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Gems of Mental Magic
by John Brown Cook & Arthur Buckley


(4 reviews, 28 customer ratings) ★★★★

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Gems of Mental Magic by John Brown Cook & Arthur Buckley

Another masterpiece from Arthur Buckley written together with John Brown Cook. Only 125 copies were printed, but now again available as a digital download. It comes with an introduction by the great John Mulholland.

This is a collection of 33 extremely practical and entertaining mental routines primarily for stage and parlor. They are all clearly described. There are not that many great books on mental magic. This one is definitely one of them.

1st edition, 1947, privately printed, Chicago; 132 pages.

  1. Preface
  2. Devious Digits
  3. It's A Small World
  4. Astral Addition
  5. Projection
  6. Pennies, Nickles and Dimes
  7. Memory Plus Miracles
  8. Psychic Vision
  9. Psychometry
  10. Date Divination
  11. Baseball Prophecy
  12. Tests In A Gold Fish Bowl
  13. A Chance in A Billion
  14. New Bills For Old
  15. The Telepathic Band Leader
  16. Dictionary Test
  17. Second Sight At First Glance
  18. As Far As You Like
  19. The Crystal Ball
  20. Astrological Mentalism
  21. Behind The Eight Ball
  22. The Crime Doctor
  23. Gaze Into My Eyes
  24. The Spirit
  25. Telepathy With Your Favorite Stars
  26. Birthday Telepathy
  27. The Great Book Test
  28. The Open Window
  29. Written Messages
  30. Better Than Rabbits
  31. Holding The Bag
  32. Impressions That Stick
  33. No Privacy In A Gold Fish Bowl
  34. The Answering Of Questions

word count: 33550 which is equivalent to 134 standard pages of text

Reviewed by Sean Hoade (confirmed purchase)
★★★★   Date Added: Sunday 24 July, 2022

Good, old-fashioned effects ... but the emphasis is on the historical. Very, very entertaining, however!

Reviewed by Chet Cox (confirmed purchase)
★★★★★   Date Added: Friday 17 April, 2015

One of the richest mine of mental magic/mentalism, still in use. Copperfield's Graffiti Wall? The principle is in here.

By focusing on principles instead of doing your thinking for you, it opens up the possibilities of making YOUR version of any effect being different from anyone else's - and uniquely your own.

Reviewed by David Nicholson (confirmed purchase)
★★★★★   Date Added: Thursday 05 March, 2015

I really enjoy mining through old magic books to find Gems and this book is a real delight. There are many principles within this old book used in modern magic today which are a joy to discover and fuel your creativity to adapt them to your own magic and mentalism.

Very often when I am playing with an idea and need a solution to make the effect work I will quite often find the answer lies in adapting principles already firmly established.

Yes a lot of the effects are to be used with confidents and stooges but not all! However read between the lines those gems and adapt them to fit your modern audience. Everything old is new! This book is a minefield .....enjoy.

Nic Holson

Reviewed by e c
★★★★   Date Added: Thursday 11 July, 2013

The majority of effects in this book are for 2 people working together. The rest use gimmicks/apparatus that are very outdated. I would not recommend it at all, even for it's cheap price.