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The Secret Gate

reviewed by Joe Mckay (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Saturday 02 July, 2022)

The Secret GateThis is a brilliant book.

I haven't been this excited by a magic book since I discovered the work of Andy (The Jerx). The book comes packed with superb bonus podcasts that make spending time with Dartagnan a real joy. I spent all of yesterday working through the ebook and the bonus content. It was one of the highlights of my life in magic (25 years and counting).

Dartagnan has performed thousands of shows as a street magician. And this has allowed him to see (first hand) the brutal indifference that most people have towards magic. This book is a record of his obsession with trying to find a way to tackle this problem head-on.

Nobody is more fooled by magic than magicians. They mistake tricks for magic and overlook the importance of meaning. This isn't some boring magic theory book. Dartagnan has dug deep into some of the best ideas from the world of cinema to help the reader understand how transformative the addition of meaning can be to your magic. Dartagnan has fused some of the most powerful ideas from the world's greatest storytellers with a key observation made by Henning Nelms back in the 1960s.

There is a giant blindspot in magic that 99.9% of magicians are seemingly unaware of. Just reading this book will show you where most magicians are going wrong when it comes to performing magic. Or rather - tricks, since most magicians today are actually tricksters rather than magicians (read the book to understand the difference).

This isn't a book. It is a revolution. Jump on board now and be part of the future.

Clue and other Mysteries

reviewed by Joe Mckay
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Wednesday 08 February, 2017)

Clue and other MysteriesHere is what David Acer said about the book on the GENII Forum (back in 2002):

"Its a shame that Martin Breese's books don't get around more in North America. After having read (and enjoyed) David Britlands EQUINOX, I decided to explore some other Breese publications, starting with Jack Yates, CLUE, AND OTHER MYSTERIES. This little collection contains some wonderful material that actually reminds me of Barrie Richardson's work. The opening trick, "Monty," is an absolute killer: three spectators each choose a card, then exchange them so that no one has his original selection, whereupon you tell each spectator the identity of his card! And bear in mind, the cards are not marked, and you don't watch as the exchanges are made!

The title trick ("Clue") is also excellent (trivia break: Can you cite two other magic books that were named after a title trick?). One of 6 spectators secretly chooses a black poker chip among five whites, and is thus deemed "the murderer" at a mystery party. All six chips are freely chosen, and you really have no idea who picked the black one, yet you are instantly able to determine which of the six audience members committed the murder. If I were doing "Killer Red Caps", I'd be inclined to replace it with this trick immediately."


As for my thoughts?

It is a small book and worth getting.

The material reminds me a bit of Lewis Jones, Bob Hummer and Stewart James. What you are getting here is clever thinking that is buried away in the methods. This is mentalism that relies on hidden logical principles. As opposed to gimmicks or clever bluffs. Still - at least it makes use of logical principles as opposed to mathematical principles, since I find most mathematical magic to be pretty weak. So at least you don't have to worry about that here.

My favourite trick is the 'P&S System'. It is a new principle and for me the book is worth it just for that. You have 6 cards in unmarked envelopes and the spectator freely chooses one for you and one for him. And you are able to divine the one he chose thanks to the new principle Jack Yates managed to uncover. Very smart stuff.

You can't go wrong with this one.

Displaying 1 to 2 (of 2 reviews)