From the introduction by Eric Mason:
I regret that I do not have the scholarship or time to trace the history of secret marking devices, but I would assume that they have existed for a long time. Maybe the odd advocate or so has altered the moment of his time to advantage and left, as with others, his mark on the world. Such a secret device has long been a powerful
tool used by many to misdirect others, sometimes cruelly. I wonder if Nostradamus used it? He thought of most things and predicted practically everything as well as anyone! The Swami Gimmick has taken on many forms and
Boon for me was my way of performing the miracles that I have read about and seen in early life. I have been pleased to offer it to others as it is truly a 'Boon to Mentalists' and I still regard it as being the greatest little gimmick in the world.
Review by Al Smith in Pabular:
"Neither of the authors will be strangers to Pabular readers and both have inventive and original minds. Eric, of course, invented the Boon writer, in the first place, so his niche in magical history is as assured as that of Elmsley, Okito and the many others, who have given us utility items, with uses so numerous that only the limitations of the human imagination place restrictions upon them.
Chapter 1: The Boon
So what of the book itself. Its presentation is decidedly upmarket. Stitched and perfect bound with high quality paper and softboard covers, it is about the most expensively produced paperback that I have ever seen. The
artwork and illustrations are all by Eric and are scattered through the book with the same sort of proliferation as the grafitti in a Millwall lavatory. I am not being derogatory, when I say that. I just mean that there is a veritable
abundance of little spot drawings in addition to the textual illustrations, the type that seem to be Eric's stock in trade.
As for the actual magic, I am not really the best qualified person to write about this. My own feelings on mentalism are, by now, fairly well known. Several people, who are into this sort of thing, have told me that it is a marvelous book. Certainly, on going through it, I was struck by some of the ingenious and subtle applications
of this simple device. I even learned how to get writing onto a prediction which is sealed in an inflated balloon. Whether this is new or not, it was certainly new to me.
Anybody, who has more than passing interest in mental magic, would be foolish to pass up this book. It is the most exhaustive and comprehensive study of its subject, so far written. It is eminently readable, well presented
and a surprise and delight to all who enjoy subtle ideas and applications.
Chapter 2: Miracle instrument, variety and diversity of this secret instrument
- Special Construction
- Pen Super Boon
- How to use
- Write only a few symbols
- Techniques of writing
- Tie writing
- Body writing
- Wrist writing
- Watch thing
Chapter 3: Examples - Minor Miracles
- Audience size: Individual - Close-up - Large audience
- Types of demonstration: Mindreading - Predictions - Mind Control - Guessing stunts - "Starting device" - Occult
- Types of revelations: Photographs - Slip of paper - In a balloon - On a large board - Random objects - Personal
Chapter 4: Other Uses and Possibilities
- A Boon For All Seasons
- Wallet 678 Domino
- Beer Mat
- Undisturbed Deck
- File Box, Rutledge Cinders
- Bingo, Spectator becomes Mindreader
Chapter 5: Last Words
- Boon Starting
- Eye Reading
- Note Divination
- Impossible Card Divination
- Thought Projection Effect
1st edition 1982, 48 pages; 1st digital edition 2017.
word count: 11507 which is equivalent to 46 standard pages of text