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Displaying 341 to 365 (of 1690 reviews)

The Magician's Dream: a practical solution for any card at any number

reviewed by Bruce Koren (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★ (Date Added: Tuesday 15 June, 2021)

The Magician's Dream: a practical solution for any card at any number"A Practical Solution for Any Card At Any Number"? If you love mem deck and stacked mem decks, you may love this. But there a certainly no "practical solutions" here. All but two effects require a memorized deck. Both Joshua Jay and Barrie Richardson have excellent impromptu ACAANs. One of the things that makes them better than any effect in this booklet is simply the lack of laborious procedure, which these effects definitely require. Admittedly, I am not a cardician. And after being a magic hobbyist for 60 years, I'm always surprised by how many great card effects there are that don't require complicated slights, stacks, memorized decks or gimmicks. I love to be able to begin a trick by allowing the spectator to shuffle the cards. I love John Bannon's books on self-working card tricks that are light on procedure. This book certainly is not that. I'm only going to site one example, but I think it's symptomatic of the kind of thinking I'd rather not see in card magic. The example has the spec name any card in the deck and then to pick a number. Next step - In the process of spreading the cards face up to look for the jokers, place the selected card in the selected position. Really? I don't think so. For the most part, these effects seem to be pipe dreams rather than workers. The photography is mediocre. On the whole, a disappointment. And I should add, my only disappointment of purchased books during the whole pandemic.

S.E.M.P.E.R. (Italian)

reviewed by Mattia Bodino Magma
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Monday 14 June, 2021)

S.E.M.P.E.R. (Italian)SEMPER è un piccolo gioiello adatto a tutti i maghi, vivamente consigliato a tutti perchè non solo vi darà la possibilità di apprendere in modo rapido una nuova routine, ma vi insegnerà un nuovo stack a prova di mago!

Iniziamo proprio dallo stack, prima di leggere come funziona ho provato a caprine la logica guardando la sequenza delle carte. Ovviamente senza successo! La logica è geniale e stupirà anche i maghi più esperti e da sola vale ben più del prezzo di questo ebook. Arrivando alla routine poi, è costruita molto bene ed è di forte impatto, proponendo una versione per i maghi "amatori" e una per quelli più esperti. Già la prima è di forte impatto e se presentata bene consente di stupire tutti. La versione per maghi esperti avvicina invece la performance al livello di "miracolo". Consiglio quindi questà ebook sia a chi è un mago hobbista che a chi è un professionista, sia ai cartomaghi che ai mentalisti.

Piccola nota conclusiva... questo è il terzo ebook di Biagio Fasano che leggo e sono uno meglio dell'altro, se poi unite la sua genialità matematica a quella magica di Felipe, beh, andate sul sicuro! Se avete la possibilità non lasciatevi scappare nessuna delle sue opere!


reviewed by Mattia Bodino Magma
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Monday 14 June, 2021)

S.E.M.P.E.R.SEMPER is a little gem suitable for all magicians, no matter what level of experience you have. Highly recommended to everyone because not only will it give you the opportunity to quickly learn a new routine, but it will teach you a new magician-fooler stack!

Let me start talking about the stack. Before reading how it works I tried to understand the logic by looking at the sequence of the cards. Needles to say, I lost my time! It's magician fooling material! The logic is brilliant and will amaze even the most experienced magicians and it is by itself worth more than the price of this ebook.

Coming to the routine, it is very well built and has a strong impact, proposing a version for "amateur" and one for the more experienced magicians. The first one has already a strong impact and if presented well it can amaze everyone. I will for sure try it the first time I'll have a chance! The version for expert magicians, on the other hand, brings the performance closer to the level of "miracle", but doesn't require a level that is too high. I, therefore, recommend this ebook to both those who are hobbyist magicians and to those who are professionals, both to card magicians and mentalists.

Small final note ... this is the third ebook by Biagio Fasano that I read and they are one better than the other, if you then combine his mathematical genius with Felipe's magical one, well, it's bingo! If you have the chance, don't miss any of their works!

Cup of T

reviewed by Roy Eidem (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★ (Date Added: Tuesday 08 June, 2021)

Cup of TI purchased and read Cup of T. It is the poorest $20 I have spent on magic in decades. I was hoping to find something novel I could use. Tedious pages of definitions of different ways to hold a teacup. I have been doing Cups & Balls and magic for over 50 years. I found nothing I could use. A novice will get a headache if he can endure reading its entirety. I can not recommend this to any of my friends.

Anytime Anyplace Anywhere: with a deck of cards

reviewed by Jonathon Allwood
Rating: ★★★★ (Date Added: Monday 07 June, 2021)

Anytime Anyplace Anywhere: with a deck of cardsThis is a booklet that has so many different types of effects within its pages. You can say each of the effects is one big student's class study that can open up a new level of understanding. Fantastic close-up with cards. At any time anywhere at any place! A lot of super cool friends within the art of magic are now in this fantastic booklet! When you read this book. You will find a new level of understanding and thinking about what you can do with it. Just a deck of cards. The late Aldo Colombini his some collections card effect when you are asked on the spot with the knowledge and skills you learn from others who have helped Aldo to become the master of cards you will find some light classic effects. Some that may have forgotten about but when you start to study them you will see a new way of working each of the effects in different ways that you can never have thought of.

Burn: Surviving Riffle Forces

reviewed by Sarin Suriyakoon (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Friday 04 June, 2021)

Burn: Surviving Riffle ForcesA great resource to look into and tinkering with riffle forces. It's quite fun to play with all the moves that create the same result and see which one you like. The explanation is clear with some illustrations here that I can follow along with(except the first one). You might find 2-3 riffle forces you like in here.


reviewed by Howard Hughes
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Friday 04 June, 2021)

PickpocketLiberally based on the classic Cards Across plot, Mel Mellers has developed this wonderful adaptation using a pickpocket theme. Whilst it can be performed with playing cards, having blank cards with named objects on them (to aid and support the pickpocketing theme) takes this effect out of the realms of a standard card effect and also dispenses with any traditional handling. Here, three items chosen by the spectator are the actual ones that transpose.

As a stand-up routine, with Pickpocket you only need the help of one spectator and there is plenty of room for byplay and laughs, if that’s your thing. Alternatively, of course, it could also be played seriously. If you’re already familiar with Mel’s work then you know the premise here is for the former!

Mel Mellers strives to always have easily understood plots and Pickpocket is no exception. The instructions are clearly written and aided by photos. In his introduction, Mel speaks of how the routine was actually inspired and came about as the result of watching a cruise ship performer having to improvise routines. This observation alone is, in my opinion, worth the price of the pdf in as much that performers should be aware of their audiences, circumstances and be prepared for all eventualities.

This is a wonderful adaptation of a classic plot with absolutely minimal props. Highly recommended - be natural!

Showcase Magic

reviewed by Sarin Suriyakoon (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Thursday 03 June, 2021)

Showcase MagicI have been performing card magic in a casual situation and stage mentalism for a few years and I decided to take time to expand my card magic skill and knowledge. I was curious about Paul's work so I picked this one up to get a feel of his style. It turns out they are good and solid tricks.

But don't expect his material to be easy to do and easy to perform right away. You will have to take a while to go through all the details and explanations and research some basic moves (you don't have to in most cases but still if you are new like me).

Not only the trick but his method, move and patter are useful and versatile as well.

Advanced Card Control Volume 3: Controls

reviewed by Sarin Suriyakoon (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Thursday 03 June, 2021)

Advanced Card Control Volume 3: ControlsAs a beginner, I find this lesson most valuable since it has a lot of good controls and other things as well. As you can see in the list of the moves, the "other things" aren't exactly controls but you will appreciate and use them as much as the controls.

I know the tricks provided here don't sound exciting, but if you watch the "Palming" and "False Deal" lesson, you will be glad you watch this one.

Grand Hotel

reviewed by Sarin Suriyakoon (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Saturday 29 May, 2021)

Grand HotelI have seen the "hotel" plot from Allan Ackerman and was wondering if there is any streamlined or easier/shorter version out there. This one is really good. It shows you how you can do the same effect with different methods and choose the one you like. There is one big trick inside that I can't quite understand how it works and there is no illustration to help me through. The rest are great tricks and easy to understand.


reviewed by Sarin Suriyakoon (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Saturday 29 May, 2021)

Cull-MinationI am a beginner in card magic and trying to move into intermediate rank. I find this ebook very useful especially convincing control and several ways to "control" multiple cards to "top" or "bottom" in a "cull" fashion. There are a lot of tricks explained here that use these moves which help you understand them better. This is almost like a study for one subject. Well researched and organized.

Advanced Card Control Volume 2: False Deals

reviewed by Sarin Suriyakoon (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Saturday 22 May, 2021)

Advanced Card Control Volume 2: False DealsAs a beginner card magician/serious amateur, I find this lesson very helpful to start practising these card sleights. My favourite move would be the push-off bottom deal. It is such a versatile move and has many applications.

Yes, bottom deal is a difficult move but Mr. Allan Ackerman provides you with some advice and tips to help you get started right away.

Advanced Card Control Volume 1: Palming

reviewed by Sarin Suriyakoon (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Wednesday 19 May, 2021)

Advanced Card Control Volume 1: PalmingThis is a very good course on palming and all of the variations. If you would like to expand your knowledge and the possibility of palming and improve your palming quality, this course is the best choice.


reviewed by Arthur Roscha (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Thursday 13 May, 2021)

TeleportThis is so great. I end every Zoomshow with this. For the participants, this effect is the one that is most memorable, thanks Vincent!

Corner of Piccadilly

reviewed by Phillip Dennis (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Tuesday 04 May, 2021)

Corner of PiccadillyBought this soon after I saw it. I've performed it at our magic fellowship and received applause. The kicker ending is really astounding and the method is sweet! Easy to do with standard sleights that intermediate magicians will no doubt have under their fingers. Buy this if you don't have it, you will be pleased I think. I love this effect so much that I have a side hobby of producing my own antique style cards.

Spirit Glass

reviewed by Joe Libby (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Sunday 02 May, 2021)

Spirit GlassThis is a very simple but effective spirit effect. There are no electronics that could possibly go wrong, which is a plus. It would require some amplification to use on stage, but it's ideal for intimate situations and seances. It would work well in conjunction with the spirit slate that Brick explains in another ebook on this site. This is recommended for anyone looking for spirit effects.

Bowled Over

reviewed by Joe Libby (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Sunday 02 May, 2021)

Bowled OverThis is an unusual effect that should surprise and entertain your audience. No sleight of hand is involved; it's all misdirection and handling. If you don't already have the correct rice bowls, you should be able to find them easily on eBay; the ones I got are too small for dollar coins, but they work admirably with half dollars. Recommended especially for any magician looking for something different.


reviewed by Alfred Rivera (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★ (Date Added: Sunday 25 April, 2021)

ESPerienceThe instructions hardly make any sense and are very confusing. I'm glad it was only five bucks! This was a total waste of money. The instructions are very unclear. They do not guide you with clarity. Lybrary should drop this item.

Color Scheme

reviewed by Jack Weigle (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Thursday 22 April, 2021)

Color SchemeOscar Weigle and I share last names but are no close relatives. I was introduced to Oscar through the writing of John Scarne who published his (with another) "Spectator Cuts to the Four Aces." As always, Lybrary makes the gathering of hard-to-find manuscripts and booklets very simple and inexpensive. I love to collect effects that I may present as an illustration of my helper's intuition. Color Scheme is perfect for this.

Fire Lantern

reviewed by Chet Cox (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★ (Date Added: Wednesday 14 April, 2021)

Fire LanternYour own acting ability + presentation will be what makes this work. The description is meticulously accurate: You burn a paper, the flame & ash float up to the ceiling - if you have any draft, it looks pretty eerie. No message can effectively be written on the paper - it wouldn't survive anyway. You will have to use a special type of paper, which Brick tells you under what name it's sold - and I've seen it in most supermarkets. (Does anyone know of a "grocery" anymore?) You'll want to throw away the guts and keep the wrappers. At least I shall, because I don't touch the stuff.

It's not much of an effect for a ten-spot, but the nugget of a plot for your presentation is well worth the $10.

Sleight of Hand Rope Trick

reviewed by Alan Sands (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Tuesday 13 April, 2021)

Sleight of Hand Rope TrickThis was easy to download from a computer - but difficult to navigate from a phone. I am looking forward to reading this as it was one of the only two routines ever published before my father, George Sands, published his two routines, "SandSational Rope" and "RopeSational." The other routine that is older is The Professor's Nightmare, or "three rope routine."

Entropy Dropping

reviewed by Richard Burbage (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Thursday 25 March, 2021)

Entropy DroppingI have been a fan of magic based on mathematical principles for years, especially those that can be easily concealed so there is no obvious connection to math for the spectator to grasp. For that reason, I thoroughly enjoyed learning from "Entropy Dropping". The author has taken a well-worn principle and twisted it into a new direction, or at least is looking at it from a perspective I have not come across before. Although one could certainly perform the effects described as written, it is a breeze for even a slightly creative person to make them their own by changing theme or props. I have had hours of fun dreaming up versions of "Entropy Dropping" effects. They are easy to perform and pack a good punch.

I have been interested in magic as a hobby for over 50 years, and spent a good number of years performing, and have dabbled in running a brick-and-mortar magic shop. I enjoy all styles of magic but have focused on closeup and parlor magic for the most part.


reviewed by Phillip Dennis (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Friday 05 March, 2021)

NumberedI've had this for awhile. It passed the Mrs. test with flying colors. Finally performed it at our magic fellowship to applause! Bravo Cameron! I recommend this!

Miraculous Numbers

reviewed by Michael Lyth
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Thursday 04 March, 2021)

Miraculous NumbersI have an original booklet still in its signed envelope by Peter Wilker 1994. So just reread it after digging it out of my collection of Magic and related books. I purchased mine probably after reading an Abracadabra Issue. It was good to once again read. So many good card effects work well based on mathematical methods. My interest as a youth was inspired by a copy of 1953 MATHeMAGIC by Bearnard M. L. Ernest, with an effect that I well used after making ''The Magic Block'' which was in the 1932 issue of Ripleys Believe it or not. Back to the notes chapter one starts with an effect devised by David Berglas called AD INFINITUM sourced from an early addition of Pabular Magazine which can be performed close up or stage.

Gaukelwerk with Cards

reviewed by Larry Travis (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Monday 01 March, 2021)

Gaukelwerk with CardsThis is an excellent ebook. It would be an understatement to say that it's easily worth the price! Gaukelwerk with Playing Cards is aptly subtitled, “Clocking the Deck and Other Gems.” Let's talk about clocking the deck, and then the other gems.

As a relative newcomer to card magic, I learned only fairly recently about clocking when I read Tap A Lack by Paul Cummins and Diplopia by Paul Vigil. Later I read another method in Power Plays by Mike Powers. There are, of course, other sources and methods, and Dr. Solka provides a brief history and helpful list of resources in Gaukelwerk. At the time of this review, I have not yet investigated those other sources.

For those with ears to hear (eyes to read?), a common method of clocking involves casting out 10s in your first pass through the deck to determine the missing card's value, and then often dealing with ambiguous results in your second pass through the deck to determine the suit. The method in Power Plays eliminates the ambiguities, and seems excellent to me. But my brain does not want to cooperate! I'm sure with plenty of practice I could get accustomed to it.

However, the Mingau Location in Gaukelwerk is the one I will focus on learning. It also eliminates ambiguous results on the first pass, and it comes more naturally to me. I am very happy to have learned it!

The other main method of clocking the deck in this ebook is Dr. Solka's own Solka Location. This is truly excellent. Rather than seeking to eliminate ambiguity in the results of the first pass in order to speed up the second, the Solka Location takes the opposite approach. It accepts greater ambiguity to resolve in the second pass, in exchange for what should be, with practice and experience, a lightning-fast first pass. For those with eyes to read, the first pass involves no casting out, only modifying your running total by 1 or 2 at a time, and being able to ignore a larger number of cards.

I really think the Solka Location should be extremely powerful, if you already know the colour of the missing card (as you often do in clocking scenarios, e.g., Tap A Lack and Diplopia). But the number of ambiguities would become, it seems to me, prohibitively cumbersome if clocking a whole deck to identify a missing card of unknown colour. This is the main reason I have opted to learn Mingau instead. Nevertheless, both methods are great and I enjoyed learning about the Solka Method and the thinking behind it. If your intention is to clock only for a known colour, or if you are willing and able to learn more than one method of clocking, then I strongly recommend the Solka Location.

There is a third clocking method in the ebook, the Wasshuber Method, and also some variations and extra hints for the two main methods. You might say there is a fourth method in the section entitled “Cues for the Professional.”

What “Other Gems” are there in Gaukelwerk? There are two culls and two false shuffles. The Mingau Cull and Landmark Cull are not versatile culls, but have the specific goal of ordering the deck in alternating colours. Personally, I enjoyed toying with these but probably will not be adopting them. I could be wrong, but I think even with lots of practice to build up speed and fluidity, these culls might not withstand much “heat.” This is absolutely no problem if your performance context and style permits, and Dr. Solka briefly lists some tactics for disguising the culls. That is to say, I don't believe these culls are bad; they're just not ideal for my personal style and performance context.

The two false shuffles are really given as a single shuffle, the Hans False Shuffle, and a variation on it, the Barry Ray alternative handling. I don't think it gives away too much to say that the Hans utilises a Hindu grip, and the Ray a Biddle grip.

Initially, I thought I would not use either. However, the more I play with the Barry Ray variant, the more I like it, and I've added it to my toolkit. The Hans False Shuffle (either version) is not what might be called an “explicit” false shuffle. If, hypothetically, you called attention to the shuffle in performance by saying, “Behold, I shall now mix the deck thoroughly!”, then you will have cued the spectator to watch and he might well notice that the cards aren't truly mixed.

It's debatable whether you should do such a thing with any false shuffle! However, the beauty of the Hans False Shuffle is that it is an “implicit” shuffle. You in fact seem to be cutting through the deck only to display a few card faces, showing they are random. In the process, you give the impression that you are mixing the deck even further as you go. Done smoothly and casually, it's quite a convincer. And if a spectator did notice the cards weren't being mixed, there's no harm done, because you haven't even claimed you were mixing them.

I have not had much opportunity yet to test it on live spectators. However, the ones to whom I have shown it are my usual guinea pigs for new tricks and techniques. They are very sharp, very observant, and have come to learn a fair bit about the things I get up to with a deck of cards. In other words, I have grown confident that anything that fools them will fool the average spectator. I found that for all of them, just showing the top card, executing the Ray version of Hans without comment, and doing nothing else, left them surprised when I showed the same card still on top (let alone the entire deck still in the same order).

Gaukelwerk with Playing Cards by Hans-Christian Solka is an excellent ebook and one of my favourite magic purchases. I have two techniques, the Hans False Shuffle (Barry Ray handling) and the Mingau Location, which are going straight into my toolkit for card magic. I think other readers might benefit enormously from the Solka Location and the other gems in the book. Regardless of what I've chosen to use, I found all the content of the ebook interesting and enjoyable to read.

On a personal note, Dr. Solka has also succeeded in giving this reader a fondness for his teacher, “Schorsch.” A young Hans-Christian bribed Herr Mingau with cigars to learn card techniques, and now the experienced Hans-Christian honours him in Gaukelwerk with Playing Cards. On another personal note, Dr. Solka encourages readers to contact him with feedback, and when I did he replied promptly and thoughtfully, which I appreciate dearly.

It's too late to make a long review short. But you would do well to add this ebook to your library!

Displaying 341 to 365 (of 1690 reviews)
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