Reviewed by Biagio Fasano
★★★★★ Date Added: Saturday 24 December, 2022
I have had the good fortune and pleasure to be able to read "Quod Libet" by my colleague Davide Rubat Remond (with whom Renzo Grosso and I collaborated in writing the 3 Volumes of "Bending Minds") since its first draft, and now that it has been completed and finally published the eBook on www.Lybrary.com in both the Italian and English versions, I can only confirm my first impression: it is a magnificent work that, starting from a classic of mathematical mentalism and supported by a brilliant idea, develops it to the point of leading to the creation of incredible new effects.
Many people will be familiar with the effect from which it all starts and which I personally love and never miss an opportunity to teach in basic courses and workshops in Magic for kids: "guess the age" or "think a number" in which a person is asked to think of a number and then to indicate on which of the folders, which will be shown to him afterwards, his number appears.
Since the trick is based on binary mathematics and requires simple calculations, it is now unfairly snubbed by many, believing it to be of little impact and yet being fairly well known even among non-magicians.
David thought of making the trick more interesting by letting the spectator keep for himself all the cards where the thought number appears, and the illusionist will still be able to guess it based only on the quick observation of the discarded cards, without needing complex calculations or special mnemonic efforts.
But he certainly did not limit himself to this, but presents to follow 3 different effects, all based on this simple but brilliant idea, which manages to make the trick indecipherable even to the majority of magicians, in a crescendo of amazement that I can vouch for all who will witness the performance.
- In the first effect the spectator is asked to mentally choose a number from 1 to 100, he then checks among the 7 colored folders submitted to him, where that number appears and holds them for himself. The mentalist, observing at a glance the colors of the folders left to him because they have been discarded, will immediately guess the number thought up!
- In the second effect, "the ranking of the best films of all time" no use is made of numbers, but the viewer is presented with a list of as many as 14 movies judged by experts in the field to be among the finest in the history of cinema. He will be able to mentally choose his favorite and retain for himself which of the 4 cards that will be displayed to him contain it (each card carries 7 titles). The mentalist will immediately know, by simple mnemonic association, which film he has chosen.
- The third and last effect is my absolute favorite, so much so that I wanted to include it right away in my "mentalist repertoire": Quod Libet (What do you like, in Latin), which precisely gives the title to the entire ebook. The illusionist lays on the table a deck of cards tied firmly by a rubber band and enclosed in its case, then asks the spectator to think freely about one of the 52 cards and he is handed 8 folders, each bearing approximately half the cards in the deck.
Once again, while the magician's back is turned, he will have to check them carefully and retain for himself only those containing the thought card. When this is done, the mentalist will turn around and, quickly looking at the few discarded cards (which therefore do NOT contain the thought card), will point to a number (from 1 to 52) and invite the spectator himself to count the cards in the deck that has always remained in sight, until he finds the card in the position indicated. Amazingly, that card will coincide with the one merely thought of by the spectator! Basically a kind of ACAAN (Any Card At Any Number) effect that can be safely followed on stage.
I would add to what has been said so far, the fact that David has been so good at not only translating this ebook into English but also perfectly adapting the mnemonic aids provided for the effect about movies, and providing for both versions all the color cards (template), ready to print, to perform each of the three effects to his audience
I would add to what has been said so far the fact that David has been so good at not only translating this ebook into English, but also perfectly adapting the mnemonic aids provided for the effect about the movies, and providing for both versions all the color cards (template), ready to print, to perform each of the three effects in front of any audience.
In conclusion, I found this ebook really well done, with three solid effects sure to be of interest not only to fans of mathematical magic, which I consider myself to be but to any good mentalist.
You can find it available to download also as a PDF in Italian.