By Nick Trost
Younger readers of this magazine may not know who Nick Trost is, so let me take a moment to bring everybody up to speed. Mr. Trost is an extremely prolific creator of simple, but effective card routines. For 33 years (from 1961 through 1994) he had a monthly column in The New Tops magazine, and during this period he marketed a great number of card effects, many of which became hugely popular. L&L Publishing has released a retrospective of Mr. Trost's work, containing not only his original creations, but variations of these effects by his friends and colleagues. Of the 122 items in the book, 100 have been previously published. These routines have been revised and rewritten for this volume. Twenty-two routines are previously unpublished.
The book is divided into 17 chapters, each chapter containing effects which are thematically related. Included are Coincidences, Four Ace routines, Gambling Tricks, Poker Deals, Predictions, Spelling Tricks, Reversed Card Effects, Packet Tricks, SpecialDeck Gambling Effects, and effects using ESP cards. At the end of the book is a useful Appendix which explains 20 basic moves (Biddle Move, Braue Addition, Braue Reversal, Elmsley Count, Flushtration Count, etc.) which are used in the routines. If you are new to card magic, this Appendix is a very handy addition.
There is a ton of material here, and it is uniformly good. Some of these routines have become showpieces for well-known performers. (Rick Johnsson, for example, always used "Horserace" as part of his close-up show. I remember this vividly, because Rick incited his audience to pandemonium, and I often found myself competing against this wall of noise in an adjoining close-up room.) "Eight Card Brainwave" and "Jumbo Two-Way Split" were two very popular marketed items. In Part III of his series "The Ten-Card Deal: An Investigation," (seeMAGIC, March 1994) Bob Farmer selected Mr. Trost's routine "Showdown" as one of the six all-time greatest routines for the Ten-Card Deal. Many of the routines in this book were great favorites of Stewart Judah. As you can see, there's top-notch material here.
For newcomers to card magic, this book is a must-buy. (In fact, if you were to own this book, Duffie's Effortless Card Magic, Steve Beam's two volumes of Semi-Automatic Card Tricks, and Phil Goldstein's Focus, you would have enough simple, effective card magic to last you the rest of your life.) More experienced card workers will find the routines in this book to be a fertile field for experimentation and variation. Highly recommended.
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