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by Ken de Courcy


(1 review, 4 customer ratings) ★★★

PDF | by download [0.95 MByte]  
Pentertain by Ken de Courcy

Fifteen minutes impromptu entertainment with pen and paper.

From the introduction:

Here is a short, entertaining act that can be worked impromptu anywhere you have a pen, paper and audience. For larger shows it can be done with chalk and blackboard. I have even done it on an Overhead Projector during a break in a Training Course.

  • Introduction
  • Only Heaven (and Einstein) Knows!
  • Everything is Relative
  • A Not-so-Proper Charlie
  • The Chinese Check
  • The Forgotten Phone Number
  • A Question of Degree
  • A Last Word

1st edition 1973, 16 pages; PDF 20 pages.
word count: 3364 which is equivalent to 13 standard pages of text

Reviewed by Christian Fisanick (confirmed purchase)
★★★★★   Date Added: Wednesday 06 October, 2021

When I saw this series from Ken de Courcy, I didn't know what to think. Books of mathematical tricks using pen and paper? But with the impulse purchase, I found out. Pentertain, the first book in the trilogy, has six tricks: the old "life force," a matrix trick, two entertaining ways to multiple two two-digit numbers, a telephone number trick that has a method that I'd previously seen for currency serial numbers, and a goofy mathematical oddity that Devin Knight put out as a separate manuscript. The second book, Son of Pentertain, has six more things, five of which I don't think are very good and a variation on the old Martin Gardner tic-tac-toe gambit that folks like Richard Osterlind and Johnny Thompson have used. Mistress of Pentertain, the third and longest book, has 25 tricks and gags that are a real mixed bag with a lot of junk. I'd give Pentertain 3/5, Son of Pentertain 2/5, and Mistress of Pentertain 2.5 out of 5. There are things of interest amidst the dross, but be forewarned: de Courcy wrote these books in a different time--almost 50 years ago--so there is a lot of offensive and blue material. If you're going to use some of these things, you're going to have to rework the patter. Otherwise, you'll never pentertain--or entertain--in public again.