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Description There are many accepted classic texts in card magic and this is almost certainly one of them. Written by respected magic author Stephen Minch this is the first in a two volume series that collects Mr Elmsleys unique take on magic covering cards, coins, cups and balls and much much more. The book was written by Stephen Minch with very little input from Mr. Elmsley who removed himself from the magic community to focus on his technical work. The book is a collation of material submitted by Mr. Elmsley along with records and notes kept by his colleagues and close friends. We should be grateful to those who took the time to record this material as well as to Mr. Minch for gathering it together.
Ideally you should get somebody else to do the critisism for you; preferably somebody whose job is theatrical direction or production. Failing that, find any ordinary human being. Failing a human being try a magician.
Alex Elmsley (1975)
The above quote is typical of Mr. Elmsley and is probably why I like his work so much. This quote comes from the first section of the book which covers magic theory and performance. Although short this section is a must read and I can’t help but think almost everyone will gain benefit from his “Automatic Producer”, a method for reviewing and improving your own performance.
The second section is of course a set of count based card effects including the ghost (elmsley), evergreen and nevergreen counts. Your introduced to the Ghost Count by way of the classic “Four Card Trick”, the granddaddy of most packet tricks around today. Despite its age (1954) its still a wonderful effect and its great to see it in print as taught by the originator. One thing that struck me while reading through the effects, was that despite their age they are very fresh. This is quality material that is usable today, not some stuffy historical reference. I know enough about magic to understand that nothing is new, but I was surprised just how fresh this work is.
The third section contains comments and variations on sleights. From shifts, to changes, to palming and even a pass. There should be something for everyone here. This isn’t where should learn these sleights from, but should introduce the reader to some interesting variations.
The fourth section contains effects that don’t use playing cards, cunningly titled “Minus Fifty Two”. A nice collection of effects including torn and restored newspaper and a full cups and balls routine (including Mr. Elmsleys unusual kicker). Since I’m a cardie at heart this wasn’t of immediate interest, but Stephen Minch has wrapped each effect with a commentary and historical perspective which is deeply engaging. Despite my initial lack of interest, this section was read from cover to cover.
The remaining five sections (half the book) return to card effects. You’ll find a treasure chest of routines and original thinking in here including Mr. Elmsleys take on classic effects like the Ace Assembly, Triumph, Cards Accross, Ambitious Card and many more. There are also many inspired original effects to be found.
Despite the price of £34 this book is actually cost effective as it contains 110 effects. For the economically challenged thats just less than 31 pence an effect, and this is a strong collection from a deep magical thinker. No filler here, or at least none I could find.
Stephen Minch has done an outstanding job of collecting together and presenting the thinking of Mr. Alex Elmsley. If you’ve moved on from beginner and actually want to start studying your art, I can’t think of a better place to start than this outstanding book.
A classic must have text for magicians. If you think this review was full of praise, wait until you see the one for volume 2.
Type Ebooks - Recreation