I took a week off editing The Magic Circular to spend some time with my wife looking at the sculptures of Andy Goldsworthy in northern England. I returned home to find that the staff had done absolutely nothing and I was faced with a load of work.
Then I remembered that I have no staff.
Anyway, I finally got to read Tom Stone's latest, "Flatland Fever". Being a fan of the E.A. Abbott book, "Flatland," I dug in, only to discover that 'flat' referred to pasteboards, which was just dandy with me.
I remember that Tom had some card items in his previous books (as well as some by Tomas Blomberg), but I was somehow unprepared for the depth of his card work.
I was especially surprised to learn that Tom had studied with Max Milton, the award-winning Swedish magician. Tom includes Milton's "One Handed Top Change", a form of what has come to be known as Harry Lorayne's Ultra Move. It is worth careful study.
Tom has a trick with a Tenyo-type Card Case which provides an excellent justification for the use on an unusual prop, and has something to provide a similar throw-off to the piece of cork in the Cylinder and Coins. There's a nice trick by Blomberg and a young Swedish magician, some memorized deck work that examines the reasons for using such a tool, a couple of other tricks and something with a cleverly gaffed card box.
As a sort of bonus, Tom has filled the blank space with card problems, not exactly the type favored by Karl Fulves, more philosophical questions about what you might do with, say three decks of cards, or considering card tricks for stand-up or stage. I really liked these a lot.
In fact, I loved the whole thing. There is some very practical material in "Flatland Fever", and some things not so practical but that will get your mind clicking away. And Tom's illustrations continue to be of the very highest quality.
A fine book by one of today's brightest magicians.