As its author is keen to point out in his introduction, this ingeniously named collection (the title stands for “Conjuring Illusions, Gimmicks, Art, Mystery”) is “for Magicians only.” Walter Schwartz’s aim across GIMAC’s sixty-eight pages is to offer professional performers new tricks that differ from the material otherwise found in magic publications, and to that end he enlists the help of a number of big names of his day — master magicians like John Mulholland, Al Baker and U. F. Grant.
A range of effects, mostly suitable for parlor or stage settings, are explained, and each is preceded by a short biography of the contributor, ensuring that this booklet will appeal not only to performers but also historians of early twentieth-century magic. The routines featured range from card stunts (including a novel peek and a photographic revelation that appears on a signed piece of blank card) to an escapology trick from Theo Hardeen, via a clever coin effect courtesy of Will Goldston and an imaginative children’s piece from S. S. Henry. The explanations in CIGAM are concise but clear, and illustrations accompany the text where necessary, as do photographs of each contributor. Don’t underestimate this little booklet — it’s brimming with clever ideas and great magic!