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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Books/Pamphlets/Notes » » The Encyclopedia of Card Flourishes by Jerry Cestkowski » » TOPIC IS LOCKED (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Steve Brooks
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The Encyclopedia of Card Flourishes
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The last year or so has seen rise to a huge debate on the value of fancy cuts and flourishes using a deck of playing cards, and whether or not these acrobatic delights serve any real purpose, other than providing some interesting eye candy for the observer. Smile

Magicians appear to either hate doing difficult cuts and flourishes, or seem to actually use very few. However, the younger magic crowd, having been impressed and influenced by the finger flicking skills of such convention legends as Lee Asher, The Buck Twins and others, have now taken the plunge into this interesting world of visual trickery.

There are of course, those few who view the performance of the many variations of cuts and flourishes to be a seperate art unto itself, having nothing to do with the act of performing magic or illusion. Indeed, many from this school of thought have based entire acts on the art of card juggling as it were.

Having said all that, it is no surprise then, that an influx of card manipulation books, videos and dvd's have appeared on the magic market of late. Even the Internet is crammed full of websites specializing in the discussion and/or teaching of the mechanics involved in mastering the skills required to properly perform these high tech pasteboard manipulations.

What ever your own views and opinions are regarding the use of such animated card displays, one might at least explore the possibilities, be it applied to the magical arts or not.

But where to begin? Granted, basic cuts, fans and the like are explored in many a magic textbook, but usually only briefly, if at all. More often then not, any type of intricate appearing cut or flourish is usually explained and recommended as a tool in the context of a sleight or to hide a move, its goal being to accomplish a secret action (such as the pass) as opposed to something that accomplishes absolutely nothing, but looks very pretty and visual.

Then along comes Jerry Cestkowski, who is hardly a household name, even in magic circles. But, this will all change I can assure you. Mr. Cestkowski is a very talented individual. First, just taking on a project like this is enough to make folks go bald...but take it on he has. Jerry conceived, wrote, designed, illustrated, typeset and even printed The Encyclopedia of Card Flourishes. I don't know about you, but I think that is pretty impressive. Smile

From the Introduction:
"If you are a magician who doesn't give a rat's bottom about card flourishes as a specialty, you will still find many essential and/or potentially useful moves. Every magician who uses cards should be able to make a decent pressure fan, and many tricks you will come across in other resources incorporate flourishes such as the one-hand cuts and springing the cards. And, although I have, in this book, purposely omitted descriptions of flourishes used as magical sleights, you will find many flourishes can still be so utilized."

Whether you agree with this philosophy or not, the fact remains, if you work with cards, sooner or later the subject of fancy cuts or flourishes will be one that you will want to research. In my humble opinion, this is an important work that demands your attention. Weighing in at a little over five pounds (drop this baby and you'll probably break something) this book is no small wonder. It is a hardback and is a nice 8-1/2 x 11 in size, and lays flat for easy reading and learning. Containing 545 pages of priceless information, with tons of illustrations and some 2,800 clear photographs (that's more then most year books) you'll spend weeks just turning the pages.

Jerry starts off with a simple Charlier Pass and proceeds from there. Here are the chapters:

  • One-Hand Single Cuts
  • One-Hand Multiple Cuts
  • Fanning
  • Springs and Drops
  • Two-Hand Single Cuts
  • Two-Hand Multiple Cuts
  • Arm-Spreads
  • Two-Hand Shuffles
  • One-Hand Shuffles
  • Deck Flips, Twirls and Spins
  • Table Flourishes
  • Throwing and Juggling


Wow, what more can I say? I believe this book is as important a work to the serious card worker, as Bobo is for those who practice coin magic. Every library should have this book for a reference, as the information it contains far outweighs the small asking price.

I am told the first edition is nearly exhausted, with a second printing just around the corner. If you are a collector, order your copy today. If you have any serious interest in cards I would suggest you obtain a copy as soon as possible. I firmly believe that The Encyclopedia of Card Flourishes is destined to become a true classic, and I do not hesitate to give this book my highest recommendation. Buy this now! Smile

My rating:
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Suggested Retail: $75.00 + $5 Shipping (continental U.S.)
Colorado residents add 3.8% sales tax.

Available direct from: The Flourishman
18206 E. Dorado Dr., Centennial, Co. 80015
Note: Be sure check or International Money Order is made payable to "The Printmeister"

For more information visit The Flourishman site:
Click here!

You can contact Jerry Cestkowski directly at: flourishman@aol.com
"Always be you because nobody else can" - Steve Brooks
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