The Hurrier I Go

Again this month we have a lot to talk about and not a lot of space to do it in. If you've sent in a product for review and it hasn't appeared in these pages yet, hang in there. Everything should appear eventually. We begin the column with some items which were postponed from January due to space limitations.

Climbing the Ladder to Successful Close-up Magic By Phil Jay

Tales from the Road By Tom Lilly

Drugs, Strangers, and Other Dangers By Ron Conley

I'm grouping these three manuscripts together because they each focus on a specialized area of magic, and they will be of most use to those who intend to become full or part time professional magicians.

Phil Jay is a restaurant and corporate close-up magic in England. His book offers a very interesting approach to successful restaurant magic, using an analogy to the children's game "Snakes and Ladders" (more commonly referred to in the United States as "Chutes and Ladders"). Mr. Jay's premise is that during the course of your performance you should imagine yourself climbing a ladder of esteem and respect. Each effect and every bit of interaction with your spectators should raise you up another rung on that ladder, so by the end of the performance the spectators place you "at the top of the ladder as an entertainer and a magician - 'top dog' - 'numero uno.'" Mr. Jay then offers various suggestions to achieve this end. At the same time, the performer has to be wary of "snakes," events which will lower the audience's respect for the performer. These snakes can be produced by ill-advised comments, or by unruly spectators who try to sabotage your performance. Mr. Jay offers ways to deal with these situations. The book concludes with several routines which Mr. Jay has found useful in his work.

Climbing the Ladder to Successful Close-up Magic is very worthwhile reading for anyone who wants to perform for real people in the real world. Mr. Jay's advice is sound and well worth your consideration. (His suggestions for how to do magic for someone dining alone are excellent, and I don't believe I've seen this discussed anywhere else.) Recommended.

Tom Lilly is a full time pro from Maryland. His book Tales from the Road is a nuts and bolts handbook of the stuff you need to know if you're going to make a living doing magic. Mr. Lilly focus is as a children's entertainer, but his suggestions can be adapted to any field. He offers advice on promotional material (one of his brochures is bound into the book), contracts, organizing props, and crowd control. In addition, he details several of his children show routines. Tales from the Road is another worthwhile book, and I recommend it.

Finally, if you would like to add an anti-drug show to your kid show resources, take a look at Ron Conley's Drugs, Strangers, and Other Dangers. Mr. Conley gives the full details of his "Magical Say No Show," which he has performed more than 1000 times throughout the southeast. He gives you all the work, including complete scripts for each of the tricks, booking and promotional suggestions, contract and pricing information, and tips on how to survive on the road. I can't imagine a pro giving away his bread and butter like this, but I think Mr. Conley is doing this in the hopes of getting this important message to more children throughout the country. If you're a kids show performer, this book is definitely worth your time. Recommended.

The Low Main Deck by Chris Bacchus

This is a clever and practical version of the shrinking deck effect. A poker-sized deck of cards is removed from the card case and is spread between the hands. (This spread is tight, and is done with the backs of the hands facing the audience. It is a cozy position, but does not look too unnatural.) The deck is squeezed between the hands and immediately becomes a miniature deck. The miniature deck is real and can be used for other effects (if you ditch the gaff which remains in the deck after the shrinking). The instructions offer no suggestions on how to proceed after doing the shrinking, but if you want to incorporate this type of effect into your close-up show, you'll find that this is a practical trick which can be done in the real world.

Insight

By Keith Fields

This is a very interesting book test, with an approach which is different from any others I've seen recently. (I don't think I'm going to deprive Mr. Fields of any sales by generally outlining the method. There's no way that you're going to make one of these for yourself, and besides, you wouldn't anyway, because MAGIC readers do the right thing.) Anyway, here's the gist of it. Open a book. Consider the left and right hand pages to comprise one bank of information. In Mr. Fields' book, each left/right bank contains nine pieces of information, including a long word on the first line of the left hand page, a man's name, a date, an occupation, a city, a country, and so forth. There are five different "banks" which repeat sequentially throughout the book. So if a spectator opens the book at any point, and if you can determine which "bank" they are looking at, then you can "mentally" discern all the other bits of information on the page. (There are several ways to gain the knowledge of which bank they are looking at.)

The book you get looks like a standard soft cover trade publication. It is 199 pages long and appears completely innocent. The nature of the method requires a different approach to the picking of words in the text, but this has a very jazzy, freeform feel to it, and although I have absolutely no experience doing book tests, I fell into it right away. And I'll tell you that everyone I've performed this for has been completely blown away by it.

The price of this item places it outside of the realm of all but working performers (or wealthy amateurs). But if you've been looking for a strong book test to add to your act, this is well worth your consideration. Highly recommended.

Bottoms Up:Finesse Card Under Glass By Tommy Middleton Written and Illustrated by David Harkey Reviewed by Jon Racherbaumer

There are up-sides and downsides to every publication. The upsides of this booklet are its production values. Despite its slim number of pages (12), it looks classy. Designed like a glossy drink menu, it was expertly designed and succinctly written—perhaps too succinctly—by David Harkey. There are seven helpful drawings and readers, especially if they are completely unfamiliar with the basic effect, will be able to understand the rudimentary mechanics. If they are comparison-shoppers, they will probably pit the booklet's actual price against their own criteria of real, robust value. If so, the downside of this booklet becomes quickly apparent. First, it is not a detailed treatise. On this account it cannot compete with better explanations already published. The booklet's subtitle suggests finesse. This is a stretch because applying another cardman's control and using a Tenkai palm are hardly revolutionary. Middleton is obviously enthused and this is praiseworthy, but he puts a high price-tag on only one trick. Granted: The basic effect is a potentially great, but such potential is achieved only by skillful performance. It was never meant for amateurs.

Heba Haba Al, who was connected to the Card-Under-Glass effect in the same way hands are connected to arms, probably performed this trick a gazillion times. And every bar magician worthy of being called one thanks him for being one of its finest exemplars. They also bow to Johnny Paul and Jim Ryan. Each honed the requisite craftiness and split-second timing demanded by this "performance piece" by constantly working in real-world "trenches." They knew, as Mike Close currently teaches, that The-Card-Under-Glass is not an isolated, singular effect. It is modular and is meant to be strategically used in a larger performance-composition. Professional workers "score" it and they (pun intended) "know the score" in the deepest sense possible. Like jazz musicians who fully grasp any melody, they can "riff" with practiced impunity, knowing how to "play" within given "contexts." The Card-Under-Glass is not for beginners or average magicians. Its underlying mechanics may look like child's play, but requires nerve, experience, and real-world practice. You must know how to tactically use it in an extended performance, how to repeat it (as Mullica and Close do), and how to achieve maximum impact. Furthermore, it cannot be practiced in private. Like the Classic Force, it must be rawly rehearsed in actual, variable performing situations for diverse kinds of spectators. Ask

Tom Mullica, Mike Close, John Carney, J.C. Wagner, Doc Eason, Bob Sheets, Eric Mason, Simon Lovell, and Terry Lunceford. This is why explanations do not abound in our literature. Only a few references come to mind. Simon Lovell published the "Glassy Card" in Close-up Magic To Tap Dance To (September-1989), Tom Mullica revealed his handling in Show Time At The Tom-Foolery (1992), and Mike Close tipped "The Card, the Forehead, and the Salt Shaker" in Workers - Number Three (1993). Mullica uses an ashtray, Close uses a saltshaker, and others use beer bottles and drink-filled glasses. These treatments are full-bodied, realistic, and pragmatic. Bottoms Up suffers in comparison. There is a striking lucuna between what Harkey wrote and what should have been written for this performance-piece to be forcefully successful. At best, it is an elegantly produced introduction to one of bar magic's great bits of business. Bottom line: Check it out before you decide to buy.

The Chronicles By Karl Fulves

Theodore Annemann published the first issue of The Jinx in October of 1934. As he wrote in that first issue, "The tricks will be good, the hints, tips and miscellaneous matter that may creep in will be practical, and above all, the price will remain a fraction of a fraction in comparison with the value of the information disclosed." The Jinx ran for 151 issues, ceasing publication in December 1941, shortly before Annemann's death. Mourning the loss of both Annemann and his magazine, Walter Gibson and Bruce Elliott started The Phoenix. The first issue appeared in early February 1942, and contained this statement of purpose, "It is hoped that this magazine, The Phoenix, may in some degree provide magicians with the things that they expected from The Jinx"

Walter Gibson bowed out after 72 issues and Bruce Elliot continued alone, producing a total of 300 issues, the last of which appeared on February 5, 1954. At this point the magazine was taken over by Jay Marshall and Norman Jensen. It was renamed The New Phoenix, and the first issue came out on February 19, 1954. Jay eventually became the sole editor, and continued until March 19, 1958 at which time issue #348 appeared. The New Phoenix ceased publication for more than two years, until the appearance of issue #351in November of 1960 with Don Tanner as the editor. (The missing two issues have never been published.)

Karl Fulves took over the editorial duties with issue #397, published on July 6, 1965. In that issue he writes, "When I agreed to take over the New Phoenix from Don Tanner, it was with the understanding that just four more issues of The Phoenix will be published. At issue #400 the bird will be fondly laid to rest.. .For the past few years I had contemplated running a sheet of my own, somewhat similar to The Phoenix .Those of you whose subscriptions to The Phoenix extend beyond issue #400 will have them fulfilled with the upcoming publication." The new publication referred to was The Pallbearers Review, and the first issue appeared in November of 1965. Pallbearers ran for 10 years, with the last issue dated October, 1975. At that time, Fulves decided to continue The Pallbearers Review in a different style, "but featuring the same combination of subtlety and sleights crafted for the close-quarters performer." This magazine continued for 36 issues, ceasing publication in 1988. Therefore, as Max Abrams has noted, The Chronicles was the great-great-grandchild of The Jinx.

I referred to The Chronicles a few months ago when I was discussing self-levitations, and I mentioned that a reprint would soon be available. Well, that reprint has arrived, and it is a gold mine of interesting and useful information. Moreover, because original copies of The Chronicles are difficult to find, this is material which is virtually unknown outside of the small group of original subscribers.

The Chronicles focuses on close-up and stand-up magic, with the skill level geared toward the average magician. In addition, there is an extremely high percentage of noncard material. If you're looking for routines to add to your act, or just to fool your pals at the magic club, you'll find it here. The contributors are a who's who of magic's finest minds, including Dai Vernon, Slydini, Phil Goldstein, Alex Elmsley, Larry Jennings, Michael Skinner, George Sands, Howard Schwarzman, Martin Gardner, and Allan Slaight. There is far too much material here for me to give even a cursory mention of specific items, but I will tell you that there are some terrific psychic routines here, and a rope penetration which took the magic conventions by storm when it appeared almost 20 years ago. If David Blaine had done this rope trick on TV, the Internet would have melted down with magicians trying to find out where to buy it.

The pagination of The Chronicles continues from the end of The Pallbearers Review, but the layout style is different. To be honest, I preferred the tightly packed, dense layout of Pallbearers, but I'm sure that the "friendlier" layout of The Chronicles will appeal to many.

I highly recommend The Chronicles, and I highly recommend all the magazines which preceded it. In fact, if you obtain files of these magazines you'll have more practical, fun, and stimulating magic than a human being could learn in several lifetimes.

The Genius of Robert Harbin By Eric Lewis

Robert Harbin was an extremely successful performer, an Origami enthusiast whose writings on the subject introduced many (including myself) to the world of paperfolding, and a prolific creator of magical effects including one of the most blatantly ripped-off illusions of our time, " The Zig-Zag Girl." It has taken almost fourteen years for Mike Caveney's Magic Words to make this book a reality, and while it is sad that Mr. Lewis did not live to see the book's publication, he would be happy to know that it stands as a loving tribute to his friend.

Robert Harbin began his magical career in South Africa, where he was known by his real name, Ned Williams. A magic show at his school kindled the magic flame, and Ned began ordering small magic tricks from Will Goldston's shop in London. He met Clive Maskelyne in 1928 during Maskelyne's second tour of South Africa, and, while Maskelyne gave young Ned some realistic advice ("Make magic a nice sideline, but do something else for a living."), the desire to become a professional magician became more firmly entrenched. To do so, Ned felt he must move to England, which he did in 1928.

The Genius of Robert Harbin traces Ned Williams early career in South Africa and England, though his appearances with "Maskelyne's Mysteries" at St. George's Hall and the Little Theater (it was at this time that he changed his name to Robert Harbin), culminating with his success as one of England's most popular cabaret performers. Interspersed with the biographical information are discussions of the effects Harbin developed during each time period. Because Mr. Lewis was actively involved in the creation of many of these effects, he gives us a unique, insider's viewpoint. (Be aware, however, that no details are given for effects which were published in The Magic of Robert Harbin. This was done intentionally to grant exclusivity to those who purchased that book.) The explanations of the effects are fascinating, and if you are a stage or cabaret performer, you will find much of value here.

The reason for the delay of this book is this: The Genius of Robert Harbin is a very personal biography. Eric Lewis and Robert Harbin were close friends their entire lives. However, in 1968 Mr. Lewis moved to California and did not have the personal contact with Harbin that he had had when they both lived in England. Consequently, when the chronological history of Harbin reached 1968, Mr. Lewis stopped writing. As Mike Caveney explains, "Eric now felt uncomfortable writing about Harbin's later years based on the recollection of others." The manuscript sat in a closet, unfinished. Mr. Lewis died on June 6, 1993. Mike Caveney contacted John Fisher in the hopes that he could write the chapter detailing the final years of Harbin's life, but Fisher's work schedule made this impossible. Fortunately, Alan Shaxon agreed to finish the biography. Shaxon was a confidant and friend of Harbin during the late 1960's and early 70's and is able to offer the same personal insights as Mr. Lewis.

The Genius of Robert Harbin is a wonderful book, and I enjoyed it immensely. As with all the products from Mike Caveney's Magic Words it is a class act all the way around. Highly recommended.

The Coney Island Fakir: The Magical Life of Al Flosso By Gary R. Brown

If you enjoy magical biographies, you will also want to pick up a copy of Gary Brown's new biography of Al Flosso. Flosso was a true "character," and you don't see very much of that in magic anymore. Perhaps one reason for the lack of magical characters is that the social environment necessary to produce a character's eclectic past is no longer available. Flosso was apprentice to Henry Gordien, "Pop" Krieger, and Max Malini. He was a circus sideshow worker, a Punch and Judy performer, a carnival pitchman, a brilliant magician, and the owner of one of the most remarkable magic shops in history.

As Mr. Brown explains in his Preface, "the documentary record of Flosso's life is marginal..." so consequently much of The Coney Island Fakir is an anecdotal history, filled with the stories of those who knew him. In addition to the reminiscences and biographical information, Mr. Brown also includes a chapter which details Flosso's act, the highlight of which was Flosso's handling of "The Miser's Dream." No attempt is made to explain exact handlings or techniques, the purpose of this description is to help give the reader a sense of Flosso the performer. Unfortunately, words can only do so much. If you really want to know what Flosso was like, you'll have to track down a video of one of his performances.

The actual biography encompasses 128 pages. There are nine pages of notes. The final eighty pages consist of the reprints of two booklets: Our Mysteries and Annemann's Buried Treasures. Our Mysteries was produced by Flosso in the 1940's (incidentally, the dust jacket incorrectly lists this book as Our Magic), so it's inclusion makes some sense, but I'm at loss as to why the Annemann book was included.

I enjoyed The Coney Island Fakir, and I think you will, too. Al Flosso was one of a kind, and we'll never his like again. If you never had a chance to meet him, reading this book will give you some idea of what you missed. Recommended.

The Desert Brainstorm Series Volumes 1-3 By the Arizona 6 1/2

The Arizona 6 1/2 (founded about 8 years ago by Robert Bluemle) is composed of several mentalists from the southwest who get together every few months to trade ideas, hone new material, and rob the occasional stage coach. Seven of these gentlemen were invited to Casa del Maxwell to perform and explain some of their pet mental effects. The three volumes of the Desert Brainstorm Series contain three routines each from Larry Becker, Lee Earle, Docc Hilford, Gene Urban, Mark Strivings, Christopher Caldwell, and Kenton Knepper. The quality of the material is uniformly high, and there is enough variety in method, effect, and presentation that anyone interested in mental magic should find something to their liking.

The format of each tape is this: each gentleman performs his particular routine (in front of an enthusiastic and appreciative group) and then he explains the method in a "round-table" setting in which the other six mentalists can offer questions, comments, or suggestions. This scenario works very well, making the viewer feel as if he is part of session.

There is far too much material explained here to attempt even the most cursory summary. Some routines I liked better than others, but each of the seven participants offered worthwhile routines. In particular, I very much appreciated all the effects from Lee Earle and Kenton Knepper.

If you can only afford one video, I would suggest that you start with volume one of the series. This will give you a feel for each gentleman's style and approach to mentalism. In addition, Earle's "Con-bination" and Knepper's "Southwest Miracle" are individually worth the price of admission, so you've got nothing to lose.

If you're looking for a wide variety of practical mental magic, I don't think you can go wrong. Recommended.

The A-1 All Stars Video Series: Numbers 3 & 4 From A-1 MultiMedia

I don't know a lot about the manufacturing and sales of video cassettes, but one thing I know is this: the length of a video tape influences its duplication costs. If a tape is longer than 90 minutes it may have to be "piggybacked" which makes it more expensive to duplicate. This is why most magic videos do not exceed 90 minutes. Well then, what do you do if you have material which had to be cut from a video project because of excessive length? A possible solution would be to put out a sampler - a tape which contains one trick each from a variety of performers. I do not know that this is the reason why the A-1 All Stars Video Series exists, but it is a plausible explanation.

Two new tapes in this series have recently been released. Volume three features Juan Tamariz, Darwin Ortiz, Rafael Benatar, and Mark Strivings. Volume four features Tom Mullica, Darwin Ortiz, Lee Earle, Allan Ackerman, and Rafael Benatar.

There is excellent material on both of these videos, with the emphasis on card magic. For me, the highlight of Volume three was Juan's twenty minute routine with a memorized deck. This routine contains a variety of effects, culminating with the performer dealing out four perfect bridge hands. This routine uses Juan's personal stack, which he details as part of the explanation. You'll get no help as far as learning how to memorize the stack, but if you've been wondering what Juan's stack is, you'll find the information here.

The highlight of Volume four is Darwin's "Blind Aces," a routine which I commented favorably on when I reviewed Cardshark. Not only is this a wonderfully commercial routine, the technical requirements are minimal, putting it well within the reach of the average card handler.

Both these tapes are worth your consideration, especially if you are interested in card magic. If you are unfamiliar with the work of any of these gentlemen, these tapes would acquaint you with their styles and their material. However, I do have a suggestion for the folks at A-1: Since the production costs of these tapes are $0 (since all the material was shot during the process of producing other tapes), why not reduce the price of these sampler tapes? Price them at $19.95 (or less if feasible). Record companies do this, and in doing so they expose their customers to artists that they would otherwise not be aware of. It could be a mutually agreeable (and profitable) situation.

Wow: It's Ray Kosby By Ray Kosby

Ray Kosby doesn't make many convention appearances, consequently his name may be unknown to you. If you have heard of Ray, it's probably because of a stunning (and heartbreakingly difficult) card trick called "Raise Rise" which was published in the

Magical Arts Journal. Fortunately for all of us, the material on Wow: It's Ray Kosby is not nearly so difficult. The material is geared for the close-up and stand-up performer, and (hooray, hooray!) all are non-card effects. In addition, many (if not all) of these tricks are going to fool you the first time you watch them.

A hallmark of any Kosby routine is a strong visual element. My two favorite routines were the penetration of a rubber ball through a clear plastic bag and a crazy "Professor's Nightmare" type routine done with rubber bands. In addition you'll find tricks with apples, pretzels, soda cans, coins, and sponges. Only the coin routines place any kind of technical demands on the performer, everything else is well within the abilities of the average magician.

This is the second video from Kaufman and Company, and the production values are excellent. If you're looking for quick, visual, non-card material, you should definitely take a look at this video. Highly recommended.

Passing Through By Douglas Cameron

Douglas Cameron has come up with a very clever kicker for the standard Card Through Handkerchief effect. Here's what happens: Two cards are selected and returned to the deck. The deck is wrapped in a man's white pocket handkerchief. The hank is shaken, and the first card penetrates through the hank. The hank is shaken again, but instead of the second appearing, a blank card emerges through the hank. The handkerchief is unwrapped, and the image of the second card is printed on it.

Douglas offers two handlings, one of which requires no skill, the other which requires only average technical ability. There is no switch of handkerchiefs, and at the beginning, the hank can be freely shown, no printing can be seen on it.

The only downside to this routine is that the "activation device" (which is not really the correct phrase, but I'm being vague so I don't tip the gaff) must carried in a pocket, and must be recharged (or replaced with another unit) after about an hour. Now, don't let this deter you, because this "device" is a fairly common thing, and if you're doing strolling magic you could have several ready to go before you get to the gig. However, be aware that the gaff will use up one pocket. (Douglas suggests using your outside breast pocket).

This is a very offbeat effect, and if it appeals to you it is well worth your consideration. Recommended.

Glink

By Jon Allen

The idea behind this prop was explained in Jon Racherbaumer's "Inside Out" column in the March 1997 issue of MAGIC. What you get with "Glink" is a pen which writes with a combination of glue and ink. The line the pen produces is narrower than that produced by a Sharpie, but bolder than that produced by a Flair. If you write on a playing card and then press the card against another card, when the glue dries the bond is more or less permanent. If you let the glue dry first, then the adhesion becomes removable, as if you were using wax.

In addition to the pen, you receive a 19-page booklet detailing seven effects which use "Glink." Before you make a decision, read the effect referenced above to see if it appeals to you. A couple of things you should know: The "Glink" pen doesn't resemble any pen commonly in use in the United States. The pen is black, about 4.5 inches long and the barrel is .5 inches in diameter. It doesn't look particularly suspicious, but it is not a standard pen. The other thing you should know is that you must wait a minute or two for the "Glink" to dry if you want to have a removable bond. You'll need to have something going on presentationally to cover this time lag.

I will tell you that I have tried this (performing the trick from MAGIC), and the reaction was very strong. If the effect appeals, it is worth your consideration.

Sketch-O-Magic By David Garrard

Kid show performers will definitely want to take a look at David Garrard's "Sketch-O-Magic." Here's what you get: Visualize an 8.5 x 11 spiral bound artist's sketch pad. The pad is held horizontally, with the spiral binding to the right. The pages of the sketch pad have been divided into thirds, horizontally. The each page of the top section shows the top third of a person's head, the middle third shows the person's eyes and nose, the bottom third shows the mouth and chin. The performer flips through each of these sections, displaying all the different combinations possible. A prediction is placed aside. Three spectators stop at three different sections as the magician flips through the pages. This produces the picture of a smiling, blue-eyed boy wearing a beanie. The prediction is revealed, the pictures match.

This is a very nicely made prop, which uses the old Coloring Book principle in an interesting way. You'll be doing it five minutes after you get it, and if you're looking to add a mental-flavored effect to your kids show, it would certainly fit the bill. Recommended.

Longtime readers of MAGIC may remember a cover picture of Martin Gardner constructed of domino tiles. The tiles were arranged mosaic-fashion, and (if you stood back a bit and squinted) the spots on the tiles formed a portrait of Mr. Gardner. Computer scientist/artist Robert Silvers has advanced this concept to a degree which is mind-boggling. He has written a computer program which constructs these mosaics from thousands of smaller, disparate images. The results are not only beautiful, but they are magical, even more so as you carefully examine each image and discover how the tiny photographs are incorporated into the whole.

Mr. Silvers has compiled 30 of these constructs into book titled Photomosaics. You'll find a portrait of Abraham Lincoln composed of Civil War photographs, Darth Vader and Yoda made up of tiny stills from the Star Wars movies, and a portrait of Bill Gates made from the scanned images of various world currency.

The book comes with a small magnifying glass so you can examine the composition of each mosaic. These are wondrous things, and they make a perfect way to pass a snowy afternoon.

(By the way, you may have seen Mr. Silvers' photomosaic of Princess Diana on the cover of Newsweek magazine in late December. You can also visit his web site at www.photomosaic.com. While you're there, be sure to read the short articles by Penn and Teller.)

Details

Climbing the Ladder to Successful Close-up Magic by Phil Jay. 8.5 x 11 plastic comb bound. 62 single sided pages. $20 plus 2 p&h. From Show-Biz Services, 1735 E. 26th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11229

Tales from the Road by Tom Lilly. 8.5 x 11 plastic comb bound. 42 pages. $25 postpaid. From Thomas Lilly, 1407 Clarke Avenue, Lutherville, MD 21093

Drugs, Strangers, and Other Dangers by Ron Conley. 8.5 x 11 softcover. 96 pages. $25 plus $4 p&h. From Samuel Patrick Smith, P.O. Box 787, Eustis, FL 32727

"The Low Main Deck" by Chris Bacchus. $20 postpaid. From Bacchus Manufacturing Co., PO Box 241582, Montgomery, AL 36124

"Insight" by Keith Fields. $185 plus $14 airmail postage. From The Kaymar Magic Company, 189a St. Marys Lane, Upminster, Essex RM14 3BU, England

"Bottoms Up" by Tommy Middleton. 4.75 x 11, stapled. 11 pages. $15 postpaid. From Oasis Ltd., 1047 NW Baltimore Avenue, Bend, OR 97701

The Chronicles by Karl Fulves. 8.5 x 11 hardcover. 395 pages. $50 postpaid in US and Canada. From L&L Publishing, P.O. Box 100, Tahoma, CA 96142

The Genius of Robert Harbin by Eric Lewis. 8 x 10 hardcover with dustjacket. 360 pages. $45 postpaid in US and Canada (Foreign postage - Surface: $6, Airmail: $24). From Mike Caveney's Magic Words, 572 Prospect Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91103

The Coney Island Fakir: The Magical Life of Al Flosso by Gary R. Brown. 6 x 9 hardcover with dustjacket. 215 pages. $35 postpaid in US and Canada. From L&L Publishing, P.O. Box 100, Tahoma, CA 96142

The Desert Brainstorm Series Volumes 1-3 by the Arizona 6 1/2. Each video $29.95 (any format). All three: $84.95. Free postage and handling for US, Canada, and overseas surface; overseas air add $7.50 per video. From A-1 MultiMedia, 3337 Sunrise Blvd., #8, Rancho Cordova, CA 95742

The A-1 All Star Videos Volumes 3 &4. Each video $29.95 (any format). Both videos: $54.95. Free postage and handling for US, Canada, and overseas surface; overseas air add $7.50 per video. From A-1 MultiMedia, 3337 Sunrise Blvd., #8, Rancho Cordova, CA 95742

Wow: It's Ray Kosby by Ray Kosby. $35. Free domestic and foreign surface postage. From Richard Kaufman, 4200 Wisconsin Ave. NW, Suite 106-292, Washington, DC 20016

"Passing Through" by Douglas Cameron. $20. Available from most major magic dealers.

"Glink" by Jon Allen. $20. Available from most major magic dealers.

"Sketch-O-Magic" by David Gerrard. $25 plus $4 p&h. From Samuel Patrick Smith, P.O. Box 787, Eustis, FL 32727

Photomosaics by Robert Silvers. $19.95. (ISBN 0805051708). 96 pages. Published by Henry Holt. Available at most bookstores, or from www.amazon.com.

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