By Karl Johnson
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Publication Date: 2006-07-25
Number of Pages: 368
Website: Amazon, LibraryThing, Google Books
Synopsis from Amazon:
A well-known magician's trip to discover the best cardsharp ever conjures up the forgotten international of magic the place americans stumbled on break out in the course of the nice Depression
It has the nostalgic caliber of an old school delusion, yet Karl Johnson's The Magician and the Cardsharp is a real tale that lovingly re-creates the glint of a vanished global. the following, set opposed to the backdrop of the United States suffering in the course of the melancholy, is the realm of magic, a realm of stars, sleight of hand, and sin the place desires may be discovered - or stolen away.
Following the Crash of '29, Dai Vernon, identified via magicians as "the guy who fooled Houdini," is tramping down Midwestern backroads, slightly making ends meet. whereas swapping secrets and techniques with a Mexican gambler, he hears of a man he doesn't relatively think is actual - a mythical secret guy who bargains completely from the heart of the deck and who locals name the best cardsharp of all time. made up our minds to discover the reclusive genius, Vernon units out on a trip via America's shady, slick, and sinful aspect - from mob-run Kansas urban via railroad cities that seemed sleepy basically within the daylight hours. Does he locate the pointy?
Well, Karl Johnson did - after years of study into Vernon's colourful quest, learn that led him to locations he by no means knew existed. Johnson takes us to the cardsharp's doorstep and exhibits us how he bestowed on Vernon the best mystery in magic. The Magician and the Cardsharp is a distinct and forever enjoyable piece of historical past that finds the artistry and obsession of a different breed of yankee showmen.
Read or Download The Magician and the Cardsharp: The Search for America's Greatest Sleight-of-Hand Artist PDF
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Additional info for The Magician and the Cardsharp: The Search for America's Greatest Sleight-of-Hand Artist
Occasionally cheaters may change various pairs of cube in at various occasions in a video game. they might guess for profitable or wasting rolls counting on which have been in play. different gaffed cube have been known as “shapes. ” during this model of the cheater’s handiwork, the cube have been doctored in a fashion so they have been not ideal cubes and might now not roll precise. From the point of view of the pointy, a few have been more desirable than others. For “flats,” the cheater really planed down the outside of 1 part, quite a few millions of an inch, to prefer definite numbers bobbing up. Like loaded cube, shapes can be labored to function both missouts or passers. different tools for production shapes incorporated slicing the perimeters, beveling the surfaces of the cube to lead them to a little convex or concave, and capping one of many surfaces of a die to make it roll a undeniable far more frequently. might be the preferred gaffed cube have been “tops,” brief for “tops and bottoms,” and likewise known as “tees” or “tonys. ” in contrast to lots or shapes, that could lose their motion via put on, tops have been foolproof. They have been really mis-spotted cube which may by no means roll definite mixtures simply because they didn’t have these numbers. occasionally they have been even known as “mis-spots. ” Whichever precise cube have been selected, the cheaters nonetheless wanted sleight of hand to make the cube do their soiled magic. A cheat needed to “bust” the cube in at simply the suitable time, after which “rip” them out of the sport, too, in order that the mark wouldn’t “tumble,” get suspicious or trap what used to be taking place. This cube switching can be built to an attractive point. in a single rather devastating swap, the cube mechanic could decide up the pair of valid cube already in play, and with an easy, nonchalant swing of the hand, roll them out back. within the immediate ahead of the roll, he may swap within the doctored cube palmed within the similar hand and palm out the valid cube. Switches like this have been the top expressions of the cube cheater’s bizarre paintings. A craps online game might be as raucous as an Ottoman bazaar, particularly because the online game used to be performed within the alleyways and livery stables of friendly Hill. The velocity of the sport, what the cube males known as “the weight,” fitted to dishonest. there has been the shouting, the consistent transferring of place by way of the gamers, the blowing at the cube for stable good fortune, the fanatics of money gripped tightly within the hand. (Indeed, an exceptional circulation used the canopy of the debts to conceal the change. ) however the margin of errors was once nonetheless excruciatingly wonderful. Cheaters regularly needed to worry that no matter if they made their swap completely, the faux cube should be spotted in the course of play. in spite of everything, in the event that they sought after, the opposite gamers may well deal with and check up on the “bones” for themselves. * * * cube even controlled to deliver the races jointly, usually and nonchalantly, into informal and unself-conscious social and advertisement touch. through the Twenties, cube and crap taking pictures had already lengthy been linked to African-Americans. way back to the eighteenth century, slaves have been adapting the British online game of possibility to their very own type of play.