Seeking the Bridge (Book) by John B. Born $55.00
Hardback, 5.5 x 7.5, 192 pages, 198 photographs
Available at: www.johnborn.com
John Born is back with his latest offering, Seeking the Bridge. The book contains 31 card effects and tools. The majority of the material consists of Mr. Borns methodological variations of familiar plots. The first 18 items require, or can be applied to, a memorized deck.
For the most part, Mr. Borns writing is adequate, as is the quality of his instruction. However, there are errors in his instructions for one effect, and I cant decipher his instructions for another effect.
The author provides appropriate credits.
The abundant photographs are small, but helpful. Bigger would have been better.
Now, theres no way in hell that Im going to provide an obsessively detailed description of each and every trick in the book. No siree, I wont do it. Life is too short.
I will say that I disliked 11 of the items because I didnt care for either the method or the effect.
I liked most of the other material and I thought the rest of it was, eh, okay. Ill describe a few of the items that I enjoyed. The first four of them involve a memorized deck.
Seeking the Bridge: The performer riffles the corner of the deck and three participants freely peek at three cards. He immediately divines each card.
Mr. Borns clever, disarming technique doesnt involve the use of special cards, forcing, peeks, questions or manipulation of the deck.
Pocket Change: A participant violates the performers personal space by dropping a deck into his outside jacket pocket. Moments later, unable to resist her compulsion to grope the performer, she removes the deck from his pocket. She is blissfully unaware that she has just executed her very first deck switch.
Youll have to visit your amico, Francesco the tailor, and pay him a few bucks to modify your jacket. But thats a small price to pay for a switching pocket that you will use until your jacket rots off of your body.
And come on! The frigging participant switches the deck for you! How cool is that?!
Bridging the Deck Switch: The performer riffles the corner of the deck and three participants freely peek at three cards. He hands the deck to one of the participants and she shuffles it. He retrieves the deck, pops it into the card case and places the case in his pocket.
The performer correctly divines the color of each participants card and whether it is a high card or a low card.
He removes the deck from his pocket and focuses on the third participant. Without looking at the cards, he deals them into a face-down pile in front of her and then he stops. He repeats this procedure with the first and second participants.
The performer places his hand over the third participants packet and correctly identifies her card. She turns the top card of her packet face-up and it is her card. He repeats this feat with the other participants.
Lucky Penny: The performer hands the deck to participant #1. He tosses the closed card case into the audience and it is passed around to select participant #2.
The performer turns his back. Participant #1 deals the cards into a face-down pile until participant #2 tells her to stop. Participant #1 turns the top card of the pile face-up and it is the Five of Diamonds. She turns it face-down and shuffles it into the deck.
The performer turns around and retrieves the deck. He deals the cards into a face-down pile as he reveals details of her cards identity. He stops dealing, pushes the top card of the pile toward the participant and announces that her card is the Five of Diamonds. She turns the card face-up and it is the Five of Diamonds.
Participant #2 opens the card case and removes a sealed envelope. The performer takes the envelope, stating that it contains a lucky penny. He tears open the envelope and hands it back to participant #2. She dumps out a penny and a folded piece of paper. She opens the paper and reads aloud the performers prediction of the Five of Diamonds.
Your memorized deck will require some additional preparation. The effect also employs Rick Maues nifty FSF envelope.
You may not be able to perform the final, prediction phase of the effect. Alas, despite our best efforts, sometimes our participants behaviors are beyond our control. But youll know ahead of time if it is possible. If you are adept at psychological Stop Trick techniques, you should have no problem.
The Way for One-Way: Lets say you are using a deck with a one-way back design or you are employing pointer cards. Mr. Born has come up with a clever method for causing a participant to reverse her selection among the other cards. The technique is foolproof, appears guileless and feels natural to the participant.
The Delayed Crimp: This work has a sweaty, smoky, larcenous feel to it, like it may have been birthed at the gaming table. Unlike most crimped cards, this rascal is not used in the context of cutting the deck. In fact, when its in the deck, its no easier to cut to than any other card.
This crimped card subtly announces itself as you deal the cards. It is also possible to detect the crimped card while the participant is dealing the cards. This is a cool technique with a lot of applications, both magical and nefarious.
Right on the Money: The performer hands his wallet to a participant. He asks her to choose red or black and she freely chooses red. She points to another participant who freely chooses Clubs. The second participant points to another participant.
The performer removes a deck from his pocket and asks the third participant to name any of the thirteen Clubs. She freely chooses the Five.
The performer spreads the deck face-up and removes the four Fives. He places the Five of Clubs face-up on the table and places the other Fives in a face-up row behind it. He spreads the deck face-up on the table behind the Fives.
The performer scoops up the deck and displays the backs of the cards. Every card has a different dollar amount written on its back.
The first participant opens the performers wallet and counts his money. She finds $17.35.
The performer turns the Five of Hearts face-down and it has $77.81 written on its back. He turns the Five of Spades face-down and it has $118.21 written on its back. The Five of Diamonds has $55.18 written on its back. Written on the back of the Five of Clubs is $17.35.
Obviously, the deck must be specially prepared. There is also, uh, more going on than meets the eye.
Casino Card Killer: The performer writes a prediction on a piece of paper, folds it and places it on the table. A participant freely names any card, say the Jack of Diamonds.
The performer removes a cased deck from his pocket. The back of the card case has Marked written on it, indicating that the cards are marked. He removes the cards from the case and shows that the back of every card has the name of a card written on it. But the name on the back of the card does not match the face of the card.
He spreads the deck face-up, removes the Jack of Diamonds and tables it beside his prediction. He opens his prediction and shows that he wrote Three of Hearts. He turns over the Jack to reveal Three of Hearts written on its back.
Again, a specially prepared deck is required and there is more going on than meets the other eye.