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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Books, Pamphlets & Lecture Notes » » John Carney's Carneycopia written by Stephen Minch (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Profile of SoulGrind
John Carney's Carneycopia written by Stephen Minch

I recently acquired John Carney's Carneycopia written by Stephen Minch, published by L&L Publishing.

I've just started reading this book and I must admit that I have been amazed and overwhelmed all at the same time. The style in which John Carney writes is inline with that of authors on the subject of magic from the days gone by such as Hoffzinger, Erdnase, Tarbell, Hugard and Braue, etc.

If you are a newcomer to magic, I'm not sure this book is for you. I have mixed emotions on how to categorize this book in terms of audience. The effects outlined aren't difficult. It's the fact that John Carney divulges so many nuances to the effects that the newcomer might feel they are beyond their grasp due to the abundance of content contained within a single effect. You might say John Carney is extremely diligent and detail oriented when describing the affects within this volume.

The reading is dense and sophisticated. John Carney opens up with an essay that is both interesting and thought provoking. This is then followed up by the most elaborate description of a sponge ball routine I have ever seen. It's a simple routine, one I have performed many times myself yet I have never given so much thought to it as has John Carney. It's amazing the amount of timing, misdirection, and audience management that John Carney discusses. I have yet to read further beyond this simple, opening effect as I am still digesting what I have recently read.

So far, I have really enjoyed this book. I have gleaned so many good tips thus far. As I already stated, I cannot say for sure whether this book is suitable for the beginner as this book does not discuss the basics. Yet, then again, this book goes beyond the basics and discusses the "basics" in terms on the intricacies of an effect. So maybe a newcomer can benefit from this book. However, keep in mind, this book does not offer the instant gratification of the DVD lovers. This book is written with Biblical proportion in terms of inner/deeper meaning than just learning simple effects.

And for the record - this is not a book of card tricks. Yes, there are card tricks contained therein, but it contains a vast assortment of repertoire (43 effects in all) to suit the taste of almost any close-up magician. John Carney also goes into the history of each of the effects and gives credit where credit is due.

If you enjoy a good read with thought provoking content that may prove useful in your act as well as some truly wonderful effects (most are classics) taken to another level, you owe it to yourself to investigate this book further.

Not only is John Carney an excellent magician, it turns out he is quite the author as well.
Caine Hörr (The Amazing Caine)
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Profile of silverking
FYI, Carny's opening essay in this book is considered to be one of the finest pieces of written work ever produced (by anybody) on the topic of magic.

And IMHO this most definitely ISN'T a book for beginners.
Some of the effects contained within are a stretch for even the most experienced magi. There are FAR better texts for a beginner to purchase and work with than this book.

This isn't a book to be bought on a whim....looking for tricks to do......This is a masterwork, containing some brilliant (but difficult) effects and thinking.
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Profile of ixnay66
One of my favorite magic books and yeah, the essay in the introduction should be required reading by everyone that does sleight of hand.
Larry Davidson
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Profile of Larry Davidson
Check out The Thirteenth Victim. It's brilliant.
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Profile of Slepton
Fantastic book indeed. Especially for working performances.
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Profile of sleightofhander
You can watch John perform some of the effects from this book on youtube. After watching them I pulled the book off the shelf and started practicing.Smile
Andy the cardician
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It is one of my favorites. Parts of the sponge ball routine is still in my repertoire . . .
Cards never lie
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Profile of aussiemagic
John Carney is awesome!
How to become a professional magician:
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Profile of Magiguy
One of my favorite books, indeed! Check out Calligraphic Cash.
andre combrinck
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Profile of andre combrinck
The cup trick with the bill is awesome.Can't remember the name and am too lazy to go to the cupboard and look it up.The Sponge ball effect isn't bad either.

Tom Fenton
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AJ wrote:
The cup trick with the bill is awesome.Can't remember the name and am too lazy to go to the cupboard and look it up.

It's called "Fruit Cup".
"But there isn't a door"
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Profile of jonnyboy
Is this book currently back in print?

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Instead of practicing, I made
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Profile of MaxfieldsMagic
Yes, it is. Carney himself is currently out of stock, but L&L Publications, Hocus-Pocus, Hank's, Madhatter and Penguin all have it.

Also, Carney has three DVDs that covers effects from the book - Classic Carney, Commercial Carney and Chicarnery. You can buy them from him directly at or get them at Hocus-Pocus or Hank's.
Now appearing nightly in my basement.
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Profile of stache
I would have to say Hot Slot is my favorite effect in this book. the routining is amazing and the final production will knock anyone on their butt.
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Profile of motown
This is one book, I think, no one should be with out. Well thought out routines and all the thinking behind them.
"If you ever write anything about me after I'm gone, I will come back and haunt you."
– Karl Germain
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Profile of dsacks
John is as great a person as he is a magician -- met him at the Castle a number of times...he took time out to go over some move from some of the effects in his book. A real gentleman.

BTW, his book is great! Also, for anyone reading this far, who is interested, his Book of Secrets is available from him.
Jonathan Smith
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Profile of Jonathan Smith
Carneycopia and Secrets are both required treading.
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Profile of muse
I bought both 'Carneycopia' and 'Book of Secrets' when I was pretty new to magic. I agree with the original post above that they were above my level in terms of the amount of information you get, it was indeed overwhelming, and they were among the few books I bought that I didn't perform even one trick from. All the same, they (along with 'At the Card Table' by Darwin Ortiz) opened my eyes to the difference between the way an expert would go about putting together an effect, and the way I'd gone about it. A great step forward in my education, and very readable too.

Plus, I ordered them direct from John Carney, and he was great to deal with, prompt to deliver even from an Atlantic Ocean away, and signed the books for me too.
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Profile of paisa23
Top five effects for close up worker? Ready go!!!!
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