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Magician And The Cardsharp (Soft Cover) by Karl Johnson - Book (SOFT)
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A famous magician's journey to find the greatest cardsharp ever evokes the forgotten world of magic where Americans found escape during the Great Depression

It has the nostalgic quality of an old-fashioned fable, but Karl Johnson's The Magician and the Cardsharp is a true story that lovingly re-creates the sparkle of a vanished world. Here, set against the backdrop of America struggling through the Depression, is the world of magic, a realm of stars, sleight of hand, and sin where dreams could be realized-or stolen away.

Following the Crash of '29, Dai Vernon, known by magicians as "the man who fooled Houdini," is tramping down Midwestern backroads, barely making ends meet. While swapping secrets with a Mexican gambler, he hears of a guy he doesn't quite believe is real-a legendary mystery man who deals perfectly from the center of the deck and who locals call the greatest cardsharp of all time. Determined to find the reclusive genius, Vernon sets out on a journey through America's shady, slick, and sinful side-from mob-run Kansas City through railroad towns that looked sleepy only in the daytime. Does he find the sharp?

Well, Karl Johnson did-after years of research into Vernon's colorful quest, research that led him to places he never knew existed. Johnson takes us to the cardsharp's doorstep and shows us how he bestowed on Vernon the greatest secret in magic. The Magician And The Cardsharp is a unique and endlessly entertaining piece of history that reveals the artistry and obsession of a special breed of American showmen.

Pages 336 - Softcover

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Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on April 9th, 2010
I really enjoyed reading this book. I had it for a while before I decided to read it. Sorry that I waited. You will take a trip back in time and explore a portion of the life of the Professor.

This book is fascinating in many ways. I was hooked on learning card cheat moves after reading it and had to buy Volume six of Revelations by Vernon to learn more about the kennedy Center Deal. You will enjoy the read and things you will learn from this book.
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Interesting and very insightfull Report this review
Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on April 5th, 2010
This is one of those books that appeals more to Magicians than the public. It's essentially a biography of Dai Vernon, but for a younger audience in a way. He Karl Johnson doesn't use insanely hard words to understand and the sentances are plain and simple.

I really got hooked on gambling sleights and the various techniques used in the "underground" after reading this book. Not only did I get more of an interest in what Dai Vernon has done, but I learned a lot that I never knew before. I didn't know that he was in war and I didn't know he was a baseball player either.

I would easily tell you to pick this up right now because of how fun it was. I even did a book report on it and did great :D But in all seriousness, this was a very good book. BUY NOW!
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