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The Annotated Erdnase
Introduction by Michael Skinner
270 pages measuring 8-1/2 by 11 inches
Hardbound with dust jacket
Published in 1991.
The top card men in the world disagree on many things. One thing they all agree on is that no other book in the history of card manipulation deserves careful study more than The Expert at the Card Table. After one hundred years, it is still considered the foundation upon which modern card magic is based. It contains some of the most perfectly constructed sleights in all of card magic. Even more important are the profound lessons in the real secrets of magic: naturalness, attention to detail, uniformity of action and the psychology of deception. For a century, the methods of S.W. Erdnase have been studied, practiced and written about by countless card experts. One person who spent a lifetime studying every detail of this landmark book is Darwin Ortiz. The copious notes he kept while meticulously dissecting each move and every sentence of The Expert form the basis for The Annotated Erdnase. Darwin's 273 annotations shed new light on the history of the various moves and effects, provide technical insight into their proper execution, give cross references for further reading and include hundreds of obscure bits of information.
This is not the first time we have produced an annotated version of The Expert at the Card Table. For the publication of Revelations, we used a first edition Erdnase book to create a facsimile copy of each page which was printed adjacent to Dai Vernon's valuable comments. For The Annotated Erdnase we went the extra mile and completely re-typeset The Expert at the Card Table resulting in the most readable copy ever offered. Below, we have reproduced two pages from The Annotated Erdnase to illustrate how the book has been laid out. The inside column of each page (nearest the spine and surrounded by a rectangular box) is the original text from The Expert at the Card Table. The number of each annotation appears in bold type. The outside columns contain Darwin's annotations which more than double the size of the original book. Whether you're a skilled professional looking to increase your already considerable knowledge, or just a beginner hoping to learn the basics of card magic, The Annotated Erdnase will provide you with years of pleasure.
There has been a lot of speculation lately about the true identity of the man who wrote The Expert at the Card Table. Was S.W. Erdnase actually Milton Franklin Andrews, a gambler and murderer who took his own life? The evidence is truly fascinating and reads like a Hollywood script. The final chapter of The Annotated Erdnase is an article called he Mystery of Erdnase written by Martin Gardner wherein Gardner recounts his search for the man behind the book.
Regardless of your level of expertise or specific area of interest, The Annotated Erdnase is without doubt the definitive study of the greatest book ever written on sleight of hand with cards.
". . .maybe the first truly academic work on practical conjuring that has ever been produced. It's a joy to read, easy to follow, an excellent reference work and truly inspirational. I haven't read anything like it in magical literature."--David Britland - OPUS Magazine
" . . . Ortiz has produced an important book. For the experienced card specialist, THE ANNOTATED ERDNASE is an indispensable reference work and the novice could not ask for a better introduction to a classic in its field."--T.A. Waters - Genii Magazine
"Highly recommended for the student of card magic, the card magic historian and fans of The Expert At The Card Table."--Michael Weber - Inside Magic