“There are men and women in magic who move along beneath the surface of events, quietly affecting and influencing the actions of their more public peers. They are highly respected, often consulted, and genuinely admired by the alert and intelligent in the magic community. Norman Houghton of Canada is one of these.”
—from the introduction by David Drake
Norm Houghton was a friend of Howard Lyons and a regular at FFFF. For over sixty years, he contributed much material not only to Howard’s famous Ibidem magazine, but also to Abra, Apocalypse,The Bat, The Gen, Genii, Hugard’s Magic Monthly, The Jinx, The Linking Ring, New Pentagram, The New Phoenix, Tops, Pallbearer’s Review, Precursor, Ruminations, The Sphinx, The Trapdoor, as well as several books.
Now, for the first time, all of Norm’s published magic — as well as some unpublished material — is available in one place. Here you will find easy-to-do magic with cards, coins, ropes, silks, and more, as well as tips, ideas, gags, pure comedy routines and one-liners. Included are:
- The Slide and its uses: a short treatise on the Hofzinser card pass
- A Study in Frustration: in which you attempt to find the 51 cards chosen by the spectator — but always find the not-chosen card instead!
- How to Stretch a Rubber Band: a rubber band stretches to three times its length in the hands
- Palms-up Switch: a virtually move-less switch for coins or other small objects
- Chinese Mindreading: in which you correctly guess what the spectators are not thinking of!
- Optional Oracle: a notepad for making predictions with up to NINE outs!
- Facsimile Knot: perhaps the cleanest way of putting a false knot in a silk
and much, much more. The tricks are as much fun to read as they are to perform and to watch. Most come with humorous presentations that are just delightful. For anyone who enjoys off-beat, humorous and easy-to-do magic, Wit & Wizardry is a genuine find!
A hand-bound, limited edition of Wit & Wizardry is also available.
Mike Close, Magic, June 1998: “Wit & Wizardry is a worthwhile collection of material from a man who was a clever thinker and a fine human being. Recommended.”
Phil Willmarth, The Linking Ring, July 1998: “Norm Houghton was a delightful man and this is a delightful book. Highly recommended to anyone who loves wordplay, intelligent and humorous patter, and subtle magic.”
David Goodsell, M.U.M., June 1998: “Wit & Wizardry is good, solid magic. I recommend it.”