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LARRY BAUKIN ANTHOLOGY

by

$50

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The Blurb

– The definitive collection from one of the acknowledged
masters and pioneers of Bizarre Magick

– Includes 3 out-of-print and hard-to-find books

– 71 Original Bizarre Magick presentations

– Over 200 pages in fully-searchable PDF format

– Available for the first time in a single easy-to-reference
volume

“Now, that’s a major no-brainer.”

That was the thought that immediately went through my mind
when Larry Baukin asked me the question, “Do you think there
would be any interest in a compilation of my three books and
various articles from The New Invocation, MAGICK, Seance and
The Altar Flame?”

While there is the possibility that some people might not be
familiar with Larry Baukin or the ground-breaking nature of
the publications his work appeared in during the 80s and
90s, I suspect that anyone interested in the field of
Bizarre Magick has at least heard the name, and possibly
read some of his highly intriguing contributions to the art.

So, when we first started talking about the idea of a Larry
Baukin anthology, I was very excited, to say the least.

Who IS Larry Baukin?

If this isn’t the first time you’ve visited The Pro Shop,
you probably know Larry Baukin as the co-author (along with
Ron Martin) of the Martin Baukin series of e-books (for more
information, go here). I first encountered Larry many years
ago through his numerous contributions to The New Invocation
and MAGICK, and at the time I marveled at the way he was
able to craft compelling presentations from a wide array of
themes, ranging from voodoo and old-time medicine shows to
witchcraft, seances, carnivals and the Bermuda Triangle.

It was obvious to me that Larry was greatly respected by the
publishers of The New Invocation and MAGICK (and The Altar
Flame and Seance, as well), if only by the sheer number of
times he appeared in those pages. In particular, The New
Invocation, originally published by Tony Andruzzi and later
by Docc Hilford, exhibited its high regard for Larry by
publishing four special One-Man issues devoted to Larry’s
work alone.

In recent years, Larry has concentrated on creating
innovative reading systems based on traditional oracles such
as tea leaves, playing cards and wax drippings (!), all of
which he uses in his professional practice. It is rare to
find someone who is equally comfortable with both the Tarot
and the thumbtip, but then it’s equally challenging to find
someone quite like Larry who can write about them in clear,
concise and easy-to-understand language.

What’s in The Larry Baukin Anthology

At 219 pages, this e-book is one of the largest publications
released by The Pro Shop, making it an incredible value for
bizarrists and mentalists alike. It contains Dr. Fathom’s
Amusements, Laughing Souls and Other Bizarre Visitations,
and The Book of Aleister Crowley (all three of which are now
out of print), plus all of Larry’s contributions to The New
Invocation, MAGICK, Seance and The Altar Flame… a total of
71 original presentations, all within a single Adobe PDF
document, making it extremely easy to find exactly what
you’re looking for.

Here’s a closer look at the contents…

Dr. Fathom’s Amusements
It’s hard for me to pick which of Larry’s books is my
favorite, but considering my love of the detective noir
genre and my avid interest in the gritty and sometimes
surreal world of the carnival, this one is a real contender.
Written in a style that brings to mind Dashiell Hammett and
Raymond Chandler, Dr. Fathom’s Amusements follows the
investigation of a psychic detective as he tries to uncover
the truth behind a woman’s disappearance, with all clues
pointing to a carnival run by the elusive Dr. Fathom.

Each of the chapters in the book is actually a
self-contained Bizarre routine with a carnival theme,
complete with presentation dialogue and full explanations.
During the course of the investigation, the reader
encounters pickled punks, a magical stripper, the Spider
Lady, the Freak Mentalist, a Three-Shell Operator, Abdul the
Card-Playing Turk, and other shifty characters. Although you
probably wouldn’t want to do all ten routines in one
performance (unless you were doing a full evening show), you
could easily modify the stories and present three or four of
the routines as a suite.

Laughing Souls and Other Bizarre Visitations

Like the majority of Larry’s material, the presentations in
Laughing Souls and Other Bizarre Visitations are easy,
practical and versatile. Themes covered in the thirteen
routines in this book include Brazilian spirit mediumship,
medieval mountebanks, a Salem witch seance, Civil War
psychokinesis, a trio of Mexican mysteries, a 19th century
medicine show, and three seances from Hitler’s Germany. Be
forewarned that most (if not all) of the stories in this
collection are potentially quite disturbing and should only
be presented to mature audiences — and you should probably
exercise discretion even then.

The Book of Aleister Crowley:
Nine Dreams in the Life
of
The Wickedest Man in the World

At the time of its original publication, this book marked
the first time Aleister Crowley appeared in the literature
of Bizarre Magick, which is in itself another proof of the
ground-breaking nature of Larry’s work. Having spent a fair
amount of time myself researching the life of Aleister
Crowley, I was very interested (and very pleased) to see how
effectively Larry had incorporated Bizarre Magick into the
Crowleyan mythos. While not a full biography of The Beast,
The Book of Aleister Crowley succeeds in conveying a good
understanding of the surreal life of one of the most
notorious necromancers in history. Each of the nine routines
contained in this book is based on actual events in
Crowley’s life, and can be staged as a separate presentation
or, as Larry suggests, “combined to form an evening with the
roguish mage.”
Collected Writings

In addition to all of the routines contained in Larry’s
three books, there are an additional 38 presentations that
ran in the now-legendary New Invocation, MAGICK, Seance and
Altar Flame. Many of these routines are structured as
seances, calling forth from the Other Side such luminaries
as Edgar Allan Poe, H.P. Lovecraft, ocean liner gamblers,
17th century witches, Mary Todd Lincoln, Roaring 20s
gangsters, New Orleans psychics, 14th century magicians,
Inquisition heretics, and (as you have already guessed) many
more.

It’s interesting to note how easily Larry was able to tailor
his writing from one publication to another, perhaps most
notably in the case of Bascom Jones’ MAGICK, which tended to
have a more contemporary focus. Within this context,
presentations are more streamlined (but no less compelling),
and explore topics such as crop circles, hypnosis,
pendulums, ESP research and Einstein’s universe.

Perfect For All Levels of Performers…
… who are into Bizarre Magick, of course. Needless to say,
if you aren’t into the spooky stuff, this anthology probably
isn’t for you.

If you are, however, you’ll surely appreciate these
creations from the mind of one of the original pioneers of
Bizarre Magick, regardless of your own performance level.
Amateurs (and remember the literal Latin translation of that
word is “lover”) will not only learn new methods and
techniques, but will invariably gain understanding of the
dramatic and effective elements that go into successful
story-based presentations.

Professionals, on the other hand, will find many of Larry’s
presentations to have a catalytic effect on their own
creative efforts, making this collection the basis for a
motherlode of new material with a bizarre theme. Both
amateur and professional alike will certainly enjoy reading
this anthology for the sheer entertainment value of it,
since the majority of the entries read like a self-contained
short story, and all of them deal with themes and topics
that never fail to be thought-provoking.

I haven’t checked eBay lately, but I imagine that to get all
of the three out-of-print and hard-to-find books — plus all
of Larry’s contributions to The New Invocation, MAGICK,
Seance and The Altar Flame — would prove to be difficult
and run quite a bit more than the cost of this updated
digital anthology. Plus, to have all of Larry’s writings in
one convenient place (with the benefit of PDF searchability,
no less) will prove invaluable when looking for something
specific within the 219 page volume.

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My Comments

I'm vaguely familiar with the work of Larry Baukin.  I must
admit that I'm not a bizarre magick performer, but I
thoroughly enjoyed reading this material.  That said, this
whopping 219 page collection (a downloadable PDF) of 3 books
and collected writings contains more than 60 routines.  The
blurb nicely details the contents and introduces you to
Larry Baukin, if you don't know who he is.

So, let's make this real simple.  For the price, which is a
real bargain, there is no question that if you perform
bizarre magick or are a fan of it, then you should get this.