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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Books, Pamphlets & Lecture Notes » » The Essential Stewart James (4 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Fingers_Fidge
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Canadian Stewart James was the most prolific inventor of magic in the twentieth century. Where most magicians invent a handful of magic routines during the course of their life, Stewart James created over one thousand. His prodigious output has been recorded in two mammoth publications totally over 2,700 pages. James' vast body of work has now been distilled to 50 of his "greatest tricks", The Essential Stewart James.

Allan Slaight, co-editor of "Stewart James In Print" and author of "The James File", asked dozens of Stewart James' aficionados including Max Maven, Michael Weber, Bob Farmer, Stephen Minch, Bill Goodwin, Gordon Bean, David Ben, Roy Walton, Charles Reynolds, Gabe Fajuri, Steve Beam, and Peter Duffie among others, to whittle over 1,000 of James’ creations down to their fifty favourite, in other words, the essential Stewart James.

For those who own the earlier Stewart James tomes ("Stewart James In Print: The First Fifty Years" and "The James File") but are intimated by the size and scope of the material, this book is for you! The Essential Stewart James serves as a tourist guide through the land of James. For those who are encountering this wily Canadian wizard for the first time, this book serves as a primer to the brilliance of the man, his methods and his magic.

199 Pages - Hard Bound

This sems like a no Brainer purchase for any of us who missed the Wallet Bursting / Shelf Buckling Original James Files and Stewart James in print.

Anyone seen a copy of this yet to comment on the effects chosen.

Cheers
motown
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I would be interested to hear more about this book from anyone who buys it.

Craig
"If you ever write anything about me after I'm gone, I will come back and haunt you."
– Karl Germain
magicstudent
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Me too....
Thanks in advance.

Jeff
I'll Be Back!
-Schwarzenegger-
Peo Olsson
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I do have "Stewart James in Print" and "The James File", but I'm very interested to know what effects are incluced in "The Essential Stewart James".
Pictured to the left my hero and me during FISM 2006 in Stockholm.
Thomas Wayne
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Quote:
On 2007-08-31 01:34, Peo Olsson wrote:
I do have "Stewart James in Print" and "The James File", but I'm very interested to know what effects are incluced in "The Essential Stewart James".




Charles of H&R Books was showing me "The Essential Stewart James" at Magic Live! and one of the interesting comments he made was: "This book is destined to have its table of contents photocopied more than any other volume in history."

I'd have to think he's right - lol

TW
MOST magicians: "Here's a quarter, it's gone, you're an idiot, it's back, you're a jerk, show's over." Jerry Seinfeld
motown
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Thomas,

Can you give us an idea of the material in the book. Are the effects supported
well with photos or Illustrations.

Craig
"If you ever write anything about me after I'm gone, I will come back and haunt you."
– Karl Germain
Thomas Wayne
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I believe it's the same format and content as the earlier mega-volumes (identical, actually) - just excerpted to include the selected 50 effects.

TW
MOST magicians: "Here's a quarter, it's gone, you're an idiot, it's back, you're a jerk, show's over." Jerry Seinfeld
silverking
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James is one of magic's most amazing creators.......personally, I think he's the best there ever was.

Although the larger James volumes (which are all still available from Hermetic by the way) should be read by every magician, to not at least own this new "distilled" Stewart James is to not see what a true magic mind looks like.

It's important to know that in this era of "Theory 11" and "E-Kids" that within the work of Stewart James is where the REAL magic lies.

David Ben has an online Stewart James exhibition running right now that will illuminate true genius:
http://www.magicana.com/exhibitions/stewart_james/index.html
Peo Olsson
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Here is the the list of the effects from “The Essential Stewart James”, with a speciall thanks to Stephen Minch who provided me with it.

The Boy’s World
The Knot of Enchantment
A Match for Gravity
Murder by Suggestion
Spell of Mystery
Balldown
Freedom of the Size
Simplicity Four-Ace Trick
Miraskill
Face-Up Prediction
The Book of the Dead
Sefalaljia
Sefalaljia Jr
The Man in Aberystwyth
The Love-Sick Tennis Ball
Remembering the Future
Further Than That
Half and Half
The Robot Deck
Silkscreen
Vocalculate
The Prophet’s Choice
Go Go Vanisher
The Clincher
The Other Place
First Class Passage
Jamesway Poker Deal
Ten Nights in a Cardroom
Pokericulum
So-Fair Poker Deal
The Gobak Card Mystery
The Purlooined Letters
Pocket of Persistence
Essay by SJ
Ring Leader
Falling Card
MicawberBaker’s Dozen System
The Doozer
Matchimera
Lejun
The Gofar Ball
The Tenth Variation 1 3 4
My Father’s House
Card V
The AAG Principle
Split Second
Stranger From Two Worlds
Double Boomerang
Incantations
Oraclew
Dollars and (6th) Sense
Parenth-Thesis
The Secret Partner
TRY aNother FIELD
Ontene Prediction
The Dream Goes On
A Class by Itself
Anger with a “D”
Package Deal
While at the Talking Table
Pictured to the left my hero and me during FISM 2006 in Stockholm.
ASW
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I heard there'll be a fourth, much slimmer, pamphlet called, "The Essential Commercial Magic of Stewart James".
Whenever I find myself gripping anything too tightly I just ask myself "How would Guy Hollingworth hold this?"

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"I would respect VIPs if they respect history."

Hideo Kato
silverking
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Spoken like a true "Vent and Dummy" man.
ASW
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Spoken like someone who takes jokes personally.
Whenever I find myself gripping anything too tightly I just ask myself "How would Guy Hollingworth hold this?"

A magician on the Genii Forum

"I would respect VIPs if they respect history."

Hideo Kato
Silly Walter the Polar Bear
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Quote:
On 2007-09-01 12:20, silverking wrote:
James is one of magic's most amazing creators.......personally, I think he's the best there ever was.


LOL !!!
silverking
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Folks like Max Maven, David Ben and many James fans like myself continue to show respect to a man who deserves it.

Ahhh Walter, good to see you.
MagicSanta
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Title: The Essential Stewart James
Medium: Book, hard cover
Arena: Close up, parlor, mentalism
Available: Any shop, distributed by Murphys Magic Supplies

Let me start by stating that this isn’t the book of the year. It is, I believe, the book of the century so far and you can stop reading now if you have any desire for great magic and go order it or buy it at your local magic shop. I’m not kidding.

Imagine a brilliant man stuck in a miserable existence who, luck would have it for us, focused his brilliance over a period of 80 years on the subject of magic. Then take into account the fact this brilliant mind produced more magic than virtually anyone and has more pages of published work than anyone else in the art. Now think about what would happen if some of the top magicians in the world, guys like Max Maven, took the thousands of routines created by this man and picked the few they thought were the very best and then a writer who was a very close friend of that magician took the recommendations and compiled the fifty best routines covering cards, rope, mentalism, and currency into one book. You don’t have to imagine because that is exactly what Alan Slaight did with The Essential Stewart James.

Stewart James was a Canadian magician who had one of the more tragic lives I’ve ever read about in magic. His parents were miserable and unloving people who would not allow him to play with other children growing up, would purposefully give him shoddy dinner ware compared to what his other family members ate off of, and enslaved him for the majority of his life. His father died in 1940 and his mother was, around the same time, bed ridden and not given long to live. She lived until the early 1970’s and Stewart had to care for her that entire time because she refused to allow non family members to do so and the daughters in the family left as soon as they were old enough to do so. To add to this horrible existence his mother hated magic and magicians and likely Stewart as well. Had someone smothered her after his birth along with his father it would have been better than the lot he had in life. His only saving grace was magic and thankfully he corresponded with other magicians and maintained files so much of his brilliance was known and available today.

The magic Stewart James came up with is some of the greatest, clearest, and commercial magic you will encounter. So many of his creations have been repackaged and released over and over by different people over the years you likely have done James routines without being aware of it. When you read some of the routines you’ll think you missed something because the idea is so amazing yet able to be understood in presentation you won’t think it is possible as read, but it is. The routines are very well written and I believe they are as written by James in most cases. They also give you a bit of history, often in James’ own words about the routine, the inspiration, very interesting stuff. There are also essays and comments about his personal life, a tragic one as I pointed out, and in my case it broke my heart. I, honestly, don’t understand the math behind many of these routines and I certainly don’t understand how a person can come up with them from scratch. Just think of what James could have done as a professor had he been allowed by his parents to be a normal human?

All the routines are great but I want to give you an idea of what you will find.

Book Of The Dead:

Mentalism time! A binder is shown and two spectators pick numbers and write them down and then locate the page in the binder at that number. The magician takes the binder for a moment and then the spectators are asked to swap numbers. They again go to the binder and find the same pictures are again at the numbers they now have. They have switched places. The magician does not have any knowledge of the numbers they selected nor the pictures they landed on….really.


Sefalajia:

Rope magic and a true mystery. An example of what you can do with this principle is get a ring onto a rope in a very mysterious way while the rope is ran through a box or miniature spirit cabinet. This is one of those things you’ll do and it will just blow your mind that it actually works the way it does. This is one of the most fascinating magic effects I’ve ever encountered.


Remembering the Future:

You won’t believe this one works but it does and good luck figuring out the math. A group of cards is spread on the table and a spectator picks a card but doesn’t look at it. The deck is taken and a second spec cuts where ever they choose making two packets of cards, one is selected and counted then reduced to a single digit. That digit will match the value of the card selected. Really.


Further Than That:

One of the best card tricks of all time. A trick is done and you take it ‘further than that’ a couple more times, each step more amazing than the other. When routines were picked for this book Further Than That got the most votes, for a good reason.


Half and Half:

More mentalism. Using dice a number is rolled and you take a list of letters and count down to the number rolled and make up a word that was previously predicted. Regular dice are used and the prediction is written in advanced and any number, with in the abilities of the dice, can be rolled. Very well thought out and you can carry it with you and do it at any time.


The Robot Deck:

One deck, one stack, you will be able to whip out the following based routines: Mental Spell, Straight Poker, Stud Poker, Black Jack, Bridge, Scrambled Spelling, and Remarkable Prediction and you can switch up prediction cards! Again I don’t know how a person thinks up something like this. You can do an entire set with this one deck in hand and you have the gambling hook.


Pokericulum

One of the best poker routines you’ll run into. This one is unusual in that the audience gets a lot of input as to what the magician does. Very good routine and gambling always is interesting to the spectators.


The Purloined Letter:

This is a bizarre routine in that a poem, that is logical and well written, has multiple means of revealing selected cards. Again I must ask, how in the heck can someone come up with this type of thing? You’ll have to see it to believe it and you will know the brilliance of Stewart James. I can’t even voice how this routine works because, well, I’m not smart enough to understand how it came to be.


Falling Card:

Here is something for you stage guys! You have cards in bulldog clips on a length of string or cord. The selected card falls down while the other clipped cards stay in place. This is very cool and has lots of applications.


Split Second:

This is another amazing routine and I’ve done this a couple times because it is so cool but you destroy a deck every time. Get this, you have three packets of cards and one is selected and you tear them in half. The other cards left over are cut so one spec gets a packet and the other the remaining cards. You have the specs count their cards while you shuffle the halves you have, and you really do shuffle them. You ask the first spec to look at the card halves as you show them and once the card matching his number appears to remember that card but not to say when that occurs. The second spec does the same thing, remembering the card at the location matching the number of cards he has. You have the first spec go through the halves and remove his card and place it face down, same with the second…when they flip over their halves they find that they both picked the same card. This is a great routine and unusual to boot.


Double Boomerang:

A spectator thinks of any card and the ‘shuffled’ deck is used to dictate what mathematical actions are to be taken. For example if a six of spades is turned over a six is added to the number. The magician then tells the spectator what card he was thinking off and then the process continues and the spectator determines a card the magician has sealed in an envelope beforehand.

I’m going to stop here because I’ll end up giving short descriptions of every routine because they are all great. Seriously, this is the best book on magic that I’ve seen in a very long time and that is up against some excellent magic books. Some of these routines are eighty years old yet they play great today. The book is very well written with explanations that are clear as far as doing the routines. You may get frustrated because you won’t understand how the routine works but just be happy you know that it works and let the brainiacs worry about the math. This is an amazing collection by one of the most brilliant and sad people in magic which should be on the desk of every magician. I would say book case but you’ll want to work with the routines in this collection and you’ll be working with some of the best magic created. Hats off to Mr. Slaight for preserving and allowing us access to this material.
ASW
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Quote:
Remembering the Future:

You won’t believe this one works but it does and good luck figuring out the math. A group of cards is spread on the table and a spectator picks a card but doesn’t look at it. The deck is taken and a second spec cuts where ever they choose making two packets of cards, one is selected and counted then reduced to a single digit. That digit will match the value of the card selected. Really.


Hehehe
Whenever I find myself gripping anything too tightly I just ask myself "How would Guy Hollingworth hold this?"

A magician on the Genii Forum

"I would respect VIPs if they respect history."

Hideo Kato
MagicSanta
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Why the giggle? Do you understand the math? I gottsa know!
MagicSanta
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From the book, a math professor wrote up an explanation of how the math works, took nine pages. If anyone can reduce that down to a sentance I'd be thrilled.
boinko
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Wow -- I just tried "Remembering the Future."

I did it for myself -- and did it a couple time just to see it work. What a weird, neat trick.

I think I'm going to combine this with Jeff Stone's "Spectral Chill."

Both the James and Stone emphasize the "weird coincidences" with a deck of cards -- and both are nicely impromptu.

( Here's a review of the Stone set: http://www.xmission.com/~zerowc/reviews/......gic.html )

Good stuff!
shaunproof
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Quote:
On 2007-10-09 19:00, MagicSanta wrote:
It is, I believe, the book of the century


Holy Mackerel Andy.
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