Ricky Jay and Buchinger

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AJM
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Re: Ricky Jay and Buchinger

Postby AJM » January 6th, 2016, 4:50 pm

I've passed on this one
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Roger M.
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Re: Ricky Jay and Buchinger

Postby Roger M. » January 6th, 2016, 4:59 pm

I have to ask if folks are getting this simply because it was written by Ricky Jay?

I love RJ's writing style and overall "act", I have his boxed DVD set (with deck of cards still unopened), 6 copies of his picture book on dice (one of which I cut up and had all the dice pictures framed), and indeed I own all the rest of his books except the card throwing tome (and the expensive "blow book").

But I don't see what this book contains that is of interest to magicians, gamblers, or collectors of emphemera and history even remotely related to magic or gambling?

I failed to see the interest in Mr. Buchinger when Jay orignally included some one and two page blurbs on him in his previous books, and still fail to see the interest in him in this limited edition.

Perhaps I'm missing something completely? ... is this related in any way to magic or gambling? ... or is it just because it's Jay?
Last edited by Roger M. on January 6th, 2016, 5:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Ricky Jay and Buchinger

Postby I.M. Magician » January 6th, 2016, 5:10 pm

You raise good questions Roger M.. I bought it and specifically the deluxe edition for a variety of reasons.

First, I thought it was an interesting attractive package complete with two decks. Second, it was affordable for what things cost these days. Third, it seems to be a good investment. Fourth, I have always been fascinated by the subject matter. Fifth, it's a Ricky Jay release and he has a good track record.

I am surprised that they sold almost all of the 500 deluxe editions already. I thought they would do so but not that fast.

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Re: Ricky Jay and Buchinger

Postby Bill Mullins » January 6th, 2016, 5:45 pm

Buchinger was a magician.

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Re: Ricky Jay and Buchinger

Postby Richard Kaufman » January 6th, 2016, 5:59 pm

Not only was Buchinger a magician, as Bill points out, but he was--to put it badly, the Mahdi Gilbert of his day, with a bundle of other talents in different areas. Buchinger was an amazing individual, and I think Ricky is probably the perfect person to tell the tale. Surprised, Andrew, that you would pass on it.
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Re: Ricky Jay and Buchinger

Postby Roger M. » January 6th, 2016, 8:55 pm

In Extraordinary Exhibitions, Jay notes that Buchinger was a "conjurer", but a conjurer amongst what seems like two dozen other activities and crafts, conjurer being but one of them.

I wonder if it may be a stretch to call him a "magician"?

Perhaps these are the details I'm missing out on in Jay's new book - of just how much conjuring Mr. Buchinger actually engaged in.

Mr. Buchinger was, admittedly, amazing in terms of how he overcame what for many would be absolutely debilitating physical issues, and I guess this is really a case of Jay's book just not resonating with me ... as it's obviously resonated for many esteemed posters in the forum.

As a Jay fan, and considering the relative scarcity of new Jay material from year to year - I seriously tried to get interested in this ... but to no avail.

Horses for courses i guess, and admittedly I'm clearly missing the required gene that would spark interest in Mr. Buchinger and Jay's new book.

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Re: Ricky Jay and Buchinger

Postby Bill Mullins » January 6th, 2016, 10:01 pm

From Learned Pigs and Fireproof Women: "He played more than a half dozen musical instruments, some of his own invention, and danced the hornpipe. He amazed audiences with his skills at conjuring. He was a marksman with the pistol and demonstrated trick shots at nine pins. He was a fine penman; he drew portraits, landscapes, and coats of arms, and displayed remarkable calligraphic skills." In addition, he had as many as 14 children by four wives.

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Re: Ricky Jay and Buchinger

Postby magicam » January 7th, 2016, 4:26 am

For me the clincher for the “deluxe” edition was the fact that we get copies months in advance of its general public release. RJ, Bill Kalush, and the rest of CARC get my hearty thanks for this nod to the magic community. And considering that early preview and the extras on offer, I found the pricing to be extremely reasonable, although the matching numbered seals idea seems downright harebrained (but that’s being a bit hypercritical).

To Roger M., I echo his vive la difference sentiment – whatever floats his boat! If the concern is that Jay’s coverage of Buchinger’s magic career will be, so to speak, dwarfed by discussion of MB’s other multitudinous skills and his life in general, I would expect that from Jay. For the real story of Buchinger is his utter humanity and knack for not just surviving but (for a good period of his life) thriving in what was undoubtedly a rather brutish world for one with such horrific handicaps.

I’m not the least bit interested in flying cards, rotting dice or background music for card playing, but when it comes to conjuring historians, RJ occupies some rarified air indeed. He truly is, by even the strictest definition, a scholar, and not to denigrate the wonderful contributions made by scores of past and present conjuring history writers, but over the past 125 years magic has had precious few scholars.

As for the notion that Buchinger might not qualify as a bona fide magician, he specifically and widely advertised his “Leger-de-main” over many years, and when poets and historians wrote of him, rarely (if ever) did they fail to highlight his skills as a magician. We don’t dismiss J.N. Maskelyne as a magician because he was, among other things, a juggler, spiritualist (a la the Davenport Brothers), escape artist, automaton maker, and inventor with several (non-magic) patents to his name. Or his partner Devant who also performed wonderful shadowgraphy and was one of the pioneer exhibitors of moving pictures. Or Blitz because he was also a renowned comedian, ventriloquist, plate-spinner, and featured trained birds as an integral part of his act. Or Houdini … Etc.

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Re: Ricky Jay and Buchinger

Postby runningmagicman » January 7th, 2016, 9:32 am

I received my copy yesterday and was quite pleased. For the price, I felt that it was well worth it. I bought it for a couple of reasons.

I enjoy Ricky Jay's writing and erudite style. I also am intrigued by Buchinger. What he overcame during a time where survival could be put in question for a "normal" individual. Not only did he survive, but he thrived. As a magician, I am interested in his magical career. As a human being, I am interested in the endeavors of the human spirit, art, music and great writing, I am enamored with Buchinger as whole.

The limited edition is very well done. It is not to the level of Miracle Factory productions, but neither is the price. Ricky has done an exceptional job showing the art and micro-calligraphy of Mr. Buchinger. There are things shown at actually size and the fine detail is truly mind blowing. That may be the highlight for me. As for the decks of cards, I will leave them sealed unopened in the box.

If you are looking at this for the magic content, you probably will be a bit disappointed. But if you are looking at this as a wonderful account of an amazing individual who happened to be a magician among many other things, I believe you will enjoy this book. This review is from only a perusing as I received it yesterday. Press On!
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Re: Ricky Jay and Buchinger

Postby MagicbyAlfred » January 7th, 2016, 4:12 pm

In his book, The Great Illusionists, (Chartwell Books, 1979, at p. 52), Edwin A. Dawes described Buchinger as "the most extraordinary magician of all time." And, on his blog, Vladkraven.com, Vlad stated that: "[Buchinger] was an unbelievable magician, able to amaze his audiences with displays of mesmerizing sleight of hand." I would think that if Buchinger were able to perform any trick beyond The Lazy Man's Card Trick, it would qualify as "extraordinary," considering he had only fin-like appendages to work with, but it appears that he was a phenomenal sleight of hand magician by any standard. It is mind boggling how in the world he was able to do "mesmerizing sleight of hand" given his anatomical challenges, but I guess I am going to have to read Ricky Jay's book to (hopefully) find out. Leonardo DaVinci is renowned as a Renaissance man for all his incredible talents, but to me, the Little Man of Nuremberg, while far less known, is far more impressive. Can you imagine him on America's Got Talent or Fool Us? Would love to see Howie and Simon's and/or P&T's faces, especially when Buchinger announced on AGT that he was a magician. Of course, given that he was a master of many musical instruments (which, by the way, he made himself), he could probably appear in the capacity of a musician, as well. The cliche, "anything's possible," might be an exaggeration, but learning about Buchinger is making me into a believer. Inspiring!

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Re: Ricky Jay and Buchinger

Postby I.M. Magician » January 7th, 2016, 4:34 pm

When I first learned that Ricky Jay wrote a book about Buchinger, I thought that he must have been quite interesting or Ricky wouldn't waste his time.

It doesn't appear to me that Ricky Jay is the kind of guy who would spend the required time and energy to research and write a book on something average or less than fascinating. It's not like he writes lots of books. On the contrary, he appears to be very selective in what he chooses to do with his time.

So, when I finally receive the book, I expect it to be quite an enjoyable read.

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Re: Ricky Jay and Buchinger

Postby MagicbyAlfred » January 7th, 2016, 5:37 pm

I.M. Magician wrote: When I first learned that Ricky Jay wrote a book about Buchinger, I thought that he must have been quite interesting or Ricky wouldn't waste his time..I expect it to be quite an enjoyable read."

I think that would be a very safe bet, indeed.

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Re: Ricky Jay and Buchinger

Postby performer » January 8th, 2016, 5:24 pm

If a disabled person performs for the public he has a terrific advantage in that audience sympathy will be on his side immediately. The "defensive resentment" factor that I have written about in the past will be reduced considerably. And of course there is a terrific novelty value to it and the performer should not be ashamed of it and indeed exploit it ruthlessly to it's full potential.

However, it is not enough. It can only take you so far. Sooner or later you have to have a sense of showmanship. You can't rely solely on the disability to see you through. As long as your tongue is working properly THAT is the part of your body that you should be using to its full potential.

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Re: Ricky Jay and Buchinger

Postby Brad Henderson » January 9th, 2016, 2:11 pm

It's a great book. Only a couple chapters in but everything about it is great. Jay is conversational and witty yet the information is meticulously sourced. This is a real history book, completely fitting with any that would accompany an exhibit at an iconic major museum.

The pictures are great. The design is lovely. Even if you don't get the deluxe edition, the book will be a great experience and addition to your library.

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Re: Ricky Jay and Buchinger

Postby Brad Jeffers » January 9th, 2016, 2:54 pm

I will get this, but will wait until it is $9.99 at Barnes & Noble.

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Re: Ricky Jay and Buchinger

Postby Leonard Hevia » January 9th, 2016, 3:07 pm

Brad Jeffers wrote:I will get this, but will wait until it is $9.99 at Barnes & Noble.


I look forward to Mr. Jay's Barnes & Noble book signing tour. How far will it get?

Fan: I'm thrilled to meet you!
Mr. Jay: Get out of here! I'm not signing your book!

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Re: Ricky Jay and Buchinger

Postby I.M. Magician » January 10th, 2016, 2:46 pm

It's sold out. Now that was fast! They sold 500 of them in two weeks.

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Re: Ricky Jay and Buchinger

Postby Brad Henderson » January 10th, 2016, 6:09 pm

I believe not all of them were available for sale.

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Re: Ricky Jay and Buchinger

Postby I.M. Magician » January 10th, 2016, 6:24 pm

Brad Henderson wrote:I believe not all of them were available for sale.


We're some held back for book signings? Do you know how many and for what reason? I am just curious.

It did seem amazing that 500 of them sold in two weeks.

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Re: Ricky Jay and Buchinger

Postby Brad Henderson » January 10th, 2016, 8:33 pm

I just remember reading on the limitation that only some would be available for sale. I can Imagine some are intended for various big wigs in the art world, given this is to accompany an upcoming exhibit.

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Re: Ricky Jay and Buchinger

Postby Daniel Bain » January 12th, 2016, 1:40 am

Received the "deluxe" edition Buchinger book in the mail today and spent the last few hours reading through most of it.

I've managed to collect some Buchinger items myself and they are really remarkable and he was truly an amazing and inspiring person.

Really a wonderfully written and beautifully printed book with great images of Buchinger works and well-documented history. Ricky Jay intermingles Buchinger's history with his own efforts to collect the pieces themselves as well as commentary and thoughts. Book includes nice tributes to Bill Kalush, Milbourne Christopher, etc.

Fun read. Highly recommended. Well done Mr. Jay!!!

The Deluxe slipcase and cards are nice. Haven't broken the seal and opened the cards yet--but I was initially more excited to read the book!

Look forward to checking out the exhibition in person!!!

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Re: Ricky Jay and Buchinger

Postby Bill Mullins » January 12th, 2016, 12:56 pm

Buchinger was not the only armless legless showman.

Prince Randian is famous today for rolling a cigarette in Tod Browning's movie Freaks. This was a big part of his vaudeville act.

Even more reminiscent of Buchinger was Nikolai Kobelkoff. Here is footage ca. 1900 of him doing some of the same things that Buchinger did.

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AJM
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Re: Ricky Jay and Buchinger

Postby AJM » January 12th, 2016, 1:28 pm

There was also that film Boxing Helena - a true cinematic classic....
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Re: Ricky Jay and Buchinger

Postby Richard Kaufman » January 12th, 2016, 1:54 pm

John Gaughan built the base for Helena.
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Re: Ricky Jay and Buchinger

Postby Brad Henderson » January 12th, 2016, 2:13 pm

Bill Mullins wrote:
Even more reminiscent of Buchinger was Nikolai Kobelkoff. Here is footage ca. 1900 of him doing some of the same things that Buchinger did.


I presume we have to see mr goat for the videos of the other 14 acts for which Buchinger was known.

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Re: Ricky Jay and Buchinger

Postby AJM » January 12th, 2016, 2:31 pm

I would suggest that John's work was the best part of the movie.

I recall enjoying dinner with Mrs AJM in a fashionable London restaurant when in walks Julian Sands.

I was ready to take him to task on being involved with such cinematic crud as Boxing Helena and The Naked Lunch however the delightful Mrs AJM diverted my attention to the lovely desserts on offer and the moment was lost.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand. Based on the comments here I think I will probably pick up the book when its released to the general public.

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Re: Ricky Jay and Buchinger

Postby Bill Mullins » January 12th, 2016, 2:54 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:John Gaughan built the base for Helena.


The laser disc of the movie has some video of him talking about the production. I don't think this extra ever showed up on the DVDs.

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Re: Ricky Jay and Buchinger

Postby Brad Jeffers » January 12th, 2016, 4:25 pm

I once played a game of chess with a man who had no arms. It was a tournament game, where you are required to keep score.

He would move the pieces with his mouth; then again using his mouth, he would pick up a pencil and write down his move; then he would hit the clock with his chin.

I also once played a tournament game with a blind man, but that's another story.

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Re: Ricky Jay and Buchinger

Postby Richard Kaufman » January 12th, 2016, 6:28 pm

I had no idea a DVD of Boxing Helena was ever released!
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Re: Ricky Jay and Buchinger

Postby John McDonald » January 15th, 2016, 6:37 pm

Received my copy today 282/500
Best John

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Re: Ricky Jay and Buchinger

Postby Richard Kaufman » January 15th, 2016, 9:12 pm

I am quite impressed with the deluxe packaging, signed plate by the author, and the book--the price would be fair if those were the only items included.

The addition of two decks of playing cards is a sop to all the kids who collect said playing cards and will buy this only for that reason (and would never otherwise consider purchasing the book).

But since the book was apparently written to coincide with an exhibition at The Met in New York, one will have to visit the museum for the full experience.
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Re: Ricky Jay and Buchinger

Postby Dustin Stinett » January 15th, 2016, 9:31 pm

Hopefully he will have the exhibition here on the west coast as well. He's had several at the Hammer and the Museum of Jurassic Technology (his Decaying Dice are still there).

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Re: Ricky Jay and Buchinger

Postby Bill Mullins » January 15th, 2016, 10:02 pm

I would have thought they would have decayed by now . . .

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Re: Ricky Jay and Buchinger

Postby Evan Shuster » January 16th, 2016, 12:57 am

The quality of the book, and the overall deluxe package, is really quite nice. My only complaint (if you can even call it that) is that they didn't have better control over filling orders in the order in which they were received. Using a fulfillment house when filling orders for signed, numbered editions seems silly.

Even so... I am quite happy with my purchase.

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Re: Ricky Jay and Buchinger

Postby I.M. Magician » January 16th, 2016, 4:53 am

Evan Shuster wrote:The quality of the book, and the overall deluxe package, is really quite nice. My only complaint (if you can even call it that) is that they didn't have better control over filling orders in the order in which they were received. Using a fulfillment house when filling orders for signed, numbered editions seems silly.

Even so... I am quite happy with my purchase.


I agree! I ordered it immediately after it became available but received it about a week after others received theirs.

I also agree that it is quite nice!

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Re: Ricky Jay and Buchinger

Postby P.T.Widdle » January 16th, 2016, 9:08 am


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Re: Ricky Jay and Buchinger

Postby Bill Mullins » January 16th, 2016, 10:56 am

Hyperallergic article

Broadway World article

And [url=http://www.metmuseum.org/exhibitions/objects?exhibitionId={FAF27215-6007-424A-AEC8-A4925118B5F7}]here[/url] are the objects/prints that make up the exhibition.

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Re: Ricky Jay and Buchinger

Postby I.M. Magician » January 16th, 2016, 11:16 am

Anyone planning to attend the Ricky Jay event this Thursday?

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Re: Ricky Jay and Buchinger

Postby Richard Kaufman » January 16th, 2016, 9:43 pm

And yet another new article in the New York Times:
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/17/arts/ ... pan-region
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Re: Ricky Jay and Buchinger

Postby Bill Mullins » February 4th, 2016, 10:54 pm

So did anyone go to this?


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