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26 ★★★★★ reviews
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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!


Killerz!

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.


Thaumatology

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!


Osmosis

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!

Displaying 1 to 20 (of 26 reviews) Pages:  1  2  > 
Monday 24 June, 2019
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