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Eddie's Dumbfounders with Cards

reviewed by Christopher Reynolds (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Wednesday 21 September, 2022)

Eddie's Dumbfounders with CardsEddie Joseph was a night-club magician who lived in Calcutta, India. He authored almost seventy books on magic in his lifetime, cementing his international legacy as a respected inventor and sleight-of-hand master. His pet trick was the cups & balls.

He is the type of writer I admire; he doesn't let silly things like talent get in the way of being prolific. Sometimes, to be prolific, one has to sacrifice perfection.

A few of Eddie's books, like Eddie's Dumbfounders With Cards, are of dubious quality.

The cover boasts:

No Sleights! No Skill! No Moves!

NO FUN!

Reading Eddie's Dumbfounders With Cards by Eddie Joseph made me feel like I time-traveled back to my high-school remedial math class.

Here's how I solve a math equation: 1. Read the problem 2. Cry

Mathematical card tricks are supposed to be fun to learn, not dull. Many of Eddie's dumbfounders are long and tedious, with endless dealing and counting cards.

Joseph's old-timey prose was challenging to understand. At best, his writing is confusing and monotonous. Much of the time, the instructions made no sense, leaving me puzzled.

Reading a novel about paint drying would have been more interesting.

I understand that writing the methods for card tricks isn't the same as writing literature. But, at minimum, the instructions must make things clear to the reader. This point is where the book fails.

Joseph was a more technically accomplished magician than many of his peers. His profound influence as a magic creator suggests that he was a better performer than a writer in the acute sense of expressing and communicating his ideas.

I enjoyed the principles behind a couple of tricks, but regulations don't make lively entertainment:

Memory Phenomenal: Immediately naming the location of a mentally chosen card in an entire deck of fifty-two while blindfolded.

Over the wire: a mental effect performed over the phone.

Maybe, with some imagination and style, you can create a repertoire of card tricks using Eddie Joseph's methods. But, overall, I found the book boring, impractical, and devoid of any actual content.

I can't recommend it to any magician looking for their first trick or advanced performers interested in expanding their magic repertoire. The only people I can recommend this to are people like me: Book collectors. If that describes you, Eddie Joseph is a classic author to add to your digital shelf.

I give it three stars strictly due to its obscure collector's value.