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The Silver Surf by Troy Hooser

Reviewed by Jamy Ian Swiss (originally published in Genii December, 2000)


ALTHOUGH I'M GENERALLY resistant to reviewing lecture notes except in special cases, I also don't get to see that much interesting coin magic, and I thought fans of that genre would want to know about the work of Troy Hooser. I've heard Mr. Hooser's name for several years now and recently became curious about some work he had published using the unusual gaffed coin known as a "flipper" coin, so I tracked down these two lecture notes and it was well worth the effort. The 1999 lecture manuscript contains 22 pages and includes six items, several of which appeared previously in the journal, The Trap Door. The first four entries are coin routines, two of which are rather stunning vanishes of three coins that would fool any magician not specifically in the know (although like all coin magic, they require skillful handling); one of which is an extremely visual coins through the table; and another of which consists of an extremely clean one-at-a-time transformations of three half dollars into three Chinese coins. The manuscript also includes a novel rubber band item, and a deceptive color change with sponge balls.

The Silver Surf is not as well written as the more recent lecture manuscript, but also includes some rather striking material. (Note: a one-handed vanish of Geoff Latta's is here, as unfortunately elsewhere in the past, mistakenly attributed to Chris Kenner.) The first consists of an amazing three-coin production, vanish, and reproduction sequence. The second routine consists of a series of penetrations of three Chinese coins onto a length of ribbon. The final entry is a remarkable series of vanishes and productions with three coins. None of these descriptions begins to do justice to the material—this is not a rehash, there is some state-of-the-art thinking here—so if you are a serious coin-worker looking for some fresh ideas, these manuscripts are well worth your while; they're now on the top of my "just-for-fun-stuff-I-want-to-work-on-for-myself-for-a-change" pile if I ever get to it. This is by far the most interesting coin material I have seen in several years, certainly since the release of Buffaloe’d the Magic of Jim Buffaloe, released in 1998, and which I was unfortunately unable to review due to Genies erratic publishing schedule under its previous publisher. If you're into coins and haven't seen that volume, I recommend you seek it out.

Troy Hooser's The Silver Surf Joshua Jay 8 x 11" comb bound; 25 pages illustrated with 18 photographs; 1998