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Friday, 3 June 2011

Three Card Monte Is Not A Game Of Chance


It's here! Magician/actor/author Ricky Jay's Celebrations Of Curious Characters: a collection of essays that originally appeared in weekly four-minute segments broadcast over the airwaves from L.A.'s KCRW.

Great little stories about the weird and the wonderous, of unscrupulous people in untenable positions and rapacious gentlemen and their ridiculous ideas. This is one of those beautifully written books that serve as both an enjoyable time-passer and as an argument-settling reference book. Items of interest collected in this tome include, but are not limited to:

-the 1761 bottle conjurer hoax.
-the world's first And foremost equestrian apiarist.
-William Heckler's trained flea circus.
-polyglot Richard Robert Jones.
-the trio known as "the Monstrous Craws".
-Charles Dickens dabbled in mesmerism!



And if I'd only known that Three Card Monte wasn't a really a "game", I would have money for lunch today.


Featuring an introduction by David Mamet, with nary a swear-word in sight.

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