Jean Hugard's "Encyclopedia of Card Tricks" remains one of the most comprehensive and exhaustive texts on card effects even after 60 years of being in publication. A brief summary of the table of contents shows the variety of effects covered: impromptu card tricks, spelling effects, "you do as I do", special cards, special decks (Svengali, Mene-Tekel, Stripper), calculation effects, and miscellaneous card tricks. Hugard describes the effects clearly and accurately, attributes the originator of the effect (if known), and occasionally offers an editorial comment or suggestion. The book is quite literally a gold mine of information, awaiting an interested and motivated magician to mine its contents. I continue to amaze audiences with Stewart James' original handling of "Miraskill" (p. 330). And Kli Ban's "The Spectator Finds Your Card" (p. 348), in which the spectator finds the card I chose, has been in my routine for years. Virtually all effects require no difficult sleight-of-hand. However, Hugard does devote a chapter describing important card sleights. This Dover reprint is one of the best values in magic. With this volume, and possibly the addition of John Scarne's "Scarne on Card Tricks", any magician can develop an entertaining card routine that audiences will enjoy. "Encyclopedia of Card Tricks" belongs in every magician's library.
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