Welcome to Our New Online Review Forum

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performer
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Re: Welcome to Our New Online Review Forum

Postby performer » September 21st, 2015, 5:31 pm

Either Mac King was not the only reviewer that Karrell Fox was upset with or perhaps the wrong name was mentioned. I heard it on good authority that Fox was upset with someone else with a different name over a review and it ruined the friendship.

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Re: Welcome to Our New Online Review Forum

Postby Q. Kumber » September 21st, 2015, 5:56 pm

performer wrote:Either Mac King was not the only reviewer that Karrell Fox was upset with or perhaps the wrong name was mentioned. I heard it on good authority that Fox was upset with someone else with a different name over a review and it ruined the friendship.


There were others but I believe that it was because of upsetting Karrell that Mac King gave up doing reviews.

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Re: Welcome to Our New Online Review Forum

Postby Michael Close » September 21st, 2015, 9:51 pm

Mark Lewis: That would be me.

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Re: Welcome to Our New Online Review Forum

Postby Richard Kaufman » September 21st, 2015, 10:03 pm

Karrell deserved the reviews and I deserved worse for publishing the book. However, I was just trying to do a good deed: he begged me to publish it and it's hard to say no to no to an old legend.

The same thing was true of Bill Tarr's Now You See It Notebook. The product that came in from him was pretty poor. But with money invested and an old friend counting on publication, I felt it necessary to proceed.

Been trying to avoid things like that since.
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Re: Welcome to Our New Online Review Forum

Postby MagicbyAlfred » September 21st, 2015, 10:44 pm

While "oil and water" mix only within the realm of magic, and even then only figuratively so, friendship and business rarely, if ever do, in magic, or any other enterprise. But IMO, having a good heart and trying to help a friend is even more important than always making the right business decision.

As to reviewers, they provide a valuable service to us, but I don't envy them, particularly if they are likely to be friends or associates of people whose material they will be reviewing. It seems like it could be an irreconcilable dilemma when the reviewer's personal and professional integrity inevitably come into conflict with feelings of friendship and loyalty toward the reviewee.

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Re: Welcome to Our New Online Review Forum

Postby performer » September 21st, 2015, 10:56 pm

Michael Close wrote:Mark Lewis: That would be me.


Indeed. You were the "good authority" I meant. You told me yourself so I figured you would have some knowledge of the matter. However, it wasn't my intention to name names since I am renowned for my tact and discretion.

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Re: Welcome to Our New Online Review Forum

Postby Michael Close » September 23rd, 2015, 10:04 am

The Karrell Fox book posed a real problem for Mac and me. We had to review it in the very first review column we collaborated on, way back in 1995. We were trying to do a two-man review (ala Siskel and Ebert), but doing so was very difficult, especially with Mac being in Vegas and me being in Indiana (at that time).

We both came to the conclusion that Karrell's book wasn't good; one of the big problems was that it was a book of recollections rather than original creations. Unfortunately, Karrell didn't include whose ideas he was publishing. (For example, Karrell included the idea of using a pencil-dotted Joker in an Out of this World routine. This idea is included in the original Paul Curry instructions.)

Mac and I were both good friends of Karrell. We liked and respected him. But if we rolled over on the the review it would have destroyed any credibility we were trying to establish in the very first review column. Our decision was to review it honestly, but as gently as we could. But it was a negative review.

Karrell never treated me the same after the review was published. In fact, when we were together with other people, he took snarky verbal shots at me. I never pushed back. But we were no longer friends.

Mac and I wrote the joint column for a year. Mac really hated the idea of having to give a bad review to a friend, so he dropped out. I continued for another nine years. And in that time, I lost a few more friendships.

I review occasionally in M-U-M, but I'm happy to let others have that responsibility. It's not an easy job.

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Re: Welcome to Our New Online Review Forum

Postby performer » September 23rd, 2015, 10:31 am

You know, I read the original Paul Curry instructions when I was a kid. I don't remember a thing about a dotted joker although I could well be wrong.

I am just curious if Michael has confused this with another Paul who wrote on the subject. Paul Clive wrote "Card Tricks Without Skill" which became a classic book in the UK but was never published or distributed in North America.

He wrote about the trick in this book and mentioned a dotted card halfway down the deck so you didn't have to silently count to yourself. He also mentioned a stunt with the Joker which I have used to this day. I have never seen anyone else do it which is odd since it gets a terrific reaction. During the dealing you ask the spectator to give you one card that he is not sure of. After you finish the trick as normal and everyone is in a state of befuddlement you remind them of the card they weren't sure of. You show it to be a Joker!

The combination of the dotted card, the Joker stunt and the fact that Card Tricks without Skill was written by another Paul makes me suspect that Michael may have gotten a little confused. I swear that I saw Card Tricks Without Skill on his bookshelf once.

I may of course be wrong. Just curious that's all.

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Re: Welcome to Our New Online Review Forum

Postby Michael Close » September 23rd, 2015, 10:49 am

Mark: No, the pencil-dotted Joker was in the Curry instructions. The idea is that as the spectator is dealing through, deciding red or black, you stop her on a card before she deals it. (The card you stop her on is the pencil-dotted Joker.) You tell her that this card doesn't "feel right" and have her discard it. Later you reveal it as the Joker.

The reason I know Curry had this idea is that Karrell wanted proof that he had published other people's ideas; I sent him a full page of them, with the references.

The only thing I may have confused is whether this idea is in the original instructions or in the the little book Curry later put out on the trick. I think it's in the original instructions.

(I'm in Indiana right now and away from my library so I can't check.)

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Re: Welcome to Our New Online Review Forum

Postby performer » September 23rd, 2015, 11:03 am

I have Card Tricks Without Skill right here and it mentions the Joker stunt just as you described it with one difference. The Joker is not dotted. You simply ask someone to give you the card they "are not sure of". You then secretly switch the regular card for the Joker which you have on your person.

But Paul Clive does also describe having a dotted card halfway down for another reason.

The version of the Joker thing that you mention has the advantage that you don't need to switch the card. It has the disadvantage that you have to watch the cards like a hawk while the spectator is dealing. I tried doing that when I was a kid with the Clive idea of putting a dotted card halfway down to indicate when the cards should change over but it drove me up the wall. I like to talk when doing that trick and you can't talk and look for a dotted card at the same time. At least I can't.

Anyway once you get a chance to check the Curry instructions the matter will be easily cleared up. It is not big deal.

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Re: Welcome to Our New Online Review Forum

Postby Bill Mullins » September 23rd, 2015, 12:10 pm

Curry's original publication was in 1942. Later printings included suggestions and improvements.

A 1943 Fifth printing has, in the original instructions, the joker secreted on your person and then switched for the spectator's selected "odd" card. But it also includes a suggestion from Milbourne Christopher -- the marked joker in the middle of the pack, as described above.

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Re: Welcome to Our New Online Review Forum

Postby Richard Kaufman » September 23rd, 2015, 12:49 pm

The idea to have two reviewers doing an Siskel and Ebert back and forth came from me. I'm the first to admit that it never worked very well in magazine form.
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Re: Welcome to Our New Online Review Forum

Postby Philippe Billot » September 23rd, 2015, 12:54 pm

If you read Paul Curry's Worlds Beyond by Stephen Minch (2009), you have the first version from 1942; there is only the Joker switch and you have to count mentally.
It's in Genii, Vol. 7, no. 1, september 1942 that Milbourne Christopher gives the idea of marking the joker. See Even Further Out of this World.

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Re: Welcome to Our New Online Review Forum

Postby Michael Close » September 23rd, 2015, 1:06 pm

The source I was remembering was Out of This World and Beyond, which was published in 1975. This gives both Joker handlings. This was twenty years before Richard published the Fox book in question.

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Re: Welcome to Our New Online Review Forum

Postby Michael Close » September 23rd, 2015, 1:07 pm

I think Stan Allan suggested that Mac and I team up for the reviews. Richard, did you give that idea to Stan?

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Re: Welcome to Our New Online Review Forum

Postby Leo Garet » September 23rd, 2015, 1:12 pm

I bought the “original” Curry manuscript by mail order from Hamleys. It was in a crusty looking brown envelope with the Max Andrews Vampire imprint. Apart from the nuts and bolts of the trick, that’s as much as I recall, so whether the joker, marked or otherwise references were included are lost in the mist.

The more recent (2009) “Best Of All Worlds” collection features a version by Curry that does have a marked joker variation. In introducing the trick, Curry makes reference to his original publication in 1942 and how it’s now “more than 30 years ago”.

For the usual reasons, I can’t find my copy of “Worlds Beyond, so this may be reproduced from that book. It may also be from one of his 1970s books; “Out of This World—And Beyond” possibly. Or both.

Also for the usual reasons I no longer have a copy of “Magician’s Magic,” so I can’t check on the Curry version included there.

I scribbled this before the most recent posts, so it’s a bit after the ball and redundant. But grist to the mill, perhaps.

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Re: Welcome to Our New Online Review Forum

Postby performer » September 23rd, 2015, 4:01 pm

The Paul Clive book was published in 1946 so possibly Paul pinched the ideas from previous sources. I have no idea. I have never particularly cared who invented what although I can quite understand the inventors taking a different view. I am only interested in what a trick can do for me rather than where the hell it came from.

Paul Clive was very interesting. I knew him personally. He had never done much in the way of card tricks at all. I knew a chap called Joe Smith who ran a trick and joke shop on Central Pier in Blackpool. He told me, "I have known Paul Clive for 30 years. I have never seen him do a card trick yet! I don't think he knows any!"

And he didn't. And yet his book became a classic book with wonderful material. It seemed that he ran around with a notebook asking various magicians what card tricks they knew and put them in a book.

It is a great book you know. There is even a memorised deck system in there way before they became the vogue.


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