This is a great book and I would say that even if it wasn't free. It uses a number of subtleties, some of which are new to me, and which are quite clever and makes the spectator think you couldn't have any knowledge of their card or its whereabouts while in actuality the magician is always in control. He gives some especially good ideas on the interlaced shuffle which is good, I find, for younger folks as not everyone knows how to shuffle cards anymore. I would think a $10 to $15 price for this would have been more than reasonable. As for me, I'm a hobbyist now with a main interest in close-up, especially cards. I haven't been performing a lot recently but used to work quite a bit, including a couple of years at the Forks Hotel with Eddie Fechter.
While I was much more into magic years ago (performing at The Forks Hotel and attending many FFFFs) I haven't performed in years and am now more of a hobbyist. My true love has always been cards and I really enjoy all of James' books. This one is especially good and begins a trend that goes through all of his M.I.N.T. books: effects from Ed Marlo are presented then James gives his take on the effect with perhaps technical variations, different presentation, and/or history. James was lucky enough to have spent a lot of time with Marlo and many other magicians and he has drunk deep from the well. I recommend these books for any thinking card man who wants to learn from Ed Marlo and Wesley James, two magicians with broad knowledge and the ability to take things a step or two further than others. (I never got the chance to see Marlo perform, but Wesley James gave a wonderful performance and lecture at our club years ago. Ever since I have gathered everything I could of his writings.)
I got a lot out of this book. I have been reading lately in several places (Mike Close, Dani DaOrtiz) about introducing more "chaos" into your magical procedures. Maximiliano describes 5 effects (one with a variation) all of which demonstrate how to use "chaos". One of the effects, My Green Goes Red, takes a commonly used procedure and improves it immensely by introducing some "chaotic" elements. Maximiliano explains all clearly and even includes a few words about audience management. I also appreciated his words about how to milk more out the climax of each effect. Crediting is adequate though not as extensive as it could be. (I will be looking at some of his references.) The effects have few if any slights (nothing more difficult than a HaLo cut) and any suspicious handling is always done on the offbeat. Highly recommended.
6 Hallucinations by Marlo is taken from the pages of Ben Harris’ New Directions magazine.
Right on the cover it says “Not for Beginners” and I concur.
Five methods are given for producing the effect in which three spectators are each shown the top card, each one sees a different card, and then the card is shown as a joker. The cards seen are then produced from the pocket.
The methods are more or less graduated in difficulty, starting with gimmicked cards and ending with a method using palms, lapping, and a Curry change.
This is Marlo’s style giving multiple methods for the same effect. Not all the slights are described; one of the suggested palms may be found in Marlo without Tears.
I enjoy reading Marlo, even if I don’t always attempt the effects.
For $15, this is a true bargain. Many of the excellent items here are so old that they are new; that is, little seen yet effective tricks. It is also interesting to see the origins of many of today's "latest" ideas.
This effect is quite easy to do and it is an absolute stunner. You can put all your efforts into presentation. I bought this pdf shortly after seeing the very positive review in the 8/12 Linking Ring of the DVD version of the same effect. Perhaps you can learn more handlings from the DVD (it appears to have a few extra ways of using the basic ideas) but this manuscript is crystal clear. For less than 1/4 of the price of the DVD, you can be doing SCARED in a few hours.
This is a good overview of magic's "twisting" craze. Descriptions are good but bare bones, though Jon does describe what I think is an improved version of the Elmsley Count in the context of Vernon's original routine. You should know that a few illustratons are missing from this version, but this did not cause me any trouble. I think it is a good buy at $10.
This is a fantastic resource for the close-up magician. At almost 1400 pages, there is a wealth of information and effects here. I've had it for a year and don't think I have yet plumbed its depths. Here are just a few names I recognized as I leafed through the pages (and I edited this list down from double the number): Ross Bertram, Alex Elmsley, Andrew Galloway, Roberto Giobbi, Phil Goldstein, Larry Jennings, Simon Lovell, Juan Tamariz, Roy Walton. Here you'll find the original text of Tony Corinda's "The Powers of Darkness". Here are several Barrie Richardson effects with his extensive attention to detail. I can heartily recommend Fred Robinson's detailed write-up on the Faro shuffle: after years of being able to complete it only haphazardly, I can now do it perfectly (albeit still slowly) every time. I recommend this as one of the best bargains in magic.