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The application of theatrical principles to the performance of magic has a long and proud lineage in the magical literature.

Today, The Paper Engine, Aaron's acclaimed work on sophisticated card magic, takes this notion one step further, arguing that the theatrical aesthetic can — and should — be applied on a level more fundamental than that of performance: to technique itself.

Full Overview

Through detailed explanations of technical artistry and principles, The Paper Engine teaches you - by exploring the important concepts of tension, focus, and design - how to construct and perform magic that's built on a framework of impeccable structural engineering.

And yet this is not a book on optimal finger positioning. On the contrary, it is a work that envisions the larger picture, even as it crafts the small. A work that makes your magic softer, tensionless … and truly invisible. While some of the material is challenging, The Paper Engine is designed to have you performing miracles for living, breathing audiences.

Written to take intermediate card workers to the advanced level, The Paper Engine will show you ...

  • how to eliminate tension from your card work; and, just as importantly, when to embrace tension, and use it to strengthen the effect.
  • why some techniques actually help you focus on the audience, while most moves force you to focus on your hands.
  • that many times we magicians work too hard. Master the use of gravity, and improve your sleight of hand.

Lauded by many of today's top card workers, The Paper Engine is a must-have for the student of thoughtful, serious, and provocative card magic.

Customer Reviews

  • by Arcane

    Dec 7, 2013

    I found the book very helpful and a grand place to start for those new to magic. Although I would recommend reading it near a computer so you can look up a little bit of the vocabulary for his common terms. Well done piece of literature that feels like a well made solid books in the hands. 4 outta 5. :)

  • by Josh Burch

    Sep 13, 2013

    Aaron's magic is tough to do, but the tips that he teaches will help you overcome a lot of the usual pit falls. Even with his tips it will take time to master the sleights and routines taught. Search and Destroy is my favorite, I found it helpful to sign up for Aaron's newsletter for a little while he offered this effect as a bonus for signing up. You get a lot of information in this book, a few of the effects he has released on DVD projects in the past. Most of them can be performed easily without a table which makes them very versatile. My one complaint is that some of the effects are very similar to others, they tend to use the same moves and many of them climax with one or many cards turning face up.

    This is a good solid purchase though and Ellusionist needs more books.

  • by Zvi Hassan

    Apr 19, 2013

    No doubt it's a great book, but you shouldn't buy it because of the moves taught in it - Buy it for the awesome insights and thoughts that Aaron speaks of.

    I wish there were more of those ideas rather than moves, but besides that - a very nice book for cardmen.

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