The Magician and the Cardsharp: The Search for America's Greatest Sleight-of-Hand Artist

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9780805074062: The Magician and the Cardsharp: The Search for America's Greatest Sleight-of-Hand Artist

A famous magician's journey to find the greatest cardsharp ever evokes the forgotten world of magic where Americans found escape during the Great Depression

It has the nostalgic quality of an old-fashioned fable, but Karl Johnson's The Magician and the Cardsharp is a true story that lovingly re-creates the sparkle of a vanished world. Here, set against the backdrop of America struggling through the Depression, is the world of magic, a realm of stars, sleight of hand, and sin where dreams could be realized-or stolen away.

Following the Crash of '29, Dai Vernon, known by magicians as "the man who fooled Houdini," is tramping down Midwestern backroads, barely making ends meet. While swapping secrets with a Mexican gambler, he hears of a guy he doesn't quite believe is real-a legendary mystery man who deals perfectly from the center of the deck and who locals call the greatest cardsharp of all time. Determined to find the reclusive genius, Vernon sets out on a journey through America's shady, slick, and sinful side-from mob-run Kansas City through railroad towns that looked sleepy only in the daytime. Does he find the sharp?

Well, Karl Johnson did-after years of research into Vernon's colorful quest, research that led him to places he never knew existed. Johnson takes us to the cardsharp's doorstep and shows us how he bestowed on Vernon the greatest secret in magic. The Magician and the Cardsharp is a unique and endlessly entertaining piece of history that reveals the artistry and obsession of a special breed of American showmen.

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About the Author:

Karl Johnson, a former editor at the New York Daily News, has written for many major newspapers and periodicals. The Magician and the Cardsharp grew out of an article published in American Heritage magazine. He lives in New York City.

From Publishers Weekly:

This engrossing detective story traces the quest of Dai Vernon, né David Verner (1894–1992), to find the man who perfected the art of dealing from the center of the deck. An accomplished card cheat, sleight-of-hand magician and silhouette portraitist, Vernon was so expert at duplicitous card techniques that he once fooled Houdini with tricks he'd learned as a child from S.W. Erdnase's classic The Expert at the Card Table. Proficient at dealing from the top and bottom of the deck, he was astounded to learn that someone in the Midwest had the ability to win by dealing from the center. Johnson, a former editor at New York's Daily News, details Vernon's long search for Allen Kennedy (1865–1961), a cardsharp who plied his trade with loaded dice and deceitful deck handling. By recounting the shadowy careers of these two men, the author successfully evokes the picturesque world of illegal gambling during the 1920s, '30s and '40s. Johnson vividly conveys how obsessed Vernon was with magic and card tricks, and how much time, energy and practice gamblers put into learning how to cheat at cards.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Johnson, Karl
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Descripción Henry Holt and Co. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. 0805074066 2005; yellow paper over boards with black cloth spine; in illustrated dust jacket; clean interior; 349 pages; 8vo, 7 3/4" - 9 3/4" Tall. Nº de ref. de la librería SKU1094316

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Karl Johnson
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Descripción Henry Holt and Co., 2005. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. book. Nº de ref. de la librería M0805074066

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Descripción Henry Holt and Co., 2005. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Adapted. Nº de ref. de la librería DADAX0805074066

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Descripción Henry Holt And Co., New York, NY, 2005. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. 17 B/W Photos Ilustrador. First Edition. (full book description) Henry Holt And Co., New York, NY, 2005. 1st Edition 1st Printing, NEW, Hard Cover, w/Dust Jacket. Size=6.5"x9.5", 349pgs(Index). 17 B/W Photos. Clean, bright and tight. No ink names, tears, chips, foxing, etc. Price unclipped. ISBN 0805074066 20% OFF our regular catalogue price. SELLING WORLDWIDE since 1987. 99% OF OUR BOOKS ARE SHIPPED IN CUSTOM BOXES, WE ALWAYS PACK WITH GREAT CARE!. Book. Nº de ref. de la librería CONROY232865I

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Descripción Henry Holt And Co., New York, NY, 2005. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. 17 B/W Photos Ilustrador. First Edition. (full book description) Henry Holt And Co., New York, NY, 2005. 1st Edition 1st Printing, NEW, Hard Cover, w/Dust Jacket. Size=6.5"x9.5", 349pgs(Index). 17 B/W Photos. Brand New copy. Clean, bright and very tight. No ink names, tears, chips, foxing, etc. Price unclipped. ISBN 0805074066 20% OFF our regular catalogue price. SELLING WORLDWIDE since 1987. 99% OF OUR BOOKS ARE SHIPPED IN CUSTOM BOXES, WE ALWAYS PACK WITH GREAT CARE!. Book. Nº de ref. de la librería CONROY233693I

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Descripción Henry Holt and Co., 2005. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Never used!. Nº de ref. de la librería P110805074066

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Descripción Henry Holt and Co. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. 0805074066 New Condition. Nº de ref. de la librería NEW7.0380895

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