The following essay was originally published as a forward in a limited edition hardcover publication of ‘The Last Illusion’ by Clive Barker

By Lucien Greaves

A stage magician, openly engaging in trickery, often masters an endless repertoire of precision sleights and deft misdirections only to be relegated to street busking or scrounging for tableside tips. The hustler, however, comfortable in the presence of the hopelessly gullible, can merely learn to poorly half-ass his/her way through one cheap trick, yet yield a cult of devoted followers willing to spill their life savings into an empty promise of salvation.

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