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John Carney's Recommended Reading List

Last Update: 11/17/2018 (Replies:0)

In John Carney's The Book of Secrets he shares a list of 36 books he can highly recommend - books he would bring to the proverbial desert island. Many of these books are out-of-print. Luckily a good number of them, 12 to be precise, are available as ebooks from

Biographies of Magicians

  • Carter Beats the Devil
  • Memoirs of Robert-Houdin
  • The Life and Times of Augustus Rapp
  • Illusion Show by David Bamberg
  • Illustrated History of Magic by Milbourne Christopher
  • Magic by David Price

Magic Craft

Story Deck Effects

Last Update: 11/17/2018 (Replies:0)

by Chris Wasshuber

A 'story deck effect' is an entertaining story of some kind which is told with the help of a deck of cards (full deck or partial deck). At certain moments in the story the performer displays a card or a set of cards to illustrate or 'play out' the story.

Probably the most famous story deck effect is Sam the Bellhop as performed by Bill Malone. Bill Malone has to be credited for adding false shuffles and cuts to the performance turning good entertainment into a stunning and amazing signature piece....

Magic Square Effects

Last Update: 11/17/2018 (Replies:0)

by Chris Wasshuber

I have been interested in magic squares longer than I have been interested in magic. And I have been interested in magic for a long time. It was actually a close cousin of the magic square, the magic matrix as described by Martin Gardner in one of his mathemagic books, which got me into magic. But that is a story for another day.

In this article I want to explain two simple ways to construct an arbitrary 4x4 magic square.

The easiest method possible

Start out with memorizing the following 4x4 magic...
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