If I had a nickel for every time I see someone complaining about how hard the Elmsley Count is I
would be rich...well maybe not rich but enough money to buy a new Cups and Balls set! These
Elmsley-challenged folk need this little gem of a book to get them up and over the learning curve.
For some, false counts come naturally. For others, they try and move on. False counts are a
staple move in packet tricks and every cardician should know the basic counts. Counts can be quite
challenging but with enough practice and this book, you'll handle any count; easy breezy!
Counts Cuts Moves and Subtlety by Jerry Mentzer is a reference guide. Copyright in 1977, this
small book is on it's 14th printing. Although I don't own anything else by Jerry, he appears to be a
prolific author on magical topics including the book on Card To Wallet.
You'll find no
tricks in this book. However, learn the moves in this book and I'll bet you could create some great,
original packet tricks in no time. Combine these moves with an assortment of specialty gaffed cards
and you're creative juices will be flowing. Here is a little video review to go along with this blog
Degree of Difficulty
Intermediate to expert. Some people think learning
the Elmsey is easy and some think it is hard. I think it's kind of in the middle. Easy to learn,
hard to perfect. I learned the Elmsley Count in a couple days but it took countless evenings in
front of the TV, doing hundreds of Elmsley/Jordan sequences, to execute these counts with confidence
under pressure. There is a ton of good material in this book.
is has excellent written instructions on the moves and ample photos of the key hand positions during
the move. Mentzer does a good job of crediting each move to it's creator and sometimes the trick in
which the move was first made popular. If you're into packet tricks or looking for some material to
get the creative process going this is a no-brainer purchase.
2 of 2 magicians found this helpful.
Hi! This is your official PenguinMagic reviewer, B_Magic.
Now this, I believe, may have
been the very first book I ever really read in magic, which is weird because this book doesn't teach
you one trick! However, it's a resource that I would never take away as it's been an extremely
valuable part of my magic over the years. I'm glad to have gotten this book (and on a whim at that),
as it took my magic game to new levels at the early stages of my career.
The book doesn't
teach tricks, it teaches moves, which is a VERY valuable thing. You learn moves that then can be
used to create your own effects or to augment effects you've already learned. It's a book that
taught me moves that have literally SAVED me countless times, and it taught me to be myself rather
than simply follow the paths others teach in books. You'll learn how to do an Elmsley count, Jordan
Count, and many other sleights that are versatile and useful in just about any card trick.
Definitely add this to cart. You can't beat the price, and what you get is something that will
last a lifetime.
1 of 1 magicians found this helpful.
I have never been a huge fan of packet tricks or many difficult complicated sleights. After reading
this book, I never had a problem with the Elmsley count ever again.
The quality of this
book is pretty average. A weird type of cover, but still really nice artwork on it. It's a really
cool size and it holds together really nicely.
The material in here is interesting. Just
about 3/4 of the book I have never seen or heard of before. Most of which have proper citations. I
guarantee you will learn a bunch of really cool stuff you have never seen before. SOme of these look
really motivated and standard, while some don't. I don't like showing a card and doing a bunch of
different gesticulations just to get it to another part of the packet. Some of the sleights require
that. But again, some are straight forward.
I will highly suggest this if you don't own a
whole lot of material on packet tricks or counts. There is some great stuff in here you are SURE to
LOVE. His teaching was clear and precise, as were the photographs (for a surprisingly old book)
1 of 1 magicians found this helpful.
If you are even marginally interested in card sleight of hand or want to do packet tricks, this book
is a must. It combines in one small volume all those weird little moves, sleights, and subtleties
that you see described in the directions for packet tricks. I bought this book circa 1982, and it
remains a tour de force of magic instruction as evidenced by how many editions and reprintings its
had. I've moved away from card magic but recently saw a mentalism effect that used the Olram (Marlo
spelled backwards) Subtlety. And, of course, it's covered here along with the more famous Elmsley or
Ghost Count and the more obscure Biddle Move.
For it's low price, you will get a lot of
mileage out of this book. Back when I was in school, before the Internet or magic DVDs (or even
VHS), I studied these instructions like they were a holy writ and practiced all of the moves
thousands of times while watching TV or just relaxing. And while I don't use many of them
currently, I am a better, more dexterous person and performer because of this book. I can't
recommend it enough to any card magician, from beginner to expert (and some of these moves really
are advanced). I love Counts, Cuts, Moves and Subtleties, and I think that you will too. It's like
a musician's book of scales and arpeggios for magicians, no tunes (or tricks) but just necessary
this is a terrific, go-to book that explains false counts with clear language from the golden age of
Magic Writing that existed in the time before the Magic Video.