The Card Activist
Overlooked by Al Smith
Ebook, available from the author at Peter Duffie.com aka Alternative Magic. Price: $15.00 (about £10.00).
Get in quick and thereís a bonus trick included. This is an individually marketed item called Psy Fi. Itís a variation of the Diary Trick.
Recent books from Peter Duffie have largely been collections of material culled from his back catalogue. Books and manuscripts no longer in print. The Card Activist is new material. Variations on themes, of course, but itís the variations that make all the difference.
The book features a compact bakerís dozen tricks in 44 photo-illustrated pages. Thatís 13, for those who prefer to work in metric.
The Roy Walton classic Collectors theme is a favourite of magicians in general and Peter in particular likes to offer thoughts and observations on the premise. In here he revisits The Bottom Collectors, an approach much favoured by Father Cyprian in his early 1970s book of the same name.
As an aside, last weekend I spent a pleasant afternoon with the Sheffield Shufflers in Russell Hallís Magic Lounge. Among a newly acquired collection of books was the Cyprian affair. I havenít seen it in years, but it was gaining a lot of attention.
The general mix of the material is one of almost self-working and definitely not self-working. I say ďalmost self-workingĒ I mean that the tricks require steady and competent handling by means of fairly easy moves. That said, the first trick in the book is self-working. Procedures need to be monitored and maintained, but that applies to all tricks, however there is nothing technical about the handling.
I particularly liked a Triumph style routine, that isnít self working. It requires a Zarrow Shuffle which shouldnít put anybody off, but might.
As Iíve noted before prior to the appearance of ebooks, Peter Duffie published any number of limited edition booklets, all of which are out of print and those in circulation are very hard to find these days.
I have always liked the Duffie approach to cards, which unsurprisingly is not a million miles removed from Roy Walton.
The effects are fine, but I suspect as ever, card fans will enjoy sifting through the thinking behind them.
Well worth checking out. Itís cheap enough.
© A E Smith, October 2012