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The Invisible Pass
by Jean Hugard & Fred Braue


(1 review, 19 customer ratings) ★★★★★

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The Invisible Pass by Jean Hugard & Fred Braue

It is supposedly the first book devoted to a single sleight - beautifully layed out with photos as well as drawings off all stages of the invisible pass. A detailed and thorough explanation of this form of the pass. The pass is a difficult move. Many books barely scratch the surface when they try to teach a shift or pass. This book is entirely devoted to a single move and leaves no open questions.

In a letter to Paul Fleming Nov 5th 1944 Fred Braue talks about his "invisible pass" for the first time: "...I mentioned earlier a special interest in the "pass". Jean and I are doing another little booklet, this time on the Invisible Pass, in which illustrations will take the place of text. This is being done as an experiment, in an attempt to record a new pass which is exceptionally good. It's one which I've been using for a good many years and which, up to now, I've kept to myself. Several months ago Charlie Miller was so interested in the move (he couldn't see the pass although I did it repeatedly) that I gave him some of the moves ..."

More of this letter can be found in our ebook version of this great book. [The contents of this letter was generously contributed by Jan Janson.]

Paul Fleming wrote:

"Making the pass" with cards was described by Robert-Houdin as "the most important of the various artifices employed in the performance of card tricks," by Professor Hoffmann as "the very backbone of card conjuring," by Edwin T. Sachs as "the foremost of card sleights," and by Camille Gaultier as "the fundamental principle of magic, so far as playing cards are concerned." The first three of these authorities obviously regarded the pass as an indispensable sleight; but M. Gaultier, writing in 1914, suggested that its popularity was waning. "The present-day tendency of prestidigitators is to limit its use more and more," he said, "and this is definitely desirable, so far as those who cannot execute the sleight perfectly are concerned!"

Gaultier's statement was doubtless prompted by the difficulty experienced by most magicians in performing the sleight imperceptibly. S.W. Erdnase, in his great book on card work, had earlier noted the impossibility of executing the pass with the hands held stationary, and not show that some maneuver has taken place, however cleverly it may be executed." But despite this serious defect, the pass has continued to be used in many tricks, for the good and sufficient reason that some of our best card feats cannot be performed without its aid.

The need for a pass that would defy detection has given rise to the announcement, time and again, that an invisible pass had been invented, but invariably the sleight has failed to live up to expectations and its advance publicity. At last, however, this dream is a reality! The invisible pass has finally been achieved. It was demonstrated by Frederick Braue hundreds of times at the Washington Convention of the Society of American Magicians in 1946, and aroused the greatest possible enthusiasm. Scores of card experts have seen it and testified that it is absolutely invisible.

Mr. Braue and his friend Jean Hugard (the team that wrote the comprehensive treatise, Expert Card Technique) have collaborated in making this new pass available to lovers of card magic. They have published it in a 32-page book (the first complete book, we understand, ever devoted to the explanation of a single sleight), size 8 1/2 by 11 inches, printed on heavy coated paper and handsomely bound in blue cloth with silver stamping on the front cover. There are 22 pages of excellent text, presumably from the pen of Jean Hugard; 14 large photographic halftones, approximately 5 by 6 1/2 inches, giving almost life-size views of the hands of Fred Braue; 14 line drawings by Donna Allen which summarize the moves so that the learner can go through the sleight, step by step, from beginning to end without turning pages; and an introduction by Paul Rosini, who knows a real card sleight when he sees one!

The authors claim that this pass is far less difficult than the classic pass, and can be mastered in two months or less. Of its utility there cannot be the slightest doubt. This is, we feel sure, the card pass of the present and future. Though we have heretofore regarded Charles Bertram's version of the traditional two-handed pass as the best explanation of this sleight in print, we now recant and hasten to vote first honors to the Hugard Braue pass. Indeed, we are inclined to join John J. Crimmins in pronouncing this new pass "the biggest advance in card magic of this or any other generation." The invisible pass, both as a sleight and a book, is a thing of beauty. We recommend it unhesitatingly and enthusiastically.

1st edition, 1946, Hugard and Braue, New York and California; 29 pages.
word count: 4468 which is equivalent to 17 standard pages of text

Reviewed by Feras A. Alkharboush (confirmed purchase)
★★★★★   Date Added: Thursday 15 February, 2007

This is pure gem. This booklet is quite known to the knowledgable magicians ( Richard Kaufman mentions it in his DVD, "On The Pass" ). I'm a fan of Braue and Hugard books ( Expert Card technique, Royal Road and Miracle methods ), so I had to get this. As always, Braue and Hugard maintain the high quality work in their material.

This Pass is a variation on the Herrmann Pass, although what’s different is the unique mechanics of the move. Users of the standard Turn-over pass ( the first pass taught in Expert Card Technique ) know that there is a flash, which can be observed to the close observer. This one IS Invisible, the cover is perfect. It can be done almost surrounded ( although from the left and the back angles, "something" WILL be noticed, its like the standard turn-over pass ). It is invisible as long its below eyes' level ( somewhat like the standard turn-over ).

The mechanism is new, and it will awhile to make it smooth. I'm writing this review after about 4 months of buying the ebook, and now I can do it quite well.

If you are a serious card handler, you want to learn this pass. The teaching is EXCELLENT ( the whole booklet is only for one move .. ). There are photographs ( not illustrations ) in EVERY page, along with the description. Then, Hugard goes into some notes regarding the pass, then you see some illustrations ( for those who love them more than photographs! ).

This baby is a joy to perform. Five Stars, fully deserved.

4 bucks? Maaaan ..