Books


Several people have been touch about the Houdini pitch book. To answer the first question, yes it is for sale. It’s not mine, unfortunately, but I have examined it and can put you in touch with the seller.

I posted a scan of the front cover on my last post. Here are a few more scans to give you a better idea of the book. Back cover on the left, inside front cover and first page above right, inside page spread lower right.

Incidentally, a little local interest, one of Houdini’s certificates from “various chiefs of police” (see right hand scan above, lower right) reads:

Chief Constable’s Office,
Sheffield, Jan. 19, 1904.

This is to certify that Mr. Harry Houdini was this day stripped stark naked and locked in the cell which once contained Charles Peace. The cell was searched and triple-locked, But Mr. Houdini released himself and redressed in five minutes, having also opened the iron gate of the corridor.

Charles J. Scott, Commander (R.N.)
Chief Constable, Sheffield,
Witness to the foregoing feat,
George H. Barker, Deputy Chief Constable

Charles Peace? An “infamous murderer”; brief history of his exploits, capture, escape, recapture and execution can be found here.

A few more details of the book:

The book is a soft cover, wire-stitched pitch book entitled Handcuff Tricks Exposed, Illustrated Life and History of Houdini. It was printed by Clegg & Son in 1911 (revised edition).

It has a pictorial yellow wrapper with a bust portrait of Houdini (the “Houdini for President” image) and a reproduced signature. The front cover is worn with minor tears and nicks but it is still attached. The back cover is loose. The last three pages although intact are loose from the staples, the rest are attached.

Overall, considering this paperback is almost 110 years old I feel it has survived in remarkable condition.

The seller has stated, ” I have had this book for many years and it is  only recently that it has surfaced again. I did an amount of research on this particular book and found it to be extremely rare and with a value of around $2000. (That was for bad copies. *) I am open to sensible offers and appreciate this book needs to go to a serious collector.”

* Russell’s note: one copy which went for over $2000 had clear marks of having been folded in half.

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Front Cover

I’m offering on behalf of the owner perhaps the rarest of the Houdini pitch books: Handcuff Tricks Exposed: Illustrated Life and History of Houdini, 1911. In good condition for its age; see picture above.

Email me and I’ll put you in touch with the seller who’ll be happy to supply further details.

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In 1992 I was proud to publish Steve Cook‘s first book Point Blank. He’d lectured for The Sheffield Circle and I’d been very impressed by his direct, commercial approach, so I was delighted when he agreed to entrust us with the publication of his first volume of beautifully routined effects.

A modest and self-effacing character, Steve’s reputation at the time was limited to a relatively small group of magicians who had experienced his clear and entertaining approach to magic. Since then, of course, his fame has spread. He has received worldwide acclaim for his effects, such as Symbol, Volition, The Stealth Case, ID, Die-Abolical and many more.

In 2008 I was pleased to help with the editing and design of his book Legend: An Anecdotal Tribute to Ken Brooke, which gave me the opportunity again to appreciate his love for and dedication to the craft of magic and the performers and innovators he respected.

Steve has been a regular visitor to The Magick Lounge over the years, visits which are always keenly anticipated by the ‘Loungers’ who enjoy his entertaining (and mystifying) performances and the wide-reaching magical discussions which follow.

In 2018 Steve approached me to work on the final editing and technical production of Fake Genius. As soon as I received the initial manuscript I knew he had a winner on his hands. I also knew he shared my concern for attention to detail and the highest possible standards in magical publishing. Steve Haresign of Haresign Press was to handle print production; I’ve always been impressed by his work and I was sure that together we could produce a book that the discerning magician would be proud to own.

I believe we have. Fake Genius is now available, and the reviews have been amazing and very gratifying. Copies are now available from Magick.

“Steve Cook IS a genius! WOW! I’m half-way through… I’ll say it again, WOW! I was correct, these are strong, workable effects. Grab this book, it’s going to be a classic.”
Steve Dela

Note that Steve’s book is limited to 500 copies worldwide. It contains twenty real-world worker effects, plus fascinating and invaluable essays, tips and advice on a range of magical topics.

“I rarely read a magic/mentalism book from cover to cover. I can count on one hand how many I have. Until now. Steve Cook may be a ‘Fake Genius’ but his book is full of excellent effects. There is one particular effect, that in my opinion, is worth the price of the book. However, I am not going to tell you what it is. Find out for yourself.” Mike Sullivan

With the massive influx of books over the last few months it’s been quite a struggle keeping our second-hand book list up to date. As soon as we think we’re almost there more books arrive and more books are sold. But I decided it was time to draw a line so at last we’re here… Magick’s biggest ever book list is ready!

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Inside you’ll find 56 packed pages listing books on magic, mentalism and allied crafts, including many rare, out of print and hard to find items. First come, first served as always. Click the picture above to download your copy. Or go to our website.

Please note that we no longer sell second-hand books through Amazon; they are available only direct from us.

On the subject of second-hand magic, we also have a wide range of tricks, props and DVDs. And one day I may get around to listing them. Until then, drop in and check them out. The kettle’s on.

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It’s the first of February. Pinch your copy of our latest Second Hand Books list and you’ll punch the air in delight. Thousands of books, including rare and out of print titles, for our discerning customers as well as Magic Cafe members and others.

Click the link below to get your copy (left-click to view, right-click to download):

Magick Second Hand Books 2018

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Two deliveries today: six large boxes containing some great books, plus some fine items in carved wood, copper and brass. Pictures will follow, And there are two more boxes of books due tomorrow!

If you could see you way to calling in and making a few purchases as soon as possible that would be great. June is complaining that we’re running out of space.

 

This is my latest promotional video. This time for the book Hunted by Nick Stead. I’ve done vampire books promos before (as well as magic-related ones) but this is my first werewolf video… a howling success?

The video was shot by myself and Julie on the moors near Holme Moss. All the music, effects and foley were added later in our Broad Street studio. Voiceover is by the author, Nick Stead.

Hunted is the second book in Nick’s Hybrid series and is available from today, Halloween 2016, from Amazon. Here’s the link.

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