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After Hours Magic: A Book of Al Thatcher Card Magic

Encyclopedia of Card Tricks

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I am not a purist. I have never seen a reason not to use gaffed cards if there is something worthwhile to be gained thereby. On the other hand, I know that I will not always carry gaffed cards with me, so I am loathe to add gaffed-card effects to my repertoire, except for those that have become part of my regular close-up act. My good buddy Noel Coughlin and I have discussed the use of gaffs on many occasions and have gone to great lengths to find ever better ways to make them, and yet I remain somewhat unresolved on the issue of how widespread a use I will give them. I am inclined to agree with Noel's opinion that they are fine, but that there is much to be gained by trying to find ways to eliminate them, as that effort helps card technique advance.

With that as preamble, I'm including three items that depend on gaffs. The first, "Wishulfle," is an effect I marketed a number of years ago, through Hank Lee in Boston and Tannen's in New York. The effect is amazing, amusing and very entertaining. It should not be overlooked. In the second piece, "The Birthday Aces," I return to the Progressive Ace premise, in which the effect is given an admirable directness thanks to a new form of feke. The third and final item, "Watch the Wild Ace," is a blockbuster that I've kept for my own use for almost thirty-five years. Only a handful of magicians have ever seen me perform it, but it is incredibly powerful. It is, in some ways, the most amazing effect of its type lay audiences can ever see. It is without question a reputation-making routine.

One final word—As we enter these realms, I suppose it necessary to repeat the obvious: All manufacturing rights reserved. Infringement is illegal and ethically reprehensible.

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