Learned Pigs & Fireproof Women is a book written by stage magician, actor and writer Ricky Jay. Divided into numerous themed chapters, the book provides the bizarre histories of some of the world’s most eccentric entertainers, ranging from mind readers and daredevils to animal handlers and stone eaters.
Some examples of the entertainers included in Jay’s book:
The learned pig of the title, a pig that could spell, calculate and read minds.
Joseph Pujol, also known as Le Petomane, the master flatulist.
Max Malini, the illusionist famous for his audacity and his tricks involving unsuspecting celebrities.
Leon Rauch, also known as LaRoche, the Sisyphus of the circus world.
Ivan Ivanitz Chabert, the “Human Salamander” and “Really Incombustible Phenomenon”.
First published in 1986 by Villard Books, the book is currently out of print.