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Jack Parker's 52 Memories Review

Official Review

May 5th, 2008 10:21pm
Reviewed by Gordon Meyer
Jack Parker's 52 Memories is a remarkable book for a number of reasons. Let's start with the high-quality production. Nearly everything about this book is first-class, including the binding, printing, design, and attention to detail. In fact, it's so nicely done that it's almost hard to believe someone would care this much about card tricks.

But it's not just about card tricks, really. Jack Parker was a hobbyist magician whose work was admired by some of the most notable card workers of today. This book is a compilation of Parker's work, published after his untimely death. The book's Introduction, written by Parker from his hospice bed, is a touching and poignant reminder about the personal side of creating and performing magic. In fact, the intro and the closing essay, if you use them as a catalyst for examining your own motivations for learning and performing magic, might be the most important part of this entire publication.

Another remarkable thing about this book is that it has so many learner-friendly features. For example, each trick is described succinctly and all of the sleights required are listed right up front. If you're not a serious card worker, as I am not, this is helpful in deciding which of the tricks are interesting and within your current skill level. Additionally, in the back of the book there's a handy reference that gives the setup for each trick. And, as with another book from the same publisher, Dominatricks, each effect concludes with additional references and thoughtful ideas.

After reading this book, I felt like Jack Parker was a friend I'd regrettably never meet in person. But his magic lives on, and Andi Gladwin has created a book that deserves to be recognized as among the best technical magic books ever published. Considering that you can pay $40 or more for a half-baked Kinko's-produced "book," 52 Memories is indeed a remarkable publication.

Product info for Jack Parker's 52 Memories

Author: Andi Gladwin
Average Rating:  (1)
Retail Price: $60.00
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Manufacturer's Description:

Many magic books can be trivialised. They are after all, just a collection of tricks.

But, 52 Memories is more than that. It is the legacy of one of the most promising card magic creators of our time. 52 Memories is one of those rare magic books that pass on the most fruitful creations from a lifetime of tinkering, experimenting and performing. It is an important book that shares the late Jack Parker's lifelong mission to create the most amazing miracles ever decoded from a single deck of fifty-two.

While a number of the tricks in 52 Memories have seen print before, some are taught here for the first time. All have been completely re-written, most with new ideas and finesses explained for the first time and some even with completely different handlings. This is Jack Parker's magic as Jack wished it to be remembered and the end result is a legacy that promises to inspire every student of magic.

With fifty-two items, 240 large size pages and a full-colour photograph section, you are invited into a one-time tour of Jack Parker's life in magic. The attractive two-colour printed pages in 52 Memories sit between thick hard backed covers, and contain all the elegance to sit alongside your most prized books on magic.

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