Counts, Cuts, Moves and Subtlety

by Jerry Mentzer

Reviewed by Kevin Gallagher

I have spent over forty pounds on some books that have turned out to be a big disappointment and which have contributed absolutely nothing to my magical armoury. On other occasions, I have spent a relatively very small amount of money and bought a book that has turned out to be a gold mine. It is the fact that the latter type of book is likely to be of more interest that led me to dig out this one because some readers may not be familiar with it and it is one of the best buys I ever made.

The book is seventy odd pages A5, contains not a single trick but contains explanations for tens of moves that all card magicians ought to know including double uppercut, biddle move, Olram subtlety, Downs change, Flushtration, Hamman, Veeser, Elmsley, Jordan and Buckle counts, Ascanio spread and many more. The first edition dates back to 1977 but is still available in its ninth printing. Many of the handlings explained have been improved on over the years but the basic mechanics are invaluable and if nothing more, everyone who is interested in card magic should know what all of the basic moves are!

When I bought the book, it was under ten pounds. It contains a large number clear photos, is clearly written assuming no prior knowledge and is very simple to follow.


Kevin Gallagher December 2000