Conjuring Credits

The Origins of Wonder

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Miscalling a Page Number

Miscalling the identity of a playing card has a long history. Applying the same idea to force a page number in a book or magazine test seems to have first appeared in Richard Himber's “Transcendental Book Test”, published in The Tarbell Course in Magic, Vol. 4 by Harlan Tarbell, 1945; see p. 194. In this application, the miscall is used in a longer procedure that forces both a page and line number.

The step of simplifying the procedure to force just a page is used in Tony Cordina's “Zarkamorta II” (a treatment of Herbert Milton's “A Page of Mystery”; see Pegasus Page) in 13 Steps to Mentalism, Step 7, 1959; see p. 205.

David Hoy, with his “Bold Book Test” in The Bold and Subtle Methods of Dr. Faust (1963, p. 21), popularized the miscalling of a page number. Hoy's book test is a simplification of Himber's “Transcendental Book Test”, which eliminates the forcing of a line and the calculation that accompanies it.