Book Review: “Bamboozlers”

I’ve been carrying around Volumes Two and Three of “Diamond” Jim Tyler’s “Bamboozlers” series for a couple of days now, and I’m quite convinced they’re worth every penny you might spend on a copy.  I want to find a copy of Volume One, but many places I’ve checked say it’s out of print.  Regardless, if you’re shameless, carry a bit of charisma with you, and apply the bits you’ll find in the “Bamboozlers” series you will make back the money you spend on them.  That’s because each is filled with bar bets, brain teasers, and gags you can apply to win free drinks, scam your pals for money, and more.

One of the best aspects of the Bamboozlers series is their size and appearance.  They’re leather-bound and small enough to fit in a pocket.  I’ve easily kept both volumes I purchased in my left pants pocket for a couple of days now, but I tend to wear pants with a lot of pocket space.  Another great feature is the size of each “bit of business,” as Diamond Jim labels them.  Each takes up approximately two to three pages, so you won’t waste too much time learning each gimmick.  There’s even bookmarks in each book so if you’re working on one “bit of business” you’ll be able to mark your place without trouble and come back easily when you’re ready to learn again.

Another great aspect of the Bamboozlers series is you really don’t need much in the way of special gimmicks or gaffes to perform the stunts and gags in the books.  You may need playing cards and some change, but that’s about it.  Just about everything can be done with common items.  If you know me, you know I’m not shy of using a gimmick or gaffe, but I think it’s pretty awesome Diamond Jim created all of these bits with economy in mind.  Purchasing magic effects and books can cost quite a bit, and many times don’t always come with a return investment unless you’re actually working in magic.  Diamond Jim’s books give you the ability to get a return on investment for a decent price.

A few of my favorites from Volume Two are “Odd Coins,” the “Card Conundrum,” and the “$3.41 Challenge,” all of which I’ve abused repeatedly.  Volume Three I’m just now processing, but I dig Mental Monte, the Hitchhiker Bill, and the Faceout Five.  No matter your preference, you’re sure to find a few gags, stunts, or bets to play on your friends or unsuspecting passer by.  Just don’t go for the “Beer bonking” bit in Volume 2 unless you’re with a really good friend, because you might get slapped.

You can find Volumes 2 and 3 of Bamboozlers on Amazon.  Both are worth the price, whatever you pay.