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My Favorite Card Tricks Review

Official Review

November 10th, 2003 3:24pm
Reviewed by David Acer
Published in 1965, My Favorite Card Tricks was the second little book released by Harry Lorayne to ride the wave of success enjoyed by his big book, Close-Up Card Magic. The first follow-up, Personal Secrets was (and is) an excellent collection of card magic (see review), and this book, while not quite as solid, offers still more interesting tricks from the mind of one of the world's finest exponents of card magic.

Highlights include Criss-Cross, a no-sleight oil-and-water sequence that might actually fool you while you're playing with it at home; Interlaced Location, a sandwich effect in which two chosen cards are revealed consecutively; Impromptu Out Of This World, the quickest, easiest method I'm aware of for Paul Curry's now-classic effect; Hummer Addition, an adaptation of a Bob Hummer principle that helps turn what is more typically presented as a puzzle into a magic trick; and Pseudo Memory #1, a faux memorized deck demonstration that only requires you to recall four cards.

Unfortunately, however, much of the remaining material here has fallen victim to time. In the forty years since their publication, better versions of these plots have surfaced, some published by Harry himself.

One-Eyed Jack Sandwich is a "quickie" (Christ, I'm infected!) in which an undisclosed card is sandwiched between two Jacks, then the Jack sandwich is cut into the deck. A card is chosen and also cut into the deck. When the deck is spread, the lone face-down card between the two face-up Jacks turns out to be the selection. While functional, this is certainly not the most magical of sandwich effects. Indeed, there is every reason to believe a spectator will assume that, in cutting, you simply repositioned the cards... and of course, you do. I'm more partial to sandwich effects in which a face-down card suddenly appears between two face-up mates, proving to be the spectator's selection.

Color Coincidence is a color-changing deck routine in which two cards chosen from a blue-backed deck are the only two to remain blue-backed, while the rest of the deck becomes red-backed. Again, there is nothing wrong with this (although it does require lapping), but now, some four decades later, there are better ways to do it (Paul Harris's Color Stunner comes immediately to mind - see The Magic of Paul Harris or The Art of Astonishment, Book 1

Transposition Breakthrough is a two-part, two-card transposition that pales in comparison to Bro. John Hamman's devious Acey Deucy (The Secrets Of Bro. John Hamman 1989), or David Williamson's astonishing Torn And Restored Transposition (Williamson's Wonders 1989).

Other items include an instant reversal of a chosen card that requires the use of a table, a location of a freely chosen four-of-a-kind, a spelling effect using Aces and Kings, and more.

All in all, if you're already familiar with the magic of Harry Lorayne, there is no reason not to give this a book a read-through. If, however, if you have yet to explore any of the man's work, I wouldn't start here. Pick up a copy of Close-Up Card Magic and work your way forward.

David Acer

Product info for My Favorite Card Tricks

Author: Loryane, Harry
Publisher: Tannen's
Average Rating:  (1)
Retail Price: $6.00
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Manufacturer's Description:

Harry Lorayne's third book on card magic. Fifteen of Harry's favorite effects done with an ordinary deck of cards. All can be done anywhere, anytime, under almost any condition and only four of them involve "take a card." Contents include One Eyed Jack Sandwich, Color Coincidence, Out of My Control, Criss-Cross, Interlaced Location, Impromptu Out of This World, Hummer Addition, Aces Only-With Kings, Toss-In Reverse, Any Four of a Kind, Transposition Breakthrough

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