LoginMy Cart
square BOOKS

Tom Gagnon Exclusives

Co-authored by Tom Gagnon and Matthew Field, this hardcover, oversize book, contains 215 pages, 61 items, and over 747 wonderful illustrations by Tom Gagnon. The book includes 61 exceptional tricks, original sleights, and routines using cards, coins, matches, and cups and balls. Completing the first class, oversize production is a linen, foil-embossed, cover and spine, and a stunning full-color, film-laminated dust jacket

Available on June 4, 2013.

Preface ...Tom Gagnon ...v
Foreword ... Steve Beam ...vi
Introduction ... Matthew Field ...vii

Chapter One: Very Versatile Spread Control
Versatile Spread Control ... 1
Bottop Spread Switch ... 5
Inverse Spread Switch ... 8
Dunbury Illusion ... 11
Dual Miracle Spread ... 15
Invisible Fingertip Switch ... 17
Invisible Fingertip Sandwich ... 20
Invisible Fingertip Transposition ... 24
Pad Revelation ... 29
Hidden Agenda ... 31
Ribbon Spread Strip-out Addition ... 33
Sliding Jinx Switch ... 36

Chapter Two: Contemporary Spread Controls
Impossible Sandwich ... 42
Pluck Revelation ... 46
Somersault Reverse ... 48
Tidal Wave Revelation ... 51
Ribbon Spread Cut ... 53
Ribbon Spread Glimpse ... 55
Kosky-Gagnon Switch ... 58
One Card Ribbon Spread Switch ... 60
Slippery Sandwich ... 64
One-Handed Ribbon Spread Switch ... 67
Spread-Cut-Pass ... 70
Under Cover Lap ... 73

Chapter Three: More Spread Control Delights
Mechanical Spread Control ... 78
Open-Faced Sandwich ... 83
Sandwich Spread ... 87
Mechanical Multiple Control ... 91
Top Card Cover Mechanical Spread Control ... 94
Middle Card Cover Mechanical Spread Control ... 96
Dominoing Switch ... 99
Slider ... 102
Sliding Cut ... 104
Sliding Cut Variant ... 106

Chapter Four: A Pass, A Si, A Slug, and More
By-Pass ... 110
Electrostatic Recall ... 114
Si of Relief ... 117
Open Predicament ... 119
Double Lift Retention Turndown ... 123
Flexible Turnover Move ... 127
Makeshift Double ... 129
The Cancelled Deck Stab ... 130
Miracle Flush ... 134
Miracle Spread Coincidence ... 139
One Handed Flushtration Count ... 142
Slug-o-matic Deck ... 144
Shuffling Monkey ... 148
Z-Box ... 150

Chapter Five: Coins for Connoisseurs
Ultimate Coin Assembly ... 158
Coin Assembly for Connoisseurs ... 166
Gagnon's Sympathetic Coins ... 172
Forty-One Cent Assembly ... 179
Just for Tenkai ... 186
Scoop Assembly ... 191
Pumpkin Seed Split ... 196
Toeing the Mark ... 198

Chapter Six: Radical Rebound
Radical Rebound ... 202

Chapter Seven: Cups, Ball, Smoke, Bands, Ding
Empty Cup Move ... 220
Smoke Screen ... 222
Wrist Penetration ... 223
How to Repair a Bent Coin Shell ... 226

Price -


› Preview › Buy Now

Written by Wesley James, edited by Matthew Field, and Illustrated by Tom Gagnon, this hardcover, oversize book, contains 214 pages, 63 items, and 568 stunning illustrations.

Review By Jamy Ian Swiss: Genii Magazine-2012

It’s been awhile since Mr. Gagnon’s original sleight-of-hand creations have risen above the underground, where his name has been consistently entrenched for many years. But now, after years of preparation, Wesley James has written a volume of Mr. Gagnon’s excellent and exoteric card work. This is not technique for the casual practitioner. But if you enjoy expert thinking and expert practice in the realm of close-up sleight-of-hand with playing cards, then Avant-Cards is the most fun book of card magic to arrive in some time.

Most of Mr. Gagnon’s technique is designed to be done seated at a table and on an appropriate working surface. If you’re comfortable with those conditions and you like to practice, you will find much in the pages of this book not only to interest and challenge you, but with which you will fool people so hard, you might want to get certified for CPR before trying it out on innocent humans.

The book consists of eight chapters, and their subtitles provide succinct overview of the contents and its nature: Gagnon’s Spread Pass, Versatile Spread Control, Ribbon Spread Forces: Gagnon Spread Control: Lateral Bottom Deals; Outward Bottom Deals; Bilateral Bottom Deals; and a closing eighth chapter dubbed “Potpourri.” Mr. Gagnon approaches these sleights as utility tools, and he explores each technique thoroughly, exploiting its strengths in order to accomplish a wide variety of clear, distinctive, imaginative and magical effects. The Spread Pass is just that, a tabled shift that takes place as one collects a deck that has been ribbon-spread across the close-up pad. It requires practice and precision to execute, but it is not an out-of-reach knuckle-buster. The author goes on to explore the sleight in many variant forms and with a variety of applications, in both method and effect. On the method side, the sleight can be adapted to secretly transfer cards from the bottom to the top (as per Erdnase, and similarly the inspiration for the Vernon Double Undercut), to the secret placement of a key card, and for use as a force, as just a few of many examples.

In the section on the Gagnon Spread Control – another table technique – applications are offered to a wide variety of effects, from the Ambitious Card to the Elevator Cards plot (in this latter case, with a Technicolor twist). There is a wealth of magic in this section that makes the techniques worthy of study. The Lateral Bottom Deal can certainly be regarded as a utility tool as well, and again, the author provides a variety of clever material to which to apply his inventive work, from Ace cutting routines to pseudo-gambling deals.

In short, we don’t see this kind of material often these days, but if you’re even the slightest bit interested in this kind of fare, Tom Gagnon’s thinking and technique, along with the caliber of his illustrations and the quality of these thorough descriptions, will put them within the reach of many who might previously have been reticent to address such elegant sleight of hand. Avant-Cards is the kind of book that doesn’t come around very often, and I highly recommend you get your hands on it while it’s here, and then try those hands on something new, challenging, fun, and ultimately – amazing.

Review By Jason England: Magic-2012

Most readers will only know of Tom Gagnon from his excellent illustrations in books like The Classic Magic of Larry Jennings, The Commercial Magic of J.C. Wagner, and the first three volumes of The Vernon Chronicles written by Stephen Minch. Gagnon’s illustrations rank amounts the best in magic literature.

What you might not know is that Mr. Gagnon is also one hell of a card worker, and inventor of several terrific sleights and routines with pasteboards. Although he has published several routines and moves over the years, his long-awaited book Avant-Cards has just been released and is his first major work.

Avant-Cards was written by Wesley James and edited by Matthew Field. It clocks in at 202 pages and is profusely illustrated by Mr. Gagnon himself. The contents are divided into eight sections, covering several original techniques pioneered by Mr. Gagnon. Although the entire book is worthy of serious study, I was particularly attracted to three techniques and their many applications: the Gagnon Spread Pass, the Gagnon Spread Control, and the Lateral Bottom Deal – all three of which can be viewed on Gagnon’s YouTube channel.

The Gagnon Spread Pass is a tabled pass in which the transposition action is completely concealed within the larger action of spreading and gathering a deck of cards. It’s extremely difficult to see the “move” even when you understand what to look for. If you don’t know what to look for, you’ll see absolutely nothing.

The Gagnon Spread Control is, without question my favorite of the techniques in Avant-Cards. It’s not easy to perform, but it can be mastered with proper instruction and dedication. What exactly can be accomplished with it? How’s this for starters: a card placed into the middle of the deck is controlled invisibly to the bottom, with the only overt movement being a wide ribbon-spread of the cards across the table. What if I told you that same card could just as easily be brought to the top of the deck with virtually no change in the fundamental actions? What about second from the top? Second from the Bottom? Did I mention that you can do the move with multiple cards and have a perfectly invisible multiple shift. All of these applications are possible with this one move. It’s original, deceptive, and extremely useful. What more could you want out of a card move?

The last three big techniques is the Lateral Bottom Deal. This is a method for apparently producing a card from the middle of the deck, using the actions of a bottom deal, but with the card secretly on top of the deck the entire time. It’s visually impressive and would make a nice addition to your toolbox were you to spend the time to master it.

Remember, the book contains much more than just the three techniques I’ve focused on in this review. There are two more sections of bottom deals, a section on the Versatile Spread Control – a method of positioning a card anywhere in a ribbon spread – and many complete effects using all of the techniques I’ve described here, as well as others that have not been covered.

When it’s all said and done, this new book by Tom Gagnon has been well worth the wait. I know I am not alone in anticipating any and all of his future contributions to the literature of card conjuring.

Review By Antonio M. Cabral:M-U-M Magazine – March 2012

Leading off is Gagnon’s Tabled Spread Pass, in which Gagnon started from an old gambler’s move and created a shift that has to be seen to be believed. In fact, if you look for Tom on YouTube (or his website), you can see him execute this move perfectly; it’s flat-out invisible in his hands. Of the variants and applications offered, the two that caught my eye were the refinement of the original Draw Shift in which the pack never seems to lift off the table, and a handling of the classic Cavorting Aces (aka The Acrobatic Jacks) in which all of the action happens with the cards ribbon spread on the table.

Following that are the Gagnon Spread Controls, which, while not easy to acquire, are going to be worth their weight in gold to the card worker who develops the kind of facility with them that Tom has. There are very few ribbon spread techniques in the literature; I’m going to practice this one. Once you get it under your fingers, it’s a force, a switch, a control, and a reverse. Tom has developed some very creative and practical applications for the idea. Rounding out the collection is a selection of bottom deals, less of the gaming table variety and more of the magician’s switch variety. In many instances, the “bottom” is dealt off the top of the packet, and if that sentence intrigues you, congrats, you’re the exact target audience for this material.

One thing that comes through in all of these moves is a very distinct style of handling cards that governs how these moves are executed. It’s all very, very, natural – when you see Tom Gagnon do it. Someone else might have to assimilate some new habits in order to make the moves look good as they should. That’s not a bad thing; the same goes for most card table or gambling moves. With the material in Avant-Cards, I wouldn’t be surprised if Tom Gagnon cuts a new path for a whole new crop of card workers. Recommended for the card enthusiast.

Review By Michael Vincent The Magic Circular – November 2011

This collection of advanced card magic is the long overdue creative effort of Tom Gagnon. Written by Wesley James with excellent illustration by Tom Gagnon himself, the reader is treated to an extraordinary collection of expert ideas, techniques and plots to really stimulate the creative juices. The technical details have been described with exacting precision and with the illustrations combine to make the learning process and easy process.

Each chapter of the book deals with an original technique Tom has created with variations and applications. The Gagnon Tabled Spread Pass appeared in the Magic Circular and is an outstanding technique for executing the Classic Pass while the deck is spread out on the table. This is one of many gems that will be found in this very large, 212-page book. You will also encounter Ribbon Spread Techniques for forcing a card, Spread Controls and new applications for the Bottom Deal.

This is a very important book because it reveals how far card magic has evolved over the last 150 years. I feel this is a fantastic book, right up there with the complete works of Derek Dingle and Larry Jennings. My only concern is this book made me realize how much time and effort it will take to bring this material to life. It is aimed at the expert card magician looking for new ways to manipulate the pasteboards and represents new and exciting possibilities; this is a book of expert card magic, by a world-class cardician.

I have had the pleasure of meeting Tom Gagnon and see him execute all of the techniques in this book with sublime mastery. With application on the part of you, dear reader, you too can bring this exquisite material to life. It will take dedication and persistence but the rewards will expand your horizons with a new view of what is possible with a deck of cards.

This is my highest recommendation.

Purchase via personal check, money order, or PayPal.
$50.00 Plus $5.20 P&H anywhere in the United State--$13.95 P&H to all other countries. All orders shipped via USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate.

Price -


› Buy Now

Sleightly Original, which was published in 1981, offers unique material using coins, folding coins, thumbtips, and card/coin moves.

Dai Vernon: "I was truly amazed to see the beautiful coin magic executed by Tom Gagnon who is the illustrator of the Vernon Chronicles. I have never seen better." (Quote from Genii magazine, The Vernon Touch, Volume 52, April 1989).

Ross Bertram: "Your contribution to the Yank Hoe Assembly is to be commended. You have effectively expanded the use of a limited number of sleights so that anyone wishing to learn an assembly routine would be able to do so by selecting one from your many variations."

Harvey Rosenthal: "Please do not blush when I tell you that I think your coin magic (as well as your other close-up magic) ranks with the best I have ever seen. Unlike many so-called "legendary" coinmen who have been "hyped" by a number of magic's elder statesman, your magic truly breaks new ground."

Ed Marlo: "The coin magic is excellent and you do them exceeding well. Have been telling the local magicians how great the routines really look. You've got me practicing the necessary key moves."

First editions are still available--while they last!

Purchase via personal check, money order, or PayPal.

$20.00 Plus $5.20 P&H anywhere in the United State--$13.95 to all other countries. All orders shipped via USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate.

Price -


› Buy Now

<b><i>RADICAL REBOUND</i></b>(New Stars of Magic: Volume 2, Number 3). RADICAL REBOUND(New Stars of Magic: Volume 2, Number 3).
Effect: While holding an English penny in his left fist, the performer calls attention to a tabled half-dollar. Using a card, he brushes the half-dollar and it visibly changes into an English penny. Apparently, the coins have transposed. But to everyone’s surprise, the fist is opened and found to be empty; the half-dollar has vanished and traveled to the magician’s pocket.

Removing the half from his pocket, the conjurer displays it on his left palm and draws attention to the tabled penny. Again using the card, he this time brushes the penny. During the brushing, the coins instantly transpose; the English penny travels to the performer’s left hand and the half-dollar travels to the table.

After placing the half-dollar in his left fist, the magician pins the English penny against the table beneath his left forefinger. Once more, the coins transpose, with the penny traveling into the performer’s left fist and the half-dollar visibly appearing on the table beneath the unmoved forefinger. Both coins are immediately examinable.

Depositing the half-dollar in his left pocket, the performer calls attention to the tabled English penny. While brushing the penny with the card, the coins again transpose. This time the copper penny passes to the pocket and the silver half visibly travels onto the table.

To conclude, the English penny visibly penetrates the pocket and joins the half-dollar in the magician’s left fist. Both coins can be immediately examined.

Purchase via personal check, money order, or PayPal.

$8.50 Plus $5.20 P&H anywhere in the United State--$13.95 to all other countries. All orders shipped via USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate.

Price -


› Buy Now

This spiral bound book describes various handlings of Bob Chesbro's "Marked Coin in Lighter," and contains 38 pages, 138 illustrations,and covers 22 items by Tom Gagnon and Eric Decamps.

Purchase via personal check, money order, or PayPal.

$15.00 Plus $5.20 P&H anywhere in the United State--$13.95 P&H to all other countries. All orders shipped via USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate.

Price -


› Buy Now