It was the oldest trick in the book, but in her experience only the best tricks survived to become old tricks.
—Adam Fawer, Improbable (2005)
It was the oldest trick in the book, but we were acutely short on tricks at the moment.
—Jay Vick, Poisoned Medicine (2002)
I know, it's the oldest trick in the book, but it must work for some people or,
I assume, it wouldn't be in the book at all.
—Barbara Pachter, The Jerk with the Cell Phone (2004)
[I was] thinking about how this had to be the oldest trick in the book, and wondering if there really was a book.
—Kelli Jae Baeli, Armchair Detective (2005)
It was the oldest trick in the book, but it had worked flawlessly.
—Clive Barker, Coldheart Canyon (2002)
I fell for the oldest trick in the book, and I wrote the damned book.
—Michael Silverhawk, Drifters: The Final Testament (2004)
[E]ven the oldest trick in the world still has new life in it if you give it some thought.
—Anthony Owen, "A Review of 'Cyclops' by Bob Farmer" (2000)
Sometimes in the movies, when the bad guy is holding a gun on the good
guy, the good guy says, "It won't work, Scarfelli. My men are
right behind you with their guns drawn." And the bad guy says, "You can't fool me, Murdoch, that's the oldest trick in the
book." Well, exactly what book are these guys talking
about? Have you ever seen a book with a bunch of tricks in
it? Magic tricks, maybe, but I don't think the thing with the
guns would be in there, do you? A prostitute might have a book of
tricks, but once again, probably no mention of the two guys with the
guns. And anyway, even if there really were a book with a lot of
tricks in it, how would you know which trick was the oldest? They
were all printed at the same time. You'd have to say, "You can't
fool me, Murdoch, that's the trick that appears earliest in the
book." But that's not good movie dialogue, is it?
—George Carlin, Brain Droppings (1997)
"A closing cadence ... is the oldest confidence trick of them all — knowing all the time, as one does, that there is scarcely a statement one can make that does not slip bit by bit with every word further and further from what to begin with showed every promise of encompassing some simple, serviceable truth." —the hilarious N. F. Simpson
in his spoof interview with The Transatlantic Review
(Summer 1966) [via Jonathan Caws-Elwitt
"Don't for a moment believe that no one will find out. That's the oldest trick in the book."
—Angus Buchan, Come of Age
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