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Reviews: Read What Paul Hallas Is Saying

6 ★★★★★ reviews
2 ★★★★ reviews
1 ★★★★★ reviews
Displaying 1 to 9 (of 9 reviews)

Dark Horizon

Overall customer rating: ★★★★

reviewed by Paul Hallas (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Friday 20 May, 2016)

Dark HorizonI loved this one. A truly wonderful theme and presentation. So far I've only used it in close up situations, but at some point I know it will graduate to larger performances.


Overall customer rating: ★★★★

reviewed by Paul Hallas
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Friday 20 May, 2016)

BusinessassinsBusinessassins 1 and 2 Review by Paul Hallas.

It makes sense to me to review these e-booklets together. The introduction to both books is identical as the theme of each booklet is the same: routines with business cards for the mentalist (though some magicians may be interested too). There are three detailed routines in each booklet with variations on some of them included and material to print out so you can get them printed on your business cards or print on stickers to add to your business cards while you experiment with the routines. If you like the first book, you’ll want the second.

There have been booklets on routines with business cards before (I wrote one myself decades ago) but these are aimed more for those who lean towards mentalism. The mentalist might write a prediction on a business card before leaving it with someone or do a ‘flash’ magic square a la Roy Johnson or Doug Dyment but the routines in these booklets are meant to be more interactive and in some cases done over the phone later. The idea is that the person you give the business card to prompts the demonstration by asking about what he sees on your card.

Just as there are some mentalists that don’t like to use playing cards I’ve come across some that don’t like to use printed lists so if you’re one of those then walk right on by. For the most part the routines use mathematical principles and clever forces so the mere mention of math has lost some more readers unless you’ve previously read anything by The Unknown Mentalist in which case you might stick around.

The first routine in the first booklet is called Telepathy Test. On the back of the business card is what looks like a word search puzzle and a list of words. After the performers introductory patter the participant chooses a word and looks for it in the puzzle. The performer is able to reveal the word he is looking at.

Routine two is called Digital Destiny. Apart from information on the business card (a list of words) another small card is used with different years on in three different colors. One side of the card has dates from the past and the other the future. In the simplest version of the routine as soon as someone picks a color you know which word they will eventually end up with.

Other versions of the routine are given where the color is never used. If I were to make this up I’d eliminate the first line on the future dates side of the card as they are years that have already gone. Also you’d pick younger people to do this with, if someone my age picked some of the later dates they’d be dead before the date arrived so the final word arrived at would not be significant in any way. A very unusual limiting force is used with this routine involving digital numbers and whilst I found it interesting, I thought it too many hoops to jump through to reveal a word. Maybe it will open the door to people giving readings based on the digital segments in someone’s date of birth?

The third routine is a humorous one, the spectator’s fingerprint apparently appears on your business card. It’s taken as a bit of a joke but eventually an ESP symbol he is concentrating on appears in the fingerprint. No mathematics in this one, but you need a Frixion pen. And if you have one, there’s also a killer use for it in the second booklet.

Universal Answer is the first routine in Businessassins 2. I found this one amusing as the spectator finds the answer to the meaning of life. A 25 square grid full of words is on the back of your business card. An alternative grid with symbols/pictures could also be used and while that does look better, the word grid is far more practical if you were going to do this over the phone, as pictures can be described by people in different ways, and in the end the participant has to use words for the images anyway. At first I thought the use of ‘traffic light’ seemed out of place as a choice and something else could be substituted, but then realized it doesn’t matter as the climax shows this is not to be taken too seriously (which is not to say the person won’t be baffled).

This is an unusual application of an old force and whilst the author mentions in passing that some of the routines in the booklet with a little thought could be sized up for bigger audiences it made me think of some of Martin Gardner’s bigger prediction squares and using words perhaps for those (see The Magic Magazine, February 1975 or Martin Gardner Presents p.141) but I know I never will.

The second routine in book 2 is Zodiac Zap. A mixture of principles here, one is the use of a Friction pen but I can imagine this having quite an impact as everything written on the back of the business card disappears except for the date you met and the participants zodiac sign which you could not possibly have known.

The final routine in this booklet, Fast Forecast is another routine with a list of words on the back of your business cards. These forty five words represent positive development for the subject at different times. Under the guise of a numerological experiment the participant is guided through a series of calculations with information the mentalist could not know and the resultant number leads to a word on the list which the performer is able to slowly reveal. All the possible words can be milked for a positive future forecast.

If you get just one routine from these booklets that you are going to use a lot, then it’s a good investment. The principles, thinking and presentations described may very well spark your own imagination.

Killing Classics 2

Overall customer rating: ★★★★★

reviewed by Paul Hallas
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Saturday 04 April, 2015)

Killing Classics 2Another nice collection of card magic from Jozsef. The e-book contains nine effects, my favorite two being "Opener Easy Aces" (which if you have a blank faced card and a couple of decks you'll be doing in minutes) and 4/4 which if you make up you'll have a mind blower, it just needs a little table space to perform. I'm sure others will have their own favorites but these were the two standouts for me.

In the first routine mentioned the performer finds the four aces, then they aces become blank cards and the aces are down on the table. The other routine uses as it's starting point routines by Aldo Colombini and David Britland. Four quartered cards are selected from a bunch and the spectator decides which numbered cards they are placed onto. The selected numbers are totaled and the result used to find a card in a deck. This card matches the four quarters, then the rest of the deck is shown blank.

You'll definitely use something from this new booklet.

Terry LaGerould's Pasteboard Presentations II

Overall customer rating: ★★★

reviewed by Paul Hallas (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Wednesday 06 August, 2014)

Terry LaGerould's Pasteboard Presentations IIIf you love entertaining card magic you’d be far better served purchasing this e-book than the latest card magic books and DVD’s coming onto the market. The read and then perform ratio will be far higher than most magic books. The first Pasteboard Presentations is out of print and if found swaps hands for high prices on the internet, if you missed that, don’t miss this. You’ll easily find a new complete set for your close up performances.

Familiar ‘effects’ may be covered, like assemblies and triumphs and there may be cleverer versions out there method wise but the important thing about the routines is their presentations. Of course you’ll change some to suit your style, but at least you’ll have an entertaining starting point.

You’ll no doubt have your own favorites, but those that went straight into my repertoire were: Royal Victory, a reasonably simple effect where five randomly selected cards apparently change into a royal flush.

Instantane e ace-ly. A great four of a kind production thanks to a patter everyone can identify with. With a little thought you can use four queens and instantly follow up with...

The Illusive Cocktail Gals. A simple assembly routine great for bars etc. Tip, don’t have the spectator put a beer glass on the pile as the condensation will wet your cards. A stemmed glass is fine, but occasionally I’ve suggested they use their imaginations to imagine the card box is a large heavy tray of drinks rather than use a glass.

Up The Down Staircase. This is an easy triumph routine involving four queens and could also be used as a lead in to the latter effect.

Cardboard Sobriety Test. This plays far better than it might read. Terry took an old self worker, added a sleight, a couple of other things and a clever presentation and knocked it out of the ball park. I know how good it is I’ve used it.

Jewel Thief—This is another simplistic thing I didn’t think would play well but it did. I’m not a big fan of spectators holding cards under the table but it’s worth it just to watch the spectator switch out his own card.

Okay, those are just the ones I’ve actually used out in the real world. I started to play with Ace Shuttle but stopped when I realized I already had in my repertoire a far simpler version of the same effect (Aldo Colombini’s “Jumbo” in print in one of his books and on his DVD “Stand Up Card Magic”).

At some point I’m sure I’ll go back and work more on “Unforgettable” a three phase routine where a spectators thought of card vanishes from five cards twice, then all the cards but the thought of card disappear. There are other routines in the book, but for me these were the ones that stood out.

Subliminal 3

Overall customer rating: ★★★★

reviewed by Paul Hallas (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★ (Date Added: Thursday 29 May, 2014)

Subliminal 3A few well written, easy to follow and easy to do routines. You're not going to learn any new methods. You are going to get some simple card effects but the important point is that each has a solid presentation that will work for you. One of the routines is most suited to a particular David Blaine deck, because the jokers therein contain an optical illusion, but there are plenty of sources for optical illusions on the web and in print and one could easily photocopy and laminate one of these to introduce the effect.

The title pretty much sums up the presentational theme of the effects. If you're willing to invest the $6 asking price I doubt you'll be disappointed, I wasn't.


Overall customer rating: ★★★★★

reviewed by Paul Hallas
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Monday 24 December, 2012)

JinxWell worth having, Annemann's Practical Mental Effects was culled from these pages as was his card magic book. I actually own the hardcover versions rather than this e-edition book, but truthfully, anyone interested in mentalism or card magic should have The Jinx to refer to and at $15 it may be one of the best purchases you'll make all year.

Nick Trost's Trick Kards

Overall customer rating: ★★★★★

reviewed by Paul Hallas
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Saturday 22 December, 2012)

Nick Trost's Trick KardsThis is one of Nick Trost's best packet effects, wringing the maximum from what is now almost a standard twisting sequence. Can the cards be examined afterwards? No, but then, you've been telling people the cards are trick cards all along. Well thought out routine with more changes than most and an ending they don't see coming. It's a fun routine, better than some later variants.

Parallax: a topological miracle

Overall customer rating: ★★★★

reviewed by Paul Hallas
Rating: ★★★★ (Date Added: Tuesday 18 December, 2012)

Parallax: a topological miracleThis is a great effect and was recommended in my book "Magic From The Overground" in the chapter on strolling magic and table hopping where I shared my patter for it. It has been in my repertoire on and off for decades. In later years someone released something similar with a dollar bill. It plays better for adults than children. Well worth $7 .

Nothing but the Truth

Overall customer rating: ★★★★★

reviewed by Paul Hallas
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Saturday 15 December, 2012)

Nothing but the TruthI've always thought the lie detector plot (from experience using it) was a commercial plot, because it allows fun interaction from the spectator and seems inexplicable because of their own input. This is one of several packet trick versions of the plot available and I really like it and have used it. One day I'll make myself up a jumbo set. If there is a downside to this version it would be the lack of variety with the selection, but I doubt that will stop you using it, it didn't me. This is a direct solution to the plot you'll have fun using. Worth every penny.

Displaying 1 to 9 (of 9 reviews)