What: The Secrets of a Puerto Rican Gambler & For Your Entertainment Pleasure
Where: Vanishing Inc. Magic
How much?: $30 each / $60 together
The Short Review:
In case you don't know what these books are, these are 2 manuscripts on the magic of Daryl Martinez originally published in the 80's by Stephen Minch, now reformatted and reimagined by Vanishing Inc. into beautiful hardcover books with many new photos and a few extra additions.
And what an excellent reimagining of 2 classic manuscripts this is. I never had the originals, but I can assure you that these new editions are top notch in every way. As I read magic books, I always take notes on which effects I want to add to my repertoire; with these 2 books, I struggled to find effects that I did not want to perform!
Daryl was—and, regrettably, I must use the past tense—a masterful magician who created an aura of pure entertainment around him. Stephen Minch did a wonderful job of conveying this aura to us all, and Daryl’s legacy lives on through these works. Every nuance of performance is described, allowing the reader to see the “One Degree Improvements,” to borrow a Guastaferro phrase, that made Daryl’s magic so special. These routines are professional caliber and well worth studying. If nothing else, they will serve as a model for how the magic you already do can be improved.
Finally, everything has been reformatted to Vanishing Inc. standards and the added quality and quantity of pictures has made learning the routines a breeze. Thank you to Andi and Josh for having an eye for classic, quality magic, and giving these books a new life.
The Details—for those of you who really want to know what you're getting:
Secrets of a Puerto Rican Gambler Contents
NOTE: All included card effects can be done from a borrowed, shuffled deck.
Boomerang Card of Mystery: 2 cards are peeked at and another named card is cut to and thrown into the air like a boomerang. This comes down and stabs the deck in between the 2 selected cards.
The Chicago Conspiracy: Version of the above for situations when tossing the card is not ideal. Cards instantly appear around the named card which pops face-up in the deck.
Quick Silver: Version of the above. A half dollar is tossed into the air and caught in the deck, in between the selections. Contains an excellent control of 2 selections.
Holding On: Version of Between your Palms where a card is placed in the spectator’s hands, you attempt to find the signed selection 3 times, and place your wrong guesses in the spectator’s hands. The unknown card becomes the signed card and the other 3 become mates of the signed card.
The Puerto Rican Triumph: Classic triumph effect with the introduction of Daryl’s famous Puerto Rican Cutting Sequence. Wonderful routine.
The Mysterious Cross of India: 8 coins used, 4 of these coins jump from one hand to the other as you cross and uncross your arms.
In the Pinch: Card is shuffled into half the deck by a spectator and the spectator dribbles the half onto the deck. You cut the other half into 2 face-up packets and use them as “tweezers” to reach into the stream of cards and pull out the face-down selection.
Just Tweezing: Very pretty version of the above to be used when seated at a table with angles friendly to a Tenkai palm.
Conditional Assembly: A-4 of diamonds assemble into one packet. Psychology and methodology here is very smart. Ideally performed on a close-up pad, however (or on the edge of a table).
Twisted Aces Redivivus: 3 aces turn face-up one at a time, then the last ace, the AD, disappears and appears face-up in the middle of the deck. Nice effect but several challenging counts used repeatedly.
Double-Dazzling Triumph: 2 cards selected and shuffled into the deck face-up and face-down. Then all cards turn face down except for 2 together in the middle, but they are not the selections; instead they are indicator cards to find the selections and then each half deck is turned face-up to show a red/black color separation.
For Your Entertainment Pleasure Contents
Prefatory Harangue (Essay): On the use of flourishes in magic.
Papa Rabbit Hits the Big Time: Daryl’s presentation and handling for the Sponge Rabbits.
The High-Priced Spread: A card is selected and returned. You claim that it is within the top four cards which you show and then eliminate 3, turning them face-up, leaving only one face-down card which you claim must be the selection. The audience sees that it’s not but then almost immediately it changes to the selection. Includes Daryl’s knacky One Handed Ascanio Spread. Good if you can get the spread down.
Rising Crime: 4 kings placed on 4 packets and packets gathered. The kings nonetheless gather on top of the deck. Featured Daryl’s famous rising crime display.
Future Aesthetics: 4 aces dispersed in deck fairly and shuffled in. A card pivots from the pack as you cut the deck which you declare a prediction. 3 other cards are selected by spectator’s counting down to named numbers. The prediction is the AS and the selections are the other 3 aces.
Slightly Touched: You apparently memorize the cards, then a card is removed face-down and placed reversed into the deck. The deck is cut twice; the first time you claim that you cut to the value of the reversed card, and the second time the suit. Sure enough when the reversed card is shown, this is the case. Also includes a kicker where the other “combo card” appears between the suit and value cards.
Twogether Again: One coin is placed in each hand. They then jump together with no false moves. Must be seated at a table.
The Coinditional Coin Game: Spectator is given a coin to hold onto. You claim to be able to remove it from his first twice. The first is a gag, then you introduce a copper coin and change it into the silver coin while they have the copper coin. Again, must be seated at a table.
The Out-of-Body Experience: 2 mates removed from the deck. A card is selected and outjogged in the pack. The card is squared into the deck with one hand while the other holds the mates; the selection instantly appears between the mates.
The Snowshoe Sandwich: A selected card flies (visibly) out of the deck and in between two face-up mates. Introduces Daryl’s Hot Shot Cut.
Psychological Assembly: 12 red spot cards introduced, 3 placed in each of 4 piles. 4 jokers then shown and distributed among the piles. They then assemble in one packet. 3 variations taught (see below)
The Easy Way: Using a standard Diminishing Lift sequence. Not all red cards are shown.
The Card Man’s Version: All red cards are displayed via a Hamman count. Also has an extra display of the jokers via Daryl’s 2-as-4 count.
Diamond Bar: Version that can be done with 4 kings but the kings and the red packet have to be introduced at the same time. Uses the Rising Crime sequence.
Touches: Several nice ways to display 4 cards.