The Chronicles by Karl Fulves

Reviewed by Jamy Ian Swiss (originally published in Genii December, 1997)

Karl Fulves produced some of the most influential journals of the 1960s, '70s and '80s, including Epilogue, the Pallbearer's Review, and later, the Chronicles. The Chronicles was ostensibly the continuation, after a brief gap, of the Pallbearer's Review, which began in November of 1965 and came to end with the October issue of 1975, which probably did not see print until some time in 1977 (and here you thought Genii had sole ownership of that practice). Chronicles began its run of 36 issues and two Close-Up Folios in 1978, reaching completion a decade later. Like Pallbearer's Review, Chronicles specialized in close-up magic, and contained a wide variety of material; not only magic with cards, but with balls, bills, cigarettes, coins, dice, rope, rubber bands and more, along with a healthy dose of mentalism. The contributors were an impressive bunch, including Derek Dingle, Martin Gardner, John Cornelius, Sam Schwartz, J.K. Hartman, Sid Lorraine, Roy Walton, Slydini, Dai Vernon, and many, many more. Much of this material was widely discussed, varied, traded and circulated throughout sessions and/or dealers' shelves and the like during the decade.

There is a huge quantity of first-rate and useable magic here, from the famed topological oddity HyperCard to Stewart Judah's Oil and Water. For fans of clever magic with slum props there is a routine with the old wooden coin slide. There are stories, finesses, subtleties, close-up magic of every conceivable stripe; the list is endless. Occasional bits of finesse, like Slydini's touches on the Okito Coin Box, will delight readers as much as in-depth entries like a lengthy discussion of impromptu levitations, about which we have seen so much of late. While the originals of the Chronicles were accompanied by a stapled sheet entitled the Interlocutor, which was often filled with Mr. Fulves's invariable passion for fussing and feuding, unfortunately that entertaining material is not included here. The editor's inevitable political embattlements aside, this compilation contains a remarkable quantity and quality of material, and the price renders it an unbeatable bargain. This is the kind of book—it's been said before about such compendiums, but it bears repeating—to place on your nightstand, to discover and savor a few pages each night.

8 - 1/2" X 11" laminated hardcover; 395 pages; 1997; profusely illustrated with line drawings; Publisher: L&L Publishing