From the Horses Mouth Department

We're in the age of huge magic books. Every 45 days we get hit with one or two big books which contain 50 to 100 routines. How do we get through all this material? Where do we start? What's the really good stuff? Because of the overwhelming amount of material are we missing some real gems?

I sympathize with you. So I thought, "Why not go straight to the authors and ask them?" And that's what I did. I've contacted several of the authors of books recently reviewed in this column and asked them to pick out five routines which were a) either personal favorites; or b) routines which might be overlooked by the casual reader. Each month I'll list five hot routines which come to you straight from the horse's mouth.

For our opening installment I emailed that diabolical Scotsman Peter Duffie and asked for his five picks from Effortless Card Magic. He offered the following: "When Random Cards Collide!" (page 19): "Lie Stebbins" ( and "Lie Stebbins Plus!") (pages 51-55); "The Magnet" (page 96); "A Popular Misconception" (page 150); and "Hofzinser by Stealth" (page 139).

And as a bonus, here's Peter's five picks from his 1995 book Duffie's Card Compulsions: "Judas Shuffle" (pages 167-169); "Just for Starters" (page 56); "Aces at Once" (page 64); "The Lucky Ten" (page 53); and "Sleuthsayers" (page 136).

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