Leftovers

This is the last regular issue of the year. The next issue will be The Annual which is almost always irregular.

One of the books I read on the road to recovery from the dreaded tonsil-rectumy (which was followed by a pain in both its namesakes) was William Poundstone's Bigger Secrets. The book is a follow-up to his first book, Big Secrets. His first book must have been a success since I had newer heard of it. My mother sent the sequel to me since it contained some chapters on magic. In the book, the author investigates such secrets as the ingredients to commercial foods, secret phone nuntoers, and hidden messages in albums.

Imagine my delight as I was sitting there eating Oreo (tm) ice cream and the author chose that very moment to describe the cream filling in an oreo

cookie as "sugared Crisco". Further, imagine how quickly ice cream dropped from the limited list of foods I could eat after the operation.

The reason I bring this up (the topic, not the ice cream) is because of the forty-two pages (17% of the total 244) which are devoted to illusions. In these chapters, Poundstone, who I am assured is no relation to Blackstone, describes the Indian Rope Trick, firewalking, le/itations, headline predictions, the Girl Without A Middle, the Zig-Zag, and the vanishing Statue of Liberty.

It was interesting to read his search for the modus operandi of the Zig Zag which finally lead him to the workshop plans. Further, his philosophical discussion on the use of camera editing when discussing the Statue of Liberty vanish sounded like it was recorded at a magic meeting.

I am not suggesting you buy the book even if you buy everything which is even remotely related to magic. The sheet you hold in your hands no doubt assures you are in this elite but poor group. It would seem that the more books the amazing Poundstone sells, the more sequels he will be apt to produce. And, eventually, he will discover and describe the truly important work such as greek deals and doubles from the middle.

To squash his efforts, I will relate one person's story as to how she managed to keep money from the hands of a murderer. This person, who will remain anonymous as long as the payments continue, wanted to read a new book which was written by a convicted murderer which described the event in detail. She went to her local bookstore and purchased the book, carefully retaining her receipt. That night, she stayed up most of the night reading the entire book, being ever so delicate with the turning of the pages. The following morning, she returned the like-new book to the bookstore for a full refund. In her words, "I was not going to have a criminal, his agent, or his publisher,

Leftovers --- Continued on page 422

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