By Karl Johnson
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Publication Date: 2006-07-25
Number of Pages: 368
Website: Amazon, LibraryThing, Google Books
Synopsis from Amazon:
A well-known magician's trip to discover the best cardsharp ever conjures up the forgotten international of magic the place americans stumbled on get away through the nice Depression
It has the nostalgic caliber of an old school fantasy, yet Karl Johnson's The Magician and the Cardsharp is a real tale that lovingly re-creates the flicker of a vanished global. the following, set opposed to the backdrop of the USA suffering throughout the melancholy, is the area of magic, a realm of stars, sleight of hand, and sin the place goals will be discovered - or stolen away.
Following the Crash of '29, Dai Vernon, identified via magicians as "the guy who fooled Houdini," is tramping down Midwestern backroads, slightly making ends meet. whereas swapping secrets and techniques with a Mexican gambler, he hears of a man he doesn't fairly think is actual - a mythical secret guy who bargains completely from the heart of the deck and who locals name the best cardsharp of all time. made up our minds to discover the reclusive genius, Vernon units out on a trip via America's shady, slick, and sinful part - from mob-run Kansas urban via railroad cities that regarded sleepy simply within the daylight hours. Does he locate the pointy?
Well, Karl Johnson did - after years of analysis into Vernon's colourful quest, learn that led him to locations he by no means knew existed. Johnson takes us to the cardsharp's doorstep and indicates us how he bestowed on Vernon the best mystery in magic. The Magician and the Cardsharp is a special and forever unique piece of heritage that unearths the artistry and obsession of a different breed of yankee showmen.
Read or Download The Magician and the Cardsharp: The Search for America's Greatest Sleight-of-Hand Artist PDF
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Additional info for The Magician and the Cardsharp: The Search for America's Greatest Sleight-of-Hand Artist
Within the Sedgwick County detention center, Vernon had allow his pleasure at Villasenor’s revelation express instantly. (Ross were surprised at how wildly excited Vernon had seemed and had even written to a chum approximately it. ) yet that used to be again in Wichita, the place Vernon had awarded himself as a magician and, finally, it didn’t actually matter to him what Villasenor considered him. right here on the counter of the KC Card Co. , he used to be imagined to be a hustler, a realistic employee looking for a unique instrument. He couldn’t bounce up and down and begin swinging his fingers round. And he didn’t. He leaned in and started to fireplace questions at Lee. who's he? the place is he? What’s his identify? Lee all started his dance once more. * * * whereas Vernon had waited to come to Kansas urban, his journey not on time first by means of the necessity to make a few extra money slicing silhouettes after which through the tough climate battering the world, he it sounds as if made the choice that aimless improvisation alongside the downtown streets was once not likely to do the activity. Like a magician attempting to ascertain which sleight might paintings top for the impact he sought after, he observed that he wanted one other method. Improbably adequate, observe of his look for the guts deal had already began to leak out one of the underground of elite magicians round the state. in a single of his general letters to his confidant Horowitz, Vernon had pointed out what Villasenor had informed him. “I’m convinced going to make a true attempt to find this fellow and take a look at it,” Vernon wrote, with severe understatement, to his pal in the beginning of March. (He was once already preserving a few of the tale to himself. whereas he made certain to extol Charlie Miller’s specified genius to Horowitz, he didn’t inform him that the 2 of them had already made a run into the center of Kansas City’s downtown playing district. ) Ross, too, had already allow be aware slip, to his previous good friend T. Nelson Downs over in Marshalltown, Iowa. Downs, who used to be wanting to get what he referred to as the “dry bones” on “Vernon’s stuff,” sought after the 2 more youthful magicians to return to work out him for a consultation. He had even invited John Sprong to come back over from Chicago. but if Vernon and Ross demurred as a result of Vernon’s plans, Downs used to be aggravated and unimpressed. “It turns out Vernon desired to see a few one in okay. C. who Ross acknowledged might deal from the guts of the deck,” Downs wrote to his buddy Eddie McGuire, the guy who had brought Walter Scott and his nice second-deal paintings to New York’s internal Circle. Downs had dabbled in playing, too, long ago, frequently with unsatisfactory effects. Now sixty-five and crotchety, he used to be dismissive of the thing of Vernon’s seek. “This was once additionally performed by means of gamblers to my wisdom forty five years ago,” he wrote to McGuire. Vernon wouldn’t have minded the head magicians discussing the assumption of this mystery. all of them saved in normal touch by way of letter, gossiping like schoolgirls, and it used to be beautiful general for a brand new trick or strategy to allure a specific amount of carping and envy. the matter right here used to be that Vernon didn’t have the key but. He hadn’t exposed the circulation and he was once already getting doubting stories.