Zarrow Book Review

23 Nov

Zarrow BookEvery once in a while an exceptional magic book is made and the buzz around the community causes all collectors to scurry off to find the discussed manuscript and add it to their collection and that’s that. Some actually read the book, others wrap it and stack it, never once having opened its pages, and still others go so far as to hermetically seal it and expect to bring it out for the highest bidder in many years’ time.

This is not one of those books. No, this is all of those books. This is a book so exceptional, it screams to be read, handled, viewed from every direction, saved, cherished and added to every magician’s library who can find it. I’m talking about David Ben’s latest and most exceptional book, Zarrow: A Lifetime Of Magic.

From the gorgeous dust jacket with its seemingly raised letters, to the ghost image of Herb on the reverse, this substantial volume begs to be opened and read. When you do, you will notice the art deco lettering with generous room and an open feel to the chapter headings. The heading font is unusual and reminds me of the hand lettered Rice’s Encyclopedia of Silk Magic. It gives you a sense of his era and Herb.

The commentaries from some of the greats of magic add a real feel for the popularity of Herb among his peers. You will feel the quality of the paper and when you get to Herb’s effects, you will see photographs of such exceptional quality, that you will be stunned by their clarity. So much ink was used, the pictures are almost raised. Quality, quality and more quality.

The large number of effects are portrayed with the precision and accuracy which only David Ben could. The subtlest of techniques are both discussed and represented. I cannot express to you how truly exceptional this volume is. You simply must experience it for yourself, no question. The writing is exceptional and the flavour is rich with insight only transmittable from a card man who has studied and knows the material to the Nth degree.

David Ben knows how to make an exceptional piece of reading material, which will last a lifetime and be used and cherished by many, for years. If only all magic books could be as well thought out and exceptionally made as this. The Zarrow book is now the standard which all future magic books should be judged.

As a fan and somewhat collector of recent magic volumes, I can honestly say that this work is worth more than its cost. I have some very lovely volumes in my modest collection, none compares. I have some more reading to do, my only question is, how will David be able to top this?!

Alexander W. Hobson
Director, Canadian Association Of Magicians

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