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Reviews: Read What Feras A. Alkharboush Is Saying

8 ★★★★★ reviews
3 ★★★★ reviews
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Overall customer rating: ★★★★★

reviewed by Feras A. Alkharboush (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Wednesday 26 October, 2016)

ReveriesNick Conticello has done something very interesting. He approached the Bob Hummer MindReader's Dream with a shuffled deck in use. That allows a great amount of flexibility as opposed to using stacks ( Red\Black alternation .. etc ).

If you enjoy the plot you will probably see the RAMON'S REVERIE STREAMLINED as one of the best versions out there, all you need are 2 key cards and you're off to go to reveal the card. The other two are great for magicians and will fool them unless they are mathematically inclined and familiar with deep key card work. Its all inspired by Ramon's Rabioo's work which I never read.

The only negative is that the spectator is limited to thinking of court cards. Experienced workers will be able to fish that along with a card index or a Rus Andrew trick where you take the named court card out of your wallet ala Kenton Knepper's Kolossal Killer.

Disclaimer: Nick is a magic friend of mine whom I sessioned with 3 times.


Overall customer rating: ★★★

reviewed by Feras A. Alkharboush (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Sunday 03 April, 2016)


Its been a long time since I've read a Duffie book, I jumped in and purchased his latest offering Perplexities as soon as I received the email from's Chris.

I review products based on the ad copy. You may read an effect there and compare it with my notes. Lets break it down.

Automatic Aces: Cool procedure where the spectator finds the 4 aces. Although a bit discrepant its extraordinarily straight forward. Negatives include a tricky preparation, and while you could open with this, its likely whatever other setups you planned ahead will get destroyed as the spectator is undergoing the procedure.

Rideckulous: If you thought the ad description is odd its because its wrong. The "helpers" ( i.e 2 black Jacks ) sandwich the selection as well as all the cards of the OPPOSITE colour. The direct method allows for a very straightforward trick without any procedure, which is unusual as the whole thing is totally hands off. The price is a setup that you can prepare on the fly at an opportune moment if you can cull your way to a red-black separation.

Natterjacks: The ad is very accurate. From a shuffled deck in use, 3 jacks jump from a spectator's half to yours. The last jack doesn't jump, but rather locates a spectator's selection. The method is very simple yet allows for a very direct effect. I personally find the finale of finding a selection is out of place and may work to change it, though thats a personal choice.

Hellish Prequel: Hellraiser is one of Peter Duffie's more known tricks and this one is intended to be used as a lead in to it. 2 Jacks transpose with 3 cards. One phase, direct method, no extra cards and the deck never in sight. Its a bit discrepant though I believe it'll fly. I use a Marlo version of the Glide and its perfect for this.

Hell Raiser 1-2-3: The original Hellraiser is one of the most direct Elevator routines and this update has made it even more direct. Accurate ad description. No extra cards and no deck is needed. If you enjoy the Elevator plot you'll be hard-pressed to find a more direct method. While I'm not sure I'll use a transposition ( the previous effect ) to lead to an Elevator, that is my personal choice however I would've preferred to read how Mr.Duffie segues to it.

Missing Diamonds: The ad copy is accurate however since its lacking I'll provide some needed background. In the original Alex Elmsley's Diamond Cut Diamond, you openly remove the Ace thru 10 of diamonds and later change any one of them to the selection. It gave the spectator a tremendous amount of freedom rarely captured in other versions but there was a price: It heavily depended on false deals. Alot of variations attempted to address this including many by Peter Duffie himself. Here, the crux of Duffie's idea is allowing the spectator to deal and change the card herself. Its a straightforward method and I believe its a genuine improvement on the original. In my personal view, if the selection is modified somehow as a thought of card, it would provide an extremely eerie feeling to the spectator. Can be done from a shuffled deck. On a side note, as openly arranging the diamond cards is a big dead-time in performance I would produce them magically at the outset. A Dani DaOrtiz effect is great for this though its name escapes me.

Triple Stop by Gene Maze: You and the spectator deal down cards and you both stop at the mates. This is done 3 times. Extremely direct though uses very technical sleights. If you do Jack Merlin's Lost Aces this will immediately go to your repertoire.

Not Your Card: Accurate ad description. I typically despise down-under deals but I love it here as it allows for comedy. Carry the needed "Not Your Card!" in your pocketwallet and you're always ready on the go. Instant reset, zero setups in the deck. I personally think its stunning, comical and very practical. To get the finale you need to palm a card from a small packet which can be tricky. I personally would use Ed Marlo's Future Classic Palm or a Lewy Palm ( Expert Card Technique ). Obviously seasoned magicians can see many additional endings for this ( to wallet, folded card to anywhere .. etc ). Since you're making the comical cards from normal blank cards, you can customize them to any lines or messages you deem fit particularly in a company show.

Too Secret: Vague ad description. You're locating 2 seemingly thought of cards using a procedure that is ( in my opinion ) poorly justified. Even if you do justify it, I personally believe its too procedure heavy to be used for laymen. From a borrowed shuffled deck, so you may enjoy performing it for fellow magicians.

Last Orders: A way to perform Dr.Daley's Last Trick. No routine, just a single phase. I'm not sure how original this is as its virtually identical to Bill Malone's handling of the trick in his On The Loose DVDs with the exception of a handling touch that makes a sleight smoother to get into. Its a nice touch, a good one, but that's it.

I Me Mind: The spectator spells to the mate of his freely thought of card. No procedure except the actual spelling. The effect is short and to the point but with a big price: A big 29-card-setup is needed.

Lying Low: You spell out the spectator's answers to your questions and the deck always reveals the true answer whether the spectator answers truthfully or not. You end up producing the other 3 mates, allowing you to deduce selection. 20-card-setup is needed and I don't see a way to easily arrive to this. Personally I don't see how the setup is worth the amount of magic you're getting though readers' taste may vary, especially Karl Fulve's fans.


Overall lots of good material here to cover the price. I tried to elaborate on the ad copy and to mention the negatives when I see them. I like how Peter Duffie's latest work are less focused procedures and more about direct effects. I hope this review was helpful.




Overall customer rating: ★★★★

reviewed by Feras A. Alkharboush
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Tuesday 14 June, 2011)

BeAfter reading/watching lots of books/dvds, its not unusual to use only one item from a book I just read or get inspired to work out my own ideas. "Be", by Kyle MacnNeil, is a rare case for me: with the exception of 2 items that I didn't really care about, the other 6 I did end up either use or play a lot with, refine then later, use. that's the majority of the ebook, and its been awhile since this happened to me.

Lets get rid of the technicalities: Its all card magic. Some effects use blank cards though you can easily just use the jokers instead. No gaffs. The descriptions are very clear and to the point. In contrast with his other Kyle ebooks I have ( Hands Hof! and Wild at Heart ) this one is very well edited and has a very elegant design. He did spend some time on this issue. There are few pictures though they're more than enough to understand the explanations. There's a video of one of the tricks which is always nice.

The ebook starts off with an essay on creating magic that stimulates different reactions. Don't expect Eugene Burger for the author isn't old enough to grow a beard, but it is indeed a nice read. And you thought Kids today aren't smart. ( feels odd saying this and I'm only 25 )

After reading some of Kyle's material I have to say that I'm impressed. Some plots are indeed off-beat and the methods are so simple you'll end up hitting the wall for not coming up with them. For me, this seems to be Kyle's strength: Simple methods leading to good ( and sometimes big ) results.

The first trick,Cheddar + Chutney, is a very neat sandwich plot. A card vanishes from a sandwich then you do the opposite, the card becomes the sandwich! You use this card to find the cards sandwiching the 2nd selection. This is inspired by Dave Forrest trick ‘Piccalilli’ which I'm not familiar, so I'm not sure of the originality of this. I loved The first two phases are killer and indeed a nice twist to sandwiches.

Box + Deck is a routine I ended up using as written. Its a multi-transposition routine with signatures on the backs, or you can change that and go with the very slick presentation. The highlight for me was Kyle's clever use of one of my favorite sleights: He uses it to visually have a card penetrate the box AND to set up a clean vanish of a signature. Very clever.

I'm a big fan of Everywhere and Nowhere and perform different versions of it, Everywhere Prediction is a version that I will use. Its a great opener that can be done with any deck. This is the first E&Nowhere routine I've read that adds a prediction and it actually makes sense. With the playful presentation that fits my character, This is a decent twist on Everywhere and Nowhere that fans of the plot should check out.

Blank You Very Much is a very interesting principle. The effect sounds like a miracle: Spectator places a freely thought of card in his pocket, you show a joker/blank card and place it in your pocket. With a snap, you name the freely thought of card, and you take it from your pocket. The spectator himself reaches to his pocket and pulls out the card: its the blank. That's exactly how the effect plays out.

This is simply genius if you make it work ( picking the right spectator and careful audience management are key ) and is only 1-on-1. This is something I heavily played with just thinking of different ways to apply it. Its not a magicians fooler but its simply brilliant. If you like having laymen doing sleights for you ( Las Vegas Leaper? ) you'll want to check this out.

Sandwich Triumph is a Triumph mixed with a sandwich with a climax of finding the mates of the selection. The plot isn't new though the method here is very direct and to the point. Some setup is needed though you can work around it( if you own Card College ). There's a weird sandwich load that's credited to Cameron Francis, I didn't think it'll fool laymen though it did in my test performances. Anyways this is a trick I ended up not using, the magic world is full of Triumphs and while this is simple, it wont make you switch from the method you're already using.

Cricket is a version of Paul Harris's Grasshopper. This is something that needed a bit streamlining to become a great worker and indeed this is a version that I now use in a larger routine. The highlights here are the sandwich reveal and the one handed Fandango move ( the original sleight is Ben Harris's ). Both are good, REAL good, and ridiculously simple. Both of them are explained in a separate section, followed by a video performance for the trick which does help to show off the moves.

Instant Repeat Collectors is a very neat idea that allows you to do a clean repeat phase to almost any collectors routine in existence. This is something that I also ended up playing with a lot, very simple and clever. The explanations could be cleaner and a video would've been helpful.


There you have it. I'm pleasantly surprised at the quality of the material and the amount I ended up playing with and use.

In a nutshell, get this if: - Want simple card magic, with easy and particularly simple methods. - Interested in a nice transposition with 2 signed backs. - Interested in mixing Everywhere and Nowhere with a prediction. - Interested in ways to make laymen do sleights for you ( as in Blank You Very Much ) - Want to learn a neat sandwich reveal and and one handed Fandango.

Don't get this if: - Interested in more creative methods than creative plots. - You're a move monkey. - Feel sad to find out a kid is almost as smart if not smarter than you.

For 10$, highly recommended.

Hands Hof!

Overall customer rating: ★★★★

reviewed by Feras A. Alkharboush
Rating: ★★★★ (Date Added: Wednesday 01 June, 2011)

Hands Hof!I was sent a review copy of this so I'll be thorough. I don't know Kyle personally so this is unbiased. This is the kind of trick that can be exposed easily by a detailed review, I'll my best to avoid that.

Its always difficult to write a review about an effect that its either a love-or-hate. The main effect, "Hands Hof!", a version of Hofzinser's Aces performed completely with the spectator(s) handling everything, has a lot of things going for it, and other things that don’t.

Lets get things out of the way first: The ebook isn’t made by Ben Harris so don’t expect high design quality. There are no illustrations/pictures though you won't need them. The author is very young so don’t expect him to be a great writer. The editing ( at the time of this writing ) can be improved though you will understand the description perfectly. There's a link to a performance in case you get lost. The crediting, however, is phenomenal, this is not an encyclopedia of Hofzinser's Lost Aces Problem though its definitely very informative. If you're new to the plot or interested in it, this is an extremely good place to start looking up information.

How good the trick is? The method is extremely simple and you'll hit yourself for not thinking of it. The effect itself is very good and did get very good reactions in my test performances, particularly since you really don't touch the deck at any point and the magic happens completely in their hands. If that sounds like a pipe-dream, keep in mind these limitations: - Its YOUR deck, with a small setup. - You have to introduce an ace-packet that you setup in advance ( takes less than 5 seconds if you have the needed ungaffed cards, put it in your wallet/pocket and you're set ). You can't use the aces from the deck.

If you decide to carry the ace-packet( in your wallet/pocket ), the setup in the deck itself is so minimal it can be achieved quickly. The effect itself is a variation of the Hofzinser plot, I don’t think I can go through it since its can be backtracked easily by magicians even by description alone. Yes, its far from a magician fooler though it plays very well for laymen. A nice thing about it is you won't have any problems doing it strolling. Only one common sleight is needed. You do end a liiiiiittle bit dirty though you don’t need to worry about. There is a clean up idea offered that adds a second phase ( discussed later ) though I'd ignore it. Its worth mentioning that if you manage to recollect the original contents of the ace-packet nonchalantly after the trick and place it in your pocket, you're clean AND you're reset for another table, leaving you with a clean normal deck ready for your next trick. You can't repeat the effect to the same spectators. The method is very simple and VERY economical, you get a very big effect for SO little effort, and that's where "Hands Hof!" really shine.

That’s it for the main trick. Now for the other ideas.

David Gemmell offers 2 variations. Both minimize the cards needed for the initial setup of the ace-packet though each at a cost. The first variation has a convoluted selection procedure. In the second the final effect is different: the ace ( say hearts ) changes places with the mate of the selection (a diamond ).

A 2nd phase idea by Ray Noble let you finish clean up and change the selection back to the ace. Its not good with no justified actions, and you only end clean if you prepare the ace packet from the deck you're performing with, otherwise you're going to end up with 4 aces ( which you're supposed to to put back in your wallet ) and a deck with 3 aces only. Its obvious he didn't work it, Skip it.

You also get 2 bonus Hofzinser variations taken from Kyle's other ebooks, both of them use 3 selections instead of one. Both are different and somewhat offbeat in terms of plot variation, and while the patter isn’t for everyone I do find them interesting. Both have a climax that I think doesn’t flow with the plot (though the cheesy patter somewhat justifies it): a back changes color or a card to box. Some people might like it especially if they managed to streamline the handling.

In a nutshell-

Get this if: - You don’t mind carrying a packet of 4 cards in your wallet/pocket. - Want a very good, extremely easy hands off version of Hofzinser's Aces. - Appreciate extremely simple methods leading to huge outcomes. - Have no problems knocking your head on the wall for not thinking of it. - Open minded to variations in the plot.

Don't get this if: - You're obsessed with good editing. - Want to do a version with the aces in your working deck ( e.g. producing them beforehand) - Don’t want to spend the pocket space of carrying a packet. - Want to fool magicians

Oh, and its just 5 bucks. 4 stars.

Card Addict

Overall customer rating: ★★★★

reviewed by Feras Alkharboush
Rating: ★★★★ (Date Added: Thursday 21 June, 2007)

Card AddictHi there. I don't have any of Duffie's work, and I read that this is the book to get when it comes to Duffie. I bought it as a special offer elsewhere, and its really, really good.

Alot of effects contain dealing. Sometimes spelling is used ( combined with mathmatic priciples ). Sometimes dealing is used to mix the cards ... etc.

Standard sleights are not explained. Sleights like Elmsley count, Vernon Add-on, Faro, Reverse Faro ( even its not a move, but the term is used ), half pass and double lifts and false shuffles, are needed, but not explained.

I loved some effects, and liked others. I know I won't use some of them though, because they look more like puzzles, than a magic effect. I'll review the effects I use:

Kickstart Aces: Spectator locates the aces with a help of magic card. A VERY neat, clean 4 of a kind production. The spectator locates the aces in a very clean way. Its has some prepration,which can be done if you know how to cull effectivly. Other than that, its a winner.

Sweet Sixteen: Though the effect is fun to do, the plot itself is not the best. You show 4 cards, pointing out they are 16 in total. You turn them face down, turn of them face up, count the cards and the face up 4 changes to 2. You do another change, getting two 2's. You say 16-4 = 12. So I should have 12 left! No! I have TWO 12s! ( i.e queens ). The plot is not the best, but it might be nice to do once in a while.

Six Cards Interlude: any deck is shuffled, then top six cards are taken. One is fairly selected, and revealed later one. You never touch the cards, you don't have to be there anyway. You can instruct your friend in the phone! The effect takes awhile to do ( dealing and transfering cards ), but its *nice*.

By Pass: A very quick effect, which is really fun and nice to do. Two cards are selected, You take produce one from your pocket and the other is reversed in middle of the deck. The method *flows*, and is really quick. A very good card control is taught here, which is something I will use.

Halloween Location: A selected card revelation thought a fair process. Again the dealing card be boring here ( I've had the spectator dealing 45 cards once, his card is 46 .. ) Fact or Fiction: One of my TOP favorite effects! THIS IS the lie detector I will use! Its simply brillant! Performed it 4 times, each time got a kick out of it! There is some setup, but the effect is well worth it.

Make Mine a Double: An extremly clean way to produce 2 cards of the same suit and value. Spectator chooses a card for you, then a card for him. Both are the same in value and suit. Very simple method, very direct and quick effect.

Totalizator: As it reads, 2 value's of the selections are summed, and you produce two cards with the same summed result. Easy and direct. You will use it if you like the plot.

The Mental Pack: A card and a number are selected in a fair way, and the number is *produced*, and so is the card ( in a visual way, like in the standard card sandwich handling ). I will use this, though I'll use a short card instead of the crimp ( I'm telling this in case you bought the book! ). Some setup is needed, but well worth it for the effect. I use this in my performances.

Hour Magic: A little quickie for you to use. I don't use it in my performances, only in *here is my deck. Show me a quick trick* situations. Borrowed deck, no sleight of hand.

These are the effects I read and use. I didn't have time to read the others, I will do since holiday is coming. For now, some effects here are really amazing, while others are like *nice .. *. There is something for everyone here.

The Invisible Pass

Overall customer rating: ★★★★★

reviewed by Feras A. Alkharboush (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Thursday 15 February, 2007)

The Invisible PassThis is pure gem. This booklet is quite known to the knowledgable magicians ( Richard Kaufman mentions it in his DVD, "On The Pass" ). I'm a fan of Braue and Hugard books ( Expert Card technique, Royal Road and Miracle methods ), so I had to get this. As always, Braue and Hugard maintain the high quality work in their material.

This Pass is a variation on the Herrmann Pass, although what’s different is the unique mechanics of the move. Users of the standard Turn-over pass ( the first pass taught in Expert Card Technique ) know that there is a flash, which can be observed to the close observer. This one IS Invisible, the cover is perfect. It can be done almost surrounded ( although from the left and the back angles, "something" WILL be noticed, its like the standard turn-over pass ). It is invisible as long its below eyes' level ( somewhat like the standard turn-over ).

The mechanism is new, and it will awhile to make it smooth. I'm writing this review after about 4 months of buying the ebook, and now I can do it quite well.

If you are a serious card handler, you want to learn this pass. The teaching is EXCELLENT ( the whole booklet is only for one move .. ). There are photographs ( not illustrations ) in EVERY page, along with the description. Then, Hugard goes into some notes regarding the pass, then you see some illustrations ( for those who love them more than photographs! ).

This baby is a joy to perform. Five Stars, fully deserved.

4 bucks? Maaaan ..

Show Stoppers with Cards

Overall customer rating: ★★★★

reviewed by Feras A. Alkharboush (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Friday 01 December, 2006)

Show Stoppers with CardsThis is one hidden gem. I just cant recommend this one enough. For 1.5$? C'mon!

Here are some of the effects/sleights you will learn:

1- Braue Double Lift: A super clean Double/Triple lift with NO get ready. Its the FIRST time I see this double .. its not even in Greg Wilson's DVD Double Take .. !

2- Homing Card: A group of cards are fanned, a card is discared, the cards are fanned again .. and the card is still there !! This is done couple of times!

3- A card is selected and shuffled in the deck. The performer shows and deals 3 cards .. and the selected card is one of them! He still doesnt know the selected card though .. he deals a forth card .. and its the selected card! Spectators rush to the 3 cards dealt before, and of course, the selected card is not anyone of them.

4- a Fan false count. You can count seven or ten cards as five .. or any number less than it ( depends on the stack ).

5- 4 cards are selected and shuffled in the deck. The performer cuts the deck 4 times, finding each card and deals it. After discovering all the four cards and dealing them .. spectator discovers that the 4 cards are all Aces!

These are my fav.s .. there are some tricks in the book. For 1.5$? Why not getting it?!

Practical Mental Effects

Overall customer rating: ★★★★★

reviewed by Feras A. Alkharboush (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Friday 10 November, 2006)

Practical Mental Effects6$ .. and you get one of the best mentalism books out there.

This book is FILLED with material, which are all clever and practical.

It has sections on bullets, cards, large mental stunts, and lots of other categories. I highly recommend getting this book. The best mentalism book I have.

By the way, if you have the brainwave deck, this book will teach you killer routines with it. Plus, it will teach you how to make your own deck.

Annemann's Card Magic

Overall customer rating: ★★★★

reviewed by Feras A. Alkharboush (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Friday 10 November, 2006)

Annemann's Card MagicSimply, a GEM. You get 155 card effects. Not all are anywhere anytime. But most of them are ( the ones contained in the second book ).

I read all the effects. Some of them are of those little pieces that you do when asked for a trick. Others. however, are very good, and worth the price of this book alone, or even more.

Go for it. You will enjoy performing these effects. I did.

PK Revolution

Overall customer rating: ★★★

reviewed by Feras A. Alkharboush (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★ (Date Added: Friday 06 October, 2006)

PK RevolutionI havent perform these yet, but from what I read, this material is really good.

Unfortunatly, none of these can be signed, although can easliy be borrowed, except the key bend effect. But, who cares? the first effect, for example, the coin almost never leav their view.

Teaching? Pretty good! altough some of sleights are not described well enough, or maybe because I just have NO PREVIOUS knowledge or coin sleights. But you can learn it from here, with little work. Of course, the text is full with photos to help you. Excellent.

Hard? nah, infact, they are all easy if you can do coin sleights. I never did coin magic, now I will.

Creative, for 6.5$, its really good.

I'm sure that you will add these effects to your PK routines. I recommend getting this ebook, such a great price.

Clever Card Tricks

Overall customer rating: ★★★★

reviewed by Feras A. Alkharboush (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Monday 02 October, 2006)

Clever Card TricksI got to say, these tricks ARE clever. NOT the effect, but the METHODs to produce the effect.

The effects .. well ... are what you expect when you pay 1.5$. not top notch, I use one effect ( which is a great one .. if presented properly ). Other than that .. I dont even care for the others.

For 1.50$? nice.

Card Control

Overall customer rating: ★★★★

reviewed by Feras A. Alkharboush (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Monday 02 October, 2006)

Card ControlThe book is PURE GOLD.

You know when they say: old gems? you got them all in here. These are the controls you will use!

Very advanced moves in here though. You got to have to experiance with a deck of cards. I finished Royal Road, and I can uderstand Arthur's explinations easily! I didn'n think I'm a book learner!

Altough explinations are good, some moves are hard, REALLY hard. Needs a practice.

For 5 Bucks? You cant beat that. Highly recommended

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