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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Books, Pamphlets & Lecture Notes » » The book "Variations" (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Colonel Mustard
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Some time back I saw a wonderful piece of business (it was a packet trick) that the performer attributed to a book titled "Variations." Unfortunately I cannot remember who the author was, and I have not seen the book myself. Can someone clarify what book this must have been, and comment on its quality?

Thank you.

Zach Allen
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I can't comment on anything in the book itself, but here is a link to a description of it:

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Starlit Circles
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It is by Earl Nelson, and it is quite worthwhile.
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The book Variations by Earl Nelson was first published in 1978. It has been out of print for some time but will occasionally show up on eBay. Unfortunately I have seen it fetch anywhere from $60 to $200+ as it is a classic book (the only one from Earl Nelson that I am aware of) from one of the greats.
John Pezzullo
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You may want to take a look at the following URL:



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Mike Powers
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I saw Earl in Buffalo in October. He told me that Mike Caveney is putting out a new edition of Variations with some new material in it. I don't know when to expect the book, however.

Earl is also re-issuing the Simon book "Versitile Card Magic" which has been out of print. I got an advance copy of the DVD on which Earl explains many of the techniques and applications from the book. It's an excellent DVD which contains much valuable information. I highly recommend all of these items.

Jim Robinson
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This is an excellent book if you can find it. It includes a good version of Paul Harris' "Reset," a good sanwich trick, some good ring and string stuff, and a trick that people ask me to do again and again called "Sleeve Aces."

I was lucky enough to find this book twice so I gave one away and bought the second copy used.

If you ever run across a copy, buy it.

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Scott F. Guinn
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It is a good book--probably most famous for "Clifton's ring Move" which now appears in virtually every finger ring and string routine extant (including mine!).

Interestingly, Earl himself says that he doesn't perform much out of that book anymore, and he humbly says he doesn't understand what all the fuss is about!

Exciting new to hear that Versatile Card Magic will be reprinted!
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When I Penned the index/review John refers to:

it was an effort to make sure that those who couldn't find copies of the classic had a chance to "see" it. The book is indeed a wondeful collection of effects and a great snapshot of what close up magic looked like in the late '70s / early '80s.

The trick you most likely saw was Nelson's version of Paul Harris' Re-Set. The original handling and notes on Mr. Nelson's variation are available in the The Art Of Astonishment Book One (Paul Harris).

If there's a place to post routines here I'd be happy to upload my own handling of Re-Set (which is already available on the Art Of Astonishment group at Yahoo).
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