Book Review: “Anthology” by Daniel Madison

Playing Cards are a staple of my repertoire when someone says to “show me something.” The guy I think has the best handle on how to use playing cards is Daniel Madison, and his book “Anthology” will give any reader enough to digest for some time.  If you want to learn sleight of hand from a mad genius, I’d suggest “Anthology” as the first and foremost choice for you.

“Anthology” lays bare countless effects by Daniel Madison, including the genesis of one of my favorite card deceptions, “Angle Z.” The “Identity” and “The Advocate” (one gimmick I never leave the house without) are two more tools contained in this book that you’ll find yourself using quickly.

There’s also sleight of hand moves.  Madison has some of the best hands in the card handler game, and “Anthology” will teach you quite a few of Madison’s better sleights.  The big ones he’s currently using you’ll probably need to purchase one of his DVDs or downloads to really get, but you’ll rock the next networking event you take a deck of cards to when you have “Anthology” and take some time to really look into the full scope of Madison’s effects.

There’s a few of Madison’s effects in this collection you’ll need to prepare gaffes or gimmicks with.  They don’t take that much time to put together, and you’ll come up with some very powerful, visual close up using a deck of playing cards when you do.  All of the gimmicks are explained in creation with a step-by-step approach and well worth your time.

Another cautionary note is when Madison describes a sleight he uses a certain system to point out all the fingers used in executing the move.  “Finger One” and “Finger Two” are the index and middle fingers on a hand, for example.  You will learn this system quickly if you just pay attention to his frame of describing a sleight’s inner workings.

Perhaps the best aspect of “Anthology” is most of the effects can be performed with a borrowed deck of playing cards and a little practice.  You can wow someone when they call you out and say “You’re just able to do that because you have your own deck.”  Anthology will give you the ability to know with confidence that you can knock someone’s socks off when you go out in public to do just about anything.

One tip I’ll give you from “Anthology.” If you want to really build up your confidence, go to a market area or street corner and just perform a few of the effects for various passer by for free.  It’ll wow them if they bite, you can usually leave your business card with the spectator, and it serves as a great marketing tool for you.  In addition, if the sleights go a little out of whack, you’ll be able to come up with some way of getting out of a mess providing you just work with a little alternative or two.

The last point I’ll give you for Daniel Madison’s “Anthology” is learning and working some of these effects will add to your confidence because they’re really advanced.  When you can pull off some of the difficult to most advanced sleights Madison lays bare for you in this collection you’ll really feel like you can conquer just about any problem.  Of the books and effects I’ve seen, this is 5 out of 5 stars.  It’s a must read.

Purchase a copy of “Anthology.”  It’s worth the investment.

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