Zarrow Book

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Postby Harvey Rosenthal » 01/11/09 06:25 AM

[font:Comic Sans MS][font:Comic Sans MS][/font]While I have a copy of the David Ben Zarrow Book,I would be very interested to hear comments from other people who own the book as what they think of it with respect to the material. I may have missed it, but I don't recall seeing a thread discussing the contents of the book.

Thanks,

Har[/font]vey
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Postby DrDanny » 01/11/09 03:05 PM

I, too, noticed the silence. In my own case, every piece I've read has been impressively clever, and well described. I've even started using a couple from the early chapters. I particularly love Swindle Mates -- it's one of those tricks I almost feel guilty doing because it's so blatantly sneaky. :-)

But I find it a difficult book to study, based solely on the huge size: it's not feasible to carry around and read at odd moments (e.g. in the dentist waiting room), and it's impossible to manage reading in bed. Thus I've only read about 10% of the book, I'd estimate.

I hope this thread continues and people start identifying high points.
D
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 01/11/09 03:48 PM

I've published many large books, many larger than the Zarrow book, and no one has complained about the size.
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Postby Steve Bryant » 01/11/09 03:57 PM

It's a massive book to work through. Since its arrival, the holidays and a half-dozen or so more excellent books have arrived to divert my attention from it, not to mention other family duties. Based on my first dip into it, here is a portion of a review I placed on my Little Egypt Magic web site:

Along with nearly 464 pages of groundbreaking moves and magic tricks, the book contains detailed reminiscences from Johnny Thompson, Marla Zarrow (Herb's daughter), Ronald Wohl, John Mintz, and Persi Diaconis. (How nice to learn that Herb Zarrow was a young ping-pong champion, that he loved jazz, that he once stunned an audience with The Bra Trick.)

Although not all of the card material requires expert skill (though some does!), it is all "deep weeds," as an engineer friend of mine says, meaning that it must be read carefully for all its intricate nuances. All who purchase the book will turn first to the chapter on the Zarrow shuffle, where astonishing new insights should open the eyes of both tyros and experts. For those of you who Zarrow under one card (to the disdain of more skilled shufflers who shuffle under a more recommended small block), you may be delighted by the inventor's Double-Cover shuffle, a remarkably deceptive shuffle that may bring the one-card "block" into favor. Altogether there are 65 pages of moves, magic, and history devoted to this eponymous shuffle.

As to other material I have sampled: Swindle Mates was good enough for Ricky Jay to perform on tv, the Block Transfer is a terrific, rather easy utility move (it devastates in Impromptu Out of This World), and I am completely taken by the ruse employed in Two Mental Cards. What a clever way to get one ahead.

* * *

Another item I enjoyed, not mentioned on the web site, was Baseball Aces.

I didn't get it, but one thing I would have enjoyed "receiving" for Christmas was a week of no obligations just to devote to reading this book.

And for those of you who think Zarrow is tough to read in bed, try Circus 1870-1950, the largest book I've ever owned. Whew.
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Postby Magic Randy » 01/11/09 03:58 PM

I prefer large books,but I don't tend to travel with them either.
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Postby DrDanny » 01/11/09 04:46 PM

Richard Kaufman wrote:I've published many large books, many larger than the Zarrow book, and no one has complained about the size.


But I'm not complaining! In fact, I recognize that I'll have years of enjoyment from Zarrow simply because I don't lug it around. Ditto Greater Magic and several others. It's the weight as much as anything, and I suspect Zarrow outweighs Greater Magic, innit?
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Postby Roger M. » 01/12/09 01:09 AM

Zarrow isn't to heavy to read in bed compared to the three big Stewart James books that just about crush the wind out of you........and god help you if you fall asleep reading them.
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Postby Doc Dixon » 01/12/09 08:37 AM

Steve Bryant wrote:I didn't get it, but one thing I would have enjoyed "receiving" for Christmas was a week of no obligations just to devote to reading this book.


Preach it. It reminds me of the old Twilight Zone episode with Burgess Meredith where he FINALLY does get the time to read as much as he wants. But that didn't work out too well, either.

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Postby Steve Bryant » 01/12/09 09:46 AM

Scary analogy, Doc. The details are too gory to report, but I essentially lived that episode last summer. Suffice it to say that I didn't get to my planned beach reading.

But, hey, back to topic: has anyone read the Zarrow book, any items stand out for you?
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Postby David Scollnik » 01/12/09 08:58 PM

I read Vernon's ACAAN in the Zarrow book last night. Very clever. I can't imagine how that one came about.
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Postby Bob Farmer » 04/15/09 07:47 PM

I've posted this note elsewhere, but it should be here too.

I started reading the Zarrow book in November, but then had to stop when life intervened. Last week I started again and finally made it to the last page. Now, I was just skimming mostly and reading in detail only occasionally, so I have to go back and start all over, but my initial impression is that this is one of the best magic books I've ever read. If you're a card guy, buy a copy immediately because a book this big is going to be really expensive to reprint.

Luckily, Herb Zarrow had David Ben as his reporter and Julie Ing as his photographer. I shudder to think, I cringe to even imagine what would have happened if some hack had written this book. We're all damn lucky.

Buy a copy immediately and if someone at the magic club asks your advice on its purchase, steer him over to The Encyclopedia of Egg Magic. This information should not fall into the hands of the heathen.
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Postby Mats Kjellstrom » 04/16/09 09:34 AM

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