The Magic Café
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Books, Pamphlets & Lecture Notes » » Review: The Boy Who Cried Magic (by Andi Gladwin) (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

View Profile
Inner circle
Reviewer EndersGame
2083 Posts

Profile of EndersGame
The Boy Who Cried Magic by Andi Gladwin

A classy book, full of classy content, from a classy magician


The name Andi Gladwin will be familiar to many people in the magic industry, largely due to his business partnership with Joshua Jay. In 2009 they teamed up to start Vanishing Inc Magic, which has since become a leading magic retailer. But one of the big reasons for the commercial success of Vanishing Inc Magic is that Andi and Josh aren't merely businessmen with an interest in magic. They are magicians first and foremost, and each of them is highly respected for their credentials and contributions to the magic industry.

When I heard that Andi had written a book, in which he shared the best card tricks from his own repertoire, I wasn't surprised to discover that it was receiving rave reviews. It was released on 21 November 2020. Exactly one year ago today! In a relatively short time it became Vanishing Inc's bestselling book of all time. It's called The Boy Who Cried Magic because Andi realizes that creating good magic requires more than just passion and creativity. A good amount of old-fashioned hard work - blood, sweat, and tears (hence the word "cried" in the title) - is needed to develop raw material.


This means that the card tricks that Andi shares in this book are not merely the result of his labour of love, but also a lot of hard work and fine-tuning. These tricks have evolved and developed over many years, as a result of much dedication and effort on his part. In Andi's own words, "It is essentially my lifetime's work." Because with every little change and refinement across 20 years of performing, each routine has improved. Andi has applied similar attention to detail and quality in the production of this book. He spent a lengthy period of time writing and crafting it, to make sure it would be the very best it could be.

That's why Andi's blood, sweat, and tears is good news for us. His tears should put a smile on our face, because he is putting his finely tuned effects straight into our hands. And that in turn should eventually lead to smiles on the faces of our spectators.



First impressions say a lot. There's the old saying that you shouldn't judge a book by its cover. But we all know that in the world of magic, presentation is everything. It applies to how we dress and present ourselves when performing. And it can even apply to magic books.

In the case of this fine volume, you really should judge it by its cover. It comes in a high quality slip case. Inside we find a well bound hard-cover book, with a splendid cloth feel. Everything about it looks and feels like quality of the highest kind. The production values are outstanding, and this book is even beautiful enough to be a piece of art and serve as a coffee table book.

As I began paging through the book, my admiration for the quality continued to grow. It has glossy pages. Around 250 of them in fact. There are over 200 clear photographs accompanying the text that show the various moves Andi teaches. And text is well laid out with clear formatting, and well-organized with appropriate headings.

The colour red unites everything as a central theme of the design. There's even a red ribbon that serves as a marker. It's all very nice. Really, really nice.



But does the quality of the content match the production quality? Absolutely. So what can you expect to find inside? Here are the key things you need to know:

Card magic: Andi's focus in this book is entirely on card magic. And that's quite deliberate, as he explains in his introduction about his goal. It is his belief that there is somewhat of a void in two main areas, stand-up card magic, and professional-quality walk-around card magic. So those are the focus of his attention in this book. This means that if you're not into card magic, this book isn't for you.

Principles: At the start of the book is a small essay with important tips about how to "bulletproof" your magic. By this he means that with attention to the right details, we can guarantee a great reaction of astonishment. The seven elements he sees as essential to accomplish this are: Be clear; Remove abruptness; Be authentic; Become adaptable; Create conversation and adapt to it; Overlap methods; and Study. This opening piece is well worthy of careful reading, and applying its principles is certain to make all your magic stronger, not just the tricks taught by Andi in this book.

16 Tricks: Besides the introductory essay, the book is divided into four main sections. These sections are: 1. Close-Up Card Magic; 2. Card Technique; 3. At the Card Table; and 4. Stand-Up Card Magic. Each section consists of around five or six chapters, each devoted to a single trick or move/sleight. While the second section covers half a dozen moves/sleights, the chapters in the other three sections make up the bulk of the book, and provide detailed teaching of 16 different card tricks.

15 Techniques: The second section in the book has six chapters that cover around 15 utility moves and sleights, notably his well-known Master Pushoff. This section runs for about 70 pages, and represents just under 30% of the entire content of the book.

Video: When you buy the book, you also get access to performance videos of all the routines. These don't include teaching material, but demonstrate what each effect looks like. But this is a brilliant way that digital media can enhance a book, because seeing an effect actually performed really helps you understand how it is supposed to look, and you're not relying purely on written text and photographs.



This will give you a taste of what's inside the three sections that include card tricks.

Close-Up Card Magic

A fun variation of "Whack Your Pack" from Paul Harris appears under the name "Whack Your Phone", where a spectator's selected card appears under your phone. If you can handle multiple double lifts, it has a very fun presentation that really gets your spectator involved. "Perfect Order" is a Triumph routine that includes audience involvement with the mixing. "Monte Python" is one of the cleanest monte routine you'll find that doesn't use gaffs or mixing the cards, courtesy of a very deceptive but convincing move. In the video trailer you'll see part of "Ghost", which is a nice impromptu sandwich effect based on a Dominique Duvivier trick. "Pocket Mule" was inspired by the classic "Smiling Mule" from Roy Walton, and turns this classic gag into a trick. A favourite for many will be "Fireworks", a wonderful piece that strings together multiple moments that are both magical and visual.

At the Card Table

"Red/Black to the Future" is a delightful and visual `Call to the Colors' routine with reds and blacks, which has a unique quality in that the cards are dealt face up. One of Andi's own personal favourites, and possibly the most impressive entry in this book, is the three-phase routine "Castle Jacks", mainly because of the jaw-dropping moment when the four Jacks are fanned (Classical Assembly). The other tricks included in this section are "From the Centre", "Misdeal", and "Cut, Stop, Shuffle".

Stand-Up Card Magic

You may have seen "Silent Movie" performed on TV's Masters of Illusion. It is a comedic piece that gets a spectator involved by copying your actions, and incorporates humor along with a surprising moment when matching cards are produced. "Aura" requires a bit more effort to prepare and perform, but it relies on a very clever method and has a delightful presentation involving a mystical touch. A thought-of cards-across routine is provided with "Thought Experiment". This transposition is a very well-constructed version of a strong Edward G. Brown effect. Also in the section on stand-up card magic are "Supersonic", and an idea for a different take on Aronson's "Shuffle Bored" called "ScriptedBored".



This section includes the challenging "Master Pushoff" (p.77), which was itself the subject of an entire DVD project that Andi produced with Big Blind Media, and gets more than 20 pages of coverage here.

The "Undo Cut" (p.109) has been the subject of critical acclaim, and Joshua Jay believes it to be the best false cut that there is. And if you're looking for a false shuffle to complement this, there's the "Undo Shuffle" (p.119) maintains the order of the entire deck while completing two overhand shuffles in an apparently fair manner. Meanwhile the "Cull Shuffle" (p.101) helps make the sequence of culling and shuffling more seamless.

Andi's handling of the "Brae Prop-up" (p.127) is included in the chapter covering "Four Finesses", and will strengthen your Ambitious Card Routine. Similarly his "Convincing Tilt" (p.131) will add conviction in the mind of your spectator that the inserted card really goes into the center of the deck. The "Fan Change" (p.143) is a flashy colour change that is one of the more knacky moves in the technique part of the book.



To get some idea of what the book is about, start by checking out the official video trailer, which was a remarkable accomplishment because it features footage captured in a single take. In addition, you can watch the following performances of some of the tricks taught in the book, which will give you a sense of how strong some of the material is:

Monte Python (performed by Andi)
Silent Movie (performed by Andi, from Masters of Illusion)
Aura (performed by Andi, from the digital download)
Perfect Order (performed by Craig Petty)
Fireworks (performed by Craig Petty)
Cut, Stop, Shuffle (performed by Craig Petty)



Practical tricks: This book is very much geared to being actually used by professional magicians. Because it is the result of Andi's own career as a performer, it contains only practical routines that work well in the real world. So this isn't a book full of magician foolers, or esoteric routines that require unusual gimmicks or unique settings to work. It is full of practical magic that a working magician might use for close-up card magic or stand-up card magic.

Polished tricks: Andi believes the best magic is the result of a lifetime of performing and perfecting. And that's what he's given us. Over a period of more than twenty years of performing as a professional, he has honed and perfected each routine, making incremental improvements over time to make them really shine. It's these routines from his own repertoire that he is now sharing with us, and they are the result of an enormous amount of fine-tuning and real-world experience. He has worked incredibly hard on perfecting each and every routine. He is very detail oriented, and has carefully tested all aspects of method and presentation, to maximize the impact and to eliminate any weaknesses. Aura is a case in point; elsewhere Andi has stated that he has tried at least ten different versions over the years before finalizing the routine you see in print here.

Previous tricks: Because the tricks included in the book are highly polished versions of tricks that Andi has been performing throughout his career, you may have seen versions of some of them before. For example, in one of his At The Table lectures, Andi taught Fireworks, Monte Python, and Pocket Mule. Aura was also released as a Vanishing Inc exclusive digital download. And the material on the Master Pushoff will already be familiar to some people from Andi's lectures or his Big Blind Media DVD. But to my knowledge, this is the first time any of this has appeared before in print. And they are the most refined version of all of these tricks that we've seen so far.

Consistent tricks: All the tricks here are strong. Andi started with his entire repertoire, and slowly whittled away the weaker effects, until he was only left with the best of the best. Those he polished and refined through his years of experience, and by applying his attentive detail to each and every element. The result is a collection of very strong material that is consistently good. There simply isn't anything here that you'd say is weak, mediocre, or completely impractical. It's worker material, and it's good worker material all round.


Presentation driven: A good example of Andi's emphasis on entertaining presentation is his Aura routine. This is a very fine piece of well-crafted magic that I'd previously come across when I picked up the download for it. This trick really exemplifies what I'd learned from studying theorists like Darwin Ortiz, and was a perfect case example about how the construction and presentation of a trick is essential to produce strong magic. Aura has an emotional hook that gets your spectator involved in a way that makes the outcome seem even more magical and surprising than the same method with a lesser presentation. Especially the section in the book on Stand-Up Card Magic emphasizes interesting presentations that really drive the effect.

Building on classics: Even though this book represents his own repertoire, Andi knows that he is standing on the shoulders of those who have preceded him, and gratefully acknowledges the work of others that he is building on. There's an extensive "Credits" section at the end of each chapter, that explains the origin of each trick or sleight in great detail. In some cases the name is an obvious tip of the hat to the routine that inspired it, as is the case with "ScriptedBored" (a reworking of Simon Aronson's "Shuffle-Bored"). Magicians will appreciate the fine and detailed crediting that is included.

Intermediate level: Most of the material in the book is geared to magicians who already have experience with card magic, and especially intermediate level magicians will benefit from the content. Nothing requires knuckle-busting sleights that are only within the abilities of advanced magicians, although some of the moves will require real practice (here's looking at you, "Master Pushoff"!). There is even some content here that will be within reach of dedicated beginners. Whatever level you're at, you are guaranteed to learn a lot, and will be inspired by Andi's passion, methods, and presentation - especially performing magicians.

Good value: This book does come with a fairly hefty $50 price tag. But it's hard to think of another book on card magic in this price range which has this level of quality in terms of production values and in terms of content. There's nothing mediocre here, and it's all top class material. If you're serious about your card magic, you can be confident that you'll be getting your money's worth.



Publishers like to use endorsements to help drive sales. Clearly it wasn't difficult for them to find some big names to endorse this book, given the quality of the content. Here are some examples of respected magicians who had good things to say about Andi's book:

Paul Wilson: "A book filled with crystal clear descriptions and illustrations for powerful, commercial magic, and practical ingenious ideas."
Paul Romhany: "If you love card magic that is quick and to the point you’ll love this book by Andi. The magic comes directly from his working repertoire so you know it’s going to be incredibly strong."
Harapan Ong: "One of those books that you can flip to any page and find something practical, amazing, and polished to perfection."
Dynamo: "The Boy Who Cried Magic is a perfect magic book, written by the best writer in magic. The tricks are world-class performance pieces, and the book itself is stunning. Every magician should own it!
Joshua Jay: "A collection of all of Andi's best tricks."
Steven Faulkner: "Full of workable, commercial and strong routines, this is a book by someone who knows not only how to create magic that works, but explains it in a way that makes learning it a joy. Excellent."
Steve Cohen: "One of the most beautifully-designed magic books in recent memory."
Luke Jermay: "The effects are direct, well constructed and very fooling. This collection ... is a robust, mature and hugely valuable collection of professional performance pieces that I highly recommend."
Ollie Mealing: "Packed with a rare potency. Whether you’re reading the trick, method or theory, an extensive pursuit of excellence is revealed on every page."
Jim Krenz: "The Boy Who Cried Magic is a beautiful book, both inside and out."



The Boy Who Cried Magic has been highly praised from all sides. And now that I've seen it, I know why. This is a stunningly handsome volume that breathes quality inside and out.

But perhaps that shouldn't surprise any of us. This book is the result of 20 years of experience from a performing magician, who gives careful thought to every small detail of technique and presentation.

Andi Gladwin may have had to shed a tear or two as part of the blood, sweat, and tears required for him to produce this. But if buyers shed any tears over it, they'll be tears of joy, not tears of regret. Because for anyone who loves card magic, this is a book certain to put a smile on your face.


Where to get it? The Boy Who Cried Magic is available from Vanishing Inc Magic.

Want to learn more? See these related videos:
Official video trailer
Documentary: Making The Boy Who Cried Magic
View Profile
New user
61 Posts

Profile of FaroFaroFaro
Another fantastic review that’s going to hurt my wallet….
Tim Cavendish
View Profile
Inner circle
1379 Posts

Profile of Tim Cavendish
On Nov 22, 2021, FaroFaroFaro wrote:
Another fantastic review that’s going to hurt my wallet….

If you buy during Vanishing Inc's Black Friday sale it'll hurt $15 less...
View Profile
New user
61 Posts

Profile of FaroFaroFaro
Thanks Tim 😎
View Profile
New user
50 Posts

Profile of Illusion77
Thanks for the great review!
View Profile
New user
50 Posts

Profile of Randa
Thanks for the review ! Great book by the way !
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Books, Pamphlets & Lecture Notes » » Review: The Boy Who Cried Magic (by Andi Gladwin) (1 Likes)
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2022 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.42 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL