Review of Cardshark
I had the benefit to see the reaction from a fellow magician. What shocked me is that he appeared rather less than enthusiastic about the tricks – commenting that its way too long and too difficult.
I believe the large majority of magicians will feel the same. However, I contend that the materials contained within these pages are not for the average magic hobbyist – nor is it intended for the intermediate card performer. It’s only for those very special few who have what it takes to bring the art of magic to a professional level. If you are advance in sleight of hand (particularly gambling techniques explained in "Expert Card Technique" and "Expert at the Card Table" / "Revelations" / "The Annotated Erdnase") or willing to put in the effort here you have Mr. Ortiz to provide excellent routines that will maximize their usage.
They are not easy. I can tell you right now that one sleight requires over 700 hours of practice before mastery – which Darwin Ortiz claims that 1 in 10,000 people can do. But the dividend it pays back more than suffices for your time spent. These are genuine card miracles for the close-up conjuror.
As the title suggests, this book consists mainly of routines regarding gambling themes such as the Scarne effect (cutting to four aces after spectator shuffles the deck). However, it also contain routines with magical themes – such as Mr. Ortiz’s construction on a Card-to-Wallet effect and Mr. Ortiz’s version of Brother John Hamman’s famous signed card. But what a student will find most valuable is the performance tip that the author gives from his experience through performing his creations over hundreds of time. He offers his rather sharp insights and observations. Everything he discusses has been performed before being in print.
I wish I could write more on the book but I need to get offline and pay attention to my wife. You’ll have to just check it out to know what I mean. I remember being nonplussed (and that’s an understatement!) when I first saw Darwin Ortiz’s performance. My mind was racing for an explanation when I saw him perform One-Handed Poker Deal; I was wondering if it was real magic because intellectually I could not understand it. But even if you don’t plan on using his routines, it is worth reading to see how he thinks. He has a very special mind thats worth looking at. When he describes other people’s sleight like Mike Close’s Spread Control, he changes the handling in such a subtle way. Alright, I got to go. I hope the review was useful.
Strong presentation, readable, reread value, and great illustrations. I must give the book an A+.
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