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Topic: Looking for info on some books from my youth...
Message: Posted by: Mysterioii (Apr 11, 2007 12:38PM)

I know this is a long shot, but I'm wondering if anyone has any leads on a couple of magic books that I read many years ago... the problem being that I can't recall the titles or the names of the authors! I'm not holding my breath but it's worth a shot...

There were two books in particular that I would frequently check out of the local public library, roughly in the late 70's and early 80's timeframe. They were both on the topic of "general" magic (no particular theme or specialty) and from memory seemed to be pretty large books, at least in the hands of a child, so I'm guessing about 8.5" x 11". Both were hardbound.

One had, I believe, a black and white dust jacket, and what stands out in my mind is that in the back of the book it reproduced an entire old magic catalog from some unknown source. Even at the time it was outdated but I enjoyed reading through those old catalog pages.

The other book had no dust jacket (at least by the time I got to it) and had a brown cover with I believe no graphics, just simple small lettering. What stood out about that one was that it had a section in the back that reproduced in it's entirety a pretty archaic magic book... To clarify, the main text of the book was contemporary magic but it had a "bonus section" of what I think was a complete work from many many years before, that covered such tricks as "driving a long needle through the head of a hen without killing it" and the secret was just the position and angle to REALLY run a needle through a chicken's head without killing it! :S Lots of weird old stuff. It *may* have been where I first read about catching a fly and putting it in torpor by putting it in a thimble at the bottom of a basin of water and then bringing it "back to life" with a little salt, but I might be mixing my references there.

If anyone has ANY ideas as to what these books might have been, back in that timeframe, please let me know. I realize I don't have much info but it's worth a shot. That public library closed it's doors abruptly many years ago and the books were all shipped off elsewhere. I checked both of them out repeatedly as a child and still wonder if I might come across them again but since the titles and authors are long forgotten the odds are definitely against me.

Thanks for your help!
Message: Posted by: Julie (Apr 11, 2007 05:13PM)

The first book sounds like The Magic Digest by George B. Anderson.

It's the size you mentioned in soft covers and originally sold for $5.95.

Long out-of-print, you will occasionally find a copy on the auctions sites or Abe books, etc.

Happy Hunting!

Message: Posted by: Mysterioii (Jun 17, 2020 11:48PM)
I hate to bump an old thread, but it was my thread, and I'm bumping it for a good reason. :)

Just over 13 years ago I made the above post trying to identify a couple of magic books I had checked out from my local library several times as a kid. Julie suggested that the first one may have been The Magic Digest by George Anderson. If I recall correctly, at the time I looked it up but the cover was completely unfamiliar to me, so I felt that it was not what I was looking for and I subsequently forgot about it.

Just recently I started wondering about those old books again, then I remembered making this post so I looked it up and recalled her suggestion. I picked a copy up on Amazon pretty cheap, and lo and behold, after reading through it it wasn't the FIRST book I'd described, it was the second. Although it does also reprint some old catalog pages, so it's possible that I was remembering a single book as two different books, but I still think there was another...

But anyway, it's definitely the book I'd been looking for for years, reprinting "The Black Art Exposed" as an appendix. It even includes an old trick about "bringing a fly back to life" that had stuck in my mind for decades... I hadn't realized that it was the same book. Now, I could have sworn the book I read as a kid was hardbound with a plain reddish-brown cover and no dust jacket, and I can't find any evidence that The Magic Digest was ever printed in hardcover, but now that I think about it it may have just been in a library binding, which I didn't really know was even a thing at the time.

So anyway, Julie, a very belated 13-year-old thank you very much! I now have a 10-year-old kid that hadn't even been conceived when you made your suggestion... :)

Message: Posted by: Julie (Jun 18, 2020 12:24AM)
You are very welcome, Grant!

Vintage Julie :)
Message: Posted by: hugmagic (Nov 3, 2020 03:09PM)
Look at the Magic Catalogue by William Doerflinger.