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Gordon Nocturnal Creations The Impromptu Card Illusions Of Paul Gordon by Paul Gordon

Reviewed by Jamy Ian Swiss (originally published in Genii January, 1998)


Paul Gordon is a British cardician with a list of previously published manuscripts and lecture notes to his name. This is his first hardcover book, and it is a sizeable assortment of card magic, almost all of which is impromptu (especially if you are willing to consider a Kaps wallet as impromptu if, like the author, you "always use it to carry (your) money etc. when wearing a suit." There are 47 routines here, most of which require intermediate skills like basic card controls, multiple lifts, palming and the faro shuffle. The majority of these routines are variations of popular plots, but the author is extremely responsible in his crediting, and usually has some specific alteration, improvement or other raison d'etre for offering his version to the reader. His written descriptions are readable and exceedingly clear, assisted to minimal degree by the primitive illustrations. This is a substantial catalog of material in which card workers in search of inspiration will no doubt find value. Amidst the ace cuttings and sandwich plots and Collectors variants, there are commercial sequences worth thinking about, such as Persistent Pasteboards (a routine combining several well-known plots). There is also a superb+ solution to the diary trick that allows the performer to begin by handing the spectator the diary, then asking the spectator to shuffle the deck (which can be borrowed), and only then first naming their birthdate. Subsequently, a card is selected which is found to be printed on the appropriate date in the diary. Worth investigating if you're a fan of this plot. The book includes an introduction by the author's friend and colleague, Roger Crosthwaite, but frankly Mr. Gordon seems inclined toward more practical and accessible methodology than his associate. Unfortunately, since the book is being imported from Britain, it is a bit pricey for the contents, but the volume is nicely produced in hardcover with copper-colored foil stamping.

[+NOTE 2020: One of the worst errors of my reviewing career were these words, "superb solution," which not only have this supremely talentless performer widely and repeatedly recycled to be forever attached to my name and his product, without my permission, but in fact it has since come to light that the method was unarguably the creation of Simon Aronson.]

5 - 3/4" X 9" hardcover with foil stamping 160 pages; illustrated with more than 50 line drawings; 1997; Publisher: Natzler Enterprises