The Classic Collection is a compilation of 4 previously published works–Closeup Card Magic, Personal Secrets, My Favorite Card Tricks, and Deck-Sterity, all written and updated by Harry Lorayne.
That cantakerous old curmudgeon Harry Lorayne may not be a character you’d want to hire for a kid’s birthday party, but he is entertaining as hell with a deck of cards in his hands. What’s more, he writes with a conversational style that makes it easy to grasp what he’s teaching. The book contains a wealth of great effects, sleights, controls, and presentational ideas.
All of Harry’s work is focused on impromptu card magic that can be done with a borrowed deck of cards (which is how he prefers to work). A lot of card guys that work impromptu tend to use a littany of knuckle-busting moves to achieve the intended effect. Lorayne’s work contains no moves outside the ability of an intermediate card worker. Any setups that exist are minor and easily performed right in front of the spectators.
Yes the book costs around $100 but if you look at how many $30 one-trick DVDs you have in your library, I GUARANTEE you that on a first read through you will find at least 10 items that you will want to put in your repertoire straight away. Every time I read through this book I discover effects that didn’t strike me the first time through, or I’ll rediscover something that I liked but stopped performing for whatever reason.
If you are a fan of impromptu card magic that is neither sleight-free nor knuckle-busting you will love this book. On to the demos…
Well, before we get on to the demos I must confess that the reason this review has been so delayed is that all of my previous videos are gone. I had made about 12 videos for this book as I wanted it to be as thorough as I could make it. However, I lost my video server and my backup server within the space of 2 weeks losing all of my previous work. So about 5 weeks ago I started reshooting the effects. After about 6 were done I decided I wasn’t going to reshoot all 12 videos. If I happen to perform more of these effects in front of the camera I’ll post them here but I wouldn’t count on that happening.
This first effect is “worth the price of the book.” It’s a classic effect on steroids. My handling differs somewhat from the original and it can be found on page 64. Yes this video weighs in at a beefy 9 minutes but I wanted to really convey the true nature of the effect without rushing through it. Normally when I perform this it takes a little longer as it is a presentational showpiece. This is the kind of effect where you shouldn’t do anything else afterwards. It’s really that strong.
Deck Memorization is a great presentational hook that contains a variety of presentational applications. This version is on page 249.
My handling of card stab uses the card case itself which usually gets a laugh out of people watching it. Hard as it to believe that one can find a card through the card case–that’s exactly what happens. Page 31.
This is one of those bold effects that makes me smile every time I perform it. Please note that the cards being removed are based on the spectators answers from the performer’s perspective. Hopefully that clears everything up. Page 86.
Sympathetic Decks is not actually a routine. Rather it is a concept that can be exploited during the course of a presentation. I created a simplistic effect around the idea but to make full use of the concept read the book. Ironically, this is one of the effects that was most commented upon after the camera was turned off. It left quite an impression. Page 125.
Finally, a little public service announcement. Cheesy, yes, but it amuses me at least. Enjoy this little delight on page 41.