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The Complete The Mentalist

reviewed by Michael Breggar
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Wednesday 15 September, 2021)

The Complete The MentalistWhile this review certainly covers THE MENTALIST publication, I felt it necessary to comment about Chris and Lybrary. Mentalism and magic aficionados world-wide owe a debt of gratitude to Chris Wasshuber. I'm not certain this publication, like many others, would have resurfaced if not for Chris' diligence and wonderful digitizing skills. It's a long story, but Chris was able to exhume THE MENTALIST, reach out to those currently "watching over" this publication and bring it to us. Kudos, many times over, Mr. W!!

I had very fond memories of this publication. One of the first things I purchased at Kanter's Magic Shop in Philly in the mid-1960's. The names of the contributors meant little to me at the time, but now it reads like a who's who of mentalism at the time. Don Tanner edited the first year, Jack Dean a couple of subsequent years before the magazine folded. I always felt Bascom Jones "Magick" picked up the baton in the 1970's.

The effects are your typical newsletter mixture of great but impractical to just plain great! The writing is very much of its time: terse, but to the point. Things are well explained. The important thing is to read this with an open mind. First picture yourself performing the effects as written, then ask would this work with today's audiences and my performance style. Revise as necessary; the ideas and thinking are what is important here.

Nostalgia can be a funny thing. Reading through the magazine again, I can picture myself very clearly where I was reading through this material the first time around!

I loved THE MENTALIST then. I love it now!


Delightful

reviewed by Marc Rehula (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Friday 10 September, 2021)

DelightfulI've explored many methods made for Curry's Open Prediction premise (that is, the methods I have access to), and I've been frustrated by how convoluted some of them are (double facers, rough-smooth). I'd come to the conclusion that the version in Card College was the cleanest, most direct method. But I struggle with palming, so I've still been looking. This version is now my favorite. The sleights are easier (at least for me) and the effect is still clean and direct. Highly recommended.


Expert Card Mysteries

reviewed by Phillip Dennis (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Friday 10 September, 2021)

Expert Card MysteriesThis book refers back to Sharpe's previous book, Expert Card Conjuring several times. Purchasing that eBook first or along with "Mysteries" will help you to get the most from "Expert Card Mysteries." There are many nice effects in this book. If you are an intermediate-level card magician be prepared to learn some great new sleights as you advance toward "expert!"


793.8: Where is The Magic?

reviewed by Chet Cox
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Wednesday 08 September, 2021)

793.8: Where is The Magic?Not often enough do we see a book which includes a little history, a little biography, a lot of thought, and a LOT of magic - both "tricks" and performance technique.

Interlude: Jeffro is a good friend whom I've met exactly once and I've even given him money. If you knew how good his material is, you would throw money at him too! This is as close to the beginning of my review that I'll put my Statement of Conflicts of Interest, just because I'm contrary.

You may wonder why you should throw $29.95 at him for a book without a color cover or even paper. The answer is in the title, which is a question - maybe THE question for anyone who would pursue this vocation and hobby. Jeff asks - and answers - that question with every effect, with every musing, and on every page. He makes you wonder about it, and shows you the wonder of it. The magic is good. Really good. Read the listing of effects up there in the description (pause, as you scroll upward and re-read the description) and tell me that you aren't intrigued. This guy finds magic in everyday life - I now carry a receipt from Wal-Mart which almost reads minds because of Jeff. I've carried a Topit most of my life and didn't even know it. Because of this book, I look at everyday boring things and see the magic inherent in them. Even in relationships.

First he makes you wonder "Where is the Magic" - then he guides you to see the wonder of magic. As Walt Disney said, sometimes it's fun to do the impossible. This book will help your brain get used to thinking that way.


Propless Vaccine

reviewed by David Burmeister (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Saturday 04 September, 2021)

Propless VaccineThis eBook is something I wish I picked up sooner. I like the method very well. If you like this you might as well buy Propless Signtist as well because they both use similar methodology. WELL DONE UNKNOWN MENTALIST!!!


Thayer's Life Span Reading

reviewed by David Burmeister (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★ (Date Added: Saturday 04 September, 2021)

Thayer's Life Span ReadingThis is a MUST for History Buffs and collectors from past Thayer Catalog Buffs, and Robert Nelson Buffs. I basically feel the material is a bit outdated but I don't mean that I would not use it for a person who is 40, 50 or more years old. The reading is very descriptive and a mature person would relate very well to this.


Basic Training

reviewed by Robert Gethner (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Sunday 29 August, 2021)

Basic TrainingI love the way Kendall breaks down sleights so that you can learn them easily. His book isn't unique in that respect, but certainly unusual. He might, for instance, have you start with fewer cards than are required, then master a tiny piece of the move, and so on, until eventually, when he teaches you how to put the pieces together, the move isn't so hard to learn. He's in good company -- Michael Close, Aaron Fisher, and Carl Irwin do similar things in their teaching.

Kendall is opinionated but in a good way. He explains different ways to do a part of a trick or sleight and explains why he prefers one such way.


Poor Man's Nest of Boxes

reviewed by Michael Lyth
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Monday 09 August, 2021)

Poor Man's Nest of BoxesVery very nice reminds me of a Russian nest of dolls effect that appeared in an old copy of ABRA. If each of the inner boxes were also fastened with a ribbon it would mean less fumbling of the removal of the inner boxes and strengthen the illusion. Great idea.


Twiddle

reviewed by John Scialli (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Thursday 05 August, 2021)

TwiddleLooks as if it is introducing a useful mechanic. However, I find there to be a poor choice of verbs and adverbs. No drawings. Some discussion at Magic Cafe is not revealing and what is on YouTube is garnish. Leaves me feeling like a virgin (after 50 years of a sleight life).


The Drawing Room

reviewed by Enrico Varella
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Wednesday 04 August, 2021)

The Drawing Room[I am a colleague of Paul and have received this ebook free of charge.]

Get this book by Paul Lelekis! Learn these card routines, and head confidently into your nearest drawing room for entertaining deceptions. He draws on his deep knowledge and performing experiences, and returns with six strong effects. They are not hard to do, and you get to practise a cache of sleights, and review a few principles in magic. In one sitting, with my cards in hand and curtains drawn in my living-room, I learnt all six routines and I had fun doing so. 'Leave Those Jacks Alone' is, probably, the most demanding by way of sleights used - yet it is worth it. Video-instruction accompany these sleights, so you are all covered. Most of these card effects will go into my performing repertoire because of the cleverness of construction, clarity of effect, and simplicity of delivery. Plus, there is enough audience interaction you can infuse into these effects. Draw your audience a little closer!


The Drawing Room

reviewed by Rick Carruth
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Sunday 01 August, 2021)

The Drawing Room[I am a colleague of Paul and have received this ebook free of charge.]

Paul Lelekis has finally published another ebook. This pandemic thing has slowed us all down, and I have patiently waited on Paul to write another of his highly entertaining card magic works. It's obvious he put a great deal of thought into THE DRAWING ROOM, as it contains six highly original effects designed to stretch your repertoire. The first effect, Leave Those Jacks Alone!, probably rivals anything I've seen Paul publish in the past ten years. It's a complex and very telling card concert that rivals anything I've read in a very long time. He also includes four videos to help you fully understand the moves, although many of Paul's fans will already know these fine points. Strike Three? is less complex, but again entertains for several minutes. The 7/8 Coincidence & An Even Lazier Lazy Man both use a partially stacked deck to achieve a result not possible with a regular deck. Cutting Deep is based on an effect originated by Bro. John Hamman that uses a Balducci Force to produce four Aces in a very surprising manner. And No Way... Way is a nice mentalism type effect that lets the magic happen under the spectator's control. This is ALL strong magic for the card aficionado. Good stuff!!


The Drawing Room

reviewed by Christopher Weber
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Saturday 31 July, 2021)

The Drawing Room[I am a colleague of Paul and have received this ebook free of charge.]

The Drawing Room by Paul Lelekis conjures up a vision of a beautiful room and filled with the best of fine art, furniture, textiles, and upholstery. The drawing-room was for receiving visitors, entertainment, and the service of tea and coffee following a meal. Who doesn’t love going to a dinner party and being surprised by the entertainment ideas of the host? Choosing something surprising for the entertainment will make the evening all the more memorable, interactive, and fun for your guests. The six effects here will do just that and are perfect for this scenario. Entertain in a delightful manner in a beautiful setting. The moves are all very clearly explained and the book includes video attachments to help with learning some of the moves that you might not be so familiar with. One of Paul’s trademarks is to design moves that are streamlined and that will enhance the effect and make for stress-free performance. This is evident here in all of the effects. I enjoyed working through “Strike Three?”, “An Even Lazier Lazy Man” and “No Way…Way” in particular. All of the effects have great patter possibilities and plenty of audience participation and interaction. Learn some great moves and effects, get world-class professional tips and advice, delight and entertain your audience. That’s hard to beat!


The Drawing Room

reviewed by Roy Eidem
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Saturday 31 July, 2021)

The Drawing Room[I am a colleague of Paul and have received this ebook free of charge.]

Paul is a card man's card man. He has studied under and studied the masters for decades. He has dozens of offerings which exemplify practical, streamlined handlings. Many a "one trick pony" on the market cost more. Tutorial videos are also a bonus included for moves one can use in so many other routines. Try one, I think you'll come back for more.


Headline Hunter

reviewed by Brian Reaves (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Thursday 22 July, 2021)

Headline HunterConsidering there are a lot of variations of this out there at much higher prices, this is a bargain for what you're getting. There is a setup you'll need to do before the show to create the gimmick you will need. I wish I could say it was a one-time thing, but the problem with doing newspaper reads like this is the fact that you'll have to create a new gimmick about every month or so because of the way newspapers age. That being said, it would not be difficult to adapt this particular method to magazines, which would allow you to keep a gimmick for much longer, although the cost per show of ripping up a magazine is considerably more than a newspaper, and the cost of your setup would be considerably higher.

The explanation for this is very easy to understand. You truly can use random newspapers, and you can even have the venue supply the papers to "up the impossibility" of the situation. It is not impromptu, but after you do the setup you are ready to go for at least a couple of shows if you play it right.


My Best

reviewed by Phillip Dennis (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Friday 16 July, 2021)

My BestI bought this as one of my first lybrary purchases four years ago when I rekindled my interest in magic. This book is a bargain and a bonanza of excellent effects. I had soon joined the local magic fellowship and for my first trick for the group was "Here's Your Card" by Herb Rungie. Perfect for a nervous debut. The reaction of the group was great. They exclaimed "That's a GOOD trick!"

If you don't own this book, buy it!


Magic Handbook (Science and Mechanics)

reviewed by Lynn Fox
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Friday 02 July, 2021)

Magic Handbook (Science and Mechanics)I have enjoyed magic for many years now, but my first love interest has always been things mechanical. Perhaps it is from my dad having magazines like these from science and mechanics, Popular mechanics, mechanics illustrated, etc. So to find this special magic addition several years ago was quite special. As I review it again now I am impressed with the scope of the magic effects shown. It even includes the Million dollar mystery. A pretty big effect! Interestingly the introduction notes that you don’t have to dress like a magician. This was in 1967 no less. Doug Henning and his hippie look had not even hit the stage! A great collector item and a great resource.


Watch Winder: noise maker

reviewed by Mike Gulish (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Saturday 26 June, 2021)

Watch Winder: noise makerThis is a great, well-made unit. I use it while doing Quentin Reynolds' 5 minutes with a pocket-handkerchief. I could never get any of the other watch winder noisemakers to work properly, or consistently, but this one is perfect! As someone who uses it often, I can highly recommend it. It is worth more than the price as it works and works well!


Above Suspicion

reviewed by Ricky Morgan (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Friday 25 June, 2021)

Above SuspicionI have been involved in the magic scene performing, buying tricks and effects, reading books on magic and allied arts since the early 1960s. I used to buy the majority of my props from the Supreme Magic Company in Devon sadly no longer with us and sorely missed. I think it's true that the majority of tricks today are based on the older principles and when you have been involved in magic for the length of time I have you tend to recognise something "new" as being a rehash of something quite old - that is why the older standard tricks such as THE EGG BAG - THE LINKING RINGS - THE CUPS AND BALLS are still going strong even today. I am a professional children's entertainer but still love close-up magic especially coins cards and everyday items. This manuscript is worth its weight in gold as a clever mental item and this copy is far better than the typed-out one I had in the '60s.


The Magician's Dream: a practical solution for any card at any number

reviewed by Bruce Koren (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★ (Date Added: Tuesday 15 June, 2021)

The Magician's Dream: a practical solution for any card at any number"A Practical Solution for Any Card At Any Number"? If you love mem deck and stacked mem decks, you may love this. But there a certainly no "practical solutions" here. All but two effects require a memorized deck. Both Joshua Jay and Barrie Richardson have excellent impromptu ACAANs. One of the things that makes them better than any effect in this booklet is simply the lack of laborious procedure, which these effects definitely require. Admittedly, I am not a cardician. And after being a magic hobbyist for 60 years, I'm always surprised by how many great card effects there are that don't require complicated slights, stacks, memorized decks or gimmicks. I love to be able to begin a trick by allowing the spectator to shuffle the cards. I love John Bannon's books on self-working card tricks that are light on procedure. This book certainly is not that. I'm only going to site one example, but I think it's symptomatic of the kind of thinking I'd rather not see in card magic. The example has the spec name any card in the deck and then to pick a number. Next step - In the process of spreading the cards face up to look for the jokers, place the selected card in the selected position. Really? I don't think so. For the most part, these effects seem to be pipe dreams rather than workers. The photography is mediocre. On the whole, a disappointment. And I should add, my only disappointment of purchased books during the whole pandemic.


S.E.M.P.E.R. (Italian)

reviewed by Mattia Bodino Magma
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Monday 14 June, 2021)

S.E.M.P.E.R. (Italian)SEMPER è un piccolo gioiello adatto a tutti i maghi, vivamente consigliato a tutti perchè non solo vi darà la possibilità di apprendere in modo rapido una nuova routine, ma vi insegnerà un nuovo stack a prova di mago!

Iniziamo proprio dallo stack, prima di leggere come funziona ho provato a caprine la logica guardando la sequenza delle carte. Ovviamente senza successo! La logica è geniale e stupirà anche i maghi più esperti e da sola vale ben più del prezzo di questo ebook. Arrivando alla routine poi, è costruita molto bene ed è di forte impatto, proponendo una versione per i maghi "amatori" e una per quelli più esperti. Già la prima è di forte impatto e se presentata bene consente di stupire tutti. La versione per maghi esperti avvicina invece la performance al livello di "miracolo". Consiglio quindi questà ebook sia a chi è un mago hobbista che a chi è un professionista, sia ai cartomaghi che ai mentalisti.

Piccola nota conclusiva... questo è il terzo ebook di Biagio Fasano che leggo e sono uno meglio dell'altro, se poi unite la sua genialità matematica a quella magica di Felipe, beh, andate sul sicuro! Se avete la possibilità non lasciatevi scappare nessuna delle sue opere!


S.E.M.P.E.R.

reviewed by Mattia Bodino Magma
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Monday 14 June, 2021)

S.E.M.P.E.R.SEMPER is a little gem suitable for all magicians, no matter what level of experience you have. Highly recommended to everyone because not only will it give you the opportunity to quickly learn a new routine, but it will teach you a new magician-fooler stack!

Let me start talking about the stack. Before reading how it works I tried to understand the logic by looking at the sequence of the cards. Needles to say, I lost my time! It's magician fooling material! The logic is brilliant and will amaze even the most experienced magicians and it is by itself worth more than the price of this ebook.

Coming to the routine, it is very well built and has a strong impact, proposing a version for "amateur" and one for the more experienced magicians. The first one has already a strong impact and if presented well it can amaze everyone. I will for sure try it the first time I'll have a chance! The version for expert magicians, on the other hand, brings the performance closer to the level of "miracle", but doesn't require a level that is too high. I, therefore, recommend this ebook to both those who are hobbyist magicians and to those who are professionals, both to card magicians and mentalists.

Small final note ... this is the third ebook by Biagio Fasano that I read and they are one better than the other, if you then combine his mathematical genius with Felipe's magical one, well, it's bingo! If you have the chance, don't miss any of their works!


Cup of T

reviewed by Roy Eidem (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★ (Date Added: Tuesday 08 June, 2021)

Cup of TI purchased and read Cup of T. It is the poorest $20 I have spent on magic in decades. I was hoping to find something novel I could use. Tedious pages of definitions of different ways to hold a teacup. I have been doing Cups & Balls and magic for over 50 years. I found nothing I could use. A novice will get a headache if he can endure reading its entirety. I can not recommend this to any of my friends.


Anytime Anyplace Anywhere: with a deck of cards

reviewed by Jonathon Allwood
Rating: ★★★★ (Date Added: Monday 07 June, 2021)

Anytime Anyplace Anywhere: with a deck of cardsThis is a booklet that has so many different types of effects within its pages. You can say each of the effects is one big student's class study that can open up a new level of understanding. Fantastic close-up with cards. At any time anywhere at any place! A lot of super cool friends within the art of magic are now in this fantastic booklet! When you read this book. You will find a new level of understanding and thinking about what you can do with it. Just a deck of cards. The late Aldo Colombini his some collections card effect when you are asked on the spot with the knowledge and skills you learn from others who have helped Aldo to become the master of cards you will find some light classic effects. Some that may have forgotten about but when you start to study them you will see a new way of working each of the effects in different ways that you can never have thought of.


Burn: Surviving Riffle Forces

reviewed by Sarin Suriyakoon (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Friday 04 June, 2021)

Burn: Surviving Riffle ForcesA great resource to look into and tinkering with riffle forces. It's quite fun to play with all the moves that create the same result and see which one you like. The explanation is clear with some illustrations here that I can follow along with(except the first one). You might find 2-3 riffle forces you like in here.


Pickpocket

reviewed by Howard Hughes
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Friday 04 June, 2021)

PickpocketLiberally based on the classic Cards Across plot, Mel Mellers has developed this wonderful adaptation using a pickpocket theme. Whilst it can be performed with playing cards, having blank cards with named objects on them (to aid and support the pickpocketing theme) takes this effect out of the realms of a standard card effect and also dispenses with any traditional handling. Here, three items chosen by the spectator are the actual ones that transpose.

As a stand-up routine, with Pickpocket you only need the help of one spectator and there is plenty of room for byplay and laughs, if that’s your thing. Alternatively, of course, it could also be played seriously. If you’re already familiar with Mel’s work then you know the premise here is for the former!

Mel Mellers strives to always have easily understood plots and Pickpocket is no exception. The instructions are clearly written and aided by photos. In his introduction, Mel speaks of how the routine was actually inspired and came about as the result of watching a cruise ship performer having to improvise routines. This observation alone is, in my opinion, worth the price of the pdf in as much that performers should be aware of their audiences, circumstances and be prepared for all eventualities.

This is a wonderful adaptation of a classic plot with absolutely minimal props. Highly recommended - be natural!


Showcase Magic

reviewed by Sarin Suriyakoon (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Thursday 03 June, 2021)

Showcase MagicI have been performing card magic in a casual situation and stage mentalism for a few years and I decided to take time to expand my card magic skill and knowledge. I was curious about Paul's work so I picked this one up to get a feel of his style. It turns out they are good and solid tricks.

But don't expect his material to be easy to do and easy to perform right away. You will have to take a while to go through all the details and explanations and research some basic moves (you don't have to in most cases but still if you are new like me).

Not only the trick but his method, move and patter are useful and versatile as well.


Advanced Card Control Volume 3: Controls

reviewed by Sarin Suriyakoon (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Thursday 03 June, 2021)

Advanced Card Control Volume 3: ControlsAs a beginner, I find this lesson most valuable since it has a lot of good controls and other things as well. As you can see in the list of the moves, the "other things" aren't exactly controls but you will appreciate and use them as much as the controls.

I know the tricks provided here don't sound exciting, but if you watch the "Palming" and "False Deal" lesson, you will be glad you watch this one.


Grand Hotel

reviewed by Sarin Suriyakoon (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Saturday 29 May, 2021)

Grand HotelI have seen the "hotel" plot from Allan Ackerman and was wondering if there is any streamlined or easier/shorter version out there. This one is really good. It shows you how you can do the same effect with different methods and choose the one you like. There is one big trick inside that I can't quite understand how it works and there is no illustration to help me through. The rest are great tricks and easy to understand.


Cull-Mination

reviewed by Sarin Suriyakoon (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Saturday 29 May, 2021)

Cull-MinationI am a beginner in card magic and trying to move into intermediate rank. I find this ebook very useful especially convincing control and several ways to "control" multiple cards to "top" or "bottom" in a "cull" fashion. There are a lot of tricks explained here that use these moves which help you understand them better. This is almost like a study for one subject. Well researched and organized.


Advanced Card Control Volume 2: False Deals

reviewed by Sarin Suriyakoon (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Saturday 22 May, 2021)

Advanced Card Control Volume 2: False DealsAs a beginner card magician/serious amateur, I find this lesson very helpful to start practising these card sleights. My favourite move would be the push-off bottom deal. It is such a versatile move and has many applications.

Yes, bottom deal is a difficult move but Mr. Allan Ackerman provides you with some advice and tips to help you get started right away.

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