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The Doc and His Deck
by Jacob Taub

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The Doc and His Deck by Jacob Taub

This ebook's purpose is to teach something about the art of close-up card magic; not just to describe some card effects. Each chapter consists of three parts:

  1. the text
  2. captioned drawings
  3. a summary of moves and sleights
The sleights are comparatively few but basic, nevertheless 340 illustrations are used to illuminate them. Legends have been added to the drawings which was an innovation in magic textbooks. Also the text is liberally and ubiquitously sprinkled with illustration references. While the emphasis is on digital dexterity, presentation, patter, and misdirection receive their share of attention. As a bonus a final chapter on non-card effects has been added. Mr Taub claims no originality for many of the card moves and effects you will read about. These derive from many sources and wherever possible he has tried to acknowledge the original authorship. However, he has been performing them for so long, modifying them to his personality, that he has come to consider them unique and his very own. Such magic greats as Dai Vernon, Dr. Jacob Daley, Jean Hugard, Charles Harris, Max Katz, Paul Morris, Howard Schwarzmann and many others helped form his act. After doing it for over forty years he cannot recall from where, when, or how he learned much of it. So if anyone reading this treatise claims prior knowledge, we humbly beg his pardon.

It should surprise no one that a physician has gone out of his field to write a book on magic. Truly he has only travelled to kindred territory. The arts of medicine and magic have been in holy or unholy alliance since the dawn of creation. In antiquity there was very little that distinguished the medicine man from the magician. Even today despite the scientific advances if the doctor treats his patient successfully he is looked upon as a superman or demigod. The magic in this book is not supernatural. It is rational and its purpose is to entertain.

There is much pleasure and performance satisfaction in this pastime. Perhaps the most rewarding benefit from participating in magic is its relaxing effect on the nervous system, irregardless of any initial nervousness which is overcome with time and experience. Magically the art works like therapy, erasing extraneous thoughts and concerns. The performer thinks of nothing else except the successful completion of his trick.

Well, here is your prescription, The Doc and His Deck. Take it and improve your knowledge of the art of magic.

Karl Fulves writes:

It is probably true that the literature on magic far exceeds the number of musical compositions that have been written in the entire history of the world. But whereas the music student has a systematic literature that will take him from easy compositions through more difficult ones to advanced pieces, the magic student does not. There are books for the novice magician and books for the advanced student, but few books for the middle-level conjuror. The vast literature on card magic points up the paradox; the beginner and the expert find a bewildering array of titles to choose from; the middle-level cardman finds almost nothing. Happily, this book fills a long-established need.

Those who are just starting to work their way beyond the confines of self-working card tricks invariably find the literature a jungle of technical jargon that is all but impenetrable. This book is a roadmap through the jungle. If you have a little knowledge of card magic and wish to enlarge your arsenal of sleights and tricks, Jacob Taub is an ideal teacher. With a clear, step-by-step text, aided by hundreds of drawings, the reader of this book will get the next best thing to personal instruction. Jacob Taub knows his subject and he knows how to teach it.

Equipped with a deck of cards and Dr. Taub’s book, the reader will learn a number of sleights and many entertaining routines. This is not just my opinion. Bob Elliott, who has taught card magic, looks at books with a teacher’s eye. He has called The Doc and His Deck a basic training manual. That is an exact description.

1st edition 1976, 157 pages; 1st digital edition 2015, 258 pages.
word count: 77711 which is equivalent to 310 standard pages of text