The Bullet Trick
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The year-old magician was filming the famous bullet catch trick for his show Beyond Magic , which aired on E4 last night.
David Blaine's Attempt To Catch A Bullet In His Mouth Went Painfully Wrong | HuffPost
In a new twist on the old trick he now pulls the trigger on himself, in front of 20, people in Vegas. He gets himself ready, by popping on a bullet proof vest and putting in a gum shield with a cup in it to catch the bullet. So far so Blaine. But shortly before he pulled the trigger the cup started moving.
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Drummond performs. He engages in some head-scratching mind-reading on the same audience volunteer, asking him to think of various aspects of his life without verbalizing them. Before the volunteer tells us what they are, Mr. Drummond has written names, dates and details on pieces of paper. Later they join together to perform a trick involving a levitating table. Unusually Mr. Drummond then draws back the veil to reveal the mechanics behind the trick, for those who are interested.
Preferring my illusions to remain illusions — in the theater, at least — I kept my eyes closed. The main event, I must register, strikes me as in terrible taste. 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 they're so impressed by Welsh's.
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, there's the thing he was actually trying to escape in Berlin. Which didn't 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 character's current situation is, and it will end up having to do with the character in question. This one didn't. There was this secret about the disappearance of the mother of the boyfriend of an old friend of the narrator's.
And that's 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. It's just there, and he's a practically disinterested bystander. The other thing, the one that happens in Berlin, barely really fits into the story at all, except that it's the reason he's back in Glasgow, drinking himself into oblivion.
Then the twist at the end happens, and it's not quite "and then he woke up," but it has almost that kind of feel to it. It certainly wouldn't qualify as an "explosive flourish. We didn't 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 "Don't bother" list. View 2 comments. Apr 13, Richard Kunzmann rated it liked it. William Wilson is a magician on the last leg of a faltering career when an old friend asks him to do a second-rate show in a London strip club. The story is set in three cities — Glasgow, London and Berlin — and Welsh effortlessly shifts between locations without losing the reader.
Feb 24, Peter Weissman rated it really liked it. Good book. I have to accept that despite turning my back on "literature" after my teens, I do need "real" books. I'm not actually at home with mainstream books and probably never will be. I was looking for what I want and need in genre fiction, but a good book always has elements of mystery in it, a real book deals with sex in some way at some point.
Welsh does so very obliquely in this novel I'm not sure how one reviewer characterised the protagonist, and I'm hesitant to judge on his reaction Good book. Equally I thought I detested multiple flashbacks, but most of my good authors have them, see also: mystery-revealed, see also: Gale.
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Twice I think Welsh could have cut and merged, but overall it worked well - and of course she's a truly good writer. I hate the cover, wish I had the other one, but oddly enough the text managed to make the obviousness of it seem less so. Two further plus points are the two older women the missing woman's sister's ire at everyman thinking it was always about sex and that the protagonist ends up drinking and gambling just as in the beginning - if this was his journey into the heart of darkness, as one review-line said, it didn't change him, nor explain to us why he is like he is which, incidentially, is a good person.
It's also not "slick" as another review-line said, because slick implies superficial, and while assured this is not fake. ETA: some words about the main theme - it did seem too close to Welsh's famous first novel, but then again there is a real lack of critique at the pleasure mostly men get from seeing females hurt, and it is a different story to the historical search of the gay auctioneer in Cutting Room.
If her second novel is also about a gay man, then that's another thread I don't mind in Welsh's case - she is a very different caliber to the many female authors writing gay men these days. Fingers crossed for Maria McCann as well. Mar 14, Carole rated it really liked it. I picked up this book from my library, the picture first caught my eye and then the title, and when I read the blurb and noticed that some of it was set in Berlin I was travelling to Berlin soon I just had to borrow it. And I'm really pleased that I did as I absolutely loved it.
The story starts in present day Glasgow and travels back and forth in time to Berlin and London narrated by William Wilson, Mentalist and Illusionist, who was the warm-up act for a whole trough of comedians I picked up this book from my library, the picture first caught my eye and then the title, and when I read the blurb and noticed that some of it was set in Berlin The story starts in present day Glasgow and travels back and forth in time to Berlin and London narrated by William Wilson, Mentalist and Illusionist, who was the warm-up act for a whole trough of comedians and stand ups.
The guy nobody came to see. When his agent sends him to a London club for a gig he somehow gets mixed up in a missing persons mystery, involving the police and blackmail, and where, shortly after, two men are found shot to death, he decides it would be a good idea to disappear and take another job in a cabaret club in Berlin As the chapters alternate between the different cities and the different times, I loved the way Louise Welsh built up the suspense, we knew something terrible had happened to William earlier but the clues are slowly dragged out and the story never slows or gets boring.
Even though William is not the most endearing of characters, he drinks too much, smokes too much, and at the beginning of the book he gambles too much, but his witty and dry humour had me laughing out loud a couple of times and I found myself liking him more and more as his life starts to unravel in the darkly gothic world of glamour and magic. The descriptions of his illusionist acts were fascinating, all the various larger than life characters were well-defined and I was totally engrossed from start to finish.
Dec 07, Kirsty Darbyshire rated it liked it Shelves: library-book. Jul 27, J rated it it was ok Shelves: hard-boiled-noir , murder. Disappointing because I loved The Cutting Room so much. The novel is set variously in Glasgow, London and Berlin and intercuts between the three at intervals. It starts with William Wilson, mentalist and illusionist, having fled back to Glasgow to hide after a sojourn as a conjuror in the Berlin night club Schall und Rauch has gone wrong. Montgomery wants it back - even tracking him down to Berlin.
Only once back in Glasgow does Wilson open the package to see what it contains. This is where the whole enterprise falls into what I might call the standard thriller plot. If a faker is telling you something then you must expect fakery. Of the four Welsh novels I have read so far the best has been Tamburlaine Must Die , perhaps due to its historical setting. Aug 14, Ape rated it really liked it Shelves: crime , england , germany-holland-belgium-austria , scotland.
Louise Welsh has a very compelling way of writing. This is the second book of hers I've read, and again, I've just rattled through it. The seediness is back again that I vaguely remember from the Cutting Room. This time it's the world of conjurers in the night club scene, dancers and exotic dancers, slightly less than legal business men and so forth. The book is set in three places and times, London, Glasgow and Berlin, and it skips between the three so that you don't find out what went on in e Louise Welsh has a very compelling way of writing. The book is set in three places and times, London, Glasgow and Berlin, and it skips between the three so that you don't find out what went on in each place until the end.
Although I did kind of see the Berlin bit coming ho ho ho, aren't I the perceptive one , although I still don't really get why someone would pay a lot of money for the kind of pathetic performance that was given at the end. William Wilson is a Glaswegian magician working in London.
He gets hired as a warm up act for a couple of exotic dancers at a policeman's retirement do, and in the duration of the evening is "persuaded" by the club owner to lift something out of one of the policeman's jackets.
Of course no one tells William the truth about exactly what it is, but because of this little thievery, he's dragged into a decades old mystery. One that gets more contemporary when he finds out a few days later than the club owner has been murdered. By this point he's taken a job in Berlin even though he doesn't speak German and isn't a star, and believes himself to be safely out of the way. But the London mystery seems to be tracking him to Germany and then onwards to Glasgow, whilst at the same time he gets mixed up in what I will only describe as perverted oddness in Berlin. Nov 22, Alison Hardtmann rated it really liked it Shelves: read-but-unowned.
William dropped out of university years ago. He was convinced that magic was due for a comeback and as a conjurer, he was headed for the big time. It wasn't and neither was he. A decade later he's drinking too much and taking the small jobs his agent sends his way. One of these leads to a side job to steal an envelope after a job at a strip club. He still had the envelope when the people who hired him are murdered and he flees to Berlin, to a steady gig at an Erotische Cabaret.
Welsh wrote an ex William dropped out of university years ago. Welsh wrote an excellent debut novel, The Cutting Room and this book continues in the same dark vein. William is a man who has come not to expect much from people or life, and is rarely disappointed. He's still basically an ethical man, no matter the ease at which he accepts the odd bribe to look the other way, and willing to confront his own incriminating acts if necessary. Although I read this book 11 years ago, I still remember enjoying the unexpected twists and turns of the pot, and the decadence of Berlin.
I've always been a huge fan of Louise Welsh, who lived in my friend's flat when she was at Glasgow Uni. I particularly adore The Cutting Room, as that reminds me of how wonderful the West End was in the late '80s, with it's mixture of sometimes very distinctive characters, great bars and unusual shops. Now it's full of wankers, and the unique shops have gon Although I read this book 11 years ago, I still remember enjoying the unexpected twists and turns of the pot, and the decadence of Berlin. Now it's full of wankers, and the unique shops have gone.