Gross, Henry: Pure Magic! A Primer in Sleight of Hand
©1978 Henry Gross, published by Charles Scribner's Sons
225 pages, paperback, perfectbound
Pure Magic!
Image from Magicref

Comments: This is a very well written book and is a great way to start off in magic. It does not teach "self-working" tricks, but rather Henry Gross recommends the beginner start off learning sleight of hand. Among other good items, includes a one cup and ball trick (not a Chop cup) and some Thimble magic. This book is no longer in print, but used copies can be found on the Internet (as of Jun 2005)


ix Introduction: Why start learning magic with sleight of hand

1 Chapter 1 The Presentation of Magic
1 Pretense: pretending and performance
3 Patter
6 Style and Dress
8 Direction and Misdirection
10 Performing Magic (about your working environment)

13 Chapter 2 How to Palm a Coin
14 The Finger Palm
16 The Classic Palm: and shifting coin position
19 Thumb Palms: thumb palm, Downs palm, rear thumb clip

23 Chapter 3 Coin Vanishes
24 Turnover Vanish (finger palm)
27 The (New) French Drop
30 The Pivot Vanish
32 Tap-in Vanish
33 Turnover Vanishes (Classic Palm): with re-appearance & several approaches
36 Thumb Palm Vanish (with a toss)
37 Vanishes With the Edge Thumb Palm: a one handed vanish
41 Ping Vanish: one, then two coins tossed to other hand with a 'ping' vanish
42 Sleeving: inertial sleeving

45 Chapter 4 Coin Switches and Productions
45 Switching Coins: from palm
47 The Utility Move: showing four coins (or balls) as three during a hand to hand toss
49 Silk and Coin Sleights: coin from silk, two methods

53 Chapter 5 Two Coin Routines
53 The Gregarious Coins: Two in the hand, one in the pocket routine
56 The Coins Through the Table: Three coins pass one at a time through the table, then three all at once pass back up. Uses just 3 coins (lapping).

65 Chapter 6 Sleights with Solid Balls
65 Palming a Solid Ball
66 Pick Up Vanish
68 Palm to Palm Vanish
69 Tap-in Vanish
71 Modified Trap Vanish
72 Mouth Vanish

74 Chapter 7 Spongeball Magic
75 Palming
75 The Pass: the first essential move for spongeball magic
77 The Squeeze Move: picking up one while adding one secretly (2nd essential move)
79 The Final Vanish: a vanish of two balls using an improvised TT-type gimmick (a hair curler)
82 The Routine: in the spectator's hands

88 Chapter 8 Simple Card Sleights
90 Overhand Shuffle: True and False; top, bottom and half-deck control with in-jog
94 Riffle Shuffle: with top, bottom control
96 Hindu Shuffle
98 Hindu Shuffle Control: top card
99 Hindu Shuffle Force: simple
100 The Little Finger Break
102 Double Cutting: control to top
103 Simplified Two-Handed Pass: a pass done openly
105 False Cut
107 Double Lift
109 The Glide
111 The Mexican Turnover

114 Chapter 9 Card Routines
115 Take a Card...Intro to card routines
116 Running the Cards: to hasten the spectator's choice
117 Fanning the Cards
117 The Table Spread
118 Riffling the Deck
119 Reversed Card Discovery: Selection becomes reversed in the deck
122 Chameleon Card: after failing 3 times to find a card, a failed card becomes the selection (uses glide and magician's choice)
125 Magic Number*: Spectator's selection appears at a number named by the spectator (good!)
128 Card Through the Table: lapping a card
132 An Incredible Coincidence: Using a single card to move across the table spread, spectator says STOP. The stopped at card is flipped over with the indicator card and is shown to be the selection.
133 Routining Card Discoveries: tip on combining three of the above effects for a full routine
134 The Four Ace Trick: Four piles are made, the Aces gather to one pile
138 Four Ace Discovery: a quickie where 4 Aces appear on the tops of 4 piles

139 Chapter 10 Palming Cards
141 Palming a Single Card
142 Palming Several Cards
143 Card In the Pocket: spectator counts down a random number and remembers the card. Magician puts a card in his pocket. When value is revealed, the magician pulls from his pocket.
145 Producing A Fan of Cards: from palm
149 Color Changes: two versions

154 Chapter 11 Fanning Cards
155 One Hand Fan
156 The Finger (or Thumb) Fan
159 Reverse Thumb Fan
160 Pressure Fan
162 Split Fans

164 Chapter 12 The Cups and Balls
165 The Pass: an essential ball sleight
167 Loading a Ball Under a Cup: from finger palm
170 The Fake Insertion
170 Routines With One Cup and Three Balls: Uses a tea cup and four balls (not a Chop Cup). Features the one-ahead principle and a lemon climax. Henry recommends Dai Vernon's Cups and Balls routine for further study.

176 Chapter 13 Thimble Magic
177 The Thumb Palm
178 Vanish No. 1: With recovery. This is to be performed slowly.
180 Vanish No. 2: another with recovery.
180 Vanish No. 3: audience sees the thimble until the last moment
181 Vanish No. 4: one final method, then a suggestion to link all four vanishes into a single routine.

184 Chapter 14 Napkin Magic
184 Torn and Restored napkin: complete with "sucker" explanation
191 The Four Paper Balls and Two Napkins: a Chink-a-Chink effect using paper balls and napkins

196 Chapter 15 Silk Magic
196 The Vanishing Silk: using the TT-type gimmick described earlier
200 The Color Changing Silk: make your own Dye Tube, and provide alternate method of presentation

208 Chapter 16 The Cut and Restored Ribbon
208 The Cut and Restored Ribbon: with a "sucker" explanation. Includes spectator participation

219 In Conclusion
221 Index