What to look for in "The Card Magic of LePaul"...

A place where beginners can participate, ask questions, and post their views. However, beginners typically ask a lot of questions about sources, tricks, books, and so on. In fact, all magicians are interested (or should be) in the provenance of tricks, ideas, and related matters. This department will service these needs.

Postby Guest » 02/13/04 08:14 AM

In my quest to advance in this world of card magic (only been in this for a little over 1 year), I've been looking for a successor book to "The Royal Road to Card Magic". I finally found that book in "The Card Magic of LePaul".

I do have the Card College series, but find that it has so much information, it's a better resource than a series to learn everything in. In the LePaul book, I like the approach, the thoughts behind what he does, the effects, etc. I can see where he has helped to influence "contemporary" card magic. I also feel that the material in Royal Road leads directly into LePaul's material.

Is there anything specifically I should look for while working through this book? Any certain techniques or tricks to look for? Advancements or improvements to some of his stuff since then that are worth investigating?

Thanks for helping to guide me in my study of this classic.

Postby Guest » 02/13/04 09:20 AM

Instead of "cherry picking" this classic, why not read it all the way through and decide for yourself what you find useful?

The book isn't that long and isn't a tough read, so why try to short cut the process?

Postby Guest » 02/13/04 10:52 AM


Im a fan of almost ANY book on card magic. Im also willing to struggle with difficult writing styles, crabbed descriptions, insufficient illustrations, and other roadblocks to convenient comprehension. Some books are better than others.

I read Le Pauls book when I was 14 and loved the large, plentiful photographs. Robert Parrish was a concise and clear writerno frills.

Chris Kenner recently lamented that so many of the current books do not seem inviting. That is, they dont have the warm aura of the old books that looked like VERY SECRET, arcane volumes that had been hidden away and had limited circulation. Readers had to deeply delves inside to find the treasured stuff. When I got GREATER MAGIC, it seemed Biblical, teasingly daunting, and wonderfully deep. I literally lived with that book for two years, finding precious details every time I drove into it.

Marlos stuff was difficult to read. EXPERT CARD TECHNIQUE is tough to slog through. Alas, many of my modest works are not a delight to read. Perhaps the most accessible and inviting (to look at) book was the initial CARD FINESSE, which was largely due to RKs drawings.

I agree with others. Read LEPAUL without a guide or knowing preliminary stuff. Find your own way. Live with the book. Make it your own.


Postby Guest » 02/13/04 01:30 PM

Thanks for the advice.

I guess that being new to magic I sometimes get confused as to "old vs. new" or "original vs. improved vs. variation".

I definitely planned on getting through the entire book. As was stated, it isn't an extremely long book and is an easy read. I REALLY like his approach and philosophy written in the "preface". I can see that a lot of our great cardmen of the past and present have adopted similar philosophies.

Postby Guest » 02/13/04 02:41 PM

Is there anything specifically I should look for while working through this book? Any certain techniques or tricks to look for? Advancements or improvements to some of his stuff since then that are worth investigating?
Darren, I think you asked some very good questions.
Let's take an example, P. 135 Deceptive Perception.
At first, I thought it was not such a great trick.
You take five cards from a red deck, you put a blue card among them and ask the spectators what you have in your hands. They say five red cards and a blue one. You then explain how deceptive the perception can be and show that in fact you have five blue cards and a red one.
Then I saw Michael Skinner performs nearly the same trick on his video, Michael Skinner's Professional Close-Up Magic Vol.2 and finaly understood how good this trick was.
In fact, Skinner says on this tape that the trick is so strong for a lay audience that you should keep this trick to end your performance.
Other very good tricks(from my point of view)in the book, "Impromptu torn and restored card", "Gymnastic Aces", "Aces up" which you can also find in Lorayne's Close-up Card Magic under the name "Flash Aces".
Regarding "The Bashful Queens", read also the original version of Jacob Daley described by Lorayne in Personal Secrets under the name Magician vs. Gambler.
Concerning techniques, The Erdnase Bottom Palm Improved is I think very good.
Concerning the side steal, read Marlo's technique, I think it is much better.

Postby Guest » 02/13/04 08:08 PM


Thanks very much for your reply. I will take an extra close look at the tricks and bottom palm that you mentioned (especially Deceptive Perception).

Thanks also for the heads up on the Marlo side steal. I will definitely learn LePaul's side steal and go through the movements but will check out Marlo's and others before I add a version to my full time card arsenal.

As stated above, I do plan on going through the whole book on my own. It is nice, though, to sometimes look at a trick or technique that has been enjoyed by someone else, knowing their thoughts behind it.

Postby Guest » 02/14/04 02:51 AM


You are welcome.
After you have read the book, perhaps you can tell us which trick or technique You enjoy the most.
Enjoy the book,


Postby Guest » 02/14/04 09:22 PM

The most well known material from Lepaul may well be "A Flourish and a Pass", and "The Card To Envelope", later to become known simply as "The Lepaul Wallet" effect. The latter has a long, and muddied history, that should be a book of its' own (and may well be, one day soon...). Both these are worthy of your attention, if for no other reason than that they have become standards, and spawned many variations, both in handling and in presentation. Don't, however, overlook other superb material like... well, like all of it. The book is a treasure trove of working material and the best advice you've been given so far is Jon's, with which I heartily concur.

Best, PSC

Postby Guest » 02/15/04 02:28 AM

I have to agree with the recommendations because almost, if not, everything in the Le Paul book is good. I used the suggested routine of the first three two-colour effects and now frequently use the T&R Card to great effect.

The Quadruplicate Mystery is very strong and was particularly so in the hands of Jim Ryan so read Phil Willmarth's write-up of JR Classic Card Magic.

Postby Guest » 02/15/04 06:59 PM

You've got yourself a great book there Darren! Two not to be missed items IMHO are A Flourish and a Pass (pp.35-37) and An Automatic Jog-Control (pp.99-102). However, the former needn't be done with a flourish and in the latter the fan may be closed two-handed if preferred. You'll find many other gems throughout the book as you'll soon see i'm sure.

Postby Guest » 02/15/04 08:10 PM

It is funny how we all go through different experiences because of our own perceptions. I am using RRC & ECT as references and going through the Card College course meticulously!! I found out about LePaul's book through an article by David Regal in Genii. For me personally I have enjoyed performing "Substitution Envelope Mystery". For a table-hopping situation I use the card case instead of the envelope. I get wonderful results with it.

Here is a quote from the book that rings with wisdom, they remind me of a few statements in lecture notes by Mr. Swiss:
"There is no substitute for skill. It is the priceless possession of every great artist in every field of endeavor. It is instinctively felt by an audience and is reflected in the superiority of his work".

IN FACT, here is what Mr. Swiss says
"A high degree of craftmanship is simply assumed".

...enjoy the book

Steve V ( the other one )

Return to Reference Room