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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Believe it or not... » » Jim Rose 'Snake Oil' (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Jamie D. Grant
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Hi All,

Does anyone have this book:

http://www.jimrosecircus.com/

Looks interesting...

Thanx!

Jamie D. Grant
TRICK OF THE YEAR: Industrial Revelation, BOOK OF THE YEAR: The Approach, The AIP Bottle, and my new book Scenic 52, can all be found over here: SendWonder.com
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Owen Anderson
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Not yet. There are a couple of reviews on Amazon.
Even if it's a dog you're not out much at $13 for 160 pages.
Owen Anderson
FacadeTheStiltBoy
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I have it.

The book coveres a lot in a broad stroke, your better off reading it and making up your own decision.

Some funny stuff, some serious stuff, but all in all a good book.
Tim Cridland
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Some years ago Rose put out a book called "Angles." This turned out, for the most part, not to be a book by Rose, but to be reprints of pamphlets that have been circulating for may years. The info in those pamphlets was a mixture of good, bad and dangerous.
I have speculated that Rose's Snake Oil is just a reprint of Angles, but have not seen a copy, so I cannot say for sure. Does anyone here know?
Freak Prodigy
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This book is good for your "collection" (if you collect books on sideshow and other allied arts, as I do.)
But it is what it is...and that is Snake Oil.
I am almost 99.999% sure that everything in this book has been borrowed from other publications(most of which I own).
I bought it and felt a little ripped off, but I soon got over it...it's a good piece to have...plus it is another book for the ol'shelf.

Like any other book written as a "how to" guide on sideshow...DO NOT and I repeat DON'T TRY ANY OF THESE THINGS without help from someone that REALLY knows what they are doing.

If you do get the book, make sure you read the bit on how to swallow swords...the explanation made me laugh my @s$ off!

Yours,
~Brett Loudermilk
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http://www.bloudermilk.blogspot.com
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Doug Higley
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Your call on this book...the money is right for an interesting read...


but what you NEED to do is get Jan Gregor's 'Circus Of The Scars'.

The best show book ever writtem IMO...no matter what your calling. An ABSOLUTE must read. 450 pages of GOLD and Sweat.
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Cholly, by golly!
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Pretty lightweight stuff but probably worth the money. I got my copy used off Amazon.
Jamie D. Grant
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Hi All,

Thanx for the help.

I'm trying to start a collection of bar tricks/bets and am looking for anything I can find...

Thanx!

Jamie D. Grant
TRICK OF THE YEAR: Industrial Revelation, BOOK OF THE YEAR: The Approach, The AIP Bottle, and my new book Scenic 52, can all be found over here: SendWonder.com
Kindness takes practice. My TEDx talk
jeremysweiss
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I have a copy. I have read MOST (but not all of it--my wife and I just had a baby and I am on paternity leave in this weird, up-all-night, up-all-day zombie state, reading when I can). I ordered it from his website and got a SPECTACULARLY fast return.

As for my review:

In the intro, Mr. Rose states: "One of the reasons I wrote this book was to preserve some of this interesting clutter before remembering it all became too overwhelming." (I don't know why remembering how to uses a thumbtip and swami gimmick could be so mind cluttering, but I am not as old as Mr. Rose and he feels I should be concerned when I turn 50.) He goes on to chastise other authors because "Authors are often guilty of turning a paragraph into hundreds of pages and calling it a book. Some of the subjects in this book fall under this category. Distilling topics with clarity and brevity provides an insightful overview of the craft of snak oil. it starts with the introduction you are reading now."

This introduction leads one to believe that Mr. Rose's work is purely original. (He implies he wrote it, because he was afraid it would become too overwhelming.) However, large portions of the book are NOT original at all and can be found elsewhere--probably in a library he already has--so why not just look it up?.

In fact, Mr. Roses chapter, entitled "Feats of Torture", seems to be a reprint of a book by Joseph Ovette. What he says, at the begining of the chapter is:
"One of the first books I ever read that got me interested in secrets of the strange was Feats of Torture, written by Joseph Ovette. The book is now out of print, but it was so influential that I have included his experiences in this chapter. I've also added a few secrets of my own.

Mr. Rose, has indeed added TWO items (Human Pincushion and Pierced Weight Lifting). Otherwise, it is Mr. Ovette's work reprinted word-for-word. (Not just Mr. Ovette's experiences but his actual words.) Mr. Ovette's work, which I think was actually entitled, "Miraculous Hindu Feats" was reprinted in James Taylor's Shocked and Amazed On and Off the Midway Volume 5. You can get a signed copy directly from Atomic Books (and it arrived by mail almost as fast as Mr. Rose's work). I have actually ordered The original book by Mr. Ovette, by calling Ms. Lee Jacobs. (The book is published by Lee Jacobs Productions in Pomeroy, OH). It sells for $5, but I think she has a $10.00 credit card minimum.

Other items have been co-opted as well and placed in other chapters without any credit. Real Control of the Blood, Psychic Hand, Borrowed Hair, etc. One, for instance, called the Human X-ray Test (in JT's S and A, it is called the Human Gray Test--which I think is likely a misprint). This one actually states, "The material cannot be obtained from drug stores as has been suggested, nor do many of the chemical supply houses carry the main ingredient. My source of supply was the Department of ...". Since there is no credit here, it suggests that Mr. Rose was the one doing this effect and is recommending where you can obtain the chemical. Hard to believe when you see it word for word in a different text already published. Mr. Rose should credit items not his.

But enough about the lack of crediting. More disconcerning is the once in a while bit a misinformation that is propagated (even though it may not actually be the advice of Mr. Rose but some other author). This part, which I don't think is reprint of Mr. Ovette's book (but likely a reprint of some other book because I can't imagine that Mr. Rose would give this advice) states: "Fire Eating: Half of this act is making the torches. Fire eaters take cotton swabs off a mop, tighten them into a ball with COPPER WIRE, and affix the ball to the end of a coat hanger". Uhhhh, and burn the cr*p out of their tongues?

At the end of that chapter, entitled "At the Risk of Bodily Harm", he states "Note: Be careful with what you do with this information, some of it may be outdated or incorrect." For me, it is dissappointing that Mr. Rose would have information in his book that is outdated or "slightly incorrect". Unless that is the information he was trying to discharge from his brain in an effort to unclutter his overwhelmed mind."

In his chapter "Feats of Torture", he has no caveat. However, I have noted that in the section "Putting Fingers in Hot Lead" an Ovette reprint, the information is in direct contradiction to:

http://www.csicop.org/si/9911/willey.html

I don't know which is correct. But it is scary how different the methods are.

As for bar bets, I have a great pamphlet entitled, "Wanna Bet?" complied by Frances I. Marshall (Magic, Inc. 5082 North Lincoln, Chicago). I don't know if it is still available. Also, there is Simon Lovell's book, Billion Dollar Bunko" (althoug it has its problems). As far as Carnival Games and other scams), I have a book called, The Bunco Book by Walter Gibson, published by Sidney Radner (The Houdini inheritor/collector). I haven't read it recently (I pulled it out to look it over so I could review Mr. Rose's book). It seems more complete, but again, I don't know if it is still in print (it was really a manuscript).

Overall, I think it is a fine book to have in a collection. But Caveat Emptor (well, I guess that is practically in the title--it is SNAKE OIL). My review is meant to be objective and I hope not to p**s off Mr. Rose but I think I blew my chances of learning anything directly from him. I hope Harley will still take me on. I am pretty sure the Profession, Todd Robbins will too.

Jeremy
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Freak Prodigy
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The problem with Jim is that he simply does not care.
He is in it only for the buck.

but, as I said before the book is disapointing although it is however another book for the shelf.
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Harris0n
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Wonderful in depth evaluation Jeremy. Much appreciated.
"There are times when the truth is necessary and times when myth-making is necessary." Nick Cave
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