A Practical Treatise on Coin Sleights and Effects with 54 explanatory photographs and diagrams.
Farelli was regarded by his fellow magicians as "beyond all other writers on conjuring in that he sought not only to explain the 'how-to' in minute detail, down to the last crook of the little finger, but he also threw in a thousand asides—the origin of the trick, a bibliography, alternative props or moves the performer might use, a quote from David Devant, the psychology behind the feat, audience reaction to it, and tips on practicing" (Robert Lund). Contains a select bibliography of coin magic.
This new work by Mr. Farelli, who is well known for his books on card magic and the linking rings, consists of ten chapters which vary in length from two to seventeen pages.
The first six chapters, comprising half of the explanatory material, deal almost exclusively with methods of "vanishing" a coin. They include eleven pages of sleight-of-hand methods; eight pages that describe two "coin folds," the first for vanishing a coin and the second for changing one coin into another; and seventeen pages which explain thirteen ways to vanish a coin that is wrapped in a handkerchief - in seven instances the performer's own property and specially prepared, and in six cases quite unprepared and indeed borrowed.
There are four chapters of tricks. Chapter VII, entitled Bang Went a Penny, describes only a sharper's trick in which a coin, wrapped (together with a brass ring) in a bit of paper, is later found to have disappeared. Chapter VIII is a five-page, very detailed explanation of a first-class method (Chung Ling Soo's) of doing The Coin in the Ball of Wool, in a form suitable for either stage or drawing-room presentation. Chapter IX presents (in eight pages, with six illustrations) The Puzzling Plates, in which a borrowed coin is caused to vanish, only to reappear between two metal slabs (fastened together tightly by means of fourteen rubber bands) that are taken from the performer's purse, which is closed not only by the usual catch but with two heavy rubber bands as well. Chapter X, A Complete Coin Act, is thus described by the author; "Four coins are 'caught' in the air. The four coins having been dropped into a cocktail shaker, several more are produced, singly, and thrown in with the others. As an interlude, a coin is vanished and reproduced. Picking up the shaker, the performer continues the production. The last 'catch' consists of a handful of coins which are also dropped into the shaker. The upper section of the cocktail mixer is placed in position, and the coins are shaken up. Upon removing the lid, the coins are seen to have multiplied." Seventeen pages and eighteen illustrations are given over to the explanation of this "act."
It will be evident that Convincing Coin Magic, though it is doubtless (as is stated in the subtitle) "a practical treatise on coin sleights and effects," is by no means an exhaustive one. Nor can it be said to be notable for the presentation of startlingly new material. Its chief merit lies in the great thoroughness with which Mr. Farelli has explained the four "routines" that are included in the book, and in his personal observations at the beginning and end of the book and the bits of advice he gives in connection with certain sleights and tricks.
This is a volume of 91 pages, including title-page, table of contents, and other "front material." There are 30 photographic halftones and 24 line cuts, making a total of 54 illustrations. The book is printed on coated paper, bound in blue cloth, and gold-stamped on the front cover - but not on the spine where a title is of greatest usefulness.