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Those of you who have been around a while in the world of Bizarre Magick and Theatrical Seances will recognize the names Lary Kuehn, T Everett Bookings, III and the Traveler. Some of you might also be familiar with the out-of-print, hard to find, "Big Book of Boo". I myself have read this years ago, as well as several of his other offerings, but now almost all of Lary's work on Theatrical Seances can be found in the newly updated " Bigger Book of Boo".

First of all, even if you have the original "Big Book of Boo" (which included contributions by most of the who's who in the world of Theatrical Séance work) and some of his writings, there are reasons to purchase the revised edition. The methods for any of the effects which either don't make sense in today's world, aren't easily obtainable, or better modern methods are available, have all been annotated by Lary detailing the alternatives/updated. This alone makes the new version a necessary edition for the séance worker. Even if this isn't enough of a reason, there is much material included here of which I wasn't familiar. This is the Theatrical Séance mother load!!!

Included are several COMPLETE seances in their own right. There are also many, effects, ideas, props, utility items, discussions on character development, a discussion on how he marketed shows and much more. There is even a whole routine using just a key, some business cards and a few easily obtainable items (anyone, and I mean non-magicians, will almost certainly have all of the other items in their home). This routine is one of my personal favorites. I also LOVE the discussions and detailed instructions for animating items, boxes, books, etc. ... This is the stuff that adds the believability factor to the show!

Now, let me get on my soap box here … even though the methodologies provided are extremely easy to use, this stuff is not EASY to do well. Theatrical Séance work requires acting skills and genuine scripting to pull it off. I created and successfully presented a séance show a couple of years ago and it was the hardest "magic show" I ever did (but one of the most rewarding, if not THE most rewarding one I ever did). Remember, this is theater and requires the perfomer(s) to create a complete script with detailed character, stage directions and everything you would encounter for a play (it IS actually an interactive play).

Also be aware that some of the methods/effects were designed for use with fire and/or a candle(s) (which is a no-no in my neck of the woods, for MY particular situation, as I generally perform for the public, as opposed to private parties). BUT many of the effects were designed for the intimate worker of small private gatherings, where this is ok. Even if you exclude these fire-related effects/routines from the book, there is still TONS of information presented, all of which is real-world useable stuff. There are almost no pipe-dreams. I only say almost, as there are a few pieces from Lary's "notebook" which are ideas he hadn't used at the time of the original writing. He clearly presents these as ideas in the section called "The Ghost Notebook". I only mention the above so that that no can complain that they didn't know exactly what they are getting.

Now for the REALLY good news. This thing which weighs in at 220 pages and is ONLY $50 (ok, $49.95 plus postage). Orders are now being taken at:

Basically, if you are interested in Theatrical Seances, you NEED this book.
'nuff said. What are you waiting for?

Oh, yea, I don't get any money for this review. Actually, I wish no one else would get it, as I want to be the ONLY one using this stuff … but I promised Lary I would let others know ;-)

Dave Birtwell
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