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Steve Brooks
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I love card effects, plain and simple. For me, a deck of playing cards gives me fifty-two opportunities to entertain my audience.

That said, I was very excited when Ron asked if I would look at his new effect which utilized an entire deck of cards. I agreed. Here then, are my thoughts on this offering. Smile

Ron Giesecke's Apologies to Dickens


Description: The performer removes a blue deck and a permanent marker from his pocket. As the deck is taken out of the case, the performer extols the virtues of great literature, particularly that of Charles Dickens, and that the next effect will be an attempt to tell the story of Scrooge using a deck of cards. A spectator on the performer’s right is given the marker, and told that they will need to sign their name on the face of a card, as the story requires it.

The performer then proceeds to shuffle and cut the deck, all the while telling the story of Scrooge in poetic form. A four of diamonds is turned face up, signed by the spectator (to sort of christen the card as Scrooge’s), and then placed in the performer’s outside breast pocket (this is to approximate Scrooge’s slipping between the covers to go to sleep). As Jacob Marley is lecturing Scrooge about materialistic ways, the performer removes a wallet for emphasis, and sets it on the table (as if Jacob Marley was the one removing it as an afterthought).

The performer then proceeds through the various stages of Christmas Past, Present and Yet-To-Come. When the time comes for Scrooge to see his own gravestone, the wallet is opened and a red card with the inscription Scrooge RIP is centered on the table, face down. The remainder of the story is then related, thereby exhausting the entire deck, and in a stunning coup de grace, the card in the pocket is revealed to be Jacob Marley, and the tabled red card is turned to reveal that it is the spectator’s signature on the other side. All (except the wallet) can be examined.


With all the thousands of effects and plots available to the modern cardician, tricks that involve the spectator in a personal way appear to be the strongest. After all, who doesn't like to hear their name used during a trick?

A close second in audience pleasers are effects that convey a message or story. Examples include Bro. John Hamman's Twins, Doc Eason's Stan, Kate and Edith and of course the now classic Sam the Bellhop which Bill Malone has helped make so popular in recent years. Smile

Though several such effects use only a few cards, many make use of the entire deck, such as Simon Lovell's Who killed Lilly Longlegs?. The story deck concept is therefore not a new one, but certainly intrigues our imagination and curiosity whenever presented in an entertaining manner.

After all, from a spectators viewpoint, cards appearing within a chronological storyline seems to be something that is not even possible, given the fact that the deck is continuously being shuffled and cut.

That said, a good understanding of false cuts and shuffles is essential to the mechanics of any story deck working properly, and this, Mr. Giesecke's first offering to magicdom, is no exception to the rule.

What you receive is a comb bound book that is 8.5”x11” in size, containing 22 pages of photo illustrated instructions. The photographs were taken by David Blevins and are a great aid in learning the various stages of the trick itself. Ron's writing style is clear, to the point, and very often entertaining, especially to anyone who has tackled the pasteboards at length. Smile

As in the tricks description, the performer presents the effect while using a clever bit of poetry during the delivery of the various cards which appear one after the other. I would suggest learning the actual mechanics, then tackle the memorization of the poem that Ron provides. The poem is not too long, and one should have it mastered in a short while.

The real challenge for some of you will be mastering several of the false shuffles and sleights. Though not terribly difficult, I would not recommend this book for the novice. Though I must point out that Ron goes out of his way to explain the various moves, insuring the reader of a thorough understanding of the material at hand, including an excellent section on the Zarrow Shuffle.

Some of you may think this effect is limited, given the story takes place using characters we don't often think about except around the Christmas holidays. Though obviously more effective during the month of December, I cannot see any reason why one couldn't present this effect all the year round. Smile

In that light, I have no reservations in recommending this to any performer who enjoys presenting a story deck effect. Like all good magic, practice is essential, and how you deliver the poem in conjunction with the appearance of the various cards is very important indeed. I believe this to be worth your consideration. Smile

My rating:

Available thru MagicSmith: Click here!

Suggested retail: $20.00

You can contact Ron at:

Ron Giesecke P.O.Box 1118 Bella Vista, Ca. 96008
"Always be you because nobody else can" - Steve Brooks
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