Contains sixty-one tricks with cards, coins, ropes, thimbles, cigarettes, cigarette lighters, table knife, silks, Mental Magic, Stage Magic etc. Most of the tricks are very easy to do and little practice is required. Several tricks are completely self-working and mechanical in nature.
This book is described on the title-page as "a choice collection of magic with coins, cards, thimbles, silks, ropes, etc., plus a chapter on mental magic, and a variety of feats for the stage." It contains 64 pages of explanatory material, in addition to the six or eight introductory pages which include a short preface by the author and an introduction by Jean Hugard.
The 62 feats presented in the book comprise eight close-up tricks; twelve with money, both banknotes and coins; ten with ropes; ten with cards; nine mental tests; and thirteen items that are listed as "stage magic." Finally, there are two pages dealing with the important subject of "routining," which as here used means selecting and arranging specific tricks in such a way as to build a satisfactory program. By way of practical illustration, Mr. Christopher gives five sample programs (of four, five, or six items each, chosen from his book), which he recommends as suitable for presentation under several types of circumstances.
Of the 62 tricks explained by the author (and, we may add, exceedingly well explained in the limited space at his disposal, which on the average is only one page for each trick), we may select a few for special mention:
A New Thimble Routine. The production of a single thimble, and its transformation into a spool of thread; several disappearances and reappearances of thimbles; a four thimble production, vanish, and reproduction; and the final vanish of the four thimbles.
Two-Bill Trick (reprinted from Hugard's Magic Monthly). A trick in which two one-dollar bills, after being used in several diverting "passes," eventually turn into a two dollar bill.
Cigarette to Rope. A cigarette which stretches until it finally becomes a three-foot length of rope.
Aces to Dollars (reprinted from Hugard's Magic Monthly). The four Aces are transformed into four one-dollar bills.
Best-Seller Book Test. Using a new, ingenious principle, the performer predicts in writing a passage which will be selected from a "best seller" by merely thrusting a knife blade in the book at any spot chosen by a spectator.
The Persistent Radio. The performer switches on a small radio, and then proceeds to take it apart bit by bit. It continues to play even after he has discarded everything but a small knob. When this knob is finally turned (and the radio thus "turned off"), there is a sharp click, the music stops, and the knob itself disappears!
Pop Goes the Rabbit! A "rabbit vanish" with a rabbit skin - probably as good as any fake - rabbit trick can be.
A Hair-Raising Illusion. A "change illusion" in which, in connection with some amusing antics about growing hair on bald heads, the performer and his assistant mysteriously change places. This feat will be welcomed by those who must have something "big and showy," but also relatively inexpensive and light in weight, and capable of being presented with help of only two assistants.
The tricks in Conjuring with Christopher are better than the bookmaking. The paragraphs are too many and too short for comfortable reading, often consisting of a single short sentence each, and giving the pages an unpleasantly choppy appearance. The type-pages vary in width, not only as between pages but even in the length of lines on a single page, as for example on pages 15 and 18. Similarly, there are variations in the spacing between lines, as may be seen on pages 23, 70, and 71. There is much too much variety in the printing of the titles of tricks. Sometimes they are italicized (pages 25 and 70), sometimes not (also pages 25 and 70); sometimes they appear within quotation marks (pages 32 and 36), and again they do not (pages 70 and 71); and in some mysterious way the title which reads "Pop Goes the Rabbit" on pages 5 and 60 becomes "Bang Goes the Bunny" on page 71! It seems clear that far too little time was given to the preparation of the manuscript and to proofreading. In any event, Conjuring with Christopher has many more typographical errors (of which we shall spare the reader the harrowing details) than any book of this size is entitled to. If we should seem to be placing great stress upon these shortcomings, it is, first, because we believe that good magical bookmaking is important, and, second, because the mistakes we have cited could have been avoided without a cent of additional expense.
We note with pleasure that the book has an abundance of clear (if not always dignified) illustrations; that it has been thread-sewn, not wire-stapled; and that the title is printed on both the front cover and spine of the soft-board binding. Some magicians will think the price high for so thin a volume; but, as we have said, it contains a lot of first-rate material.