Charlie Frye’s Sleightly Absurd – Review

I’m finally wrapping up reading Charlie Frye‘s magic book Sleightly Absurd. I picked this up at Hocus Pocus in Fresno way back in October when I was visiting their shop.

Charlie Frye's magic book Sleightly Absurd

This book is a fun read and it has a lot of “non traditional” magic book feeling routines in it. The routines have endings to them, which is something that lacks in many magic books by magicians who aren’t out there working. The other thing is that Charlie isn’t a “I do easy stuff so I can concentrate on performing” type of person. He’s doing things with whatever level of difficulty that the trick requires to make the trick the best. Sometimes that’s means hard sleight of hand and sometimes it’s a math principle. I totally respect that approach!

One of the interesting things for me is towards the back of the book there’s Charlie’s approach to Any Card at Any Number. It’s a fairly standard approach where you use a memorized deck and a variety of techniques to get the card at the desired number. He does a great job of breaking down his thought process how determines the best way to go about it and describes many scenarios.

For me the best part is how he calculates the stack number backwards (from the face of the deck).

any card at any number

I had to read that part about half a dozen times for it to make sense for me and once I did, it made total sense! I also figured out a way to get rid of having to remember the pairs, they all all up to 3 or 13, so there’s no memorization of the five pairs, just remembering one rule. This is a game changer for me, it makes the doing the math from the face of the deck insanely easy! This one little thing is worth the price of the book if you use a memorized deck!

This is a great book and totally worth the $75 it sells for!

– Louie

Coin Flourish

I’ve always thought Charlie Frye‘s trick Frye’s Chips was a great little flourishy thing. I didn’t like that I was made as a poker chip and not a coin. A little while ago I found a coin that I could do the flourish with and finally put together the gimmick:

@louiefoxx Lazy day got me practicing dumb stuff! #balance #cointrick #magic #numistmatist #practice #closeupmagic ♬ I Can’t Stop (Ekali Tribute) – Flux Pavilion

After trying it out, I do like it with a coin much more than a poker chip!


Esoteric Kennedy AND Washington

Years ago Charlie Frye put out a little gimmick that let you spin a poker chip on your finger tip called Frye’s Chips. Here’s the video of it:

It’s a clever little gimmick that does exactly what’s in the video. I always thought it’d be cool to do it with a coin and not a poker chip. However I think the reason he did it with a poker chip is that it’s easier to gimmick a poker chip than a coin.

The idea has been in my head and a couple months ago I was at Hocus-Pocus digging around in some junk magic bins and found the card and coin for the trick Esoteric Kennedy.

Here’s the demo of Esoteric Kennedy:

The coin from that trick should work for the Frye’s Chips trick. Now I need to make the other half of the gimmick to see if it will actually spin on my finger!

In playing with the Esoteric Kennedy props, I thought that the trick really should be done with a dollar bill, as the coin and card really aren’t connected. I moved the gimmick from the card to a dollar bill:

It looks OK on a video, but I’m going to be 100% honest, the trick isn’t good for actual performance…whether it’s the original version with the card, or my version with the bill. The problem with the trick is that everything is gimmicked and nothing can be examined. You could switch out all of the props, do a Bobo Switch for the coin and top change for the card, but is all that work worth the trick?

I don’t think so…

That said, it’s probably fine for social media.