The Hustler & The Champ

Discussions of new films, books, television shows, and media indirectly related to magic and magicians. For example, there may be a book on mnemonics or theatrical technique we should know or at least know about.

Postby Bob Farmer » 02/03/08 11:31 AM

I just finished reading this book. It's by R.A. Dyer and tells the story of the great pool shoot-out between Minnesota Fats and Willie Mosconi.

Even if you're not a pool player (I'm not), you'll enjoy the many hustling elements, and the "trickster" archetype analysis woven into the story.

The author admits to being an amateur magician (after drawing a connection between billiards, the trickster archetype and counterintuitive trajectories the balls sometimes follow on the table).
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Postby Bob Farmer » 02/04/08 02:55 PM

Another magic and billiards connection: Robert Byrne, a famous billiards author, is also interested in magic. In the May 1972 Genii (pp. 232-233) he contributed a very funny parody, "Cutting A Deck of Cards -- As It Might Be Described By Various Writers."

Byrne manages to ape the styles of Harry Lorayne, Vernon, Senator Crandall, Professor Hoffman and "A Young Technician" (which is laugh-out-loud hilarious).

I recall that he also wrote another installment but I can't find it. Anybody have the reference?

Richard: These columns (if there are two) deserve a new audience. How about a reprint in Genii or post them on the Forum.
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Postby Adrian Kuiper » 02/04/08 03:42 PM

I remember that "Cutting a deck of cards". I had cut it out and saved it for years. He was dead on with his descriptions.

I agree it's time again to see it.

Adrian
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Postby Lisa Cousins » 02/04/08 04:39 PM

The follow-up to the 1972 "Cutting a Deck of Cards" spoof appeared in the April, 1987 Genii, and was the exact same piece, with parodies of Karl Fulves and Jeff Busby added.

I'm hoping that this information is not only helpful, but that I also come across as highly informed and on-the-ball, even though the fact of the matter is that I am only informed and on-the-ball enough to know who to ask.
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Postby Bob Farmer » 02/04/08 05:15 PM

Lisa -- Hell, I didn't even know who to ask.

To be consistent with this topic, you are on the billiard ball.
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Postby Lisa Cousins » 02/05/08 11:04 AM

On the billiards theme, the Magic Castle has on display the trick billiards table used by W.C. Fields in vaudeville and in movies. The Castle also has a librarian, and you can ask that guy all kinds of stuff.

Of course I'm referring to Bill Goodwin, but the strange thing here is that very recently (January 11, to be precise) Bill emailed me the exact article mentioned here. He did say something about there being a follow-up to it, but didn't explain what it was, and I didn't ask. When I saw Bob's post, I called Bill immediately and said "Bob Farmer needs to know!" Then we saw some rapid-fire research action.
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