I obviously can't speak for Earl, but he's certainly an artist who does not stand still or rest on past accomplishments. I interpret Earl's remark to mean, simply, that for him it's ground already covered. I'm certain Earl wasn't saying the material is outdated or no longer good, just that he has gotten all he wants out of it and has embraced new challenges. I'd put it this way; once you climb the mountain, there's no point in climbing it again and again. The fun is conquering new peaks. Doesn't mean the mountain ain't good for new climbers. That being said, knowing Earl he's made god knows how improvements beyond what's on the page. No trick is ever really finished with this guy, he is your consummate perfectionist. Rest assured, the material in Variations, as well as the thinking behind it, is as wonderful today as it was the day it was published. And if you want a real treat, check out the videos Earl produced some time ago, if you can find them. They're incredible. One covered Variations, one covered the material in his Workbook, others were in-depth looks at the pass, palming and double lifts (the last two subjects being on a single tape). For me there hasn't been a single video since--and I've seen just about everything--that tops them in clarity, thoughtfulness, powerful effects and mind-boggling skill. His pass tape will astound you. I keep begging Earl to put this stuff out again. (My motive is selfish; after hundreds of viewings my copies of his tapes are basically just blurs at this point, and I've about worn Variations down to a nub.) Folks, you will not meet a kinder, gentler, sweeter, more generous, more respectful, modest man. But be warned: put a pack of cards in his hand and he will seriously hurt you bad. If you're looking for inspiration, crystal clear instruction, and absolute poetry, look no further than Earl. Now, getting back to the thread, Earl might've moved on (Variations II???? When, Earl, when???!) but you are still going to love the book. Hey, the Beatles moved on, but we all still love Rubber Soul, right?