Books

"I'll READ YOUR MIND " by Aage Darling (Translated by C. Steffensen and published by George Armstrong, price 17/6).

Whilst most books dealing with mentalistic magic are bent on giving new methods, the present book takes quite a number of well-known magical devices and clothes them with a presentation that makes for entertainment rather than boredom.

The female angle is touched upon quite a lot, and there is no doubt that the use of lady assistants on a stage is of considerable value to the commercially minded magician. The use of pictures of women instead of such prosaic things as geometrical symbols must have a greater audience appeal when one considers the types and condition of audiences as a whole.

The well read mentalist will find nothing new regarding technique, but he will, I feel sure, find ideas concerning presentation that will justify his purchase of this interesting little book.

Well bound in stiff covers the book runs to some fifty pages of text. The illustrations are by Jack Lamonte.

DAVENPORTS.—From our good friends in New Oxford Street we have received a number of lists which in the main, feature effects which stand the test of time and in which in many cases have been off the market for some time owing to the lack of supplies of the necessary raw materials. Quite a number of new items appear as well, including a very nice version of the Aqua Static Cone.

Our first afterthought regarding the recent British Ring Convention at Edinburgh is that of the generous hospitality dispensed by both the Scottish magicians and the civic authorities. Our second, is to thank Leslie May and Oliver Mackenzie for the most essential help that they gave us in the execution of our B. B. C. prediction. Nothing we have attempted in this field before has brought such a wide response from the press both in this country and abroad. Again Leslie and Oliver, very many thanks !

In the "Stage" only a fortnight before the Convention we had commented on the number of women entrants for the Shield Competition and had predicted that the day would come when a woman would win the Shield. We did not think, however, that it would take place this year and that our own " Liz" Warlock would win the award, and that a piece of heavy luggage carried up to Edinburgh would have to be brought back to Wallington.

At the Assembly Rooms the dealers' seemed to have a rather raw deal regarding both accommodation and facilities for showing. Whilst we think they should have made a firmer stand and refused such accommodation it is a matter that the next Convention Committee must put right at next year's venue, Brighton, for the dealers are a definite attraction and part of the backbone of a Convention.

It will be a long while before the "Ring" sees such a colourful Civic Reception as that given at the Assembly Rooms by the Lord and Lady Provost, Sir David and Lady Miller. The robes of these two dignatories plus those worn by the Edinburgh Councillors leaves a most vivid impression in our memory of pageantry at its best.

On the dealers' stands there was not a great deal of novelty to be found, but it was certainly pleasing to see "Demon" picture silks once more at the Davenports together with a number •of other worthwhile items. Harry Stanley had a good seller in "Hen" Fetch's "Breaking the Sound Barrier," and Jack Hughes had some inexpensive novelties that found favour.

The public shows went on as usual, but it was the close-up sessions and the " Classics of Magic" programme which brought the best magic to the onlooker. Both the lectures given, one by Eddie Joseph and the other by Johnny Ramsay, were excellent and each drew a large audience.

One conclusion must be drawn from both this Convention and that at Hastings in the previous year, is that a Headquarter Hotel is essential to achieve the real social atmosphere.

But we'll forget all these things for the moment and simply register the fact that for us the most important thing that happened to us at Edinburgh was the opportunity to meet again, Stewart James. It must have been way back in the early forties, when we met Stewart at Birmingham. He had travelled up with our friend Francis Haxton to a dinner given by the South Staffs. Society. We talked into the early hours of the morning about Freer and many other American magicians. When we met again we carried on the conversation from where we had left off and we are still doing it.

The week following Edinburgh was for a few of us a continuation of a magifest. The Occult Dinner was a gastronomical and magical success. Though the first was assured as the choice of restaurant and meal was in the expert hands of Jack Salvin, we certainly did not anticipate seeing Jimmy Esler's amazing book test; this was a feat of mental magic that quite literally knocked us for six.

In the coming volume there is some very nice material lined up, Two items of Judge Wethered's we have had for some time and one of these, a version of Le Paul's cards in envelopes will appear shortly. George Blake has promised a special number in the near future and the other evening after watching Jack Avis work a delightful coin routine we managed to get the promise of a special number from him.

It seems impossible that another volume has been completed. Once again our very great thanks go to all those Who have helped to complete volume seven.

One thing we would like to call our readers' attention to is the retractable pen that is now being marketed by the Biro Company. With an imperceptable amount of movement, the actual ball point of the pen can be retracted or extended. Here is the ideal substitute for a non-writing pencil put out in an elegant form.

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