This is volume three in the classic sleight-of-hand trilogy. From the foreword by Douglas Craggs:
This is the third volume in a series of which Magic of the Hands and More Magic of the Hands were Volumes I and II, respectively. Like its predecessors, Further Magic of the Hands presents sleights and tricks with cards, coins, balls, thimbles, handkerchiefs, and other small articles. It is somewhat more expensive and slightly smaller than either of the earlier volumes, totaling (after deducting blank pages, and the unorthodox and quite unnecessary "half-titles" between chapters) about 100 pages. There are 88 line drawings by the author, and three photographic halftones.
Approximately half of the book deals with card magic. In Chapter 1, the author explains an "invisible palm" which concludes with the production of a large fan of cards; a new version of The Rising Card Trick; an envelope for use in The Card in the Cigarette Trick; and an effective procedure for "switching" one deck of cards for another. Chapter 2 consists of improvements upon or new versions of a half-dozen card tricks, among which are "burnt and restored," "ubiquitous," "do as I do," "pocket to pocket," and "27" feats. The showiest trick in this chapter is The Haunted Pack, in which three chosen cards are returned to the deck, which is laid face up on the performer's extended fingers. The selected cards now glide out of the pack, the first moving to the left, the second to the right, and the third toward the tips of the fingers.
Other card tricks are found in Chapter 7, an 18-page collection of feats by the late G. W. Hunter. These, in general, are tricks which require much noting of positions of cards in the pack, counting down, cutting, shuffling, dealing in rows and heaps, and other maneuvering which seems to us to place too great a tax upon the spectator's attention. Nevertheless, for magicians who like this type of mystery, these seven tricks may be depended upon to provide material that will cause considerable surprise. As Mr. Victor points out, they are particularly suitable for impromptu performance.
In coin magic (Chapter 3), the author explains a single-handed production of a coin; the transformation of a half-dollar into an English penny, and vice versa; and An Impromptu Coin Transposition, a trick in which two borrowed, marked coins are covered, each with a handkerchief, and caused to change places. Chapter 4 describes but one trick. The "E.V." Stretching Rope. Though the rope is lengthened only from six inches to three feet, the procedure is exceptionally clean-cut and neat. Chapter 5 includes a new billiard-ball holder; two billiard-ball sleights - a vanish and a color-change; and a routine for the production of seven solid balls! This startling production routine, described in four pages of text, is one for which Mr. Victor is well known, and is most ingeniously arranged.
In Chapter 6, the author explains two cigarette feats - a cigarette vanish and reproduction, and the rising and falling cigarette in a test-tube - and the production of cigars from the air. In the final chapter (Chapter 8) are a routine with a thimble and a handkerchief; a sleight with a visiting card, which can be employed in several effects explained by the author; the vanish, one by one - and the later reappearance - of a billiard ball, a silk handkerchief, a thimble, and a playing card; a memory feat with a die; and a mental test with cards in which the "subject" receives his answer by mail at some later time!
Further Magic of the Hands deals chiefly with small effects, consists more largely of variations on known feats than of strikingly new tricks, and we think it likely that the book will appeal especially to those who delight in "conjuring for conjurers" - in puzzling their fellow-magicians by bringing about reasonably familiar effects by new means. Of the practicability of these means, the author gives his personal assurance, as he did in the first two volumes of his series. And for the information of any readers who may not know of Mr. Victor's professional standing, we may quote a line from the current issue of an English journal, which reads: "For sheer skill and artistry, the reviewer knows of no other performer on the stage today who can equal this past-master of sleight-of-hand."
If we were Edward Victor, we should be unhappy about several features of the American edition of this book - though it would seem that he himself, as author, must take responsibility for such literacy lapses as the split infinitives, dangling participles, and many inconsistencies in capitalization and punctuation that appear in Further Magic of the Hands. Most of our complaint, however, is directed toward the printer and his employees. The compositor has perseveringly used hyphens for dashes, and quotation marks in place of the orthodox "inches" symbol; and has indulged freely in faulty alignment. The proofreader - if, indeed, there was a proofreader - has overlooked more typographical errors than we have ever before encountered in a book of this size. The pressman has seemingly printed the sheets without bothering to "make ready" the press, with the consequences that some pages are lightly and some heavily inked, while not infrequently there is both light and heavy inking on a single page. The paper used in this book is of only fair quality, and of two shades. The light green, goldstamped cover is very attractive, but the absence of a title on the spine will make the book hard to locate on a library shelf.
Anyone who supposes that we derive pleasure from listing such shortcomings as these is very badly mistaken - but we consider it part of our job, for the comments of our readers make it clear that they want specific information about the physical make-up of works on magic. We shall welcome the day when the books that come to us for review are consistently so well manufactured that their physical appearance may safely be taken for granted, and only their contents will require appraisal. Unfortunately, that day is not yet. Until it comes, we shall of necessity examine magic books not only as technical treatises, but also with an eye to their rating as examples of book-making.