BOOKS / In the lists

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IT'S a bad day for writers when not one but two titles in the Top 15 have no text at all. Magic Eye, by N E Thing Enterprises, is a slim, colourful and incredibly annoying book of 3-D illusions: computer-generated patterns inside which you (and I mean you, not me) can see another, ghostly, three-dimensional image, if only you can click your eyes into 'deep vision'. It's like learning to ride a bicycle, the introduction says comfortingly, urging us to try, try, try again: diverge the eyes, cross the eyes, hold the image to your nose . . . And if the spectacle of your friends squinting and hopping on one foot and clutching a book to their nose isn't preposterous enough, the intro (understanding all the way) warns that the unsuccessful neophyte 'seer' might suffer 'performance anxiety'. The people suffering from performance anxiety, no doubt, will be those still writing boring outdated old books with words in them - especially when they hear that Magic Eye has sold 65,000 in Britain (add noughts for Japan, Korea, Australia, the US, etc), while its successor, Magic Eye 2, has shot to No 1 with a sale of 60,000 copies in a week.