Id and Routines

volunteer assistant holds the handkerchief whilst the burning and restoring process is going on. Illustrar tions are contributed by Lamonte. With one exception ('' Controlled Miracles ") we think that this is one of the best five shillingsworth of material that we have come across in recent days. All the effects described are not only practical, but to the experienced they spell entertainment as well. Every article required the reader, will have at hand. Recommended without any reservation.

" BI-CO " (a supplement of Stuthard's " Trilby " Deck. Put out by Joe Stuthard, price 7/6).

As the Bi-Co part is an addition to the " Trilby " deck it is necessary for the performer to have possession of this which can be obtained complete with a printed and illustrated booklet at a cost of 21/- (seereview in " Pentagram " No. 3 Vol. 3).

The addition of the Bi-Co supplement makes it possible for the holder of a " Trilby " deck to accomplish a series of card-back colour changes under the spectators' noses. We know this not from reading the routine and handling the cards, but because we have had the pleasure of seeing Joe perform the effects with spectators all round him. The closing effect with the additional cards makes it possible for the back of the selected card to change colour and then for the backs of the whole deck to change colour after which it can be left in the audience's hands. From this point the performer is left with a stripper deck.

The necessary cards come together with a printed instruction sheet. The possession of a " Trilby " deck (based on the Svengali principle) plus the Bi-Co supplement, will give to those limited in skill the necessary background for many varied card acts. Unreservedly recommended.

THE GEN . . . Nos. 1 and 2, Volume 5 (edited and published by Harry Stanley, 87, Wardour Street, W.l, 1/- per copy).

It is not our usual practice to review magazines, but this case makes for an exception.

With a complete change in format and an enlargement of page size, Harry Stanley has added another " glossy " to the many. Altogether the production runs to 32 pages, including covers, and of this there are some twenty pages devoted to editorial, news and tricks. There are many sections, each edited by different magicians ; These include in the first issue, Lewis Ganson (manipulation), Douglas Francis (Chatter), Len Belcher (apparatus), A1 Koran (cards), Geoff. Robinson (laughs), Wilfred Tyler (children's effects), and Will Dexter (Mentalism). In his editorial HarryStanley outlines his policy noting that he will not encourage controversy. This we think regrettable for where progress is to be maintained differences of opinion must arise. The whole magazine is well printed on good quality paper ; besides a number of line drawings, photographs of the various editors appear. We have only one criticism to offer and that is regarding the illustrations for which the " Art " Editor Ted Elliott is responsible. Why does this illustrator want to add horrible looking men to his illustrations. This is a common fault of many to-lay, and in this country can be found in the drawings of Dennis and Lamonte. These illustrators are capable of giving what is wanted in a restrained manner, yet they have to introduce these manikin abortions to accompany a sketch. Laurie is the only illustrator (in this country) who seems to add human beings in an appropriate manner. For perfection in illustration it is a pleasure to look back at those old " Magazines of Magic " when the late H. M. Elcock contributed. For later work Tarbell and Hahne are outstanding. Attention to this detail would make the whole thing what the publisher likes to call a " class " magazine. All in all, it is excellent value for money and the editors, contributors and publisher have done good work on these first two issues. Our congratulations go to the printer as well, for he has produced a layout and type that is very easv on the eye.

" GEORGE ARMSTRONG'S PREMONITION " (Published by George Armstrong, 11, Monastery Gardens, Enfield, Middlesex, price 10/-).

Some months ago, Kddie Joseph placed on the market an effect entitled " Premonition." Few effects (except the " Deva.no " Rising Cards) have given rise to greater controversy which has not been lessened by a number of versions that have since been published. George Armstrong's method produces a similar effect, and as it was used by him way back in the early " forties " he has every right to put forward this version.

The effect for the benefit of those unacquainted with the advertisements is as follows : A spectator is asked to name a card. Having done so the same spectator is requested to pick up a pack of cards that has been in sight ; he is to count them and stop when he comes to his card. He does this but finds that there are only fifty-one cards and that the card he thought of is missing. The performer tells the spectator that he had a premonition that he would think of that particular card, and so, before the performance he removed it and placed it in his pocket. Accordingly the performer reaches into his pocket and withdraws the thought of card.

The effect which is brilliant is well described in a booklet of some eight printed pages. Unreservedly recommended.

" A NEW THUMB TIE," by Tom Sellers (published bv the author, 35a, Dublin Street, Edinburgh, price 2/6).

For ingenious ideas we know of few that can equal Tom Sellers. Not only are his ideas ingenious, but what is more, they work. Here Mr. Sellers has taken a classic effect and supplied the answer in a very simple and subtle manner. In effect the magician has his thumbs tied together with a piece of shoe lace, and yet despite the fact that nothing is added or taken away, the performer can accomplish with ease the necessary withdrawal of the thumb at the appropriate moment. The method would seem to be indetectable and foolproof and we give it our full recommendation.

" THE SPIRITS IN THE HOUSE," by T. H. Chis-lett (published by the Goodliffe Press, 6, Colonnade Passage, Birmingham 2,price 20/- .

In such a valuable contribution to the letters of magic we feel that our old friend T. H. Chislett has been badly served by his present publisher.

Taking the dust jacket of this book first and forgetting the typographical errors, we read the publisher's blurb that not only has the Josefly " Talking Skull " been added to the repertoire of Mr. Chislett. but that it is described within the pages of the book. With the memory of a recent article in '' Abracadabra on the origin of the Billiard Ball Trick, we put such a statement down to similar ignorance rather than think that it is one of misrepresentation. It is ignorance, however, that is dangerous, for the student aware of the brilliance of Joseffy's effect, may well buy this book on the strength of such a false statement.

Within the hundred odd pages that make up the book Mr. Chislett describes the wonderful show that he and Mrs. Chislett have built up within their own house. Whilst some may be critical that many of the effects described are not possible unless conditions similar to that given by Mr. Chislett are available, we would like to mention that with the exception of a description by Jean Hugard, no better description of the " bloating Ball " routine has appeared in print. In this routine, which is Okito's and occupies thirteen pages, the publisher has not added one drawing to help elucidate the letterpress.

Mr. Chislett throughout the volume is extremely modest, and pays full tribute to the sources from whence he obtained his material. Such effects as the Spirit Paintings, Talking Kettle, Talking Vase, Talking Skull, are described with various additions by the author. He also gives a number of effects of a pseudo psychical nature. As a slight correction we would like to mention that Arthur Monroe was responsible for Voodoo " and Stanley Norton for the suspension of a wineglass from a silk ribbon.

A method of the rising cards known as the " Violet " is also described, but the drawing of the " release " mechanism will prove of no use to those who wish to make up this apparatus.

We feel sure that many reading this book will feel that they too would like to build up a similar type of show, and we do not think that anything would please Mr. and Mrs. Chislett more than to know this. It is in all a most readable and worthwhile book, and we recommend it to all who are true students of magic.

" JOHN RAMSAY'S CYLINDER AND COINS,"

described in minutest detail by Victor Farelli (published by John Ramsay, price 7/6. Distribution by Walter Wandman, Electra Works, Reddings Lane, Tyseley, Birmingham).

This is a paper covered booklet of some thirty-three pages, twenty-eight of these pages being concerned with the effect proper. Of the routine itself we will say straight away that this is a " masterpiece of magic for magicians." John Ramsay has taken a classic effect, " The Cap and Pence," and by adding very, certain and subtle touches brought it to the " miracle " class. Whereas in the past most magicians have been content to make an object change place with the coins, or alternatively to simply make the coins vanish and then appear elsewhere, John has brought into being a variation that the reader must discover by buying the book.

Mr. Farelli, in describing the effect, has not been so meticulous as is his normal wont. Ramsay's moves are extremely individual and in a number of cases, as Farelli mentions, they can be replaced by better known and easier alternatives. The beginner reading the book (and it is not to be supposed that beginners will not read it) may expect the alternatives to be placed before him or at the very least that mention of their published source be stated. This work would have well stood a bibliographical section, for the " cap and pence " is a very very old trick.

We hope that with the publication of Ramsay's " Cup and Balls " and the " Cylinder and Coins " we shall soon be treated to what we think is his greatest effect, his mutilated and restored paper.

We give our unreserved recommendation to an outstanding contribution.

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