by Arthur F. MacTier
Reviewed by Kevin Gallagher
The full title is 'An Anthology of Numerical and Sequential Principles within Card Magic.' If that hasn't put you off already, then you will very likely enjoy this book! The book has thirty-one chapters, each of which covers the application of a different mathematical principle. The basic underlying principle is first explained, an example or number of examples are then provided to show how it might be applied to card magic.
I am an enormous fan of sleight-of-hand card magic but believe me, some of the stuff in this book is pure dynamite. Never under-estimate the value of a well placed mathematical card trick! The tricks range from absolutely brilliant to too obviously mathematical making them of cursory rather than practical interest. If I had to criticise anything, it would be that each trick also has a 'what the audience sees and hears' section which offers a complete presentation including full patter which is generally of the "I have here a pack of cards" ilk and would have been better excluded though it does arguably make everything clear.
Overall, it is an invaluable book and a very important inclusion to any serious card magician's library. It is rare indeed these days that new items find their way into my working repertoire, suffice to say, several items from this book have! At a bargain price, it is almost impossible to be disappointed.
© Kevin Gallagher November 2000