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26 ★★★★★ reviews
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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 21 to 26 (of 26 reviews) Pages: <   1  2 
Friday 19 July, 2019
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