Book of the Month: Annemann's Practical Mental Effects (with Comments by Max Maven)

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Postby Dustin Stinett » 01/08/03 01:21 AM

As you all know, when this forum began, I solicited requests for candidate books. This month's selection received as many (and in some cases more) votes as several classic books on "regular" magic. There was, however, a problem: while I do own the book, I am ashamed to admit that I am not at all familiar with its contents. I could have simply posted a few thoughts and let you all have at it, but that would not be giving this book its due. So what's a guy in my predicament to do? I asked someone who can give (and has given) this book the introduction in deserves. I'm thrilled he agreed to do this for us, and I think you will be too. So (before I start to sound like Ben Vereen in "All that Jazz") allow me to present to you Annemann's Practical Mental Effects with:

Comments by Max Maven

Shortly after this volume was released at the tail end of 1944, Bruce Elliott wrote in The Phoenix that it was "the book of the year or any year." William Larsen (Sr.) agreed: He gave it the Genii Award for best book of 1944, and twelve months later repeated the accolade, proclaiming it the best book of 1945.

Paul Fleming's self-published review described it as an "almost overwhelming mass of high-grade material" that "covers the field of 'mentalism' with surprising thoroughness." In summation, he surmised that "for a great many years to come, Practical Mental Effects will hold first place as the outstanding word on mental magic."

Well, many years have passed, so the obvious question must be, How has this book held up over time? In order to address that query, we need to consider what preceded this collection, as well as what has followed.

Most of what we consider the basics of modern mentalism were refined only about 150 years ago, concurrent with the birth of modern Spiritualism. That timing is hardly coincidental; both can be seen as having a correlation to the impact of the Industrial Revolution on the western world.

For the most part, 19th-century stage mentalism fell into two categories: Second Sight and Q&A. (For the sake of this discussion we'll ignore related fields, such as Hypnotism, Lightning Calculation and Contact Mindreading, because--then as now--none of these was as widely circulated.) Today, Second Sight is more commonly known as Two-Person Mentalism. Such team demonstrations go back at least as far as the 16th century, but almost always incorporated as a segment of a longer show. Q&A is the act wherein audience questions, most often written down, are answered by an on-stage performer. It has older roots, dating back a minimum of 1,850 years. In the late 19th and early 20th century, it was usually done as an entire program. (A more intimate format, the Private or Office Reading, was commonly a one-on-one demonstration.)

Around the turn of the century, with the expanding market of consumers created by the rise of the amateur magician (enabled by the newly defined concept of "leisure time") and the subsequent socialization of magic via clubs and periodicals, technical information about mentalism began to see print (e.g., William Robinson in 1898, David P. Abbott in 1907). At the same time, the very structure of show business itself was changing.

In the 1920s, in response to the horrific (first) World War, the western world jumped into the "Jazz Age," which ushered in new entertainment technologies which, in turn, began to kill off both the full-evening touring shows and the multi-act vaudeville presentations. As these forms waned, new performing options emerged: the nightclub, the revue show, and the "club date" (the latter unrelated to nightclubs, referring instead to one-night engagements for social and civic groups). These new venues demanded shorter running times and faster pacing. The performer who made the most successful transition into this new mode was, of course, Joseph Dunninger. (It is indicative of this change that the term "mentalist" only goes back to the 1920s; in fact, Dunninger claimed to have coined it. "Mentalism" is an older word, but until that time had only been used outside the context of entertainment, in reference to a philosophical premise.)

These new conditions coalesced with the needs of the burgeoning amateur market. The combination stimulated a new wave of magic, particularly in the United States. Effects were tightened up, methods were simplified and, to a great degree, elaborate props were eliminated. For obvious reasons, card and mental magic received the most attention. This meant that many tricks were released as brief manuscripts, some consisting of less than a page of carbon-copied typescript. While earlier styles of mentalism were still being published (including hitherto unrevealed information from such as Paul Kara, Burling Hull, David Lustig and George de Lawrence), there was a very overt new trend.

Significant names involved Henry Hardin, Theodore DeLand, Al Baker and Charles Jordan. In the mid-1920s, Jordan was pushing 40; DeLand and Baker were in their 50s, and Hardin was past 70. Several younger inventors were about to jump into the mix, including Larsen & Wright, U. F. Grant, and a teenager from upstate New York, Theodore Anneman. (He later added an extra N to his surname.) He began contributing material to The Sphinx in 1926, and before long was selling manuscripts and earning a reputation as one of the more clever young fellows in the game.

Annemann's life was less than stable. His performing career was hampered by stage fright and substance abuse; the latter served to disrupt his two marriages, as well. But one thing about him was steadily dependable: his creative ingenuity, combined with a healthily informed respect for the past, and an unusually astute grasp of what audiences actually perceive. All of this came together in late 1934, with the debut of his magazine The Jinx, a small but potent publication that ran for 151 issues, through December, 1941. During its relatively brief existence, The Jinx focused primarily on this new style of magic and mentalism. Its pages contained some of the very best ideas from both the old guard and the new. (Among the latter were such youngsters as Stewart James, Jack Vosburgh and J. G. Thompson Jr.) Annemann's relocation to New York City put him at the center of what was then the crossroads of magic, which helped him keep the magazine fresh and progressive.

That ended on January 12, 1942, when Annemann committed suicide. The magazine, having been virtually a one-man production, ceased. Its impact, however, did not. Abetted by dealer Max Holden, Annemann had built up a wide circulation for The Jinx, and in the revived economy at the end of the horrific (second) World War, there were many potential new readers. Hence, in 1943, Holden engaged John J. Crimmins Jr. to assemble Annemann's Full Deck of Impromptu Card Tricks, a soft-cover book of 52 effects culled from The Jinx, arranged and edited by John J. Crimmins Jr. with new illustrations by Nelson Hahne. (Crimmins, an advertising executive, was a magic bibliophile located in the New York area who went on to handle the book reviews for Hugard's Magic Monthly for many years.) The book was an immediate best-seller, so it was not surprising that there was a more ambitious follow-up, the book under discussion.

Annemann's Practical Mental Effects contains 193 items, mostly drawn from The Jinx with a few additions from external manuscripts. The list of more than 50 contributors is impressive; among them are Dr. Jaks, Dai Vernon, Jacob Daley, Paul Curry and Peter Warlock. Fifty-eight of the items are by Annemann. (It can be argued that the only really significant Annemann item not included was "The Test of the Tiber." According to research by Max Abrams, this had been intended to comprise the final chapter, but was withdrawn because of potential legal problems, as both Holden and Philadelphia dealer Mike Kanter claimed ownership.) The material is organized into twelve chapters loosely defined by topic. A hardcover book of over 300 pages, its original retail price was $6.50. Within a year, a second printing was arranged. It has remained in print ever since. The 1963 Tannen edition has some slight revisions. In 1983, a cheap paperback edition was published by Dover with the title changed to Practical Mental Magic. For some unknown reason, this features a portrait of Dante on the cover.

So, now that we've caught up with the history, let's go back to that question. How does the book hold up today? In the Phoenix rave quoted at the outset, Bruce Elliott went on to conclude, "It makes, for our money, any comparable book, obsolete." Is this still true?

My answer is yes. Mind you, in the 59 years since its first release there has only been one comparable book: Tony Corinda's Thirteen Steps to Mentalism, published as a series of pamphlets from 1958 to 1960, and subsequently combined as a single hardcover. Together, I think these two books comprise the fundamental texts of mentalism. There is some overlap of material, but not much. For anyone interested in the field, both are vital starting points. Both contain superb material (as well as a few clinkers), and no other books provide such a wide-ranging approach. I frequently receive e-mails from people who want to take up mentalism, asking advice. My reply is always the same: Start with Annemann and Corinda, as they'll provide a rock-solid foundation. (They rarely write back. Perhaps they think I'm holding out. I'm not.)

But, as fond as I am of Corinda, I'll have to give the nod to Practical Mental Effects as the better book. In part this is because the Annemann tome contains more breakthrough material, often right from the source. The Corinda book is a valuable companion volume, but as it builds on the ideas put forth in its predecessor, the Annemann collection is the one I'd classify as being indispensable.

Does Practical Mental Effects cover everything there is to know about mentalism? Of course not. But there's a hell of a lot there. Classics such as Annemann's "Pseudo-Psychometry" and "Par-Optic Vision" play as strongly today as they did back in the 1930s, as do seemingly forgotten gems such as Sid Lorraine's "40,000 Words" and Hen Fetsch's devious approach to the Kolar "Lock and Key" plot. There are streamlined versions of the earlier types of mentalism, as well: Annemann's "Weird Wire" is still one of the best Second Sight routines ever published, and "Modernizing the 'One Ahead' Principle" by Annemann and Dunninger is solid work on the Q&A act. Valuable principles are explored in such items as Bert Adams' "The Krazy Kode" and Walter Gibson's "Date Sense." As noted, the material steers away from props, but there are some clever and useful ones (that don't look like props), including Otis Manning's versatile "OM Box" and James Deacy's "Just An Echo" which seems to get reinvented and remarketed about every ten years. And, throughout, there are psychological stratagems that are equal in sophistication and subtlety to anything being published today.

Is the material dated? Some of it, yes. But don't be misled by first impressions. For example, there's an entire chapter devoted to routines with slates--old-fashioned accoutrements that are rarely seen today. But, if you skip that chapter, you'll miss some excellent thinking. For example, Annemann's "Extra-Sensory Perception" can be done with a piece of cardboard, and Robert Parrish's "Slate Immortality" can work with a dry-erase whiteboard. And, even in the few cases where technology has essentially negated an entry (e.g., Annemann's "Publicity Stunt"), the thinking is no less stimulating.

It warrants asking: What new things have come about in mentalism since the publication of this book? I think there are a few trends that can be identified. The advent of television has increased the pace and further trimmed running times. The most influential exponents of this more brisk approach appeared in the 1960s: David Hoy and Al Koran. Doesn't their work make the material in Practical Mental Effects seem archaic? Well, it's worth pointing out that the core of Koran's most famous routine, "The Gold Medallion," can be found in the "Miscellaneous" chapter, "The Ball of Fortune" by Stewart James.

Another seemingly new trend is the growth of the auxiliary field of Bizarre Magick, which became formalized in the 1960s and flowered in the 1970s. But you can find early examples in Practical Mental Effects, such as Arthur Monroe's exquisite "Voodoo," Stewart James' landmark "Sefalaljia," and Annemann's own "Whim of Tituba."

In fact, I think there are only two major trends in modern mentalism that are missing from the book. One would be Cold Reading, which was very much around in Annemann's day, but had been largely set aside as a remnant of the declining Q&A act. This topic has never disappeared, but it retained a relatively low profile until the 1980s, when there was a strong resurgence of interest that continues to this day. In the past 20 years there has been a veritable boom in published material. Most (not all) of this has been garbage, confusing and irresponsible. But that's something to write about at some other time; the point here is to acknowledge that this element is missing from the Annemann book. Fortunately, one of the best essays on the subject can be found in Corinda's Thirteen Steps.

The other fashionable development in mentalism is psychokinesis, specifically the bending of solid objects such as spoons and keys. In the 1970s, Uri Geller took the world by storm with such demonstrations, and many mentalists were quick to jump onto his coattails. You won't find this in Practical Mental Effects. No, for that you'd have to look in the third issue of The Jinx, published in December 1934, where Annemann describes a direct precursor, a bending glass swizzle stick effect right out of his own performing repertoire.

Which brings me to a confession. When Dustin asked me to write an introductory essay to a discussion of Practical Mental Effects, I agreed--but explained that first, I would have to borrow a copy. For you see, I have never owned this book. The reason is simple: I prefer the full file of The Jinx I acquired in reprint back in my teens. As much as I respect John Crimmins, why would I want to let him decide which things from Annemann's magazine I should study? With a Jinx file, you get almost everything that's in the book, plus a lot more: the stuff Crimmins didn't select, the non-mentalism material, plus the engaging and often wonderfully caustic editorial commentary.

But, you've got to start somewhere. And so, my recommendation is legitimate: If you're interested in pursuing mentalism, Practical Mental Effects is the place to begin. Annemann once wrote, "Magicians in general seem to be on the everlasting search for new tricks. Not that new tricks aren't needed but it appears to me a great many of the good old tricks are misused…."

So. Ignore the occasional antiquated references. Don't be misled by Nelson Hahne's lovely but old-fashioned graphics. This book has exceptional value. If you read it carefully, including between the lines, you'll discover where mentalism has been, where it's been going, and where it's headed. Is it all there? Damn near!
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Postby CHRIS » 01/08/03 10:08 AM

Originally posted by Dustin Stinett:

Annemann's Practical Mental Effects contains 193 items, mostly drawn from The Jinx with a few additions from external manuscripts. The list of more than 50 contributors is impressive; among them are Dr. Jaks, Dai Vernon, Jacob Daley, Paul Curry and Peter Warlock. Fifty-eight of the items are by Annemann. (It can be argued that the only really significant Annemann item not included was "The Test of the Tiber." According to research by Max Abrams, this had been intended to comprise the final chapter, but was withdrawn because of potential legal problems, as both Holden and Philadelphia dealer Mike Kanter claimed ownership.) The material is organized into twelve chapters loosely defined by topic. A hardcover book of over 300 pages, its original retail price was $6.50. Within a year, a second printing was arranged. It has remained in print ever since. The 1963 Tannen edition has some slight revisions. In 1983, a cheap paperback edition was published by Dover with the title changed to Practical Mental Magic. For some unknown reason, this features a portrait of Dante on the cover.
For the sake of completeness, Geno Munari just released a digital Jinx on CD for, I think, just under $20, and I am offering several of Annemann's books as ebooks, Practical Mental Magic among them for a few bucks. For more of Annemann's ebooks got to "Mentalism Ebooks"

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Postby Steve Bryant » 01/08/03 10:41 AM

A most interesting review from Max. For the record, Jinx is also still readily available in book form (3 volumes at $22.50 apiece) and should be on everyone's shelves. I occasionally glance at my own library and consider which books would make the top 5 (Stars of Magic is way up there, along with Spirit Theater, the Ron Wilson book, Greater Magic, etc.). But if I had to pick ONE book that contained the most thrilling material, and one that I've had so long that I have young teenage annotations throughout, it would be Practical Mental Effects. It was interesting to read another review of someone not liking some recent mentalism at the Castle (and coincidentally I witnessed a mentalist at the Castle in the past year or so who incredibly sucked, relying on expensive gizmos that failed him and which looked as if they came straight from the magic shop), when all you need for some really fine material is this book.
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 01/09/03 01:24 PM

It is an interesting essay, especially for those of us who do not know much about mentalism. Max has done us a tremendous educational service by giving us the background of the field. The book has moved to the top of my "to read" stack as a result. It wasn't even in it before this.

Thank you again, Max, for such a great piece. I hope the mentalists on this site take advantage of it!

Dustin
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Postby Jon Racherbaumer » 01/09/03 09:09 PM

Ditto.

Max's piece is worthy of printing out and filing to be read and reread. I printed it out and enfolded it inside my copy of PRACTICAL MENTAL EFFECTS.

P.S. Although the JINX was an example of a one-man cottage industry, Henry Christ told me that he frequently aided and abetted Annemann, who he personally liked and respected (as a thinker). Mr. Christ often helped Ted with editing, typing, and getting the magazine out in a timely fashion. He also brought him his daily supply of liquor. Perhaps Mr. Christ recorded his observations and memories regarding his relationship to Annemann? If not, it's a pity that these first-person accounts are lost.
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Postby Bill McFadden » 01/09/03 09:29 PM

I cannot recall anything posted on any internet forum that could approach the level of inspiration so generously provided here by Max Maven. Bravo, bravo! Thank you, Max. Thank you, Dustin.
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Postby Alain Roy » 01/10/03 06:33 AM

I hate to ask a question that shows my lack of knowledge on a threat started off with such knowledge. I really appreciated the essay, but it's a bit intimidating. I can't discuss this book on a similar level, so I should keep my mouth shut.

I would like to make a stab at it though, so I would like to purchase the book. Is the Dover edition substantially different than the hardcover edition being sold at magic shops? The Dover edition is much less expensive, but if there is a good reason to purchase the other copy, I would. The reason could be for content, or it could be because of who my money goes to support.

Thanks for bearing with me on my non-addition to a discussion that started off so brilliantly.

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Postby Matthew Field » 01/10/03 08:22 AM

I think the best part of Dustin's "Book of the Month" Forum is that it motivates one to get the volume under discussion off the shelf and the covers open.

That's what Max's essay on the Annemann book did to me.

I have no great words of wisdom, just words of thanks -- to Dustin and to Max. (And to Richard and Jon and Brad for the Forum!)

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Postby Guest » 01/10/03 11:41 AM

I would not only like to thank Max for the essay (like he doesn't deserve thanks for the countless other effects, articles, essays and commentary he provides elsewhere too. So please consider this a blanket thanks that is, I know, not often enough).

I would like to point out that for those that like to perform strictly "magic", there is much for them to glean from these pages too. There are subtelties, principles and ideas that could fill everyone's magic shows and with a little ingenuity and change, everyone could be doing "different" things too. I also agree that the JINX is the best way to read it all (but I much prefer the hard copy than digital form). Anemmann was quite a thinker and while there was the occasional dud, the rest of the material is top notch classical material worth studying. I first got interested in magic squares from his "Book without a Name" and have merely opened the Jinx to any page and found something worth reading (or now it is re-reading).

PSIncerely Yours,
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 01/11/03 03:21 PM

I have begun to read some of the material is this tome. I freely admit to cheating: I made a list from Max's essay and I am reading through them first. "Safalaljia" was my first choice, and oh my, what a piece this is (and can be). What I find most interesting is that it would be so easily applied to a regular magic act, especially around Halloween. I think it would need a little tweaking (Dustin does not "do" cigars), but the core is there: Just wonderful.

"Voodoo" has me wishing that I still had a card box (well, two now). This is a perfect hunk for someone like me whose "performances" are mostly in social situations. Again, it's easily presentable as magic (or in this case magick) and not necessarily mentalism.

Is there anyone out there using this amazing material?

Dustin
(Wondering now what took him so long to open this book.)
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Postby Guest » 01/11/03 09:22 PM

Max, I just read your comments and want to thank you for such a wonderful job. Like you, I prefer the Jinx series itself (the 20 card trick alone is worth the price of the whole set), but Practical Mental Effects was my first book on mentalism and I cherish it. To any newer mentalists not familar with it, you have done them a great service. Thanks again.

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Postby Jon Racherbaumer » 01/11/03 11:34 PM

I want to double-ditto the commentary re Max's contribution. Max's words, plus the responses (so far), show what a Forum can do and be.

Thanks to all.

Onward...
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Postby David Alexander » 01/12/03 11:40 AM

Not surprisingly, Max Maven has written a thoughtful essay on Practical Mental Effects. There is a sort of caveat that Max included, but others seem to have skipped over: reading the original material in context by reading it in The Jinx.

I've had a copy of PME since I was a kid and was fortunate enough to know Ray Hafler who loaned me his original bound copies of The Jinx. My horizon broadened as I read the material within the context of its time, not "selected" by an editor.
Years later Max Abrams gave me his file of The Jinx, original copies in a three-ring binder.
Most interesting in the original Jinx are Annemann's "Editrivia," his "wars" with various people and his constant push to invigorate magic and mentalism. The Jinx remains an exciting read.

I think the perfect companion to The Jinx is Max Abrams' book on Annemann which may be out of print, but certainly is a boon to anyone interested in mentalism.
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Postby Guest » 01/12/03 02:13 PM

The editorial page ("Editrivia" - Annemann's comments at the end of each issue) are one of the best parts of reading the issues. As entertaining, fascinating and educational as the ones in Hugard's Magic Monthly's. Funny that the same politics, issues such as exposure, petty infighting and feuds as well as all OUR present woes were the same vack then as they are today. Perhaps "The JINX" should be included here as it IS the source for PME.
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Postby CHRIS » 01/12/03 07:12 PM

Originally posted by Paul Alberstat:
Funny that the same politics, issues such as exposure, petty infighting and feuds as well as all OUR present woes were the same vack then as they are today
Because the human race doesn't evolve that fast.

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Postby Dustin Stinett » 01/12/03 08:07 PM

Originally posted by Paul Alberstat:
Perhaps "The JINX" should be included here as it IS the source for PME.
Not a problem. This is your subject folks! Run with it!

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Postby troublewit » 01/20/03 05:41 PM

What a delightful book. Just some random thoughts....For the "Phantom Artist", There is a plethora of scrollsaw patterns available with portraits, and well known objects in this style. One source is Judy Gale Roberts Studios. You can cut a dozen or so of these "cutouts" at a time on a scrollsaw by stacking them.
An excellent response to the oft-asked question "If you can predict the future, why don't you use it for the lottery, or betting on sporting events?" is given at the end of the last paragraph in "Annemann's Ballot Box Divination". (I love this line.)
The wonderful routines by Doc Daley.."The Answer", and "Ultra Slate Message" can be easily updated and streamlined with dry erase panels (for slates) and John Cornelius' "Thought Transmitter" (for the center tear, burning in the ashtray bit)
"Whim of Tituba" is superb in it's construction. I look forward to adapting it to a children's library effect substituting the magazine for a children's periodical, and blaming the mischief on my rabbit in the hat puppet, Trixie.
There is a nice little dissertation on the fallibility of modern science in disproving telepathy in the opening paragraph of the Routine and Presentation of "The Astral Ad", which can serve as a nice introduction to most any mental effect.
The "Phantom Hand" has a wonderful force for multiple cards which I remember Eugene Burger explaining as a "bonus" on his "Real Secrets" video.
"Headline Hunter" contains an inspiring and clear wording for an equivoque which fits my style perfectly.
Finally, I look forward to presenting an adaptation of the last effect in the book..."Hit Parade" with our Church pianist during a song service using favorite Hymns. This is gonna be good........Thanks for the great book recommendation.
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Postby Guest » 01/21/03 10:18 AM

To answer a query above, I believe that there is no difference in the hard bound copies of PME and Dover's paperback "Practical Mental Magic." Somebody please correct me if I am wrong.

BTW, Dover books are really sewn together like hardbound books; they just have a glued-on cardboard cover. I have Dover books in my collection from 1970 that I have used heavily, and they still look virtually new. No, I don't work for Dover... :)

PME is a gold mine of ideas and concepts for both magicians and mentalists. I re-read the book from time to time looking for concepts I have forgotten. I have had much success cobbling together various effects from concepts taught.

PME is an essential part of even a modest magic library, IMHO. But it doesn't belong on your bookshelf, it belongs in your hands so that you will read and appreciate it!

Jon
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Postby Guest » 01/21/03 02:05 PM

I am rehearsing some tricks for a small stage appearance. One of them is the book test. I am currently thinking of using a 14-15 force deck (the spectator places a face up joker between two cards in the spread). I took it out of Annemann's Practical Mental Effects. I read about the joker touch in Ortiz's Strong Magic.

Would you suggest other, in your opinion, better methods? If yes, which ones, and where may I find them?

Thanks.
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Postby Guest » 01/22/03 11:44 AM

Book tests are hard enough to justify using books but when you add playing cards to the mix, then they select two cards to decide the page and word, well....it gets way to convoluted to be effective. There are many good book tests out there from gaffed books such as MOABT,Flashback,or Harvey Berg's new books, Dushek has a neat little book, then there is the addition of materials that make pages "short" for a riffle force (like a business card or coin rammed up against the page close to the spine-works very well) Dave Harkey has a great one which uses the "book cover" to aid in the selction of a page (which I love because it is an ungimmicked book) or Lee Earle's new effect which allows a page to be selected and for you to find it with ease to perform the reveal. All excellent ideas. Richard Busch amongst others also has an excellent ungimmicked, impromptu booktest that does not rely on the "Hoy" ploy (Wow, I just rhymed) that is included in his Peek Performances, and is favored by many mentalists.

So, in answer to your question, drop the convoluted "selected a card, it's number is X so turn to that page..." and do some reading and research as there are many better methods out there. Read up on such authors as Busch, Maven, Lesley, Hull, Cassidy, Becker, Miller (Al Koran's Legacy),to name a few. There are many a method out there to discover that are far better and more direct. The closer you get to "open the book, look at a word, close the book" and then you reveal it, the better.

PSIncerely Yours,
Paul Alberstat
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Postby chris morrison » 01/23/03 02:52 PM

I found it somewhat annoying constantly scanning the table of contents for a specific effect in my copy of APME. So I created an alpha index. Much easier now.

Here is that index, in case you prefer such things. I apologize in advance if you find any typos. I checked several times but am sure I missed something somewhere.

cm

Index - Annemann's Practical Mental Effects
(5th printing, 1972 D. Robbins & Co. edition, hardcover)

"Foreword"III
"Time Marches On"IV
"Bonus Chapter"-lecture by Dr. Jaks, 10/17/51311, CH 13

20th Century Newspaper Test (Robson)68, CH 4
20th Century Slate Test (Hugard)196, CH 8
40,000 Words (Lorraine)71, CH 4

Al Baker 3 Billet Trick (Annemann version)15, CH 1
Annemann's Ballot Box Divination84, CH 5
Another Dictionary Effect (Manning)73, CH 4
Answer (Daley)173, CH 8
As in a Mirror Darkly (Brethen)273, CH 11
Astral Ad (Wolff)147, CH 7
Astral Shirt (Annemann-Duncanson)96, CH 6

Ball of Fortune (James)125, CH 6
Before Your Eyes Business Card (Nyquist)281, CH 11
Before Your Eyes (Ashworth)168, CH 8
Behind That Door (Rawson)66, CH 4
Bert Reese Secrets (Annemann)7, CH 1
Between The Lines (Annemann)53, Ch 4
Billet Switching (Annemann)11, CH 1
Black Pin Idea (James)111, CH 6
Bluebeard's 7 Wenches (Elliott)139, CH 7
Brain Wave Deck (Vernon)249, CH 11

Calendar Conjuring (Sellers)117, CH 6
Card to Be Thought About (Annemann)239, CH 11
Chalk on Metal Slates Tip211, CH 8
Cherchez La Lady (Vosburgh)258, CH 11
Complete Silent Thought Transmission Act (Jordan)294, CH 12
Construction of the Annemann's Billet Index78, CH 5
Controlled Currency (Annemann)212, CH 9
Controlled Luck (Hall)281, CH 11
Copy Cat (Chesbro-Thompson)266, CH 11
Crystal Clear (Manning)29, CH 1
Crystal-Viso (Jaks)280, CH 11
Cute Publicity Stunt36, CH 2

Dark Sorcery (Sidney)153, CH 7
Date Sense (Gibson)119, CH 6
Dates (Jordan)221, CH 9
David P. Abbott's Book Test75, CH 4
Day of Your Life (Annemann)16, CH 1
Dead or Alive (Annemann)45, CH 3
Dead (Meyer)49, CH 3
Death Flight (Sellers)36, CH 2
Devil Device (Magnuson)24, CH 1
Diabolical Influence (Solomon)283, CH 11
Dice and a Book (Annemann)59, CH 4
Divination with Matches (DeMuth)116, CH 6
Dollar Bill Switch (Lyons)216, CH 9
Double Ad Test (Annemann)62, CH 4
Dr. Daley's Death Divination48, CH 3
Dream of a Hermit (Jaks)262, CH 11
Duo Telepathy (Parrish)182, CH 8
Duplex Date Reading (Jordan)222, CH 9

Encore Voodoo (Clever)113, CH 6
Entity Alone (Lyons-Elliott)51, CH 3
Extra Sensory Perception (Annemann)157, CH 8
Eyes Have It (Thompson)291, CH 12

Familiar Spirit (Arthur)204, CH 8
Fatal Number (Christ)203, CH 8
Finger, Finger (Gravatt-Elliott)104, CH 6
Forced Prognostico (Sellers-Evans)260, CH 11
From Beyond the Grave (Annemann)42, CH 3

Gabbatha (Thompson)190, CH 8
Germain Gem18, CH 1
Ghost Hand (Hardin)48, CH 3
Ghost of a Chance28, CH 1
Ghost Writer (Jamison)200, CH 8
Ghost Writer (Rawson)191, CH 8
Ghostatic Touch (Fetsch)267, CH 11
Graphology (Lyons)40, CH 2
Guidance of Fate (Meyer)268, CH 11
Gysel Slate (Annemann)166, CH 8

Hades Calling!50, CH 3
Half and Half (James)184, CH 8
Headline Hunter (Annemann)163, CH 8
Hit Parade (Meyer)309, CH 12
Horrors! (Robson)109, CH 6
Hypnosthesia (Hall)269, CH 11

I'll Read Your Mind (Crimmins)251, CH 11
Impression Moderne (Annemann)35, CH 2
Impromptu Frame-Ups (Annemann)97, CH 6
Impromptu Vision (Thompson)37, CH 2
Improved Buckley Method83, CH 5
In the Mind (Fetsch)229, CH 10

Jaipur Jinnee (Clever)69, CH 4
Just an Echo (Deacy)141, CH 7

Knickel of Kanadah (Lyons)220, CH 9
Knockout! (Fetsch)198, CH 8
Krazy Kode (Adams)115, CH 6

Lady and Gentleman81, CH 5
Lock and Key (Fetsch)105, CH 6

Magic vs. Mentalism (Annemann)237, CH 11
Mental Hat Pin (Jaks)22, CH 1
Mental Numbers (Dalban)271, CH 11
Mental Rescue (Lyons)265, CH 11
Mental Test Revamped (Hood)282, CH 11
Mentalist with Money (Annemann)215, CH 9
Mephisto Thot (Thompson)234, CH 10
Mind or Muscle? (Annemann)239, CH 11
Mindreading Publicity Effect (Annemann)30, CH 2
Mixed Mystery (Mole)209, CH 8
Modernized Reading (Annemann)130, CH 7
Modernizing the "One Ahead" Principle (Dunninger-Annemann)133, CH 7
Monk's Mystery (Vosburgh)61, CH 4
Moonlight Madness (Thompson)301, CH 12
More Living Than Dead (Annemann)45, CH 3
Mumismatigic219, CH 9
My Case (Hubbard)194, CH 8
My Own Swami Test (Annemann)127, CH 7
Mystery of the Blackboard (Annemann)228, CH 10
Mystic Matching (Bellman)263, CH 11
Mystic Perception (Hardin)217, CH 9

Neat Publicity Trick (Scherzer)38, CH 2
Never Fail (Daley)175, CH 8
New $1000 Test Card Location (Annemann)275, CH 11
New Half and Half (Lyons)107, CH 6
New Method of Tabulation (Read)300, CH 12
New Sheet Reading (Annemann-Hull)226, CH 10
News Event Prediction (Annemann)31, CH 2
Nonpareil (Collins)192, CH 8
Notaria (Annemann-Baker-Daley)159, CH 8
Number Thot (Ervin)106, CH 6
Numero! (Baker)187, CH 8
Numismatigic (James)219, CH 9
Nyctalopia (Curry)50, CH 3

O.M. Billet Switching Box (Manning)26, CH 1
Omega Card Prophecy81, Ch 5
On the Wire (Annemann)33, CH 2
Only an Image (Clever)278, CH 11
Open Minds (Walsh)258, CH 11
Operator Calling (Solomon)116, CH 6
Original Effect80, CH 5
Original Faked Envelope (Annemann)137, CH 7
Orville Meyer's Twin Prediction82, CH 5

Parade of the Lamas (Elliott)254, CH 11
Parallel Thoughts (Annemann)245, CH 11
Par-Optic Vision (Annemann)224, CH 10
Pay Day (Vosburgh)218, CH 9
Peculiar Happenstance (Lord-Overholser)252, CH 11
Perfect Book Test (Annemann)56, CH 4
Perfect Club Slate Routine (Annemann)155, CH 8
Phantom Artist (Annemann-Naldrett)100, CH 6
Phantom Hand (Weigle)170, CH 8
Pocket Prophecies (Annemann)77, CH 5
Practical Card Code (Meyer)292, CH 12
Prediction (Lorraine)152, CH 7
Prophetic Tissue (James)124, CH 6
Pseudo-Psychometry (Annemann version)132, CH 7
Psychic Slate (Hood)206, CH 8
Psychic Slate Test (Annemann)165, CH 8
Psychic Type (Collins)207, CH 8
Publicity Stunt (Annemann)33, CH 2

Question and the Answer (Annemann)13, CH 1

Re-incarnation (Fetsch-Harrison)150, CH 7

Sacred Script (McKenney)178, CH 8
Schoolbag (Warlock)196, CH 8
Secret Order of Aces (Annemann)244, CH 11
Secret (Dunninger)47, CH 3
Sefalaljia (James)89, CH 6
Shades of Sherlock Holmes (Thompson)120, CH 6
Slate and a Number (Meyer)199, CH 8
Slate Immortality (Parrish)183, CH 8
Super Slates (Annemann)189, CH 8
Symmyst (Meyer)64, CH 4

Taps (Lyons)103, CH 6
Telepathy on the Cuff (Parrish)106, CH 6
Telethot (Jordan-Annemann)93, CH 6
Television Compact (Jaks)39, CH 2
Tervil (Meyer)20, CH 1
Thought Rays (Duncanson)202, CH 8
Thought-out Thought (Hood)206, CH 8
Thoughts in the Air (Annemann)289, CH 12
Tomorrow's Card (Rawson)86, CH 5
Torn Letter (Annemann)161, CH 8
Travel Thought (Fetsch)102, CH 6
Tribal Try (Sewell)180, CH 8
Triple Coercion (Annemann)129, CH 7
Triumph of the Triumvirate (Blackstone)121, CH 6
Twin Princess (Gibson)256, CH 11
Two Papers and a Spectator (Annemann)43, CH 3

Ultra Addiction (Daley)176, CH 8
Ultra Slate Message (Daley)172, CH 8
Unknown Subject (Annemann)32, CH 2
Utility Routine (Thompson)276, CH 11

Volition (Annemann)246, CH 11
Voodoo (Monroe)111, CH 6

Waiting Place for Unknown Thoughts (James-Annemann)248, CH 11
Walter Gibson's Method-Before Your Eyes170, CH 8
Weird Wire (Annemann)286, CH 12
Whim of Tituba - the original witch of Salem (Annemann)57, CH 4
Who Killed Mr. X? (Thompson)144, CH 7
Wired Thought (Annemann)35, CH 2
With Sight Unseen (Duncanson)233, CH 10
Word on the Page (Annemann)60, CH 4

Yggdrasil (Annemann)241, CH 11
Yogi Book Test (Annemann)54, CH 4
You and Yours--Me and Mine (Hood)253, CH 11
cm
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Postby Guest » 01/27/03 08:11 PM

Thank you Chris for alpha-index.

-Randy Campbell
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 01/27/03 09:41 PM

Yes Chris, thanks VERY much. Now all we need is an alphabetic index by creator cross referenced to the effect (alphabetically too, of course). How soon can you get that for us?

:D :D :D
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Postby chris morrison » 01/28/03 06:40 PM

I'm on it!

cm
cm
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Postby CHRIS » 01/28/03 07:15 PM

Originally posted by Dustin Stinett:
Yes Chris, thanks VERY much. Now all we need is an alphabetic index by creator cross referenced to the effect (alphabetically too, of course). How soon can you get that for us?
Get the ebook and search your heart out :)

Chris Wasshuber
preserving magic one book at a time.
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 01/28/03 09:07 PM

Oh Chris, that was too easy and you know it!

Dustin
(Saving for the eSphinx one dollar at a time.)
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Postby Guest » 02/04/03 12:31 PM

Another great suggestion. I was fortunate enought to be able to pick up used copy, and now it makes a great companion to 13 Steps!
I also like the post from Chris Morrison with the alphabetized index. Is it permitted to print it out? Or should I try and contact Chris directly.

You are doing a great job introducing us to books many of us may not have considered. I can now buy books with confidence, knowing that some really super people are looking out for my best interest.

I constantly look forward to each new discussion.

Here's a cyber pat on the back for a job well done.

Jack
Phila., Pa
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Postby Guest » 02/09/03 02:31 AM

Hello all,

This is my first post to the Genii forum. I am just now getting back into magic after a 10 year hiatus. God! Why did I do such a foolish thing of staying away from magic?

First of all, thanks to Max and Chris for their invaluable contributions in this thread.

The Jinx 3-volume set is without a doubt my most prized magic item. I started in magic in 1980, and, in typical anal-retentive fashion, I eagerly read and studied and HEAVILY annotated my copies of these volumes. I have read the books from cover to cover at least once and you will have to pry these volumes from my cold dead fingers if you have any designs for appropriating them.

And, as stated earlier, a lot of these effects are sooo old that they are new. My favorite effect from the volumes uses a principle that I have not found discussed anywhere else in the books (that I can recall) nor in any of the other mentalism books I have read. These volumes are invaluable.

Turk

PS Not to damn with faint praise, Max's "Phil Goldstein's (rainbow) Book of Mentalism" series (5 books) is another great addition to the mentalism field. Most of the effects are "keepers", and, there are some effects in there that will have an audience wetting their pants. Parenthetically, it was Max's books that first got me interested in mentalism and then caused me to buy the Jinx series. Way to go MAX.
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Postby Guest » 02/14/03 07:56 AM

I''ve been off the forum for a couple months (too busy), but in catching up, I must say that I was absolutely dumbfounded by the historical depth and acuity of Mr. Maven's review. I have read PME and revere it, but I had no idea that anyone had a grasp of such detail regarding the subject.

The index is astounding, too. Both are keepers, as Mr. Racherbaumer has said.

Jaw still on the ground...

That said, I've found Corinda to be the better writer. His attention to the working details of tricks always makes my head spin. The subtleties that I pick up with just a turn of the phrase make his book absolutely sweet to read.

I have always been fascinated, also, by Anneman's dark side. Why did such a genius take his own life? From this thread, I gather that liquor was involved, and that fascinates me, too, that the geniuses of this world (in the magic world and out) can function and even flourish with the impediment of liquid spirits.

I've heard that Anneman had difficulties with the business of magic, and that he had serious money problems and considered himself a failure in this arena. I wonder. What form of suicide did he use? Does Anneman have descendants? Does the Abrams biography cover all this? Lives of the magicians can be quite instructive....
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Postby Guest » 02/14/03 03:15 PM

I find the Abrams book to be frustratingly vague about this part of Annemann's life. There are some tantilizing clues that appear as captions to the photos in the back, but seem to have no connection to further details in the text itself.
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Postby Charles Spector » 02/15/03 10:09 AM

The life of a genius is usually a tortured life. The driving force can be can be insecurity. Abram's book details Annamann's suicide as a tube running from his stove to his face, with a bag over his head. I think his life would make an interesting movie. David Lynch would be my pick for director just based upon this one macabre scene.

Charles Spector
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Postby Charles Spector » 02/16/03 03:18 PM

I forgot, and Johnny Depp as Annemann.

Charles Spector
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Postby Guest » 02/17/03 01:23 PM

Annemann was married twice, and supposed to have
a child by his first wife, who divorced him.
Max Abrams told me he did talk very briefly to
Annemann's mother, who didn't/couldn't talk long.
(Don't know what year that happened.) Max didn't
tell me if he had talked to any wives or daughter.
If I wasn't chasing other mindreaders and crystal
gazers, I'd try to find them.
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Postby Guest » 06/04/07 01:02 PM

Ancestry.com has an online database of census records through 1930. They show Theodore Annemann living at 370 W. 51st st, #128, with his wife Greta in 1930. His profession is "professional mind reader".

I've read that his birth name was Theodore John Squires. The 1910 census lists him as living in Barton Township (part of Waverly Village), age 3. He lived with his mother, Florilla Squires (age 22) and his maternal grandmother, Josephine Hayes.

The 1920 census shows him at age 12, with a six year old brother, Leland. The family name has changed by this time from Squires to Anneman -- but no adult males in the household still.

The database also has a number of indexed passenger manifests from ships. From them, we can learn that Annemann worked as an entertainer on the S.S. Munargo from late 1936 to late 1937. His was described as 5'10" (or variously as 5'11"), having light complexion and brown hair. His birthday was listed as 22 Feb 1907.
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Postby Guest » 06/04/07 06:50 PM

Bill:

Absolutely excellent! Good work! Thanks!
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Postby Guest » 06/19/07 03:55 PM

This month's selection was an inspiration, inspiring me to pick up the book and read it again. It's just fabulous. The discussion of Brainwave deck moved me to buy a deck today. But what interested me most was the footnote about the amazing history of this item, which Jackie Flosso had related to me some years ago.

If I recall Jackie's description, a mentalist (was it Dunninger?) paid Dai Vernon for the exclusive rights to use the effect for a year or so, delaying its release to other magicians for that period. Now that's a trick!

Gary Brown
ThrowingCard.com - The Museum of Throwing Cards and Related Ephmera
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Postby Guest » 07/11/07 03:58 PM

Although I am not widely known as a mentalist, I have done a lot of work in the field, not only as a translator of books by a couple of the better German practicioners of the art, but as a performer, myself.

I must agree wholeheartedly with Max's statements about Practical Mental Effects and Thirteen Steps to Mentalism.. In fact, if you were to visit the home of Ted Lesley, during the time that he still had one of the best libraries of mentalism in the world, or of Borodin, you would find copies of both books in each place. They have been major references for everyone in the field.
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Postby Sasha Mereu » 03/11/08 10:45 PM

I just wanted to express my thanks to Max for an amazing history lesson. The material has taken on a new dimension for me having been put into the proper context. Thanks to Dustin for selecting this one as well. Good choice, my friend. Every time I open this book, I find something new. I've started to work on "Safalaljia" as the center piece of my Halloween program and if anyone is looking for recommendations, "Diabolical Influence" has played really well for me of late. It's a classic for a reason. Like Max said, "read in between the lines", there's a lot here.
-S
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Postby Bob Postelnik » 03/11/08 11:38 PM

[Sasha Mereu] "I've started to work on "Safalaljia" as the center piece of my Halloween program and if anyone is looking for recommendations, "Diabolical Influence" has played really well for me of late."

I have been researching routines for Sefalalgia and looked at Annemann's Practical Mental Effects but did not see "Diabolical Influence." Could you point me in the right direction for this reference?

Thank you
Life is a journey, so do not arrive at your grave safe and in a well preserved body. Enjoy the Ride!
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Postby Sasha Mereu » 03/13/08 08:32 PM

No problem, Bob. "Diabolical Influence" is by Harris Solomon and is the last trick in the chapter on "Mentalism With Cards". Hopefully, I have not misled as in my previous post I was simply naming routines that resonated with me and not specifically for use or in conjunction with "Safalaljia". The principle behind Solomon's effect is intriguing to me and I have updated my presentation of it. Give it a glance. My best wishes to you.
-S
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