CARDS AS WEAPONS by Ricky Jay. A Darien House book published in New York. Price Five Dollars. Some ninety-five large pages 10 by 7 inches with an arresting front cover in colour showing the author in characteristic pose.
The contents prove to be an entertainingly written medley of fact and fantasy. The factual part deals with the basic techniques of throwing, or scaling cards and explains the grips used by Herrmann and Thurston before proceeding to detail his own method which gained him a place in the Guinness Book of Records. The text supplemented by excellent photographs ensures that the reader is fully equipped with the necessary knowledge required to throw cards. Only practice is needed to bring success. The above is explained in the chapter headed 'Technique' which also explains how to throw cards when seated plus some succinct observations on the literature of magic and its prostitution by certain performers.
Under the caption 'Advanced Technique' instructions are given for boomeranging cards and two methods for catching the returning card in the pack. The Martin Lewis method of spinning a card and catching it in the pack using one hand only, the long distance spinner of Audley Walsh first described in Tarbell, Finn Jon's double boomerang, the Finger Flick, and throwing out two cards as one catching one in each hand as they return. Finally, juggling three cards using the Cascade and Shower effects, and one line and a photograph on throwing cards with the feet.
The remaining seven chapters include a brief account of the origins of cards and speculation as to when they were first thrown — cards and the martial arts — references to past and present magicians using card scaling in their acts — how to practise and stay fit — self-defence — mechanical means of card throwing — stunts to impress one'sfriends — personal anecdotes — and an after, word.
It is within these non-technical pages one becomes aware that he has been gradually led from fact into outrageous fantasy, which only those completely devoid of a sense of humour will fail to enjoy reading. The many pictures complete a worthwhile contribution to magical literature.
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