Along the way, you'll learn the secrets to several past and present commercial rope effects that would cost several times the price of the ebook, if purchased individually. Best yet, the author starts from scratch with a method to randomly select various principles explained throughout the ebook, assembling them into a brand-new routine. You can do the same, once you've digested the contents of this informative and well-illustrated ebook.
We do not know whether, as Mr. Fitzkee insists, there are actually only six ways to do The Cut and Restored Rope Trick. To be perfectly honest about it, we don't much care! One reason for our lack of interest is the weariness that assails us whenever we see a magician take rope and scissors in hand and attack the former with the latter - for we seem to have witnessed the destruction and restoration of miles of unoffending rope! A more fundamental reason is the fact that one really good way to do this or any other trick is usually all that is needed. The longer we study and practice magic, the more firmly convinced we become that the only sane way to look at a trick is from the point of view of the spectator. This means that a new way to do a given feat has no significance whatsoever unless the effect obtained by using the new method is sufficiently different from the standard effect to be apparent to an audience. In the case of rope-cutting-and-restoring, the effect is very simple and scarcely susceptible of any variation that can be discerned by the average spectator. Hence, whatever method the magician adopts for performing the trick is pretty likely to be quite as satisfactory to his audience as any other method.
But to the performer himself the method he employs may be of great importance, and for this reason several ways to gain the same effect may be desirable. "Moves" that are easy for one performer may be excessively difficult for another; while the "dodges" used successfully by the latter might not be at all deceptive if essayed by the former. A magician should certainly seek out what is for him the best way of doing each trick in his program; and he can be sure he has found the best only if he has surveyed the field. It is the magician, then, rather than his audience, that gains through the development of new methods of doing standard tricks; though the audience may benefit, too, because of the smoother performance a magician is enabled to give once he has found the method best suited to his personal characteristics.
We believe that The Only Six Ways to Restore a Rope will probably provide as much information about rope "restoration" as most magicians will need to have at their disposal. An examination of the book discloses that the "six ways" mentioned in the title refer to six basic methods which Mr. Fitzkee analyzes in detail, giving a multitude of variations which may make for easy performance by individual magicians though (as we have already intimated) the fact that they are variations will probably not be noted by non-magicians. Basic Method No.1, for example, is dealt with under eleven different headings, with nine pages of print and 72 drawings. The other basic methods are treated in somewhat less space, but the fact that the book contains 48 pages of instructions and 139 illustrations is evidence of the thoroughness with which the author has done his job. Another indication is the inclusion of methods which are attributed to such well-known magicians as Harry Kellar, Karl Germain (whose name should not end in "e," as it does in Mr. Fitzkee's book), Al Baker, Harlan Tarbell, Dr. Ervin, William W. Larsen, Page Wright, Dr. Nixon, Burling Hull, U. F. Grant, Bert Douglas, Floyd Thayer, Malini, and the author himself. We shall not attempt to describe the many ways that have been devised to reach what is essentially a common goal. There are naturally many points of similarity in this mass of explanations, but there are also considerable differences.
Mr. Fitzkee employs to advantage, in this book, the powers of analysis which he displayed so strikingly in his recent Showmanship for Magicians. He opens up the subject so fully and deals with it so adequately that we should not be disposed to look further for information if we wished to add this trick to our program. His book is clearly written, neatly printed, exceptionally well illustrated, and attractively bound in soft boards. We welcome this latest evidence of Mr. Fitzkee's conversion from mimeographing to printing, and hope it may prove to be permanent. He is to be congratulated upon the publication of so good a book at so reasonable a price.