Less is More

Less is More

In 2017, Ben Earl worked with Vanishing Inc. to publish a book named Less is More. This book will take the reader on a journey with a clear and defined start to an end that can only be dreamed of.

Less is More is themed around a magician cutting a deck to find the four Aces. It starts with a look at Henry Christ's classic "Fabulous Four Ace" routine and introduces Ben's first improvement of it. By "improvement," I mean by trimming out unnecessary or anti-climatic moments in the routine while still keeping, or improving, the effect overall. After this, Ben takes us through another iteration of improvements. And then another. And then another! By the fourth iteration, while the end-effect is still the same of producing a four of a kind from a shuffled deck, it's nothing like Christ's original routine. It's more streamlined, more magical, and a lot stronger of a presentation.

The book then launches into a chapter discussing specialized cuts an shuffles, all original moves and techniques. These allow the magician to perform several of the routines taught in the book, but they can also be utilized for any other routine that needs to maintain a stack while a spectator shuffles the deck, perform false cuts or shuffles, and overall improvise during a scripted routine.

Classic Simplicity, the second to last chapter, is my personal favorite in that it's the exact same routine taught with three different presentations. Knowing this fact upfront doesn't change a thing -- they all three read, and perform, like completely different routines. This chapter was the eye-opener for me that changed my perspective of the entire book in that it's not just a book of routines. It's a book on theory and practice. It's teaching us how to take a better look at routines and magic, to trim away unnecessary clutter and see the full potential of each little thing we do.

I would say that this book is more Intermediate and Advanced, but I would happily recommend it to a beginner as well. There's plenty here for a beginner in card magic to learn and practice and with these skills in their repertoire, the more they learn after this will only excel their ability to perform "Real Ace Cutting" to it's fullest extent.

Where to buy?

Last I checked, you should be able to pick up Less is More at Vanishing Inc. The last price tag I saw for this book was set at $50.00.

Buy at Vanishing Inc.

Contents of Less is More

Foreword by Andi Gladwin


Evolving with Simplicity

  • Thanks to Henry
  • Henry in Isolation
  • Instant Isolation
  • Henry Topped
  • Chapter One Summary

Technical Simplicity

  • The Sting Cut
  • The Any Card Game Control
  • The Real Optical Shuffle
  • Finessed Frank Thompson Cut
  • The Bounce Cut
  • Spectator Shuffle Holdout
  • Half & Half Control
  • Shuffled Ose Control
  • Deep Slug Control
  • Chapter Two Summary

Versatile Simplicity

  • Blinded by the Hand
  • Wide Awake Scream
  • The Back Room Demo
  • Clean Cutter
  • Clean Cutter 2
  • Flow Productions
  • Chapter Three Summary

Classic Simplicity

  • Stem Cell
  • The Resourceful Professional
  • No-Motion Four Aces
  • Chapter Four Summary

Real Ace Cutting

  • Real Ace Cutting
  • Chapter Five Summary

In Closing

This book is written by and featuring the work of Ben Earl. Mine is a hardcover copy published in 2017 by Vanishing Inc. with a total of 142 pages.