The Blister Book (Jack Kent Tillar)


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Once or twice every century, a new principle is discovered in our mystery field. In 1972, Jack Kent Tillar’s Blister Effect was first published in Tarbell Volume 7. Harry Lorayne wrote, “As far as I know, this principle is new to magic.” The effect is that a performer mysteriously makes a blister appear on the tip of his or her finger. Since its publication, this unique effect has become well-known and used by most mentalists and magicians.

However, most people don’t know that Jack Kent Tillar, and Academy Award-winning composer and highly respected mentalist, had an extensive amount of work published in Magick, Genii, Invocation, and other notable publications. He has influenced many of the top professionals in mentalism today.

Now, thirty-five years later, this book celebrates all the individual ingenuity that performers have brought to this classic. Included in this volume is Jack Kent Tillar’s original unpublished routine for the Blister Effect. It also contains over fifty cherished routines, ideas, wisdom, and secret devices for stage, close-up, and even radio, many of them guarded secrets, from some of today’s biggest mentalism talents.

Contributors include:

Michael Weber, Banachek, Paul Harris, Marc Salem, Richard Osterlind, Barrie Richardson, Alain Nu, Penn & Teller, Richard Busch, Ted Karmilovich, Mark Edward, Larry Becker, Gerard Senehi, Ray Grismer, Newell Unfried, E. Raymond Carlyle, Joseph White, Tony Andruzzi, Richard Mark, Jheff, Loren Tindall, Robin Dewitt, Gerald Blount, Leo Behnke, Burton Sperber, Joe Zabel, Pasqual Perino, Odes Odhner, James Gallivan, Leo Kostka, Michael Selwyn, Alberto, Peter Marucci, Robert Fenton and Bill Herz.

Pages 172 – Softbound

Reviewed by Bryce Kuhlman

“Who knew there was so much work on such a simple idea? 170 pages of presentation ideas and over 80 chapters. It’s hard to review an item like this. One simple idea and a seemingly infinite number of adaptations. What can I say? I can that there’s probably something for everyone. You’ll find lots of methods as well as presentation ranging from the bizarre to the comical to the futuristic.”

“Is it worth investigating? I guess that’s the real question I have to answer in a review. In this case, I think it is. I have two main reasons for my conclusion:

1. “It’s an anytime/anywhere effect. Whatever you need to make the “blister” can easily be carried on your person. In a pinch, you could find something at almost any venue that would work.”

2. “The method is so stupidly simple that you can focus all of your efforts on presentation. Even if you don’t take to any of the routines in this book, I’m sure something with spark your creative fire.”

“We’ve all been asked to perform on-the-spot at some point. If you’ve had to beg out because you weren’t prepared, this book would be a very wise investment.”