The Big Book of Rising Cards by Claude Klingsor
Beautifully produced large format soft cover. The publisher writes:
This is the most beautiful magic book ever published! I know, this is a pretty strong claim, but read on and judge for yourself.
"I've just had a chance to spend a couple of hours with this book. Wow, Chris. This is an amazing book. Not only does it look incredible, it is of immense historic value." - Ben Harris
"A terrific work, a must have for anybody who thinks of him- or herself as a magician." - Max M.
Before I tell you why I am convinced this is the most beautiful magic book ever published, allow me to give you a bit of history on how this book came to be.
In 1954 Claude Klingsor published an encyclopedia of rising card tricks in French under the title Les tours de cartes montantes. It was produced in a small print run, quickly sold out, and vanished into the private libraries of lucky magicians who picked up a copy. Even though it was the most comprehensive encyclopedia of the rising cards ever compiled it never was translated into English. It is quite fascinating how such a pearl of magic literature could practically vanish. However, if this would be all there is to it I would not have made the claim I made before. Fast forward a couple of decades...
Fabrice Delauré enters the stage. Fabrice, an innovative young creator and producer of magic, had one magic hero - you guessed correctly - Claude Klingsor. And one of his dreams was to update and upgrade Klingsor's encyclopedia of rising cards. Fabrice and Claude teamed up and updated and expanded on Claude's original work to create an even more complete and accurate encyclopedia. However, if this would be all there is to it I would not have made the claim I made at the top. It would be an authoritative encyclopedia of the rising cards, quite a unique book, but I could not claim it to be the MOST BEAUTIFUL MAGIC BOOK.
The defining difference of the new edition Fabrice published is that every gimmick, apparatus and equipment described in the book, and there are many, was first created in a 3D computer aided design (CAD) software - a solid modeling tool. And then from this digital 3-dimensional representation an illustration was created through rendering akin to the latest graphics effects in Hollywood blockbuster movies. This allowed for wonderful see-through and cross-cut illustrations unlike any you have seen in a magic book. The amount of work as you can imagine was staggering. Think about how long it takes to model even a simple box with a lid in a 3D CAD tool. Every piece has to be drawn and properly aligned to the other parts. Material properties have to be specified. And then to actually create an illustration camera and lights have to be positioned properly. And now do this literally dozens of times with objects consisting of many individual parts. It is at least an order of magnitude more time consuming to create a 3D object than to simply draw a 2D representation. It is almost the difference between actually building each piece rather than merely describing it.
When I first saw the book I could not believe my eyes. I have used 3D CAD software before and I immediately knew that only a perfectionist and crazy fanatic of magic would ever attempt to do anything like it. I think it is unlikely that anybody would try something similar. It is a labor of love. The only problem was that again this was only published in French. I knew that I had to bring this most beautiful magic book to a larger audience. I bought the English language rights, had it translated, and am now able to offer it to you.
1st edition 2010 Lybrary.com; 211 pages