The Magician and the Cardsharp: The Search for America's Greatest Sleight-of-Hand Artist

By Karl Johnson

Book Details:

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 american citizens came upon break out throughout the nice Depression

It has the nostalgic caliber of an old style fantasy, 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 USA suffering throughout the melancholy, is the realm of magic, a realm of stars, sleight of hand, and sin the place goals might be discovered - or stolen away.

Following the Crash of '29, Dai Vernon, identified by way of 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 genuine - a mythical secret guy who offers 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 part - from mob-run Kansas urban via railroad cities that seemed sleepy in basic terms within the sunlight hours. Does he locate the pointy?

Well, Karl Johnson did - after years of analysis into Vernon's colourful quest, examine 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 perpetually exciting piece of background that finds the artistry and obsession of a distinct breed of yank showmen.

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Different instances, whilst he quite felt like displaying off, Peg might leap transparent over a vehicle, utilizing his crutches as crude pole vaults. For all of the gymnastics, although, he was once consistently armed and had a name for being in on many of the machine’s tough stuff. If anything needed to be treated, he’d look after it. “What do you men wish? ” he rumbled now at Vernon and Miller. Vernon spotted that the lads in the back of the room had stopped taking part in and have been taking them in. “I’m attempting to find somebody,” he started, feeling sillier than ever. what number occasions had he already stated that during Kansas urban? “There’s a guy the following on the town that bargains playing cards from the guts of the deck. ” Now he rushed it out. “I’m a mechanic,” he defined. “I play at the ships. I’m very fearful to get involved with this guy. ” the boys checked out him quizzically. “What mail-order catalog have you ever been studying? ” certainly one of them piped up loudly, his voice dripping with sarcasm. It used to be a great query, provided that Vernon and Miller had simply come from the KC Card Co. , which used to be recognized for its catalogs. If those men have been speculated to be on the subject of Lazia, it evidently wasn’t going to assist. “What do you suggest dealing from the heart of the deck? It’s difficult adequate to get the second one card. … What do you suggest? ” “Well, I heard there’s a mechanic on the town that does that,” Vernon acknowledged, making an attempt feebly to rally to his personal safeguard. He knew the brush-off that was once coming subsequent. He was once greater than used to it. “Aaaa,” the guy snorted at him, pushing aside Vernon’s susceptible retort. “That’s loads of hooey. no one does that. ” by some means, although, Vernon’s absurd creation had controlled to damage the ice with those hustlers, and he and Miller have been in a position to circulate extra into the room. Vernon even huddled with Peg and the others, sitting on the desk with them, speaking concerning the absurd rumor he had heard. Miller stayed off to the part, leaning again opposed to the wall in a chair. He attempted to appear nonchalant, comfy. And he remained as quiet as a cigar-store Indian. unexpectedly, one of many males looked as if it would realize him. Vernon have been doing the entire speaking considering the fact that they first got here in and now the guy pointed to Miller and directed a question his manner. “What’s the fats boy do? ” each person grew to become to Miller. there has been a protracted, silent second. Vernon and this gang were discussing playing cards, so Miller had his cue. He knew what he used to be alleged to say. He used to be on. “I’m a cube guy! ” he rather screamed. His voice used to be excessive and brittle, just like the yelp of a puppy whose tail has simply been snapped within the porch door. The room iced over, deeply silent back as Miller’s assertion settled. the lads appeared again to Vernon, the wondering expressions on their faces seeming to invite, What used to be that sound? Why had the fats boy simply despatched up a helium balloon like that? Vernon was once shocked, too. He grew to become to the gamblers and made a bit movement along with his hand at his head. Don’t fear approximately him, he attempted to assert with the hand, he’s no longer too good. Then he received up from the desk, grabbed Miller, they usually beat a hasty retreat again to the road.

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