(1 customer review)

Focus by Phil Goldstein

(c. 1990) (Submit Review) (Submit Update)

Details: During the last three decades Phil Goldstein has published over 2000 remarkably clever tricks. We asked him to choose some of his best card magic from this huge body of work. The result is Focus, 60 exceptional tricks and routines that focus on Simplicity, Directness, Practicality and Maximum Magical Effect. Included is “Impressions”, an unfathomable Universal Card routine that has baffled the experts. Focus is a hardbound volume of 150 pages, offering professional card magic that will focus your audience’s attention on you! Again in print, by popular request.

Contents: (new sleights are listed in the parenthesis, only the first time they are used; that is, a sleight listed after an effect does NOT indicate this is the only sleight used in the effect; an * before an effect simply means I found it to look interesting)

1 Foreword: Steven Minch, July 1990
2 Introduction: Phil Goldstein, Oct 1989
3 Overture: Face up red Aces change position with face down black Aces (Jordan Count, Dai Vernon’s Variant Thru the Fist Flourish, Elmsley Count)
5 No – Gaff Differential: 4 Aces to 4 Kings (version of J.K. Hartman’s Secret Subtraction, Single Buckle Spread, Ascanio Spread)
10 Snap Differential: Use to follow above. 4 Kings to 4 Aces (sleeve change)
12 Transfourmation: Four of a Kind transformation (Marlo’s AFTUS) with additional climax of a back color change (Back or Flushtration Count)
14 Vicinity: a universal card plot (diminishing lift sequence, Marlo Display subtlety). The value of 3 “magic” cards follow the selection
15 Twisted Location: four Kings do a trick of their own, then find the selection
18 Snap Collectors: (Tilt) 4 Aces transpose with Kings and find three selections (Collectors Plot)
21 Third Degree: Ace, 2, 3 at top disperse through the deck to locate selections
23 Choice Flesh: Spectator chooses 3 cards, eliminates 2. Cards are mixed with Kings. Magician eliminates 2, the remaining card found between the Kings
*26 A Fine Mesh: (Hamman Count, Olram Subtlety) One Joker finds selections buried in the deck that have vanished from the packet (1 gimmick)
*28 Inside Out: Peter Kane’s Wild Card theme using gimmicked cards (Busby Omega Count). 4 Aces and 1 Queen change to 4 Queens and One Ace, then all Queens.
29 Back Ordered: An All Backs routine. Cards appear to become double backed. (Quadrophonic False Turnover)
32 Back Gammon: Another All Backs routine with gaffed cards (Carlyle Paddle Move, Paintbrush Change)
35 Jumping Bean Aces: Four Ace Assembly (Mexican Turnover)
37 Immediate Aces: Another 4 Ace Assembly. One Ace & three spot cards in 1 pile, 3 Aces in another; all Aces join in one pile
39 Relative Interchange: An elaborate transposition routine. Cards in a packet transpose with tabled cards.
41 Brimstone Elevator: Ace, 2, 3, & 4 rise in a packet and turn to Hearts at the end.
*44 Troublebacker: A more simple transposition
45 Naked Lunch: Aces turn face up between Jokers with an optional bonus phase
48 Progression: Gimmicked cards (Vesser Concept) Card vanishes when mixed with blank face cards, with surprise finish
50 Ascension: Similar to above but with no gimmicks
51 Sottovoce: (Riffle Force) Sadowitz’ Whisperer’s Plot – Jacks help reveal selections with a double surprise climax
54 Casanova: Gimmicked Card. Poker hand routine with Royal Flush ending
55 Five – Card Polka: Gimmicked Cards. (Haback Count) A gambling story with witty patter.
58 Sidewinder: Transformation of faces & backs – a quicky.
59 Fluttering Hearts: Four Ace backs change color Blue to Red, then change to five cards, then to Royal Flush with Red backs
62 Lassie: Tenkai Flying Queen or Homing Card Plot. Gimmicked Cards. A queen keeps popping up amidst the Aces, then blanks pop up (Lyle Change, Wild Card Turnover Switch, A/C Alignment Move, Back Count)
68 Printing History: Uses blank backed cards. A minimalistic printing routine
69 Cry Wolf : Double Transposition with an Ace, a Two, and some Jokers (Jack Avis Siva Count, Victor Eye Count, Castillon Spirit Count)
73 Packetrainer: Cards turn face up one at a time during a “magic lesson”
74 Exittwist: Four Jokers turn face up one at a time except the 4th, which vanishes.
76 Extraexittwist : Another variation with some extra “twists”
78 Extendedexittwist: Yet another variation with a blushing Joker
79 Exile: Simple approach to Vernon’s Penetration of Thought – gimmicked. A selected Ace transposes with a Joker
81 Penetration of Blank: a different approach to Penetration of Thought plot using blanks
83 Shinkansen: A cards across between two small packets in the spectator’s hands – gimmicked.
86 Simplified FTL: Eight card Follow The Leader
87 Off – Balance Leader: Three Blacks and 5 Reds Follow the Leader and become Five Blacks and Three Reds
*88 Bodkin: A through 5 are displayed; odd cards are dealt to the magician, evens to the spectator. Instantly they change places.
89 Hopscotch: Order In the Court plot as a tongue in cheek explanation of the above.
90 Hopscotch Again: Another version
91 More Oil, More Water: A nine card, long version of Oil & Water plot in four phases
97 Mixtant: Opposite of Oil & Water; 2 separate groups instantly mix – Eight cards
98 Up and Down Mixtant: An elaboration of the above; cards mix by color AND face up / face down
99 Tiny Water: Minimalistic Oil & Water with 5 cards (gimmicked)
101 Spiralvator: Packet approach to the elevator plot
103 Counter – Revolution: Four Black and Four Reds are shown and separated. Face up Blacks turn face down one at a time and suddenly turn to 4 Reds
106 Con – Sequence: Ace through Four used; Each rises to the top and is discarded. Final Four changes it’s back color
108 Chromavator: Similar elevator plot to above, with Ace through Four and no extras
110 Chromatwist: As above but with a “twist”
111 Chromated: Combining the last two into a single routine
112 Chromatose: Combining the effects but in the opposite order
112 Tearable: Gimmicked. A four and five are torn in half. Spectator’s piece translocate with magicians, and he can keep them at the end.
115 Umpteenth Aces: Slo-motion Ace Assembly with 16 cards.
118 secA ruoF: Reverse Ace Assembly
120 Diminishing Returns: Four Jokers “assemble” from one pile to the next until one pile has all four. Instantly, the Jokers return to their own piles.
122 Picasso Aces: Ace Assembly in which the Ace backs contrast
125 Stinger Aces: A variation of MacDonald Aces (gimmicked)
129 Impressions: A highly gimmicked Universal Card plot. Joker imitates an Ace, 2, 3, then 2 selections, and finally an imaginary card!
135 Masque: Impromptu Universal Card (modified Elmsley)
139 Index of Sleights.

  • Publisher: Hermetic Press
  • Pages: 140
  • Location: Seattle, USA
  • Dimensions: 6″x10″
  • Date: 1990
  • Binding: hardbound

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Approx. Price: $24.00 (2003) ***

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1 review for Focus by Phil Goldstein

  1. John W. Watson

    Best of the Best USABLE packet effects!

    We all know Phil Golstein for Monkey in the Middle, Mo’ Monte, and Shrinkhasen, to name a few. We also know that he doubles as Max Maven, world renowned Mentalist.

    If you think you’re getting a book about packet tricks that only magicians will appreciate, think again! This book is chuck full of tricks for laymen, restaurant workers, bar magicians, close-up workers, etc.

    One of the best parts of the book is the explanations. Golstein explains EVERYTHING in crystal clear detail.

    The only thing he left out when writing this book is the effects that would get 9.5 stars instead of 10 out of 10. Yes, they are THAT good!

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