Stand-up walkaround in-the-hands card magic for real people in the real world

by Shaun McCree

Reviewed by Kevin Gallagher

Shaun is a full-time professional magician who will be known to most readers and the snappy title could leave no-one in much doubt about the sorts of things that are going to be found within. The booklet is around thirty A4 pages, 'stay open on your knee' spine bound. All twelve items live up to the title making them very usable, to use Shaun's most apt words, "in the real world." They are truly impromptu and use a shuffled, not necessarily complete, decent deck with no need for a table. All of them have been used very regularly by Shaun professionally and so are fully road-tested and generously given. The text is well written and easy to follow and it is illustrated by his brother who is a professional graphic artist. The effects are not self-working and a knowledge of basic card moves is assumed which makes it unsuitable for beginners to card magic but, this is all to the good of card workers not wishing to read (skip) their two hundredth description of the Elmsley count and who simply want go get on to what is new. Generally, everything is within the grasp of the average card worker.

I have spend much higher sums of money on some card books full of very technically demanding effects that are great to show off to other close-uppers and ideal for those 'after 1.00am' golden hours at the conventions but in reality, are not at all practical for using professionally. Although good enough fun, you are often lucky if you extract a single item that is likely to get used for working performances. Whilst much thinner than such a book, in terms of what you are likely to get out of it for as workable material, the book will prove very valuable and most workers would be very likely to find something that they like well enough to use.

Kevin Gallagher, December 2000