Mysterious book

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Jonathan Townsend
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Re: Mysterious book

Postby Jonathan Townsend » November 23rd, 2005, 7:27 am

Originally posted by Bob Baker:
I received mine and thought, "That's it??"

I'll admit that it grows on you some, but I think that the marketing was more "brilliant" than the book. After all, if you had known in advance what it was, would you have plunked down the $50?

I think not.

Bob
Okay, so beyond "bragging rights" does the book have any utility?
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

Robert Allen
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Re: Mysterious book

Postby Robert Allen » November 23rd, 2005, 7:31 am

Oh come on :) First it was only $50. Docc Hillford has sold super-uber-super-secrets for a lot more than that. Second, there was absolutely no info on what it was about. Third it was by Max Maven. No disrepspect meant to Mr. Maven, but if I was him and saw how much his books have gone for on the 'bay over the years, I would be mightily tempted to release such a book where each page simply had the number "42" on it :) .

This way to the Egress....

Jonathan Townsend
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Re: Mysterious book

Postby Jonathan Townsend » November 23rd, 2005, 7:41 am

Originally posted by Robert Allen:
Oh come on :) First it was only $50. Docc Hillford has sold super-uber-super-secrets for a lot more than that. Second, there was absolutely no info on what it was about. Third it was by Max Maven. No disrepspect meant to Mr. Maven, but if I was him and saw how much his books have gone for on the 'bay over the years, I would be mightily tempted to release such a book where each page simply had the number "42" on it :) .
Kewl, I guess this means we are in store for a collection of Dai Vernon's kids paintings and drawings he kept on the fridge over the years that inspired him to come up with the material in his "secrets" books. How about the cocktail napkins Lewis Ganson used to take notes ( or authorized copies thereof) for the deluxe edition?
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

Robert Allen
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Re: Mysterious book

Postby Robert Allen » November 23rd, 2005, 8:42 am

Strange, but I can almost see a market for the cocktail napkin book you mention :)

John LeBlanc
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Re: Mysterious book

Postby John LeBlanc » November 23rd, 2005, 10:09 am

Originally posted by Robert Allen:
Oh come on :) First it was only $50. Docc Hillford has sold super-uber-super-secrets for a lot more than that.
And some of us paid and were not happy with the value received. Besides, I'm not sure comparing Docc and Max is such a fair rasslin' match.

Second, there was absolutely no info on what it was about.
That's correct. And absent any specific information, I'd venture to say most of us relied on our respect for both Maven and Minch -- respect earned over the course of many years.

Third it was by Max Maven. No disrepspect meant to Mr. Maven, but if I was him and saw how much his books have gone for on the 'bay over the years, I would be mightily tempted to release such a book where each page simply had the number "42" on it :) .
Maybe you would, Robert, but I don't expect Max or Stephen to do so. And Prism certainly demonstrated a level of restraint that should be acknowledged.

I'm going to withhold judgement on this unpleasant little book for a little while longer.

John
http://www.escamoteurettes.com/blog/

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Re: Mysterious book

Postby Erik Hemming » November 23rd, 2005, 1:12 pm

Re: The Protocols of the Elders of Magic

It's a thing of beauty.

Production, as usual, was exquisite.

Mr. Minch advertised exactly what it wasn't.

His response to orders--mine at least--was precisely worded, and exactly right.

Mr. Maven executed it with erudition, and a black, mordant glee.

(The title, itself, may be worth $50.00.)

It was a satisfying read and makes me grin every time I think of it.

Deep thanks to all involved.

gordo

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Re: Mysterious book

Postby Jacky Kahan » November 23rd, 2005, 2:15 pm

Interesting.. on ebay ... prices already vary between 75$ and 275 check here

Jacky
www.magicbooks.be

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Matthew Field
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Re: Mysterious book

Postby Matthew Field » November 24th, 2005, 4:54 am

I love the fact that two of the sellers can't even get the title correct.

Matt Field

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Re: Mysterious book

Postby John LeBlanc » November 24th, 2005, 8:02 am

Originally posted by Matthew Field:
I love the fact that two of the sellers can't even get the title correct.
Hmmm, I must have missed that. The only changes I see (at least in the auctions for the Maven book) is that some do not include "The" in the title.

Here\'s a link to only the magic book auctions, instead of a listing including that other book.

John
http://www.escamoteurettes.com/blog/

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Re: Mysterious book

Postby Guest » November 24th, 2005, 9:06 am

I'm very very disappointed by all the people who are selling or will sell their "PROTOCOLS" on ebay.
It is your right to sell your book..
but it seems to me very early to see the book on ebay right now.
It's a shame..
i think that all the people who are selling their "PROTOCOLS" are not true magic lovers.
It was designed to be a secret..
so at least you should have waited some months or maybe years, before selling it.
But i think the best thing to do was for the 500 owners of the book..never to sell it and..
to keep the SECRET!!
It's only my humble opinion but i feel that there is no more culture of the secret.
I expected to see some U2 ticket for sale on ebay the same day the ticket went out..but never and never i expected this little book on ebay so early.
I think that the people who are selling this book now, shouldn't deserve to buy other secret books.
It is only my humble opinion and i'm waiting for opinions of yours, also in contrast with mine.
Let me know what you magic lovers think.
Best regards.
Crim

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Re: Mysterious book

Postby Richard Hatch » November 24th, 2005, 9:17 am

Originally posted by crimsonking:
I'm very very disappointed by all the people who are selling or will sell their "PROTOCOLS" on ebay.
It is your right to sell your book..
but it seems to me very early to see the book on ebay right now.
It it my understanding that one of the reasons the book sold out so quickly is that several people ordered multiple copies, as many as 5 in one case. No doubt this was done in some cases as an investment, with the intent to resell at a profit. Which is what seems to be happening on eBay now...

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Re: Mysterious book

Postby Guest » November 24th, 2005, 10:08 am

Crimsonking

Well, I bought three copies.

One for a friend, one for my permanent library and one for speculation (such as Cards as Weapons which I do not own because of the outrageous price this is going for).

Maybe I'll sell my spare copy now, maybe in a few years; maybe it will make a special gift one day.

I did not receive them yet, so I cannot confirm or deny that It was designed to be a secret.

It seems to me that if this book was really meant to be limited distribution and that no copies would be offered for sale on eBay, it should have been limited to one book per customer.

Guest

Re: Mysterious book

Postby Guest » November 24th, 2005, 10:39 am

Originally posted by crimsonking:
It was designed to be a secret..
If it's so important that it be kept secret, then why was it published?

Dave

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Re: Mysterious book

Postby Guest » November 24th, 2005, 11:07 am

Maybe one thing is right.
That it should have been limited 1 copy per customer.
When i speak about secrets, i want only to say that it would be a nice thing if there were more secrets in this Art and Craft.
I think Magic is a field which gives great space for secrets.
Secrets are the base of this wondeful Art.
I mean.. it is nice to buy copies for magic friends etcc..
but i don't like the idea to sell the book so early on ebay.
Now i'm speaking strictly for "THE PROTOCOLS" book.
It would have been nice if all the owners had waited a little longer before selling their copies on ebay.
I live in Italy and i'm still waiting for my copy.
I would have loved if all the owners would have ketpt their secret a little longer.
Just that.
If you think about it..
what a wonderful thing would be if only 500 people in the world would know the "PROTOCOLS" secret.
Maybe who among you who have received your book, don't think the secret is worth.
But i think that the concept of keeping a secret would be great!
In these days too many people can "buy" all the magic secrets if they want.
this would have been an exception.
Too late.
Maybe in the future..
maybe..
Crim

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Re: Mysterious book

Postby Jonathan Townsend » November 24th, 2005, 11:22 am

First, the item was not designed as a secret to be held precious by a few. It was a publicly offered and advertised item.

There is a post elsewhere asking about the cost of trust and the price of secrets.

Bemoaning that one one can buy secrets with dollars and treat magic items as property?

Or just whining that kids on the internet will be downloading the scanned book on torrent or P2P systems before you get to revel in having a secret?

Pity would be wasted.

is "Crimson King" a reference to the group and album of similar name?
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

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Re: Mysterious book

Postby Guest » November 24th, 2005, 1:20 pm

I'm not bemoaning at all.
I just expressed my opinion.
And i'm very open to all of yours opinion.
I don't want to make you change idea.
For what concerns me, my "PROTOCOLS" will never be on sale.
The name Crimsonking comes from...
oops.
It's a secret!

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Re: Mysterious book

Postby John LeBlanc » November 24th, 2005, 3:39 pm

Originally posted by Dave Le Fevre:
If it's so important that it be kept secret, then why was it published?
Maybe the secret of the book isn't the point. Maybe, in part, it's a demonstration to see who has the integrity to abide by a simple request.

Not telling the secret takes no more effort than telling the secret. So what's left is integrity.

John
Getting Close.

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Re: Mysterious book

Postby Guest » November 24th, 2005, 4:20 pm

I think Mr. John LeBlanc posted a great message.
It was the point i was trying to make.
Maybe i focused too much on the "secret".
The point is Mr.Minch asked a very simple thing.
Why ruin it all selling the "PROTOCOLS" on ebay after 2 minutes!
Yes..
Integrity..
Integrity!..
and Secret!
Crim

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Re: Mysterious book

Postby Jonathan Townsend » November 24th, 2005, 4:36 pm

Originally posted by Jonathan Townsend:
Originally posted by crimsonking:
[b] ...Maybe i focused too much on the "secret".
The point is Mr.Minch asked a very simple thing.
Why ruin it all selling the "PROTOCOLS" on ebay after 2 minutes!...
Agreed about secrets Crimson, as Del Ray and others have demonstrated.

Also agreed about things being better if people did treat secrets differently. I've written about that elsewhere. Look for the questions about the value of a surprise and the cost of a secret.

Puzzled though about what Mr Minch may have asked. If it's not too much to ask... what did he ask that you feel was not honored? [/b]
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

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magicam
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Re: Mysterious book

Postby magicam » November 24th, 2005, 10:24 pm

Jonathan T. wrote:
is "Crimson King" a reference to the group and album of similar name?
I think the name of the group was actually King Crimson - not a bad band either.

Clay

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Re: Mysterious book

Postby Robert Allen » November 25th, 2005, 8:46 am

Well I'd like one, if for no other reason than the punnish title, but I'm not going to pay scalpers for it. I'm sure curious as to whether this isn't some form or interesting social experiment by Mr. Maven.

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Re: Mysterious book

Postby Bill Palmer » November 25th, 2005, 9:03 am

I purchased a copy of the book as soon as I learned that it was going to be published. It arrived this morning.

Knowing Max as well as I do, I knew that he must have had something of value to offer the magic fraternity. Considering how much of value he has given us in the past for so little money, in many cases, I felt that even if only one secret were revealed, it would be worth it.

The contents of the book were not revealed to me ahead of time. However, they were not a secret to me, either. Nevertheless, to find the depth to which Brother Maven has researched this secret was worth the price of the book to me.

It may not be to someone else, but hey! Different horses, different courses.

Ars longa, vita brevis.
Bill Palmer, MIMC

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Re: Mysterious book

Postby Guest » November 25th, 2005, 9:12 am

Originally posted by Magicam:
Jonathan T. wrote:
is "Crimson King" a reference to the group and album of similar name?
I think the name of the group was actually King Crimson - not a bad band either.
They did have a track called (if memory serves) At the Court of the Crimson King. So Crimson King and King Crimson would both be valid references.

Dave

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Re: Mysterious book

Postby NCMarsh » November 25th, 2005, 12:19 pm

This wonderfully unpleasant little book arrived at chez Marsh this morning...

Had I known the secret, I may not have purchased it. That would have been a mistake. Mr. Minch's comments about knowing the secret before reading the book are, in my view, dead on -- it is a lot like hearing the punchline before the setup.

The amount of work that went into this is staggering.

N.
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Eric Rose
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Re: Mysterious book

Postby Eric Rose » November 25th, 2005, 1:21 pm

I received my copy and immediately set to reading it. A few pages in I realized what I was reading and became absolutely giddy. I could barely wait to turn the next page. I can honestly say it was one of the most inspirational reads I've done in ages. It thoroughly invigorated me.

Thank you, Mssrs. Maven and Minch, for the work, the production values, and the secret. I am proud to add this book to my library.

Eric Rose

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Re: Mysterious book

Postby Guest » November 25th, 2005, 3:44 pm

I don't understand something!
On ebay there is a copy of the "PROTOCOLS" which is going for 250 dollars.
In the description it says that it is the only copy signed by both the author and the publisher.
Is it possible?
Very strange.

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Dustin Stinett
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Re: Mysterious book

Postby Dustin Stinett » November 25th, 2005, 9:05 pm

You left out a key word: "...only known copy..."

That could easily mean that it is the only known copy as far as the sell is concerned.

Had I asked Mr. Minch to sign my copy as well, I suspect he would have agreed. In fact, I didn't think of it, I was so happy to get the number I wanted!

Dustin

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Re: Mysterious book

Postby Guest » November 26th, 2005, 7:30 am

Dustin,

What number did you ask for?

I'm still waiting for mine.

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magicam
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Re: Mysterious book

Postby magicam » November 26th, 2005, 2:07 pm

Dustin, you are correct in how you have parsed the words of the Ebay seller when it comes to the "only known" phrase, but IMHO it still wreaks of misleading or sensationalistic advertising, and is an insult to the intelligence of buyers. I wonder what Minch thinks knowing his signature is being hawked in such a manner? Clay

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Dustin Stinett
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Re: Mysterious book

Postby Dustin Stinett » November 26th, 2005, 4:14 pm

Clay: I agree--it's a typical marketing ploy I see all the time. The perpetrator simply gets to say, "Well, I didn't lie."

Dustin
(Who loves, and received, the number 13).

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Re: Mysterious book

Postby Garry Hayes » November 26th, 2005, 4:21 pm

Wowweee! I got my multiple copies in today. anybody want a copy at $100.00 postpaid? Nice bookbinding. Max Maven signature.
Email me and let me know.

As far as letting the secret out - what does it matter if someone buys it from me, someone on Ebay, or straight from Hermetic Press? The book is still the same. The secret is still the same. The info in the book is still the same. The person that pays $100.00 for a book that originally sold for $50.00 is more apt to keep the secret to themself also. This book has no instructions supplied.

Email me if you want a copy - just in time for Christ mas - mrmagician@bellsouth.net .

G arry Hayes / Nashville, TN
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Re: Mysterious book

Postby Evan Shuster » November 26th, 2005, 4:48 pm

Count me in (I just sent you an e-mail)! The suspense has finally gotten to me (and I, for one, am good at keeping a secret).

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Re: Mysterious book

Postby John LeBlanc » November 26th, 2005, 5:20 pm

Originally posted by antiquemagic:
Wowweee! I got my multiple copies in today. anybody want a copy at $100.00 postpaid? Nice bookbinding. Max Maven signature.
Email me and let me know.
I find that distasteful.

John
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Re: Mysterious book

Postby Robert Allen » November 26th, 2005, 5:31 pm

"distasteful"

Yeah, me too. But I'm not surprised. I'm more surprised that the publisher didn't make at least a mild attempt to ensure 1 per customer though.

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Re: Mysterious book

Postby Jonathan Townsend » November 26th, 2005, 6:33 pm

Originally posted by Robert Allen:
"distasteful"...
I like a good joke:

----- The following addresses had permanent fatal errors -----
<@bellsouth.netmrmagicianbellsouth.net>

----- Transcript of session follows -----
553 <@bellsouth.netmrmagicianbellsouth.net>... user address required


Final-Recipient: RFC822; <@bellsouth.netmrmagicianbellsouth.net>
Action: failed
Status: 5.1.1
Last-Attempt-Date: Sat, 26 Nov 2005 21:35:50 -0500 (EST)

Much of the commentary speaks to the business of magic. And the culture which fosters such.

Does this sort of "demand" marketing have utility outside of magic and perhaps beanie babies?
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

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Re: Mysterious book

Postby Garry Hayes » November 26th, 2005, 6:46 pm

John and Robert,

Calm down fellows. I have paid double and triple the original cost for several short print magic books, similar to the Protocol book. I was actually glad to get them at the inflated prices I paid. I was glad to see someone else had bought multiples. That allowed me to get a copy.

Those that purchased Protocol from Hermetic Press, purchased them blind, not knowing what they were getting. I am not going to sell any at this time (except one to Evan). I would like to make a prediction and say the cost will escalate to $250.00 - $300.00 a copy in less than three months. There are only 500 copies. Many are sitting on several copies. I must add that there were full page ads in major magic magazines advertising this book. So everyone had a chance to get one - at least 500 people had a chance. It is a neat book. Good Luck in finding a copy.

Yes, my email address did have fatal errors. It should be corrected by now. My original post was posted as a joke. I really did not expect to have any "takers".


G arry Hayes
Garry Hayes

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Re: Mysterious book

Postby Richard Lane » November 26th, 2005, 7:08 pm

I was thinking tulips not beanies.

I hope Mssrs Minch & Maven have been chronicaling this bold campaign from conception to incu-Ebation.

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Re: Mysterious book

Postby Richard Hatch » November 26th, 2005, 8:43 pm

Originally posted by antiquemagic:
Many are sitting on several copies. I must add that there were full page ads in major magic magazines advertising this book. So everyone had a chance to get one - at least 500 people had a chance.
As soon as the first individual bought multiple copies, the number of people having a chance to purchase them from the publisher at the publisher's price decreased from 500. Given that more than one person purchased multiple copies, one reportedly as many as 5, I'd guess only 450 or so were able to obtain their copies on the publisher's terms. I understand that by the time the full page ad appeared in LINKING RING, all 500 copies had already been reserved. I also understand that the advertisements in other publications were pulled once they became moot. So really only those who received "advance word" via the publisher's emailing, website and word of mouth (such as this forum) had a chance to obtain copies and then only if they acted promptly. I'm not complaining, I got mine (and am well pleased with it, I might add). But if I were a collector of magical literature who did not have access to internet resources and was rebuffed upon attempting to order after finding out about the book belatedly (through no fault of one's own), I'd likely be a bit miffed...

Some of those who purchased the book exclusively for the "secret" will likely be reselling their copies once the secret is known to them, diminishing whatever "value" that secret might have had. I predict prices will settle down around $100 or less once the nature of said "secret" becomes more widely known...

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Re: Mysterious book

Postby magicam » November 26th, 2005, 9:01 pm

Garry:

Weve helped each other out in the past and Ive very much enjoyed my private exchanges with you. On the other hand, you have voiced your opinions strongly here. I hope the following criticism is accepted in the spirit of a candid but amicable exchange of views, for criticizing you is not done with any glee.

I dont like it when folks stock up on multiple (as opposed to maybe two, one for reading and one for collecting, perhaps) copies of a book with profit in mind. Admittedly, one could argue that this problem starts with the publisher, and that a publisher should limit the number of copies sold to a private party. However, Garry, unless the publisher limited sales to one copy per person, it is obviously incorrect to say that 500 people had their chance to buy a copy if there were several people who purchased multiple copies. The math doesnt add up.

But if you are going to be criticized for this mini-commercial venture of yours, then at least it should also be said that you are not being a hypocrite about it. It sounds like youve faced the same problem with others hoarding a book for profit, but instead of whining about it, you have ponied up the inflated price and have been grateful for the chance to get a copy. So at least you are consistent in your view, whether it hurts you or helps you. Ill give you that.

Back to the question of whether or not Hermetic Press should have limited the number of copies sold to one person. Every publisher Ive talked to has told me that publishing magic books is risky business. Although there are exceptions, I would guess that a publisher generally has no idea if a magic book will be a hit or not. He/she might be relieved to sell multiple copies. 500 copies may not be a very large print run, but it also doesnt seem like an unusually small one either for a magic book. Perhaps Hermetic Press has promised in its ads not to reprint the book. But if it hasnt, theres nothing to keep it from doing a reprint, in which event watch how fast the hoarders start dumping copies.

Clay

P.S. The foregoing was drafted and submitted before I read Richard's post above - guess a refresh of the web page may be helpful before sending a post! Richard, if you get this, please call me re your voice-mail. C.

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Re: Mysterious book

Postby Guest » November 27th, 2005, 5:59 am

Originally posted by Magicam:
I dont like it when folks stock up on multiple (as opposed to maybe two, one for reading and one for collecting, perhaps) copies of a book with profit in mind.
I'm not disagreeing with you. But your post prompts me to ask whether whether that extends to other items. A while ago, when buying claret en primeur, I bought quite a few cases from one property, with the definite intention of selling some of them later for profit. (Actually, I enjoyed it so much that they were all consumed. And without any regrets. But the intention had been there.)

Given that that was also a limited edition item (in that nobody can ever manufacture any more wine of that year from that property), were my intentions "bad"?

In fact, the product that I purchased for profit was more limited-edition than the book, since later copies of the book could be printed, if necessary. (They won't be, but they could be.)

I don't really see why purchasing for profit is deemed bad. But I sympathise with people who were unable to purchase the book.

(By the way, I didn't purchase one copy of the book, let alone several copies.)

Dave


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