THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF IMPROMPTU MAGIC by Martin Gardner. Published by Magic Inc, Chicago, 111 60625
It's arrived at last — the long awaited compilation of Martin Gardner's series from Hugards Magic Monthly is here.
During the late 50's and early 60's I recall many a discussion centreing around the inestimable value of the "EIM" to the aspiring crop of close-up workers. Without exception everyone agreed that it was the most comprehensive collection of gags, stunts and magic tricks with everyday objects extant and that it deserved preservation within one set of covers.
Then towards the end of the 60's rumours that the book was about to be published began to circulate.
About 1973 or so I began to despair of ever seeing it, and at enormous expense bought a complete file of Hugards. I even planned to write to Mr Gardner to seek permission to republish the articles in book form. Then I heard that Jay Marshall was involved and that he intended to do just that.
A mere 6 years later, and today the said JM has personally delivered my copy.
To say that the wait has been worthwhile is the understatement of the decade — the book is terrific!!!
It's a heavy tome, size IV/2 inches x 8V2 inches x V/2 inches — hard back, red binding with gold blocked titles. None of your plastic, spiral, stapled pamphlets masquerading as books
— this "Encyclopedia" is a production to be proud of.
The contents are contained in 571 (yes 571) printed pages plus an index. The type face is clear, easily read and is accompanied by over 900 illustrations. Half of each page is left blank for additional notes or references.
In his introduction Mr Gardner refers to the work as 'incomplete', 'slovenly', 'patchy' — he is far too critical. It is undoubtedly the most exhaustive reference work on impromptu tricks imaginable — and any patchiness is merely the result of the scores of items added to the original manuscript.
Over 60 categories are covered from balloons to bananas, soap to safety pins and rings to radishes. I lost count at 1,540 numbered items and estimated at least 200 extra variations.
By definition every reader of Pabular should possess a copy of this monumental work
— it ranks with Greater Magic, Bobo's Coin Book, the Vernon Book and is undoubtedly destined to become an all-time classic.
I understand that the price is about $26 (it would be cheap at £26). I suggest that you rush £15 — which should be enough to cover exchange rates and surface mail to Magic Inc. for your copy now!!!
I cannot recommend it too highly.
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Magick is the art and practice of moving natural energies to effect needed or wanted change. Magick is natural, there is absolutely nothing supernatural about it. What is taught here are various techniques of magick for beginners. Magick is natural and simple and the techniques to develop abilities should be simple and natural as well. What is taught on this site is not only the basics of magick, but the basics of many things.