This is the clearest, most practical discussion of cold reading I've ever read. Voodini teaches the why as much as the what, which means you'll get a stronger understanding of the dynamics involved. (Too much magic teaching undervalues the 'why's of what we do!)
The first half of the book is devoted to background about stacks and with helping you find and memorize a stack. There is a single page about switching in a stacked deck, which I found helpful.
There are four close up tricks offered, and this was the biggest disappointment. Not only are the ideas simple (to the point of simplistic), there are no suggestions about how to present them as mentalism (unless you find this line helpful: 'My patter revolved around intuition, coincidence or pure luck.'). They're tricks, not magic.
There is essentially a single idea for stage or television, and it involves a tiresome cliche as method (with minor variations).
The saving grace of this book is the Bonus Effect, Varella's variation of Elhers's famous routine in Ackerman's Las Vegas Kardma. (Oddly, Varella spends six pages on the previous five tricks, then devotes six pages to this single 'bonus' effect!) I don't expect I'll use any of his ideas, but the ideas are good and thought-provoking.
The book offers many sources as credits. There are better places for a beginner to start with stacks and memdeck work, and they can be found in this bibliography.
There are two demo videos, totaling 20 seconds. The explanation is one exposed view video, totaling 23 seconds. The pdf contains two pages of basic instructions. If you're looking for tips and subtleties - as I was - you won't find any.
I've explored many methods made for Curry's Open Prediction premise (that is, the methods I have access to), and I've been frustrated by how convoluted some of them are (double facers, rough-smooth). I'd come to the conclusion that the version in Card College was the cleanest, most direct method. But I struggle with palming, so I've still been looking. This version is now my favorite. The sleights are easier (at least for me) and the effect is still clean and direct. Highly recommended.
Simply put, this may be my favorite magic ebook. It's fun to read and it offers a few wonderful routines. 'A Demonstration of Hypnotic Mind Reading' may be a rather boring title, but it is a perfect set piece for a small gathering. The method will disappoint (it's almost TOO easy), but it's not about the method. It's an amazing routine if you are able to conjure up the appropriate atmosphere. The other routines are great as well, offering good stories, straightforward methods.
A fun and easy way to approaching readings. You have control of how much time you take, how deep you go, without the complexity of a tarot deck. From the perspective of the audience, it is a fresh approach. Highly recommended.
This issue of the series is the most magazine-like, in that it contains a variety. 'The Story-Teller Oracle' is a way of using two ordinary dice to make a simple reading. It has similarities to his own '3 Coins 4 Your Thoughts' ebook, though it's not as strong. But Voodini does open up many interesting possibilities here. 'Witch Trial' is a routine from Dan Dent. It is a story routine using tarot cards which fits quite nicely with Voodini's style. The ebook ends with a short story, 'The Vampire Fortune Teller', which proves that I would enjoy reading a collection of his fiction. It offers a modern fable, where Voodini draws us, however briefly, into an engaging world of a parallel Victorian London. Another encouraging entry in this fun series.
I found this edition of the Coffee Break series to be the weakest so far. The story telling is outstanding, providing fascinating information about Holmes and Moriarty's relationship, but I found the method itself a bit flat. Overall, as part of this excellent series from this excellent author, I encourage you to complete your collection.
Voodini does it again. The method is easy but very subtle. Presentation is critical, but Paul offers a marvelous script, which can be condensed or expanded, depending on your skills with audience members. This routine is a real stunner.
I have several e-books by Voodini, and have never been disappointed. His 'self-working' routines are particularly good. Not for the methods. Methods are almost afterthoughts. Voodini's strength is in creating an atmosphere, drawing people in with a good story. That's what you get here: three good stories. The Coffee Break concept is a good one, and this is a brilliant way to begin the series.
This is a great ebook, actually providing what its subtitle says. There are three 'self-working' effects that allow you to work on presentation, rather than fancy moves. I immediately loved Over the Top, which, while it won't wow your magician friends, WILL entertain your audiences. The other two effects are good as well, which are also easy but allow you plenty of room to assert your own persona. One of my favorite e-purchases from Lybrary.