This famous book, now republished in three easy to handle ebook volumes. Illustrated with dozens of line drawings by Eric Lewis. The finest coverage of billiard ball work in print, excellent material on coins, and a large number of variety tricks in the Buckingham style and tradition.
Sleight-of-hand manipulation may be any of many things, ranging all the way from the bald display of manual dexterity that is sometimes called "finger-flinging" to the beautifully conceived and charmingly executed performance of a Downs or Cardini. It's Easier Than You Think is the work of an English amateur who has come into wide prominence in the past few years, largely through his appearance at the 1950 I.B.M.-S.A.M. Joint Convention in Chicago, and as a feature attraction at magic conventions in London, Paris, Amsterdam, and other European cities.
No one can see Mr. Buckingham in action and fail to recognize that his masterly presentation must be the outcome of years of careful study and practice, or read his book without realizing that if it is really "easier than you think" the reason is that the author has entered wholeheartedly into his task of teaching the reader exactly how manipulation with coins, billiard balls, and thimbles can be made a thing of both beauty and bewilderment.
Whereas some manipulators depend for their success on the development of amazing sleight-of-hand skill, Mr. Buckingham relies chiefly upon careful preparation. His book is therefore a treatise on routining rather than sleights. It is true that he includes one chapter each on sleights and flourishes with coins, billiard-ball flourishes, and thimble technique; but his main objective is to demonstrate that astounding results can be obtained without the use of difficult sleights, provided the performer has the proper holders (which he can make for himself by following the author's clear instructions), understands the technique of loading and stealing (which Mr. Buckingham deals with at length), and has a perfectly devised routine in which every action has been carefully thought out.
The specific personal routines which the author here places at the disposal of the reader are two complete presentations of The Miser's Dream, one of which is designed especially for floor-show performance; three billiard-ball routines, consisting of the production of eight, ten, twelve (or even thirteen!) balls, respectively; and two routines with thimbles-The Dancing Thimbles and The Novelty Thimble Routine. Indispensable for the successful performance of these seven routines is the information in two special chapters (22 pages in all), one on the nature and construction of holders for manipulators, the other on the all-important subject of properly secreting "loads" on the body and getting possession of them undetectably when needed for production.
Frankly, we have never before seen any manipulative routines explained in a way that measures up to Mr. Buckingham's detailed treatment - with every position and move of the performer described, step by step, both in words and with many scores of most excellent photographic illustrations. Because a sound manipulative technique - which is something quite different from the ability to execute sleights - is essential to all kinds of manipulative acts, this is not a book for specialists in coin, ball, and thimble magic only, but a valuable text as well for those who manipulate cards, silks, cigarettes, and other conjuring "props."
It's Easier Than You Think is exceedingly well written, and has had careful handling by the printer, who is himself an amateur magician. Someone has done an excellent job proofreading, as we happen to know because we had the privilege of reading an advance copy, which consisted of the carefully corrected page-proofs. The book is printed on coated paper of good weight; it is a volume of 192 pages (6 by 9 inches in size), with some 200 exceptionally fine photographic illustrations for which the author posed; and is handsomely bound in gold-stamped, black (simulated leather) Fabrikoid. Only because publishing costs are substantially lower in England than in this country, for small editions, is it possible to offer so much good bookmaking at the moderate price set by the publisher. Geoffrey Buckingham has given to magicians the best book we have yet seen for the wizard who is really serious about presenting manipulative routines that are genuinely magical and entertaining. It deserves to be a best-seller in both England and the United States.