ebooks and download videos
Home / Reviews / Enrico Varella

Read What Enrico Varella Is Saying

33 ★★★★★ reviews
Displaying 1 to 33 (of 33 reviews)


reviewed by Enrico Varella
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Tuesday 27 September, 2022)

UnseenI was gifted a copy of this book "Unseen" without having to review it, and I have no financial interest in this book. I enjoy sharing my book reviews as a semi-professional performer, and I am a fan of Paul Lelekis's work over several years, as I have been reading (studying) his regular column in "The Linking Ring" magazine. I adore mentalism, however, most books on this topic can be over-priced and complex in methods, and seldom deliver as promised. For this book, I enjoyed the simplicity of the four mental effects, and they are not difficult to do. I suggest that you have your cards in hand as you read each effect through. You just need intermediate levels of card skills, for there is a video on the author's False Shuffle that accompanies this book. He will teach you his easy Peek, and how he controls cards in real-world performing conditions. "Unseen" has gone into my repertoire of close-up mentalism effects. I like the first effect "Unseen' as it sums up the author's approach and methodology. Key points: 1) I enjoy Lelekis's approach to performance, which is to allow the spectator to do most of the work. in effect, let the miracle happen in their hands and let them enjoy their "magical moment". 2) Unseen here also means "looking away from the audience during the procedure". A hands-off, eyes-off (turning your head away), approach can disarm your audience. 3) Be respectfully in control, be bold, and have fun performing for your esteemed audience. Unseen, yet in control.

It's a Biddle Thing

reviewed by Enrico Varella
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Monday 25 July, 2022)

It's a Biddle Thing[I am a colleague of Paul and have received this ebook free of charge.]

The cover of Lelekis's latest book reflects its intention: It rocks! I was pleasantly pleased that this prolific author continues to write books on card magic and, more importantly, recognises the creators of sleights. This book is a tribute to Elmer Biddle. One of my favourite tricks by Alex Helmsley is "Fiddle With The Biddle In The Middle", and it is my workhorse routine due to the use of Biddle's sleight. Author Lelekis frames his extensive restaurant performing experience with two main sleights - Biddle Switch and Biddle Steal - into each of his routines. My favourites are "B-Fly" and "E-Z Cards Across", and they rock.

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!


reviewed by Enrico Varella
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Wednesday 07 October, 2020)

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

This book is slightly different from most of Paul's books. Then again, it is not. There is a paradox. Firstly, this book is punctuated with many funny and brain-shifting visuals that showcase optical illusions. These reinforce the idea of the book's title. Secondly, the three effects demonstrate the notion of how an object can 'seemingly' be in two places at one time. Thirdly, as familiar as some of these plots appear to be, they have a slight 'twist' to them - twisted, perhaps. And, a twisted perception of reality can be magical for your audience. Enjoy these 'paradoxes'!

Quantum Reality

reviewed by Enrico Varella
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Monday 03 August, 2020)

Quantum Reality[I am a colleague of Paul and received this ebook free of charge.]

If you are new to the work of Paul Lelekis, I assure you that you will invest in a spectrum of routines tried-and-tested and relevant for your audiences. Quantum Reality, follows on the enthusiastic wavelength of Lelekis's previous written library of over-50 books (which is enormously impressive and prolific even for a magic author). Admittedly, I read his book in 'packets': I started with his Introduction Essay, the table of contents, and then the 8 Brain-Fryers (I got a good buzz) at the conclusion. Thereafter, I read and played with the effects present in random order. Like the concepts in quantum mechanics, Lelekis made the mechanics of card sleight-of-hand and magic principles within achievable reach (his instructional videos are illuminatingly clear), and by presenting any of his energetic pieces of strange - you may make a quantum leap in your audience impact and interaction!


reviewed by Enrico Varella
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Monday 27 April, 2020)

FillersPaul Lelekis is a prolific writer of real-world performance magic. If we compile his more than 50 e-books, he may have just as much material as Phil Goldstein. This new book 'fills the gap' between his previous books 'Openers & Closers 1,2 & 3'. These three 'fillers' effects are the muscles that attach to the skeleton (structure) of openers and closers. They function to move the audience to varied and wild places of imagination. I applied SENSE OF SMELL firstly, as it is a clever and simple retake of 'Out of This World'. ELEVATOR gives you room to glide rapidly around, with your own strength of patter, and flexibility to move four cards about. 2-WAY MIRACLE is a smart way of allowing the spectator to 'touch their toes' by selecting a four-of-a-kind; you ACAAN do it, I assure you. Have fun with Paul's creations, and lift your performance with these close-up card magic 'heavyweights'.

Amazing Magic Volume I

reviewed by Enrico Varella
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Tuesday 26 February, 2019)

Amazing Magic Volume IThese seven gems in this new book is certainly worth your while. Well within the average skills of the magician, these, time-tested, effects you and will use, almost immediately - with some rehearsal, of course. I used the Apparition Coin, straight away, in one of my coin routines. The videos accompanying this book should easily facilitate your learning of Direct Collectors. This went straight into my bank of anytime-anywhere card effects. I sought a brown-bag after reading Paper Bag Blindfold, for I intend to do Sight-less, mind-reading, routine - simple, and devious. Packs flat, should play big! SLCTETC spells well when you want a variation of 'Spectator Picks 4-Of-A-Kind'. Enjoy this book!

Pasteboard Revelations

reviewed by Enrico Varella
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Tuesday 23 October, 2018)

Pasteboard Revelations'Six card Workers for immediate maximum entertainment pleasure.' Once again, the generous and prolific full-time professional magician Paul Lelekis presents a collection of charming card compositions from his engaging hoard of close-up magic. I enjoyed these effects and most of them went into my repertoire. These are plots, ploys and purposeful presentations that we can use. What is most valuable is the fact that the author reminds us of clever principles, seldom-used sleights, and a bit of historical referencing. We should remember the originators of sleights and principles in our quaint art, and pay homage by integrating them into our pieces of devilish demonstrations. He explains it with simplicity in a casual, reassuring, voice. Read it, with cards in hands, and anticipate what each piece of pasteboard plot, reveals. The accompanying video instructions will enhance clarity and learning process. To conclude with the title of the first piece: WOW!

Janus: The Magic of Kevin Casaretto

reviewed by Enrico Varella
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Friday 31 August, 2018)

Janus: The Magic of Kevin CasarettoThe cover of ‘Janus’ alludes to a hidden message: a lesser-used method/principle in card magic. This two-faced gaff acts as a portal, forwards and backwards, to create a direct pathway between method and effect. The 10 routines featured in these 35 pages are simple to perform, yet they pack a punch on entertainment value – this should appeal to the bold-faced strolling magician. I boldly predict that Kevin Casaretto’s broad body of work on the use of these dubious faces, should receive far more attention through the authorship of Paul Lelekis (with 52 ebooks to his writing credit). I enjoyed the various applications of these tools, especially ‘Magazine Mental Test’, ‘Five Colour Twist’ and ‘Signed, Sealed & Delivered.’ Do buy this book, and ‘ring in the fooler’. I back up this book with a very high recommendation.

That's Impossible!

reviewed by Enrico Varella
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Sunday 27 May, 2018)

That's Impossible!Before the Internet age, when our audience exclaimed 'That's Impossible!', it was music to our ears. Indeed, it still is an assuring response, when today's jaded and informed audience (raised on a plethora of magic performances and exposes), utter this simple exclamation. To astonish and amaze the spectator, the classical plots remain, yet, undaunted by time and technology. These are clearly designed effects with a direct route from Method to Effect, with clever integration of built-in Misdirection. Each of these four gemstones in this small book, can help us cast illumination and elucidation on our individual sense of purpose in magic. 'That's Impossible' nudged me to reconsider the in-the-hands impact of a simple translocation. The finish of this trick tempted me to do Francis Carlyle's 'Homing Card' trick. 'Changes' is an 'Interchange' effect, done naturally and deliberately (with neatness and precision) before the big finish. One would be incomplete as a close-up worker without a strong 'red-black' separation in 'Ultimate Oil & Water'. The bonus effect by J.K. Hartman emphasises why acts of impossibility can be distilled into simplicity and boldness of moves. Professional magician and prolific writer, Paul Lelekis has once again written and compiled four powerful card effects from his repertoire. Learn these, rehearse these as scripted and choreographed, and await those lovely words 'That's Impossible!'

The Magic of Derek Dingle

reviewed by Enrico Varella
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Monday 19 March, 2018)

The Magic of Derek DinglePaul Lelekis pays yet another thoughtful tribute to his friend and one of the great performers in Close-Up Magic. A recurring theme to Lelekis’s work is that he resolutely recognizes the ‘shoulders of giants’ that he sits on. What he has done with his latest book, and exceedingly well, is to simplify the “work’ so that the effect is retained. As a fan of the late-Derek Dingle (who is a class act), I am grateful that his work lives on, to be appreciated by a new generation of audiences. The classical works stay alive when each piece of magic is expressed in unique ways, through the mindful and respectful interpretations of contemporary artists. I toast to both Dingle and Lelekis for their love of friendship, humour and magic.

The Magic of Michael Skinner

reviewed by Enrico Varella
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Sunday 26 November, 2017)

The Magic of Michael SkinnerMichael Skinner is a legendary name among close-up magicians. John Carney in his Foreword to this book respectfully delves into the psyche of this extraordinary professional performer. Skinner exemplified naturalness, deliberateness, neatness and exactness in his routining and moves. Throughout this book, the astute student of magic will be able to appreciate abject lessons in Pauses – that which precedes each revelation or transformation – and shifts the moment of each effect to a heightened level of dramatic and psychological impact.

Paul Lelekis – certainly a fan of Michael Skinner – has written an exclusively, befitting, tribute to one of his major influences. Lelekis’s extensive breadth of performance experience and encyclopaedia of effects, successfully captures the Skinner Spirit – discovering perfection through disciplined practice, dedicated analyses, and a determined appreciation of the audience. He has compiled nine of Skinner’s effects that include a Wild Card routine, torn & restored paper, demonstration of ESP, busines card prediction, coin transformations, and preferred card force. Every nuance and subtlety is described through Lelekis’s thorough descriptions and video explanations of sleights.

The legend lives on through the pages of this important book. May you carry on the legendary work in the Skinner tradition.

A Close Up Show

reviewed by Enrico Varella
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Sunday 05 November, 2017)

A Close Up ShowA full close-up show in one book! You cannot get better a deal than this. Your audience will come a little closer to you, enjoy interacting with you, and respect your space at the same time. In his inimitable and generous style, Paul does not hold anything back with his teaching. As a active performer and Teacher-At-Heart, he delivers a 3-piece act complete with a strong Beginning, Middle and End. I learnt 'stronger magic' with his one-coin, Triple Threat Coin routine (this went straight to my impromptu routine), integrated with strong misdirection. I loved 'Cheek To Cheek' which gives a variation (albeit stronger) to Triumph. I found his Bonus sleight to be practical, and boldly effective. The three routines flow, seamlessly, with meaningful misdirection built into each routine. Above all, Paul attributes and pays tribute to the originators of these effects that have inspired him. Get a little closer, and enjoy a strong close-up show!


reviewed by Enrico Varella
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Wednesday 27 September, 2017)

Killerz!Paul’s new book KILLERZ does just that: Slay your audiences with many moments of ‘Wow’! He has a knack for choosing effects that hit between the eyes, and where audiences may enjoy a good whack on the side of their heads. His effects can fool both laypeople and magicians. The reader will realize how to reset their sights, aim high, lock on, load, and shoot to thrill: Aim for the magical moments that matter – through the magician’s ability to amaze and wow his audience. Paul makes mild creative shifts to well-known effects, whilst allowing us to carve our personal marks on each plot. That is, to make our audiences feel good about our magic. As a fan of Alex Elmsley, I enjoyed ‘Another Point of Departure’ with Paul’s ‘Push Off Switch’ (accompanying video). Also, I enjoyed the simplicity and interactivity of ‘The Queens Have Risen’. Do read his Introduction – as always a nugget of performance wisdom.

Openers and Closers 3

reviewed by Enrico Varella
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Tuesday 25 July, 2017)

Openers and Closers 3Hot on the heels of runaway bestsellers of Part 1 & 2, Paul Lelekis astounds us further with legendary feats of legerdermain. This ledger of offerings focuses on effects that might just open/close your performing repertoire.

My yardstick of a useful magic book is how likely I am to use any of the effects, and how I might enhance an effect with a change in sleight, moment, and approach. And in his third and final installment, Paul still achieves that.

His mini-treatise on Invisible Thread Ideas alone, is worth it. As a former-thread worker, I found insights to how I can animate, suspend, and levitate objects without nagging suspicion. There are nice walk-around mentalism pieces that you can use, too. This includes his take on the 21 Card Trick that shifts from the anxiety-causing countdown into piles. Lelekis piles on the nitrous oxide tank and accelerates the trick to a more amazing mindreading ending. The Voodoo Reversal of Fortune is an ESP trick that departs from the version from book 2, however its construction lends a different impact. In Predicting A Thought, a prediction using a nail-writer makes perfect sense with a mentally selected card. A Quickie Triumph sets up for a rapid-fire unraveling of a deck in seeming disarray. The four accompanying video clips explain clearly his preferred technique, and his motivation for using them. Once again, strong Openers and Closers establish stronger reputations for the magician. Strongly recommended.

Openers and Closers 2

reviewed by Enrico Varella
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Monday 26 June, 2017)

Openers and Closers 2I opened this book with a ‘closer’ – the last item in this book – ‘8-Card Brainwave’. The accompanying video clip got me excited with the simplicity of OLRAM, and the subtlety display attributed to the late-Daryl. I immediately put it into my routine.

Paul’s new book opens with an introductory essay that emphasizes his sensible approach to walk-around magic. Get closer to your audience by opening strong. Openers and closers are key effects that punctuate the entire experience for a performing magician. I worked through every effect in this book, and his Vanishing Cardcase is now in my repertoire. I intend to use Paul’s lead-in to ‘Martin Garner’s 4-Ace Opener/Closer’. I will also be using his ‘Not So Invisible Deck Routine’, which irons out a few major elements related to Joe Berg’s ingenious creation. Paul’s card control called LIFT is worth exploring within ‘Elimination’, as he raises the bar of card transpositions.

The main issue I have is: Do I close with an opener, or open with a closer? Enjoy this book.

Magic Medley

reviewed by Enrico Varella
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Monday 20 March, 2017)

Magic MedleyMAGIC MEDLEY is analogous to the tough pool event that incorporates four major swim strokes. With the ability to swim different strokes (sleights and techniques), you have more versatility in how you achieve your results (performance impact). In this case, Paul presents his working repertoire with a medley of cards, coins, silks and mentalism. Although simplicity is the key here, Paul’s effects are not always simple and require some degree of skillfulness. Presenting yourself is a key to success in performing magic. He demonstrates his chops with coins in the accompanying two videos for ‘Coin(s) Production’. A much easier version of his coin-work (but no less spectacular) is ‘Coin Gone’. As always, I urge you to read his essay ‘Taking Control’ that is laced with his tacit wisdom and experience for the working professional and dedicated performer. Enjoy this book, as I did.

Clock Your Boston Qualifier: By Running Less, and Running Faster

reviewed by Andre Varella
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Saturday 18 February, 2017)

Clock Your Boston Qualifier: By Running Less, and Running FasterEnrico’s book applies to anyone wishing to take their running to the next level. It draws from his experience as a runner. Enrico's journey -- which starts off with his first marathon in Hong Kong and finally qualifying for Boston -- is impressive, and a strong motivator. It certainly helped me return to running after suffering a massive ankle fracture.

The book changed the way I thought about training. It doesn’t go into technical details nor does it require adhering to rigid rules. Instead, it sets the stage for you to draw up your own training plan, and to train smarter.

This is a great all-round book, whether you aim to finish your first 5K or qualify for Boston.

Magic Variety Pack 2: Curtain Call Encore

reviewed by Enrico Varella
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Thursday 02 February, 2017)

Magic Variety Pack 2: Curtain Call Encore‘Magic Variety Pack 2 (Curtain Call Encore)’ follows Pack 1, its predecessor, with no need to for Paul Lelekis to abdicate his throne as a professional walk-around magician. Start the regal procession with eight pages of his first essay ‘Shuffles, Cuts & Misdirection’. This is a Worker’s approach to assuring your audience ‘deck is shuffled and in use’. I enjoyed ‘Psychic Collapse’ where an emptied water-bottle is crushed mysteriously with no visible direct contact. ‘Goldfish Creation’ is a clever way to produce ‘living gold’ according to the ‘packs small, plays big’ condition. I also enjoyed ‘Imagine’, Paul’s take on B’Wave, and also ‘Marlo’s Diminishing Lift Sequence’. Another royal addition to your EBook collection!

Magic Variety Pack

reviewed by Enrico Varella
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Tuesday 27 December, 2016)

Magic Variety PackRead Paul Lelekis’s Magic Variety Pack from the beginning. Never gloss over his Introduction(s). That is the gemstone of this multi-faceted ring. I can easily echo his wise sentence: ‘Be the one in command of your arena!’ under ‘Professional Tips’. In his 39th book, Paul focuses still on entertaining your audience with hard-hitting magic. An oldie can become a ‘golden goodie’ with a potentially-jaded 21st Century audience. I am reminded strongly of Jamy Ian Swiss’s essay ‘The Last Layman’, about how rare an appreciative magic audience is these days. Having the ability to earn the audience’s admiration and respect for magic is priceless. There is ‘a little bit of country and a little rock & roll’ in Paul’s new offering. I cannot single out which is the best in a Greatest Hits Collection, but urge you to give each piece an opportunity to ‘shine’. Despite its wide variety, this collection still packs a punch. Ensure you have your deck of cards and coins with you as you study each piece of performance potential. You should definitely read his ‘Quickies’ section – albeit slowly, as it has performance tips we can seriously consider. Although Paul is not a big fan of the Top Change, he offers his approach to doing it well. I enjoyed his explanation on executing Multiple Lifts, and apply these to your revelations. His gift to us magicians is that he can explain magic clearly and with clear intentions. Being one of the most prolific creators in magic, he is truly the go-to guy for research and assurance in a variety of magic topics. Enjoy!

Osmosis II

reviewed by Enrico Varella
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Sunday 16 October, 2016)

Osmosis IIOsmosis 1 received its due recognition, and I am glad. That Osmosis 2 is a sequel to that, I am grateful for. When a busily, working, professional-magician tips the mitt on his ‘Workers’ and approach to Audience Management – you respond by running fast. You have not run fast enough, until you have applied at least one piece out of this large collection of tested-and-proven routines. In this new volume (his 37th eBook), I enjoyed many new pieces of card magic, however I enjoyed the chapters on Comedy Control, Professional Misdirection, Jumbo Coin Production, doing the Passes, and the story behind the Jacks in a deck. Read it, test it out, and Lelekis’s ideas may transfer to you by osmosis –through that thin membrane that separates your trick from your magic.


reviewed by Enrico Varella
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Wednesday 28 September, 2016)

Thaumatology‘Thaumathurgy’ means ‘works of miracle’, and if THAUMATOLOGY is inspired by that, then these ‘Workers’ can inspire magic, works of marvels, and miracles. One of my favourite effects is Marlo’s THE COLOUR CHANGING DECK. Ring in only one stranger-card and there is so much return on your investment. And, so is a book of matches in MATCH BURNS TWICE…MAYBE THRICE? The simple but effective reveal of a card in VOODOO ASHES may lead you to review this old effect. There are several more in this collection of eight effects, yet they promise one thing – designed to inflict maximum impact because they have been raised to a higher realm. One example is Mike Skinner’s treatment on Peter Kane’s ‘Jazz Aces’ in SKINNER’S JAZZ ACES. I actually started with the last two mentalism effects (‘art mathematical’) involving dice and a writing-pad. The principles are so simple, yet we tend to overlook them. Simplicity and clarity of effect are the trademarks of Paul Lelekis’s creations and choice of saintly effects. Buy it. Go forth and be a wonder-worker!


reviewed by Enrico Varella
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Sunday 04 September, 2016)

OsmosisWith tricks based on the works of Marlo, Skinner, Elmsley, Jennings, Vernon, Fechter, Altman and Lorayne, Lelekis can do no wrong with his choices of ‘star’ material. With his extensive years of performing ‘in the trenches’, Paul has acquired his impeccable skills of sleight of hand, masterful spectator control, application of contemporary and relevant patter – each one a Worker and he passes it on to you in his penetrating style of writing!

This being his 35th book – the body of Lelekis's professional restaurant and close-up magic shows no loss in momentum. Enjoy the transfer of his knowledge to you with a wide range of effects, media and audience. The Bernard Billis Switch and Bro. John Hamman’s Count Switch can be assessed by video download from this ebook. You can appreciate how Paul clearly teaches these sleights in his assuring style.

I like ‘Combo Bill Penetration & Bill Switch Routine’, which explains the Koslowski Switch (with Roger Klause handling), and final ditch/switch. Also, ‘Reaping the Aces’ (where the spectator cuts to four piles), and, interestingly ‘Water-proof Hanky’. The chapter on ‘Professional Misdirection’ should be read first. I also enjoyed the additional ideas on card handling, and revision of properly–executed coin sleights. Enjoy OSMOSIS!

Triple Play

reviewed by Enrico Varella
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Tuesday 16 August, 2016)

Triple PlayIn his 33rd ebook, ‘Triple Play: The Professional Card Magic of Paul A. Lelekis’ is a collection of three effects. His credibility of regularly working in the trenches is well-established, so these ‘Workers’ have been refined for your immediate practice and rehearsal.

‘King Pen’ and ‘Parallel Universe’ are the two main interactive effects in this inexpensive book. His ‘third’ effect is the bonus sleight explanation of his deceptive Bluff Pass, and it is accompanied by a downloadable video. Paul’s handling of this card control warrants your consideration. He has worked out the usual kinks, by conditioning the audience’s mind, with a standard card selection move. With a dozen mirror-practices, you would be able to do it confidently.

Buy it, and perform these CLEAR, SIMPLE and STRONG effects – the ‘Triple’ approaches which are always in play in Paul’s magic creations.

Classic Card Magic IV

reviewed by Enrico Varella
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Tuesday 24 May, 2016)

Classic Card Magic IVI love this series of card magic! I would definitely recommend new card-workers to focus on these classics. What Paul has done in this instalment, in his signature style, is re-boot them slightly to meet contemporary audiences: simplified handling, sensible patter, and relevant use of sleights. Of these six effects, Kannibal Kards went straight into my performing repertoire! It is almost a card act in itself, with a fascinating story and 'twist'. It is hard to single out 'classics' as each creator designed it with a specific 'plot' in mind, so the performer would benefit from learning them all, and integrating them all in your show. You will know each originator/creator intimately by the end of your practice: Searles, Marlo, Steinmeyer (9-Card Principle), Gardner, Trost, and of course, Lelekis. Paul breathes new life and enthusiasm into each of these 'classics', and I assure you that you will likely and rightly perform these strong, time-tested, routines - which Paul has already done for us. Each of the four 'classes' in the Classic Card Magic series is a 'class act' in itself. Buy them, study them, and apply them, and enjoy your applause.

Classic Card Magic II

reviewed by Enrico Varella
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Tuesday 29 March, 2016)

Classic Card Magic III love the Classics in card magic! And, Paul does justice to them again in his second book dedicated to the creators of these timeless masterpieces. It is not easy to simplify these original creations, yet he has made them streamlined and efficient for the working performer. Each of the six pieces has the potential to be your masterpiece. I learnt the Oil & water routine immediately, and it will now be my default version. Open Travelers and Jazz Aces are my current interests, and Paul has encouraged me to give these another shot - complete with fun working patter and strong built-in misdirections within each routine. Learning about the Classics is a must for the serious Student of Magic, and this second book will provide you a strong reason and motivation to do so. And, you get to engage and utilise useful sleights you may have overlooked.

Classic Card Magic I

reviewed by Enrico Varella
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Thursday 17 March, 2016)

Classic Card Magic IFinally, a book that addresses a strong appreciation of the classics! The Classics are known as that because they are timeless, distinct plots, and your audience reactions will be buoyant and boisterous. Five effects that you can review or learn immediately, with updated patter to meet the contemporary need of today's sophisticated audiences. This is the first of a series of such much-needed books. I am a fan of Paul Lelekis (reviewer for The Linking Ring) and his 27th book followings his inimitable style of Wow! As a regular worker, his approach is practical, pragmatic, direct, well thought through, and impactful. I believe that you will use at least one of his effects immediately upon your practice. His approach to exciting the Inner Universe of magical entertainment is his trademark, as his clear writing style. Three effects went straight to my repertoire: Red Hot Tarpon Opener, Homing Card, and the bonus - Any Even Black Spade. And there is even an ACAAN effect, plus his 6-Card Repeat. Everything in it, is a winner. I give 'Classic Card Magic 1' my highest recommendation. I await the remainder of his series. Enjoy!

Magic To Thrill

reviewed by Enrico Varella
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Wednesday 02 September, 2015)

Magic To ThrillMAGIC TO THRILL is a 31-page book filled with seven effects and one essay. All his card effects are all 'Workers' (to glean Michael Close’s descriptor for strong magic), so you can choose one effect for each day of the week.

Each of these effects justifies the use of a specific sleight or principle, which you’d be thrilled to learn or re-use. Every one is calculated to elicit the impact that Lelekis' functional patter offers. I particularly enjoyed ‘Greek Tragedy’ which reminds us to discover an effect that reflects on our roots and tradition – be it in magic or our culture. ‘The Clock Trick’ may just establish you as mentalist-extant. ‘Meld’ combines two spectator-directed effects while teaching an abject lesson in routining. Links to instructional videos are embedded in this book, so you can learn specific sleights like the ‘Strike Second Deal’ and a bonus trick in the last item. Lelekis teaches us what to be mindful of, including dealing sounds, rhythm of dealing, attitude and using built-in misdirection. I enjoyed, also, his 'The Four Aces Triumph', 'The Conus Aces' and '21st Century 21 Card Trick'.

You must read his 'Introduction' a few times, to appreciate his performing style and approach. Entertaining with your knowledge of magic is the secret to thrilling with your magic, as is involving the spectator and distancing yourself from the magic. If you want to find out more, do get this book. Strongly recommended.

Close-Up Utopia

reviewed by Enrico Varella
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Sunday 28 June, 2015)

Close-Up UtopiaClose-Up Utopia: No Cards is Paul Lelekis’s latest book with one essay and seven effects.

These are the main reasons why you should seriously consider this book. Paul IS a working professional. This is a book with NO card tricks. His patter and routining ARE time-tested.

Learn from his wisdom from the trenches of performing experience. Thus, his Introduction, ‘Spectator Management Successful Execution of Sleights’ should be read first, and then again. Paul’s Introductions are a highlight of his many books.

My favourite pieces are ‘Presto Chango Againo’ – a copper & silver transposition with purpose, and use of an overlooked sleight. ‘Impromptu Mental Epic’ got me seriously thinking about performing mentalism close-up again. ‘Phantom Bill’ gives you a ‘linkage’ to ‘Rollover Bills’, with a Misled effect. Interestingly, I gave ‘Hot Rod’ a serious relook with Paul’s preferred ending about ‘permanence’.

Paul, enthusiastically, encourages us go back to our Tools of the Trade, and we have many! I am actually considering using paddles all over again! If you want to get a buzz about magic, read this book, practise, and perform magic – your utopia may be just around you.

Powerhouse Routines

reviewed by Enrico Varella
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Tuesday 26 May, 2015)

Powerhouse RoutinesPaul Lelekis’s new book ‘Powerhouse Routines’ contains five effects and an essay. However, these are routines that may challenge your thinking and your abilities (sleight of hand, and presentational approaches). The introductory essay is worth reading and re-reading, especially if you are new to Lelekis’s work and his approach to audience management, patter, and performing persona. Lelekis does the ‘unthinkable’ and rewinds one of Marlo’s ubiquitous effects, and seems to do it justice in ‘Find Your Own Card’. Touch Switch is easy to do, and can be used for switching out a card in a natural move. The bonus, Tap Load is a clever way of replacing a palmed card, which always aggrieved me with topping the deck. I pay attention to performers who perform their workhorse routines regularly. Lelekis offers this, and more, and you might just use one of his sleights or revisions to a classic.

Obscure Marlo

reviewed by Enrico Varella
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Tuesday 24 March, 2015)

Obscure MarloHot on the heels of ‘The Art of Magical Entertainment’, Paul Lelekis publishes ‘Obscure Marlo’.

Those of the Marlovian card persuasion may embrace his prolific ideas, and ubiquitous variants, with enthusiasm. However, his works are still considered ‘obscure’ and ‘eccentric’ unless you spent time with the cardician at his Table in Chicago.

In this e-book, Lelekis demystifies Marlo and presents five main items, one of which has three routines in it. ‘The Switchless Switch’ is an easy sleight that allows you to ‘muck’ the packet. ‘The Poker Supreme’ allows you to explain how cheaters win in a hand of poker, with no need for challenging dealing. ‘Marlo’s 21-Card Trick’ uses a clever Marlo invention (often attributed to Vernon) to locate a selected card that transposes from one packet to the other two. ‘Without A Key Card’ uses a simple mathematical principle to locate a spectator’s card that he buried into the deck. ‘Space, Time and Love’ is a collection of scientific patter you can use in your pieces of strange with your pasteboards.

With my cards in hand, I tested out each effect and conclude that these are easy-to-do, cleverly-chosen, practical effects that Lelekis has tested out in the trenches. You may have to re-read some of his descriptions to grasp the relevance of the methods and applications; I did. Buy it, and use the ideas.

The Art of Magical Entertainment

reviewed by Enrico Varella
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Sunday 01 March, 2015)

The Art of Magical EntertainmentThis is a book of ‘workers’ for the Worker.

Seven strong effects and one rich essay grace the latest book by Paul Lelekis, an experienced professional performer. You may know Paul from his extensive and enthusiastic contributions to The Linking Ring magazine, as well as for his previous e-books. As a bonus, Dan Tong contributes his own renowned Egg Bag routine. You will require basic to intermediate level of skills to perform these effects, however it should be within your range of practice.

Raise your performance game with the approach of ‘choreographed, interactivity and having fun with spectators’. Many useful performance tips are shared, as Lelekis generously shares his tacit wisdom and experience. You may even succeed with more tips as a strolling performer in a restaurant or private function.

Each item is a ‘worker’ (to express a term, popularised by Michael Close), including the offbeat pencil levitation. However, more importantly, this e-book is about presenting magical performances that benefits the performer, client, and the audience. I single out ‘Fair Play’ for its simplicity and involving the spectator in the miracle. In the ‘Laws of Attraction’, the Gilbreath Principle is put to good use in a deck separation process that minimizes the procedure, by including purpose.

I recommend this book heavily, as it ‘packs small, but plays huge’!

Reviewed by Enrico Varella Vice-President, IBM Ring 115, Singapore Editor-At-Large, The Quantum Ring magazine

A Topological Trio

reviewed by Enrico Varella
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Monday 24 November, 2014)

A Topological TrioPaul's e-books are a treat to read, and a joy to apply. He is an active writer and product critic for IBM's The Linking Ring magazine, and he asserts the same rigorous standards to his own work. In a unique twist (no pun intended), he shares his thoughts on topology and effects related to three-dimensional planes. Other than the large body of work of the late-English magician Terri Rogers on topology, Paul re-introduces this overlooked area with his professional applications to three main areas: Namely, a new and novel Torn & Restored Card routine (its construction is elusive, sensible and it can be given out), presentations for the Mobius Strips, and a simple (but logical) finish for Card Warp. Highly recommended.’

- Enrico Varella, Vice-President IBM Ring 115

Displaying 1 to 33 (of 33 reviews)