, would they be in someone's collection today rather than frittered away at an auction and lost over the years? Is there any "fair" in life? Ah yes, tons of unanswerable questions are inspired by this book.
At the low price, this book is a true bargain. :D