This is a fun book which, like so many of the author's earlier ventures, does a serious disservice to the conception of science, equating it with magic tricks and entertainment in the parlor. In this one especially, Barr uses science very peripherally. For example, doing a trick called dissolving a coin in water (by sleight of hand replacement) is hardly made ""scientific"" by referring to water, chemical formula H2O, as being a great solvent; though the latter is true, and has been the subject of many studies, in this case it is a farce and nothing more. Not only the title but also the author's introduction posing the book as memoirs of a scientist makes this a negative contribution. Yet the tricks, as tricks, are fun.