A treatise on the art of throwing, scaling, juggling, boomeranging, and manipulating ordinary playing cards with particular emphasis on impressing one's friends and providing a deadly yet inexpensive means of self-defense.
What I love most about Ricky Jay, his book Cards as Weapons, and his enduring success is that he has made a career of something any parent would consider foolish and a waste of time ? was he nagged as a child to quit throwing those damn cards and take out the trash as he'd been told?
At first glance Cards as Weapons looks like a book that should be shelved in the humor section, but Ricky Jay is serious about throwing cards. For years he held the world record for card throwing ? 190 feet at 90 miles per hour ? and he can impale the thick rind of a watermelon with a card at 10 paces.
Ricky Jay has made his name through spectacular sleight of hand, acting, writing, and consultant to Hollywood (check out the "Deceptive Practices" section of his website).
Mr. Jay is also a book collector.
Cards as Weapons has achieved cult status, and our copy is in beautiful condition, complete with the original $9.95 price on the dust jacket. Many of us here wish that back in 1977 we had spent our bubble gum money on this book, rather than wasting it on something that was destined to lose its value as soon as it was unwrapped.
I can't write about this book without bringing up the subject of condition. Carter's ABC for Book Collectors says of condition:
After the interest or importance or beauty of the book, which will always be paramount, the two most urgent considerations in the mind of the book-collector are probably a) the rarity of the edition, b) the condition of the copy.
What this means is simple: had this book been written in, torn, highlighted, used as a coaster or in BB-gun target practice, left out in the summer rain, etc., it would not now be scrumptiously collectible or nearly as highly priced.
In case you've heard the rumor about this book and are wondering if it's true ? that it contains pictures of a naked woman ? I can tell you that, yes, there are, and, yes, she is throwing cards. Whether or not that contributes to the collectibility and desirability of this title is for you to decide.