The "I Hate Card Tricks"
Book of Card Tricks
I have met Bob through his work. He was nice enough to send me his “I Hate Card Tricks” e-book. I was immediately captivated by his unusual approach to card magic. I love novelty effects and Bob has those in spades. My dad frequently took inspiration from stage magic for creating close-up effects, and vice versa. Now Bob has taken this concept to new heights with this series of unconventional and offbeat effects.
You will soon find out for yourself about Bob’s creative thinking and offbeat sense of humor. So I thought it would be nice to give you a little insight into the man himself. Bob was kind enough to share some anecdotes and details of his life with me.
It all started out with an innocent Christmas present. Bob was given an Adams Magic set as a boy. Little did his parents realize at the time how influential that gift would be. The seed was planted and Bob set about to learn as much about magic as he could.
To clinch the matter, the next year Bob’s family moved to central Florida and went on holiday to Walt Disney World. Instead of coming home with your typical Disney souvenirs, Bob came home with Linking Rings, Rice Bowls and Multiplying Billiard Balls from Merlin’s Magic Shop. By this point, he had clearly been “bitten by the bug.”
It didn’t take long until he began learning how to perform, although sometimes the lessons were hard learned. On a visit to his uncle’s house, at the grand old age of nine, he learned his first lesson about hecklers and audience management. After showing off his latest miracle, his uncle’s reaction was not exactly what Bob had expected - but rather than being discouraged he took his uncle’s words to heart. He even displays a custom-made “motivational” poster in his office sporting his uncle’s words… “Never trust someone using cards that say ‘Svengali’ on the box.”
Bob tells me his enthusiasm for large-scale stage illusions was mostly influenced by seeing Harry Blackstone, Jr. His first exposure to Blackstone’s magic came from another theme park, this time the Sea World water-ski stunt show! The show had a superhero theme. In addition to the water-skiing comic book characters, the show featured several Blackstone illusions. Bob’s parents saw that he was fascinated by these illusions and, shortly after discovering that one of their relatives actually knew Blackstone, they presented Bob with a personalized photo from Harry.
Bob has traveled to more than 20 different countries to date, as well as 41 of the 50 states, and it was during his travels he had the chance to meet a magician who influenced him significantly in recent years, Japan’s Ton Onosaka. Bob credits Onosaka-san with much of the inspiration for the sometimes eccentric plots of his effects. But I suspect his own somewhat warped sense of humor is also a contributing factor!
The effects in this book (as well as volume one) do require some “do it yourself” skills to construct, but the results are well worth the effort. Bob has provided detailed and easy to understand instructions, making these projects accessible even to the novice.
I’m sure you’ll enjoy constructing, practicing and performing these effects as much as I have. You’re sure to win over audiences everywhere with these gems, even your heckling uncle who STILL hates card tricks!
- Martin Lewis