This is a book that spans forty years of a unique friendship and a shared love of magic that take you from the halcyon days when eight young London magicians haunted the Magic Dealers, the Variety Theatres and street-corner cafes every Saturday, right up to the present day.
This youthful coterie of Cagliostros was the spawning ground of a style of magic that in those days was called “pocket tricks,” which led to enthusiasm for and development of some of the finest contemporary magic that is now deemed classic.
Some of the group became world names in the art while others retired from magic, and some later re-emerged in their twilight years to demonstrate a continuing passion.
It’s hard nowadays to visualize Jack Avis, Alex Elmsley, Roy Walton, Bobby Bernard, Ted Danson and John Derris sitting in cafes, making two cups of coffee last four hours while they demonstrated, argued and theorized on the pros and cons of close-up magic, having just read the latest magazines from the USA and meeting the parade of overseas magicians visiting London.
But from such youthful zeal emerged a thinking and style of magic that was to withstand the years and make some of these men world-famous.
Who in magic does not use the Elmsley Count? Is there anyone who has not read and used one of Jack Avis’s five hundred published items, and surely there is no self-respecting card magician who today would not include Roy Walton’s “The Collectors” or “Card Warp” in his repertoire?
This book includes all the effects that were first described in 193 in a small publication called Come a Little Closer; effects that have stood the test of time and are still being presented today. But the contributors have also included many more routines that have been developed during the last forty years, a considerable number being published for the first time, and others that are currently in use by their originators such as John Derris’s “Staggering” and Ted Danson’s “Diary Trick.”
If you love close-up magic, you will find material between these covers that you can use – some requiring the basic skill needed by any practicing close-up worker, but all requiring presentation – the very essence of good magic.
The book is a tribute to the deep fellowship that often comes with the practice of magic, a fellowship that has lasted in this case since the ’50s. It is in this environment of a shared passion that fine magic is often evolved, and I am certain that you will sense this as you read the thinking, inventiveness and comments of a group of magicians who early on found their own serendipity.
Table of Contents
Session One . . . Jack Avis
Cards of Pegasus
The Siva Fold
The Siva Folded Card to Wallet
Session Two . . . Bobby Bernard
BB Drops Them Again
Session Three . . . Ted Danson
The Seance Card Trick
Give Me a Ring
It’s a Date
Session Four . . . John Derris
Monte Cristo Ring
One in Three
Hockleys’ Coin Vanish
The Big Squeeze
Session Five . . . Alex Elmsley
Point of Departure
Card Counting Rhyme
Session Six . . . Arthur Holland
Cut and Restored Cigarette
Session Seven . . . Hugh Scott
Fern Court Glide Bluff
Session Eight . . . Tommy Vanderschmidt
Repeat Card in Hat
Session Nine . . . Roy Walton
All Hands on Deck
The Alternate Shift
The Invisible Plan
What’s Wrong With Magic