A Bob Longe Book Review

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A Bob Longe Book Review

Postby Renato » Oct 2nd, '05, 15:57

The Giant Book of Card Tricks by Bob Longe

Around £8 from Amazon

Difficulty: 1 - 2

First off, how many of you recognise the name Bob Longe? I ask because I’ve seen his name crop up about once in magic discussions. His books are, primarily, aimed at the beginner, and this book is no exception, straddling the beginner/intermediate skill range. The book details effects in the following categories:

The Peek
The Glide
Controlling a Card
False Cuts
Drop Sleight

Face-up, Face-down
Gambling (inc. Gambler’s Bonus)
Grab Bag
Mind Reading

There’s roughly a hundred descriptions which include sleights, ideas and effects, as well as some thoughts on different topics of magic. Handy index at the back, over 200 full-size pages...

Don’t be put off by the title or the fact that this is a book aimed more at beginners. True, very few of these effects are new, none of them are full of expert finger flinginginess, but there are some interesting takes on old effects which I sometimes use. For example:

Using ‘mind control’ to influence a spectator’s choice of cards so that you are left with a winning hand - and you predict just what that hand will be...

A prediction effect using an old method but with a new twist which is nice and astounds audiences - with a slight change in handling and presentation it now appears as if I can suggest a card successfully every time, or determine what card someone is thinking of, or estimate where someone will cut...

A seemingly impossible transposition of two Queens, one sandwiched between two cards, the other on top of the deck.

I’m not going to go on. There are loads of great, simple and quite clever effects in this book. It’s great for the beginner, good for the more advanced card worker - change the presentation slightly, perhaps modify the handling somewhat and you’ve got some brilliant card effects. What more can I say - it’s not a professional book, with incredible effects, but IMO with the right presentation these can be incredible.

If you've been in to card magic for a while, like I have, you may find this a nice book to come back to to remember just where you began in card magic, and maybe consider some of the more basic effects out there.

Like I said, there are not many new effects. You will probably have come across a lot of these before if you've been in magic for a while, but there are some nice alterations Bob Longe and others have made along the way, and it's always good to have a lot of the 'classic' effects gathered together in one book.

Not bad at all for the price, IMO certainly better than some beginner's books, but as I said - this is more for the advanced beginner than the total beginner.

So come on, guys, what do others think of this book? And how many of you have heard of Bob Longe before?

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Postby moodini » Oct 3rd, '05, 20:30

Over the past 10 years, I have received a number of Bob Longe books as gifts from aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc.

They are exellent as beginner reference material......they certainly opened my mind to things that can be done, and I started using them to perform for freinds and family. I have since progressed, and can honestly say that I no longer use a single one of the tricks outlined in any of the books that I have. I find that many of them can be thought through with little thought........they don't ever leave the "Wow" effect at the end.

Like I said, I would certainly say they are great as beginner material, but not a great gift for an advanced magi.........hope my grandma and aunt don't read this!

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Postby Renato » Oct 4th, '05, 16:36

moodini wrote:hope my grandma and aunt don't read this!

Fair points, but felt the need to defend myself here - it's true, none of the effects in this book will have Jokers folding themselves in to treble cleffs and singing a merry tune or any other such, and Bob Longe does often substitute sleight of hand for subtleties, but I've changed the presentation and handling of some of these effects and have had jaws drop.

Perhaps you gave up these effects as you moved in to more advanced territory, your performance skills getting better along the way, and so never got to experience how good these effects can be with the proper presentation...? I don't mean any offence with that comment, by the way, just pointing out that when we begin in magic our performance skills are never as good as when we've progressed... I don't know, but like I said, these really do benefit from a great presentation.

I agree though, great book for the beginner.

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Postby moodini » Oct 4th, '05, 19:17

Oh absulotely cardza......

I think we are both saying similar things, but in a different way......I am not saying it is poor material.......just not my "cup of tea" anymore! You are right, like I said...

......they certainly opened my mind to things that can be done

you are right, he often presents the simplest way to perfom an effect, and it is a good lesson to learn......the sleights are only for you, if they are not seen by the spec, and the same thing can be acheived without a sleight!

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Postby TerryC » Jan 22nd, '06, 06:44

I bought this book, very cheap, in a strange back-to-back edition, coupled with The Giant Book of Card Games.

I am just a hobby magician, so I guess beginner stuff appeals to me, but his trick "Murder", requiring the use of the glide, has a super story--and I am a good story teller--which my audiences enjoy as much as the effect.

And yes, the effect, does baffle them. They all think that it must be a set-up, but there is no way to set up seven card to produce this effect without using the glide.

Bob Longe is great for beginners.

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Postby Renato » Jan 22nd, '06, 13:36

TerryC wrote:Bob Longe is great for beginners.

And the more experienced - I still make use of some of his stuff.

Bob Longe - he does have some really good beginners material, though is often overlooked.

The good thing about his books is that often he teaches the lesser-known beginners effects.

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Postby Zero000 » Jan 22nd, '06, 21:06

hmm. bob longe sounded familier when i clicked this, then i remmebered my first magic book called 101 amazing card tricks. that was like 8 years ago though... i agree, he has good beginner stuff, but i didnt really learn anything till i got dvds and videos...


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Postby Socrates » Jan 19th, '10, 13:38

I've heard of Bob Longe, have used ideas of his for over ten years now. In fact some of them are so good I've even used them in paying shows - they never fail to stun, given the correct presentation.

Great little books 8)


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