A joyful exploration of one-handed cuts created or documented by Msgr. Vincent Foy, a pioneer of the modern movement of card flourishes. His contributions on this subject that appeared initially in The Linking Ring and in Bertram on Sleight of Hand inspired a new generation of finger-flingers.
At the urging of his friends David Ben and Nick Sacco, Msgr. Foy, now 95 years young, deciphered his decades old notes on over 100 one-handed cuts, most of which were of his own invention. Ron van Someren then photographed Msgr. Foy performing the very best. Renowned designer Michael Albright has married the text and images into an artful display that enables the one-hand cut or card flourish enthusiast to master the material with greater ease.
A Cut Above comes complete with an insightful introduction that examines the history and place for card cuts and flourishes in the modern repertoire and an annotated bibliography of other books and DVDs that the reader may want to explore.
240 page hardbound book. Contains 500 b&w photos.
My experience with flourishing is limited, but I'm really loving this book. Aside from being stylish and well designed, the book is full of good stuff that will challenge your hands and push them to their limit. My hands hurt, but I'm loving it. The cuts are unique and full of style, in the way that only one handed cuts can be. One extra benefit is that even if you don't use a lot of flourishes in your routine, or don't plan to, learning them is very good for building the strength and coordination of your dealing hand. There is a bonus that, because it is so big and beautiful and there are no sleights in it, you can just leave it around, even use it as a coffee table book. I only doc it one point because to me (and maybe this is normal to flourishes) the way the pictures and explanations are worked together is odd. I'm use to learning sleights were 95% is a written description with one or two little illustrations to help the general idea. This book seems to be half and half, with brief descriptions that refer directly to pictures. It's not a problem for the majority of them, but every once and a while they don't add up exactly and it takes a little creative thinking to figure it out. Not worth avoiding over.
If I had to describe this book I'd say it's like your own notebook full of one-handed flourishes. I'm a huge fan of one handed flourishes and it's well worth the challenge. It's just important to know what you're getting into as the topic is very specific: one-handed cuts.
This book is very well written, it has an interesting introduction and foreword about the stories of the author Msgr. Vincent Foy himself. He shares the time he sessioned with Derek Dingle. He also shares stories in which he learnt from the great Ross Bertram. Also, he has published articles and books under a pseudonym of Dr Casaubon.
The instructions are very clear, they are written in a stepwise form so it is easy to follow. The pictures are well taken and are in accordance to the instructions. Also the pictures allow you to understand where the fingers ought to be when you are doing the one hand cuts.
While I am able to foresee the potential this book has for a flourisher as well as magicians who want to enhance their magic with feats of dexterity. This book also serves as a reference book in which one can always refer to when looking for a particular type of one handed cut to fit into a certain routine (magic or flourish). There are also some false cuts taught like the Lower Level Charlier Cut. Also, the last section on Tabled one handed cuts would certainly appeal to some magicians who are inclined to do gambling demonstrations or effects t hat begins with “I met a gambler who only had one hand….”
I will not recommend this to beginners who are starting out in their magic career because more time can be invested on sleights and performance which has a faster rate of returns then these flourishes. However, this book is recommended for those who are more advanced and wants to add something fancy in their card routine.