REVIEW: Scarne on Card tricks

REVIEW: Scarne on Card tricks
The appeal of books is waning, I mean that in general not just within magic. Translating what is written on the page to actions is becoming a lost art. We even YouTube instructions for our new gadgets rather than read the ones that come in the box.

So I realise convincing anyone to buy a book printed in the 1950’s is going to be like pushing water uphill. It isn’t a beautifully bound hard back either so it won’t impress on the shelf nor does it have glossy pictures. Shall I get my coat now?
In Scarne on Card Tricks, John Scarne has removed the sleights from popular card effects and replaced them with subtleties, the sort of thing John Carey and John Bannon have been doing in more recent times. The three Johns?
But as was the way back in the 1950s rather than produce a book containing 25 tricks Scarne has knocked out a paperback containing over 150.

The tricks cover pretty much every plot in card magic, Do as I do, Poker deals, Mentalism, Triumph etc. It is hard to think there isn’t something for everyone. Of course, that means a lot won’t appeal either but the hit rate is impressive.
I’ll be honest, sometimes subtleties can scare me more than a sleight, but these tricks offer such a good training ground. You will need to concentrate on the presentation (some patter and tips are included) and your performance to help the subtleties fly.

You may well just find forgotten gems and want to add a basic move back in or develop the effect to suit your ability and style or just something to add to your arsenal for that impromptu, borrowed deck situation.

In a nutshell, I believe if you work through this book and put in a bit of effort, it will make you a better magician. I know, if only it looked better on the coffee table and had glossy pics.

Back to blog

Leave a comment