The Book (Don’t Forget to Point) by Thomas Fraps, Helge Thun, Jorg Willich, Flicking Fingers

(c. 1998) (Submit Review) (Submit Update)

Details: The Flicking Fingers group of German close-up magicians burst onto the magic scene in 1997 with their lecture at FISM and this hardbound 177-page book has been hailed as one of the best new magic books on the market. Thought-provoking and entertaining to read.


Introduction (Max Maven)

Introduction – German Edition (Piet Forton)

1. Close-Up
The Tweezers (Thomas Fraps)
Snap-Shot (Rainer Pfeiffer)
Change (Rainer Pfeiffer)
Gummi-Bear Penetration (Jorg Willich)
Scrooge McDuck (Thomas Fraps)
Painting the Town Red (Pit Hartling)
The Fruit Cups (Helge Thun, Manuel Muerte, Rainer Pfeiffer)

2. Cards
Instant Camera Card (Thomas Fraps, Helge Thun)
Party Animal (Pit Hartling)
Providence ’93 (Helge Thun)
Bombshell (Helge Thun)
Loading Methods:
In the Jacket
It Can’t Get Better
It’s Shoe-Time! (Manuel Muerte)
Double-Bind (Helge Thun)
The Chameleon (Pit Hartling)
Cupit (Pit Hartling)
If Worse Comes to Worse (Thomas Fraps,Helge Thun)
The Sympathetic Ten (Jorg Alexander)

3. Ideas
Hammer Their Socks off (Jorg Willich)
The . . . Idea (Pit Hartling)
Flip-Flap Flourish (Helge Thun)
Action Fan Palm (Helge Thun)
Bolt and Nut(Nikolai Friedrich)
Mismade-Warp (Rainer Pfeiffer)
Unfinished (Jorg Willich)
Chaos-Cut (Pit Hartling)
Out-of-Order Shuffle (Pit Hartling)
ThumbTips(Stephan Kirschbaum)
A Rose is a Rose is a Rose (Stephan Kirschbaum)
Insider (Thomas Fraps)
Dribbled (Thomas Fraps)
Sticking to the Gypsy Thread (Jorg Alexander)
Stretching “Stretched” (Peter Gunn)

4. Theory
Being Creative with Magic (Jorg Willich)
Brainstorming-Brainwarming (Jorg Willich)
The Ice-Cube Effect (Jorg Willich)
The Blind Spot (Thomas Fraps)
Acting Wrong (Gaston)
Status and Improvisation (Helge Thun)

5. Finally
Epilogue (Mike Caveney)
Picture Bibliography

  • Publisher: Kaufman and Company
  • Pages: 177
  • Location: Washington DC, USA
  • Edited by: Richard Kaufman, Matthew Field
  • Dimensions: 9″x11″
  • Date: 1998
  • Binding: hardbound

The magicians known as Die Fertigen Finger were one of the highlights of the 1997 FISM congress in Dresden, Germany.

Here’s what Mike Caveney had to say about their lecture:” …ten young Germans performed a carefully scripted show that made you forget you were actually listening to a magic lecture. Hilariously funny and brilliantly entertaining. All fine magicians individually, but as a group, an absolute knockout.”

I had a chance to see Die Fertigen Finger at this year’s Desert Magic Seminar, and I agree with Mr. Caveney’s assessment. These young men are thoughtful, clever, serious about their magic and very, very funny. These traits are clearly displayed in The Book, a large collection of close-up magic and theoretical essays from various members of Die Fertigen Finger.

The subtitle of The Book is Don’t Forget to Point, an obvious bit of advice from a group whose name in English is The Flicking Fingers. (The history of the “Don’t forget to Point” admonition is explained at the beginning of the book. It is a very funny story.

Throughout the book there are photographs chronicling the History of Pointing. These photos are also very funny.) The Book is divided into four large sections titled Close-up, Cards, Ideas and Theory.

There is a wide variety of material explained, and the technical requirements are varied enough as to appeal to a wide audience. I’ll mention some items that I found particularly interesting.

The Close-up chapter begins with a very pretty coin routine by Thomas Fraps in which three half dollars are produced using a pair of tweezers. Rainer Pfeiffer offers a routine called change in which two coins ( a copper and a silver) continually penetrate through a small coin purse. This routine is perfect for walk-around situations. If you have an interest in Cup and Ball routines, be sure to check out ” The Fruit Cups”, created by Pfeiffer, Manuel Muerte, and Helge Thun. You’ll find some interesting approaches here.

Finally be sure to take a look at Jörg Willich’s “Gummy-Bear Penetration”, the perfect trick to do when you and your pals are wine tasting in the Napa Valley.

Card guys will find much to keep them busy in Chapter Two. Among my favorites: Thun’s ” Providence ’93”, in which a selected card visually changes several times and ends up in a folded condition under the magician’s watch; Muerte’s “It’s Shoe Time!”, in which a selected card and a wine glass appear in the magician’s shoe; and Jörg Alexander’s “The Sympathetic Ten” a very clever version of Herbert Milton’s Sympathetic Clubs.”

The Ideas chapter has some nifty ones (ideas, that is), including a visible production of a hammer, and some useful card moves from Pit Hartling and Thomas Fraps.

Finally be sure to pay attention to the Theory chapter. There are four excellent essays here, covering a variety of subjects. It is this diversity of areas of expertise that makes The Flicking Fingers such a potent and vibrant creative force. Each member brings to the mix knowledge from fields outside of conjuring. Willich offers suggestions on “Being, Creative with Magic”, Fraps discusses “The Blind Spot”, an essay on how the eye and the brain process information, Gaston writes on the subject of “How to Act Wrong”, and Thun offers methods for dealing with difficult spectators in his essay “Status and Improvisation”

The Book is an excellent compilation from a very talented group of young men. i’m glad I had a chance to see The Flicking Fingers in action, and I expect great things from them in the future.

(Michael Close – Magic Magazine, January 1999)
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Approx. Price: $39.95 (2004) ***

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