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Annemann teaches thirteen commercial mentalism pieces with slates, cards, dollar bills, telephone books and cigarettes. The majority of routines involves cards. Annemann's unique direct style is felt in each one of these effects.
Paul Fleming wrote:
This little collection of Annemann material, which was published in 1939, measures up to the high standard of excellence that has made Annemann's name synonymous with magical feats of great ingenuity. The thirteen items presented here may be described briefly as follows:
- Insto-Transpo. A marked card, placed in a spectator's pocket, changes place with another marked card that has been held in the performer's pocket.
- Stop. A chosen, replaced card is made to appear at any number from the top of the pack that is named by a spectator.
- The Dollar-Cigarette Challenge. A dollar-bill (with serial number noted) is burned in an envelope and caused to reappear inside a cigarette.
- Remote Control (Improved). This item consists of improvements, by Orville Meyer, on a card trick that has long been popular.
- The Accessory. This is a familiar piece of standard equipment which, as Mr. Annemann points out, can be used very effectively for forcing a number with counters, a question from among a dozen or so written by spectators on slips of paper, and so on. The author calls it "an original idea for a forcing device of super-excellence, and the most innocent of all yet to be conceived." It is really very good.
- Mental Dollars. The performer borrows three one-dollar bills, and reads the serial number of the one that is indicated by a spectator.
- Number, Please! A telephone-book test. (This and the previous feat employ the accessory mentioned under Item 5, above.)
- Sensitive Thoughts. With a deck that is very simply "stacked," the performer manages to tell one spectator what card will appear at a chosen number, and to tell another the position in the pack occupied by a named card.
- The Card Doctor. A torn-and-restored-card trick, with a novel story.
- Slates and Aces. The names of the four aces are written on a slate, and three of these names are erased by "a ghostly hand," leaving only the name of the ace that has been designated by a spectator.
- Poker Plus. In this feat, the performer demonstrates his ability to win at poker.
- Thought, in Person. Using a one-way deck, the performer finds "the card thought of" in an effective way.
- A Mental Headache. A clever method of performing a trick that appears to the audience to require the possession of a phenomenal memory - but doesn't!
The Incorporated Strange Secrets has 17 pages of text, is illustrated with four drawings, and is bound in soft boards. It is reproduced from typewritten copy by the offset process. It would have been greatly improved by extensive editing and more careful typing of the manuscript. The text lacks clarity in several places. The typist, who is apparently an individualist, ignores the fact that good typewriting practice demands spacing after commas and periods, but (perhaps by way of compensation) usually leaves a space at the end of a sentence before striking the final "full stop"! The tricks, however, are first rate.
first edition, 1939, Max Holden, New York; 20 pages.
word count: 7001 which is equivalent to 28 standard pages of text
- The Dollar-Cigarette Challenge
- Remote Control Improved
- The Accessory
- Mental Dollars
- 'Number, Please'
- Sensitive Thoughts
- The Card Doctor
- Slates and Aces
- Poker Plus
- Thought, In Person
- A Mental Headache