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Lost Notebooks of John Northern Hilliard, The

by Hilliard, John N.

Product Rating:

(Based on 1 reviews)
Category: General
Media Type: Book
Publisher: Genii Corporation

Product Description

In a hotel somewhere in the Midwest, Howard Thurston's advance man has finished his dogged work for the day and, as dusk falls, he clicks on the lamp and slips a piece of paper into his portable typewriter. He begins to tap out descriptions of tricks for a book he's been dreaming of writing for over a decade. At this moment, in 1928, he doesn't have a title or a publisher, but he's the happiest guy in the world.

Tonight he's eagerly typing up tricks by Al Baker and Ted Annemann, both of whom he saw in New York City a few days earlier. Last week it was miracles by Stewart Judah, S. Leo Horowitz, and Dai Vernon. He spends seven years collecting the most staggering miracles of the day from the most prominent magicians.

Though extremely ill in 1933 and 1934, he keeps this to himself and, despite his precarious health, continues traveling around the country, working for Thurston during the day and collecting tricks for his masterwork in the evening. He types late into the night.

In 1935 John Northern Hilliard died suddenly while in a hotel room in Indianapolis. When the book on which he had worked for so many years, Greater Magic, was eventually published in 1938, hundreds of the tricks Hilliard had collected were nowhere to be found. There was a great hubbub about the missing material. A number of magicians entered the hotel room where he died ... perhaps one of them left with something?

A decade ago a box full of old magic catalogues was sold at an auction in middle America. At the bottom of this box, and not even listed in the contents, were two old notebooks-hundreds of typed pages in brown leatherette bindings. The lost notebooks of John Northern Hilliard had been found.

At 300 over-sized pages, with almost 300 tricks, this magnificent volume is the perfect companion for anyone who has spent happy hours reading Greater Magic. 60 tricks by Al Baker, dozens by Stewart Judah, 10 tricks by S. Leo Horowitz, 30 tricks by Ted Annemann, with hundreds more from Dai Vernon, Cyril Yettmah, Jack Merlin, Gerald Kosky, Eugene Laurent, Ching Ling Foo, Stanley Collins, John Northern Hilliard, Paul LePaul, Michael F. Zens, and many more.
Date Added: Mar 16th, 2003
MLA SKU: 7PxuN7WX34XdShw


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Official Review

December 14th, 2002 6:50pm
Reviewed by David Parr
This book is at the center of a mystery. The mystery begins at a hotel in Indianapolis, where, at 9:00 a.m., a nervous hotel manager and several workmen drill a hole through the steel door of a room so they can reach inside and unlock the deadbolt. Within the room lies the body of John Northern Hilliard, dead at the age of 63. Hilliard's death itself is not a mystery. (He died of natural causes.) But what came after it is.

As advance man for Howard Thurston's road show, Hilliard spent most of his time travelling from city to city, hobnobbing with magicians. And for many years he had been asking them to contribute material to his magnum opus, a book that would include nearly 1000 new routines and ideas from some of the most creative minds in magic, a book that would change the face of conjuring and bring it wholly and unequivocally into the twentieth century. But somehow, on or about March 14, 1935, a significant portion of that material vanished without a trace.

What we know is... [Read More]

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