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Topic: The Pocketbook by Curtis Kam
Message: Posted by: Craig Petty (Jun 23, 2008 06:13AM)
There are many books that you can buy to learn coin magic. When you first start out Bobo’s Modern Coin Magic will be more than sufficient. After you are more advanced there are other books that will help you advance your skills in many areas such as Coin Magic by Richard Kaufman and Expert Coin Magic. New tricks are taught on an almost daily basis. Between effects in magazines, effects on DVD’s, new coin gimmicks and more you could spent to rest of your life reading, watching and learning and still not have learnt everything there is to learn. Curtis Kam’s Pocketbook however is different. Instead of teaching you tricks it will make you examine your magic and your performances and teach you to create the tricks yourself.

Lets first look at the sort of thing that Curtis covers in this book. First he look at some of the classic books on coin magic and HOW to study them to achieve the best results. He looks at coin sizes, coin moves and some of the main sleights in coin magic. Curtis also examines some of the most important moves that were not included in Bobo’s. In one excellent section he looks at effects that are possible in coin magic beyond the normal coins across etc. This section alone is excellent and has already got me thinking about my magic. Another excellent section discusses endings of coin routines and ways to end a routine beyond the normal Jumbo Coin Climax. Another excellent section discusses listening and how it ties into learning. Curtis then talks about some of the lessons he has learnt from listening.

I could go on talking about this book till I was blue in the face, I could talk about the section where Curtis talks about the biggest tells in coin magic or the section where he discusses framing. However, I want everyone to know that you HAVE to buy this book if you have any interest in coin magic at all. The best part of the book is that it is small enough to fit in your pocket. This means you can carry it around with you and read it over and over. This is a book that is meant to be used - not collected. There are notes pages to make notes and I have already filled mine full. Everytime I go back and read it again I find something new, something inspirational that sends me off in a new direction.

To sum up I will say again, if you have any interest in coin magic and want to become more creative and a better performer and thinker you have to buy this book - you owe it to yourself.

Thank you Curtis for a great book - Now, when are you releasing Palms of Steel 4 - I WANT TO LEARN SOME MORE TRICKS!!!!!!

Message: Posted by: Tom Dobrowolski (Jun 25, 2008 09:56AM)
I have been remiss in posting my thoughts on this GREAT book.

First off I agree with everything Craig Petty has to say in the above review but for me the most valuable thing I got out of this book was the realization that everything Curtis says in this book can and more importantly SHOULD be applied to all magic disciplines from cards to stand up to illusions, etc. You should use this as a guide book to apply this critical thought process to ANY magic you may currently be performing/studying. It's a way of thinking not just about coin magic BUT all magic. It's not some pie in the sky theory book but a practical approach to looking at and improving your magic beginning with how and what to study, improving your technique and creating original material. Curtis offers his well thought out and reasoned opinions but he neither asks nor expects you to follow them blindly. He wants you to THINK about it all and come to your own conclusions.

EVERY magician, regardless of their interests and level of experience in magic, NEEDS to read and STUDY this book. Get it today, study it and it will improve your magic.

Curtis Kams' wide and varied experiences in studying, creating and performing magic gives him a unique perspective that I am glad he chose to share this with us all.
Message: Posted by: jonnyboy (Jun 25, 2008 08:56PM)
Sounds wonderful. Is this book available at dealers?
Message: Posted by: The Burnaby Kid (Jun 26, 2008 05:30AM)
You can get it by going to his online shop over [url=http://www.lulu.com/content/2177995]LuLu[/url].
Message: Posted by: Curtis Kam (Jun 26, 2008 06:19AM)
Thanks guys, I've learned that people tend to read only the "Latest and Greatest" section of the Café, or this one. So for the skinny on The Pocketbook, you might want to stop by [url=http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=250782&forum=218&22]here![/url]

Thank you Tom and Craig for taking time to write the reviews. Craig, I'm dying to see the notes you've made! For our German speaking friends, Denis Behr reports that he's posted a review and/or recommendation on a German forum, as well. So my evil plot to control the inhabitants of this backward planet is proceeding on schedule. Resistance is futile!

Oh--and for anyone else who's looking for more tricks, [url=http://www.themagicbakery.com]Palms of Steel 4: Cashablanca[/url] is at the duplicators now. Buy both now, or the card terrorists win!
Message: Posted by: sleightofhander (Jun 29, 2008 01:24AM)
I'm jumping on that bandwagon Curtis!
Message: Posted by: Brian Proctor (Jun 29, 2008 01:54PM)
This book sounds perfect for me. I hope I can get one before they run out. The other day I was sitting down with some friends asking about what is done to death and trying to mash ideas to come up with something entirely new. I hope this book really opens my eyes.
Message: Posted by: Curtis Kam (Jul 1, 2008 05:38AM)
I think it will hit the spot, Brian. In addressing that very same question, I've put together a list of 52 published coin effects that are not the usual coins across, through the table, assembling, or c/s transpo. It's meant to be inspirational, and people have already suggested three others that I missed. So it seems to be working.

Also, it's interesting to see how far David Roth has stretched that particular envelope.
Message: Posted by: Jimeh (Jul 2, 2008 12:26PM)
Having read this thread for the first time I'm even happier I ordered 'Pocketbook' 2 days ago!
Message: Posted by: Jimeh (Jul 20, 2008 05:26PM)
I know this thread is a little older but I just had to add to it as I've received 'The Pocketbook' and I'm more than impressed. It doesn't teach tricks but teaches how to make them better.

The references scattered throughout the book are incredibly useful. A good chunk of the reference material I already have and some I will have to invest in as $ permits. The 52 coin effects (one for every card in a deck) opened my eyes to just how many things can be done with these little buggers! I agree with Tom Dobrowolski when he says the advice dispensed can be applied to more than just coins.

I had read what others have said about it and took everyone's word on it's usefulness and couldn't be happier that I did. I'll know I'll be referring to it often enough. It's wee book that packs a big punch!

Thanks Mr. Kam!
Message: Posted by: Curtis Kam (Aug 22, 2008 04:30PM)
In addition to the quick witted, keenly aware and ahead of the curve individuals who got their Pocketbooks early and posted above, (Thanks guys) I've received quite a few reviews directly, including:


Just a quick note to tell you that I very much enjoyed reading the Pocketbook. Although I have been into this coin conjuring stuff for quite sometime, I found this interesting and informative. Your writing style is intelligent and coupled with your experience with this art form and your knowledge of some of the important historical context within coin magic - it makes for a nice read....I enjoy reading Roberto Giobbi in The Genii Session because it informs me and stimulates my passion for things magical. You have the same ability.[/quote]

I hope this kind reviewer doesn't mind my quoting a bit of his email here. It's a good example of the sort of feedback we receive daily here at the Kam Command Center. (Located high atop the T. Nelson Downs Building in CoinMagic Plaza)

Another deeply insightful reader shared a comment that bears repeating: he said, "Thank you so much for writing The Pocketbook. You've saved me years of getting it wrong!" So that's the catchphrase for today--"The Pocketbook, the magic book that adds years to your (magical) life and life to your years".

This is Your Supreme Commander reminding you to take the image, not the coin, and if you have any questions, drop by lulu.com and seek out "the Pocketbook". That is all.
Message: Posted by: Jimeh (Aug 26, 2008 11:53AM)
Message: Posted by: Curtis Kam (Aug 28, 2008 05:53AM)
A Message to all citizens from your beloved Supreme Commander:

"Order-filling droids at Lulu.com report a sudden burst of orders for The Pocketbook in the last couple of days. Congratulations to all who are about to receive the gift of wisdom. Your dedication to The Cause will be noted in the Master Computer, along with your ID numbers."

The Supreme Commander is pleased. Let the waves of heightened enlightenment engulf and protect us.
Message: Posted by: cperkins (Sep 3, 2008 10:32AM)
Hey, I also really enjoyed The Pocketbook.

Thankfully, if you are into closeup coin magic these days, there seems to be no end to the steady stream of new sleights, tricks, variations and routines available in the commercial market. And most of us just can't get enough. What is also needed though are good quality written references,treatments, and discussions about the various other aspects of this subset of magic; aspects other than strictly the mechanical - but here the supply is rather short.

The Pocketbook isn't another book of tricks and you will never see it in DVD format (at least I don't think so). It is a discussion, or at least one person's take on the essential aspects of making real magic happen in your hands with coins. Look at some of the topics:

Examination (handing your props out)
False Transfers
Finger Palm
Getting Caught
Moves Not in MCM

The author then shares with the reader his "random things I've learned from listening," and how this can be so relevant to one's overall performance and skill - some very good insights here....For instance, when is your spectator(s)comfortable enough to play with you?

There is lots of other stuff in this little book: ten tells (interesting!), naturalness, presentation, repetition - you get the idea. I learned, but I was also reminded (I need this in my old age), of important aspects to pay attention to in my own level of skill.

If you are a Café member you know the caliber of Curtis' writing ability and substance. The Pocketbook I think lends the reader a valuable bit of this guy's own experience, observation and insight gained from a much higher view from "magical mountain" than mine. So I benefit from it.

Although this little book packs small and informs large, my only criticism is that is isn't a fuller treatment of the subject. Lots to cover in 80 pages - after completing it, you want more.

Although an enormous undertaking, maybe the author has it in him for a fuller more major undertaking on this branch of close up - if we can just persuade him to give up those wills, trusts and codicils. Anyway we need it.

That's my take on this little work - I have never met the Commander, and I swear I have never even stepped foot in the T Nelson Downs Building. In fact, I have never even been to CoinMagic Plaza either...(although I have heard that the bronzed bust of Roth there entitled, "Hanging a Coin" is truly somethg to behold). I hope to take the kids and the little missus there someday though...actually, where is it located?

Message: Posted by: Jimeh (Sep 3, 2008 07:25PM)
I carry my copy everywhere in my bag. So much so that my close buddy asked me
"what the hell's that little book you carry everywhere!" lol

Knowing the Supreme Commander would be displeased I responded "recipes..."

BTW, the location of the Downs Building and CoinMagic Plaza is a closely guarded secret. My best guess is Hawaii!
There's rumored to be a statue of Kainoa entitled "Ode To Delaware".

James Abbott
Message: Posted by: Curtis Kam (Oct 3, 2008 04:17PM)
This just in from the team of Marketing Sharks living in the 50,000 gallon observation tank high atop the T. Nelson Downs Building in beautiful CoinMagic Plaza:

Concerned Citizens of Cointopia beware: on October 28, 2008, Lulu.com will be raising the production costs on all books. This means that after that date, The Pocketbook will cost you MORE. Of course, it will still be worth it, but let's face it, you'll be happier if you just go right now to Lulu.com and purchase one copy of "The Pocketbook" for everyone you really care about.

Brought to you by The People Who Care About You(tm) the nonprofit branch of People Who Really Care About Profits, Inc.
Message: Posted by: Father Photius (Oct 10, 2008 05:06PM)
I just bought and read this book. It is tremendous. Every one who comes to me now wanting to know how to get started in coin magic is going to be told "Get Curtis Kam's "The Pocketbook", read it, follow it."

Here is one of the top coin men telling you how to get started in coin magic, what to learn, and how to set about the practice of being a coin magician. Not a single trick in the book, but it is full of some of the most excellent advise I've ever read on learning and the practice of coin magic.

The glossary alone is worth the price of the book. Once you read it, you should be able to decifer most of the coin posts on the Café, even sound like you might know what you're talking about when you post.

This is a must have reference for anyone who does coins.
Message: Posted by: Curtis Kam (Jan 3, 2009 03:54AM)
Dateline 1/2/09
Time: 11:30 pm CST (Coinman Sandard Time)

The following review was received at the internet mailroom in the IT wing of the Nelson Downs Building. Luckily, enough of the elves have recovered from the annual "Come as your favorite Gaff" party to copy it down and post it here:


In a recent sad attempt to find a review for this book other than the one printed on the product page for this book, I figured it needed to be done immediately, so here I am at 12:30 AM, on my computer, writing this review. Curtis did a fantastic job on this book so let's give it up for "The Pocketbook: Coin gaffes and common cents".

What is "The Pocketbook?", you may ask. "The Pocketbook" is a book written by the one and only, Curtis Kam the magnificent amazing incredibly talented awesome coin magician. Yea, all those things. In an attempt to write the future leading book on coin magic, Curtis has not only succeeded in a landslide compared to other books on coin conjuring, but he has also set the expectation level much higher for anybody performing with coins as well as increased entertainment value for all of those people's audiences by reading this book.

The quality of this book is just unbelievably. If you wanted a good book to keep you busy for a few hours, this is the one to get. Although it is only 83 pages long, this is the pocket sized reference book for anybody even remotely interested in money. that's right. Money. If you have ever done a coin trick and do not own this book, you are missing out on one fine piece of work here. It is perfectly bound in a nice "Hip pocket Mullica wallet" sized book than is destined to travel anywhere with everybody. Consider it (I'm sorry baby, I didn't mean to refer to you as "it") a security blanket for magicians. Just imagine that sense of security when in a bar or restaurant situation where you have a few coins on you and you forgot your favorite technique to opening a flipper, or the proper handwashing techniques and ideas. Pshaw, just flip open the book and your set!

Even if you are just starting off in coin magic (or magic, for that matter) this book will help you on a large scale. It is not only the future bible of coin magic, but also an incredible reference book/guide as well as notebook and handbook for coin magicians. If you are just starting, I highly recommend buying this and J.B Bobo's "Modern Coin Magic" at the same time. If you sat down and read this book at the same time (Good luck at THAT!), you can get much more bang for your buck.

Whether you are a beginner in coin magic, a well seasoned coin mechanic, or even just to support the author, this book will come as a simple pleasure. I am astonished that Curtis would just give this up that easily on a silver platter to the magic community. C'mon man, make us beg for it! I feel much more secure now after reading this book with my magic. I have only been with coins for a good 6 months or so and I feel like I have learned 6 months of good material in 3 days of reading. I look forward to many years of constant referring until the last stitch of binding holding this book together finally breaks and it falls apart and then, oh boy! I get to buy another one to use for many more years.

I can say with every ounce of dignity and manhood in my body, I think I felt a tear drip down my face when I read the last words of this book. On the other side, many of the coin magi who don't buy this book will feel the slow, painful burn of a heckler in a crowd of 40 on the street during their "perfect" hanging coins routine. No routine is perfect until this book is read and understood for there is no greater pleasure in life than to have all this great material presented in such a direct, simple to read book for only $24.95 at lulu.com. Most of the best information is the most expensive but it pays in the end. Just look at Nathan Kranzo's "The Gig". This book is here for us at our disposal for reference and advice. Just imagine sitting on Curtis' lap and listening to him telling you everything there is to know about coin magic. Yea, that's what is in this book. That whole experience.

So there is absolutely nothing left to say other than a big warm thank you to Curtis. The perfect book. The perfect experience. Thank you.

-Mark Tirone