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Beyond Svengali: applying the svengali principle to mentalism
by Chris Wardle & Paul Hallas


(1 review, 2 customer ratings) ★★★★★

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Beyond Svengali: applying the svengali principle to mentalism by Chris Wardle & Paul Hallas

Here, Chris Wardle explores the use of long and short cards (Svengali Deck style) for mental magic presentations. Whilst initially he gives some background to the Svengali deck and how to make and handle one, some routines use variants on the deck and several don't use playing cards at all. There are thirteen routines from Chris plus some additional commentary and a bonus routine from publisher Paul Hallas. Chances are after reading this you'll not think of the Svengali deck in the same way again.

Since the appearance of this booklet (his third) Chris authored Magic For Everyone (2006) and Math-o-Magic (2011) aimed at parents and teachers to introduce children to math through magic.

1st edition 2006, 1st digital edition 2012, 29 pages.

Table of Contents

  1. Beyond Svengali Introduction
  2. Construction and General Handling of The Svengali Deck
  3. The Force of The Tarot
  4. Location, Location, Location
  5. Elimination
  6. The Christmas Carol Prediction
  7. Domino Svengali
  8. Number Time
  9. The Critic's Choice
  10. Synonym Toys
  11. The Unquiet Dead
  12. The Princess is Out
  13. Take Your Pick
  14. Four In A Row
  15. One Up
  16. Further Thoughts
  17. Additional Commentary From Paul Hallas
  18. Trainee Mind Reader

word count: 12953 which is equivalent to 51 standard pages of text

Reviewed by Christian Fisanick (confirmed purchase)
★★★★★   Date Added: Friday 10 June, 2016

One of the best things about studying mentalism is how creative people make use of old-hat ideas. When I was a teenager, worshipping at the Marlo/Vernon/Erdanse altar, my magician friends and I used to scoff at stuff like the Svengali Deck. Kids' stuff, we said. Look at that goof on TV selling the stupidest magic deck around. That crap fools no one. Everyone knows the secret. It's only for Grandpa to try to entertain the kids at Thanksgiving. No talent needed here. Waste of money. Real magicians have skills--see, look at my blisters and carpal tunnel syndrome because I have spent five hours a day for the past two years working on the classic pass--and don't use gimmicked decks. Then a few years ago, when I started studying mentalism exclusively--leaving behind childish things like trying to perfect an invisible second deal--I went, hey, what's up with these mentalists? Did I just see Luke Jermay fool the living crap out of a roomful of experts using a Franklin Taylor peek deck from the 1940's? How could that be? I also hear that the Psychomatic Deck is used by some of the top mentalists in the business. What's up with that?

What I'm saying is that what was once passe (or perhaps is still passe) can be used to devastating effect. Witness the much-maligned Svengali principle. Read this book, and you'll be a convert to the religion of the old gods. This material is superb, simply superb. It's not TV-hucksterism-garbage-trick-deck stuff. Nor is it old fashioned. It's great mentalism, old techniques in modern, sophisticated routines. I think that it is scary good because of the unexpected uses of the principle. No one expects a world-class mentalist or someone with the crazy skills of Peter Nardi to be using the principle behind millions of decks sold to laypeople. Yet they do--and they kill with it. This ebook was such an enlightening read that I have developed my own variations on these themes. Another well-published, smart mentalist friend of mine agrees with me too. We both love, love, love the Svengali principle and are always trying to figure out new routines. This is a top purchase for your mentalism library (or lybrary).

This product is listed under the following topics:

Magic & Conjuring / Mentalism & Spiritism

Magic & Conjuring / Cards / Svengali