The Bullet Trick by Louise WelshWhen down-at-heel conjurer William Wilson gets booked for a string of cabaret gigs in Berlin, he is hoping his luck is on the turn. There were certain spectators from his last show hed rather forget.
Amongst the showgirls and tricksters of Berlins scandalous underground William can abandon his heart, his head and, more importantly, his past. But secrets have a habit of catching up with him, and the line between the act and reality starts to blur.
Bringing the seedy glamour of the burlesque scene magnificantly to life, Louise Welshs deft contemporary tale is her richest and most macabre yet. The Bullet Trick is also an unputdownable thriller that will keep you guessing till its final explosive flourish.
This book did not live up to the hype. At all. And, in addition to the last sentence of the blurb there, there are also five very effusive endorsements from other authors, all of which make me very dubious about the quality of their writing, if theyre so impressed by Welshs. Because really, it was not only not as exciting as they all promised, but it was actually quite dull.
For one thing, the blurb kind of implies that the really horrible thing happened before he went to Berlin, and that he went to Berlin to escape it, only to have it catch up to him there. But the really horrible thing happened in Berlin, and he went back to Scotland to try and drown his sorrows about it.
In basically an entirely separate and unrelated story, theres the thing he was actually trying to escape in Berlin. Which didnt even have anything to do with him. Now, people frequently get embroiled in things that have nothing to do with them in books, but when that happens, usually whatever the thing was will somehow became entwined in whatever the characters current situation is, and it will end up having to do with the character in question. This one didnt. There was this secret about the disappearance of the mother of the boyfriend of an old friend of the narrators. And thats as close as it ever gets, except for the fact that William does end up in possession of a piece of evidence in the matter, and thus finds himself marginally involved. But never in a thrilling sort of way or anything. Its just there, and hes a practically disinterested bystander.
The other thing, the one that happens in Berlin, barely really fits into the story at all, except that its the reason hes back in Glasgow, drinking himself into oblivion. Then the twist at the end happens, and its not quite and then he woke up, but it has almost that kind of feel to it. It certainly wouldnt qualify as an explosive flourish.
All of which led to the book feeling very aimless for at least half the duration. We didnt know anything about the horrible thing that was going to happen in Berlin (although I did start to guess), and not much about the other thing, either. And it alternated most of the way between chapters in Berlin, in the past, and chapters in Glasgow, in the present. With a few chapters of even older past thrown in to help confuse matters further, so the first part of the book was not only a little dull, but a touch confusing and disorienting, too.
So all in all, not one I was fond of, and one that falls pretty firmly on the Dont bother list.
Penn and Teller Nail Gun
The bullet catch is a stage magic illusion in which a magician appears to catch a bullet fired directly at them — often in their mouth, sometimes in their hand or sometimes caught with other items such as a dinner plate. The trick usually involves a gun which is loaded and operated by someone with a knowledge of firearms to demonstrate that no deception is being used. In most instances, the bullet is marked by an audience member so that it can be identified later. Great efforts are usually made to show that the person firing the gun does not come in contact with the person catching the bullet. When magicians Penn and Teller perform the bullet catch, in which each simultaneously catches a bullet shot by the other, a line is drawn down the center of the stage, demonstrating that neither will cross to the other side. When done by Dorothy Dietrich and Ted Annemann the bullets to be used are purchased by a committee ahead of time, kept under guard until performance time, and the bullets are chosen at random at the time of the performance.
TV Review: On Sunday night, the illusionists got trigger-happy. Paul Daniels once did the bullet-catching trick, a piece of information that somehow takes the edge off things. Magic has indeed entered a new era. Modern magicians have shunned the cloak and emphatic adjectives. They wear Savile Row suits and are neither Amazing nor Marvellous.
[Magic] Penn and Teller magic bullets Revealed
Originally Posted by BenBurch. Originally Posted by volatile. I can't for the life of me work it out. It's one of the best tricks I've ever seen I noticed that Penn did not allow the participants to hold the cartridges after the bullets were marked. I had to watch it more than twice before I figured it out. I can catch a bullet in my mouth too, as long I put it in my mouth with my hand.