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CAAN Craft Review

June 3rd, 2014 2:39am
Reviewed by Dr. J. M. Ayala de Cedoz
JK Hartman is one of those names it seems that only a handful of serious card men know. That is a downright shame because he has put a lot of very high quality work in books and magazines in the past and more should be familiar with his work.

This book is a rather quick read, but once you sit down to start learning any of the handlings in it, you will have to take is slowly to make sure you are reading it correctly. That is not because of sloppy writing, no. It is because most of them have a lot of subtle points you must grasp to understand; a few of them require a little bit of math, the difficult part of which is only remembering when to use which part of the proper formula. The material here is most definitely something to be absorbed and studied as opposed to being given a brief glance and a quick run through.

Some versions in CAAN CRAFT are cleaner than others and they all have their strengths and weaknesses, but in my opinion the two best versions in the book are CAANARD and the CAAN KICKER.

CAANARD looks very, very clean and is probably one of the simplest versions in the book. To me, out of all of the methods contained in the book this one is the closest to an ACAAN.

CAAN KICKER is my other top choice because you are pretty much hands off for most of this one - the participant does most of the work for you. In the end, they also get the credit.

There are a couple of very neat utility sleights you will learn that can be applied to other effects with cards once you learn how to do them. There is one move that almost every handling in this book has in common, so you would do well to follow the advice of the author at the beginning of the book and learn that one first. It will take a little practice to gain proficiency/smoothness with it, but it is not a difficult move. I would be hard-pressed to define "proficiency" as it applies here, but if you read the book you will understand.

This booklet comes with a silk screened card that is used in the CAAN KICKER and it is printed on a Bicycle backed playing card. The card itself is not gimmicked, the words are not creative in any way and once you understand how to use the card and if you know how, you can print your own using blank face cards with a different back design.

The book is nicely laid out and is easy to read, the drawings are clear and the ad copy is 100% accurate. The methods in this book may not be the "holy grail" type but if performed properly, your audiences will get a very similar impression to watching other "more hands-off" versions of this plot. To be accurate, the procedures of the methods in this book are all very fair.

If you are a person that likes ACAAN and/or CAAN effects, this book should be on your shelf because you will certainly find at least one method you will like inside. Highly recommended!

Product info for CAAN Craft

Author: Hartman, J.K.; Bean, Gordon
Average Rating:  (1)
Retail Price: $35.00
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Manufacturer's Description:

Beginning with the now out-of-print and much sought-after Card Craft, the release of each new book from J.K. Hartman has been welcomed by discerning card handlers the world over for his direct effects and deviously simple handlings. Now, spurred by an underground handling by Tomas Blomberg and a yearlong correspondence with Gordon Bean, Mr. Hartman has turned his attention to a single plot: the fabled Any Card at Any Number.

The eight routines in CAAN Craft-clearly described by Mr. Hartman and ably illustrated by Tony Dunn-are already being hailed as a bravura display of creativity, and the many new moves, maneuvers, and strategies revealed in its pages will undoubtedly inspire myriad variations. Each entry adheres strictly to the condition that a card is merely named rather than physically selected, and none requires advanced sleight of hand or special decks.

"I have always found Hartman's material to be interesting and thought-provoking, and I am pleased to say that in CAAN Craft he maintains his usual high standard, offering some quirky and devious ways to place a card, or cards, at any number. If you are a card worker, you should have it on your bookshelf."
- Peter Duffie, MAGIC (Lead review, 11/10)

In addition, CAAN KICKER, one of the strongest of the routines, features a novel silk-screened card that accompanies the book.

These are not keyboard pipedreams. Each boasts a complete, effective script and each has been fully tested before lay audiences in both casual and formal performances, leaving every nuance polished to a high gleam.


  • Introduction (J.K. Hartman)
  • J-CAAN
  • Bonus Sleights: Cut 'N' Run & Controlled Charlier Shuffle

"...those who like to have doors opened to further thinking will find much to enjoy in CAAN Craft, from Hartman's innovative use of sleights and subtleties to the novel dressings he has created for this popular plot."
- David Britland, Genii (Lead review, 10/10)

The enduring appeal of the ACAAN plot lies in its simple yet incredible premise - one that is likely to be retold long after a performance. Let the commercial and practical routines contained within the elegant, hardbound pages of CAAN Craft help create some legends of your own.

Pages - 85 - Hardbound - Illustrated - Custom silk-screened playing card included.

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