Thursday, October 18, 2007

Throw Your Voice Like a Professional!

Wesley Stace has a funny and appealing list, at the Guardian, of the top ten books about ventriloquism (a sinister art, needless to say--and I rather have a feeling I've read a few novels featuring ventriloquism that don't make an appearance here, must mull that one over--but I am definitely tempted to go and read all these!).


  1. Am I misremembering, or is there an evil ventriloquist's dummy in William Goldman's Magic? I read all of Goldman in about six weeks back in my sophomore year of high school, and while I bet I wouldn't think much of them now, they sure made an impression at the time.

  2. "Magic" is a about a schizoid ventriloquist who uses his dummy to express his aggressive side; he ends up going completely psycho and, at the dummy's urging, kills off every other character in the book. (The is-he-crazy-or-is-his-dummy-a-monster? wheeze had actually already been out there for a long time before Goldman picked it up; Sir Michael Redgrave gave a great performance as a fruitcake ventriloqist in the 1945 British film "Dead of Night." And way back in 1929, Erich von Stroheim starred in a movie called "The Great Gabbo" where the gimmick was reversed--he only acted like a nice guy when it was the puppet doing the talking.

    I read Goldman in high school myself. Unless they're serious about "The True History of the Kelly Gang", it's actually the only book about a ventriloquist that I remember ever having read.

  3. Have you seen the film adaptation of MAGIC? I recently watched it along with other vent. movies — it was definitely the most consistent/interesting...