CI Illatd aSaut ffiaakd and Routines

MODES FOR MENTALISTS No. 4—THE GAP IN THE CURTAIN, published bv Peter Warlock. (Price 7/6).

I am happy to review Peter Warlock's latest addition to his "Modes for Mentalists" series because, once again, he has published a first-rate mental routine, well up to the standard of the other three of this series. I believe readers want reviews on the lines; description of effect, whether or not it is practical, if practical is it reasonably easy to perform and lastly, how produced.

In this case, the mentalist writes three predictions on a slate, each prediction being covered with a strip of cardboard until it is revealed as correct. One spectator names a six-figure number, a second selects a colour, whilst the third and last selects a pattern— all under very fair conditions. The three predictions, each written in a different coloured chalk just before the selection, are then shown to be correct. It is a clever routine, for the use of coloured chalk will even get conjurers guessing, and it uses, in the handling of the slate, an entirely new principle.

The purchaser will need a few props detailed in the Mss., but it is most unlikely that he will have to purchase anything, as all the items, slate, glasses, chalk, cards, envelopes, etc., will probably be in his possession already. The preparation will take about an hour, but once made up it will be always read to work and such an effect is well worth this little time.

The method is direct to the point and involves no sleight of hand. There are several extremely subtle points that I would dearly like to mention, but to do so may give the secret away. The use of coloured chalk and the handling of the slate is clever and convincing.

This is not one of those things that you can perform without a little practice. The routine will have to be studied and the sequence of moves mastered, but as there are no involved manipulations this is quite an easv proposition. One evening trying it out should have you ready for performance. The plot and outline of patter are included, and the whole is described in -a neatly produced seven page mimeographed manuscript, with illustrations.

If you like convincing mental effects performed under apparently impossible conditions, this is for you. It has my wholehearted recommendation.

George Armstrong.

A WORD ABOUT BOOKS AND ROUTINES—continued from page 53

CONTROLLED MIRACLES, by Bill Simon (published by the Back Room Press (Phoenix) 284 West 70 Street, New York 23, New York, U.S.A., price #1).

This excellent collection of some eighteen sleights and effects is edited by Bruce Elliott and is one of a series; this alone should recommend it to all readers of this paper.

There is an interesting foreword on to which is tacked some advice of S. Les Horowitz that is the recipe for perfect magic.

The sleights and stratagems include "Cut Control" the "Chinese Cut," "Simon False Table Cut," the "Jack Miller Card Change," the "Grippo Grab," "Elliott's Card Change," and a beautiful force called the "Stab Force." Of these sleights we were very impressed with both card changes. In the trick section the things we liked best were "Dual Discovery" (an item that could well have been put out separately). "Ten Fingers and a Silk," "The Scarne Puzzle," and the "Card in Hat." "Smoke Screen" will find favour with close quarter workers and for those who like coin work there is a very nice routine with four coins. An excellent five shillingsworth that will undoubtedly add at least one new effect to your repertoire whether you are card man, mentalist or Joe Soak, conjurer. Unreservedly recommended.

TWENTY-SIX LIVING AND DEAD TESTS, by

Teral Garrett (published by George Armstrong, Enfield, price 5/-).

This is a well printed English edition of a manuscript published in America in 1942. It is divided into two sections. The first deals with some seventeen effects, deals with that type of living and dead jest whereby the mentalist discovers a dead name slip, i.e., re identifies a piece of card, envelope or paper, whilst the second covers some nine ideas whereby the mentalist not only discovers a certain slip, etc., but also divines the dead name. In all cases the author, for reasons no doubt satisfactory to himself, gives no credit for source of origin. Whilst we are willing to agree that certain of these tests have their origin lost in the mists of time there are certain items which can definitely be attributed to certain authors or performers, as for instance "Dead Name Telepathy," which is Annemann's "Dead Name Duplication." In the first section, despite the simplicity of many of the methods detailed, there are some good effects.

The second section has more value as it gives the ultimate required by the spectator. Among the best methods detailed we would give pride of place to the "Diacvlon" effect and "Dead Name Telepathy," though the latter is not really a "living and dead" test. We are surprised that the author has omitted one of the finest tests of all, and one so old that it can be found on page 223 of "Behind the Scenes with the Mediums." A very good purchase for those wishing to acquire several worthwhile methods of this particular type of effect.

THE MAGIC WAND YEAR BOOK, 1948/49 (compiled and published by George Armstrong, Enfield, price 5 /-).

This edition consists of some 92 pages of printed matter, and within the covers, as in the two previous issues, there are to be found all those varying pieces of information that one so often wants, and on so many occasions has such a difficulty in getting. Names and addresses of dealers, publishers, magical societies are all here. Besides this data, there is a magical short story by Mr. W. S. Hartley, a new style of card index, a valuable chapter on adhesives and cements by Bill Bishop, several comedy stunts and gags and thirteen pages of "Tricks of Trade." Some of the latter are things that should not be missed. Altogether a very-good piece of work that is spoilt (to our way of thinking) by the publication of long reports of out of date events. We refer to the eight page write-up of the Bournemouth Convention which took place some seven months back, and four pages to the Cotswold Assembly which goes back twelve months. Whilst such write-ups may revive enjoyable memories, the subject matter has a 1 ready appeared.

We feel that this very well printed and illustrated booklet will find a place in many magical homes and we give it our full recommendation.

THE MAGIC OF REZVANI ("La Magie du Sorcier" by Maurice Sardina). A translation by Dariel Fitzkee (published by Saint Raphael House, San Rafael, California, U.S.A., price $3.75).

This book divulges to the reader the methods used by Medjid Kan Rezvani. It is divided into two parts, the first of some forty-five pages dealing with cards, whilst the second part of similar length is devoted to miscellaneous magic.

In the first part the author covers first of all, card sleights, many of which have that very slight difference which makes them peculiar to an individual. Of particular interest is the method of second dealing described; it would seem that this particular method would enable the student to achieve a worthwhile second deal with far less effort than is generally needed. Some sixteen effects follow the sleights, and though some will be far from new to English speaking magicians, the fact that Rezvani happened on such methods and effects without prompting makes his ideas all the more noteworthy. We particularly liked in this section the "thought card foiind in pocket" and the "card in wallet."

At the beginning of the second part of the book, the "Tomato Trick" is described. It is by this effect that Rezvani is best known and actually his more usual appellation is the "King of Tomatoes." Some fourteen pages go towards describing this effect which is based on the theme of the "cups and balls," and in the reading the figure of Rezvani comes to life and one can almost see him performing a routine which could never be forgotten by layman or conjurer. Outstanding from our own point of view in this section are the "sticks of Buddha" in which some small sticks come to life and a chapter on mental effects in which a very fine book test is very carefully detailed.

Mr. Fitzkee has done a remarkably good job of work in making the contents of this book available to the majority of magicians; he has translated freely but in the translation he has described the effects so that their working is quite plain.

We recommend this book wholeheartedly for in these days of specialisation, the breadth of its contents blows like a cool breeze across an arid desert of magical sterility.

SELECT SECRETS by Dai Vernon (published by Max Holden, New York^ price #1.50).

This is actually the third edition of a work that originally was produced in mimeographed form. It is a booklet that although containing only twelve items is of superlative calibre. Outstanding among the items described is the item "Topping the Deck," in which Vernon like the meticulous artist that he is, describes how a card should be palmed from the deck. Many in the search for effects will pass over this very fine piece of technical advice much to their future disadvantage. There is an excellent table routine of "Follow my Leader" and two fine card routines under the title of "Royal Marriages" and "Automatic Gambler." Coins and silks are not forgotten, there being a nice copper and silver sequence and an idea of Downs using a special fake. The book finishes with a description of "Snowstorm in China," delightful in conception and routining.

The book has been edited by J. J. Crimmins, jun., and he has added a couple of items to the previous editions. The price asked is ridiculously low and in giving our unreserved recommendation we hope that those who like good magic will see that a copy is soon in their hands.

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