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The Emerald Mystery

reviewed by Robert Davison
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Saturday 18 July, 2020)

The Emerald MysteryCome on guys - be up front with your descriptions. This trick requires a 13 card setup from a second deck and a 13 card setup from the deck to be used. Way more involved than the description implies. This is why I always hesitate to buy written tricks like this. Also, the trick is only 8 pages, the rest is advertising.


Numbered

reviewed by Chris Fogarty (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Wednesday 15 July, 2020)

NumberedThe principle is one of those tools that because of its simplicity it can be applied in very creative ways to many different things which allows you to focus on the patter, comedy, intensity, (whatever your style) rather than worrying about if the trick is going to impress. The effect is impressive by itself. Write some good jokes to go with it and viola! A solid routine for an opener, mid show, even a closer if you build it up the right way.

$8 well worth it.

Thank you, Cameron Francis


Numbered

reviewed by Craig Daniel (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Wednesday 15 July, 2020)

NumberedBrilliant! Brilliant! Brilliant! Easy, simple, effective, direct! ... Did I mention I thought it was BRILLIANT? I have bought less impressive tricks for much more. Buy it!


Bammo Aces

reviewed by Yuki Kadoya (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Saturday 11 July, 2020)

Bammo AcesI really love both routines! Well-constructed and looks really wonderful. And I also love the 4 aces production with HALO Cut and Pirandello False Cut. Deceptive and easy! I believe this manuscript is a bargain!


The Bammo Tarodiction Toolbox

reviewed by Michael Close
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Friday 10 July, 2020)

The Bammo Tarodiction ToolboxDon’t let Bob Farmer’s ad for The Bammo Tarodiction Toolbox deter you from purchasing it. The only things “satanic” about the contents of TBBT are the devilishly clever ideas contained therein. In his Introduction to the manuscript, Bob sums up the contents this way: “There are three parts to this manuscript. In the first part, I explain a system for sorting groups of cards that does not require any understanding of the math involved – follow the directions and it just works. In the second section, for those who are interested, I have explained the underlying science: understanding this section will allow you to come up with your own effects. This section also includes the fastest method available for stacking decks into any order. The third section is a bonus: the long unavailable Tsunami manuscript, along with some related material. Its gambling theme fits in here nicely.”

I’ll elaborate on what Bob said in just a moment, but first I need to correct an error in the above paragraph: the claim that: “This section also includes the fastest method available for stacking decks into any order.” It turns out that after the manuscript was published, Bob discovered an even faster way to sort a deck into a prearranged order. This information is included in an Addendum that comes with The Bammo Tarodiction Toolbox. Using this updated method, I was able to go from a shuffled deck to Aronson-stack order in two minutes flat. (And this was on my first attempt. With practice and familiarity, I’m sure I could shave thirty seconds off that.)

So here’s what’s going on: Bob has devised a method of quickly sorting cards into a previously prearranged order. He has also devised a way to convey this procedural information to you (the performer) in a way that is not apparent to your spectators. He has also devised several good tricks to demonstrate the power of this system. The first of these involves two fifteen-card piles. The spectator shuffles both piles and chooses one. He then mirrors the magician’s actions as he deals out the cards three times. The spectator’s cards end up in a random order; the magician has three, sequentially ordered, exceptional poker hands (at the odds of over a trillion to one against). This basic effect is then expanded to include an astonishing prediction. Variations with ESP cards and a Tarot deck follow.

The second section of The Bammo Tarodiction Toolbox covers the math behind the sorting procedure. By understanding how the sort works, you can apply the procedure to any result you want to accomplish. Those of you who do memdeck work will appreciate that Bob has worked out the sorting procedure for the Aronson stack, the Tamariz stack, and Si Stebbins order. Having this information coded on the cards will allow you to reset your stack quickly (see my comment above).

The third section of The Bammo Tarodiction Toolbox is a reprint of one of Bob’s greatest effects, Tsunami. This trick was universally praised when it was released in the late 1980s, and rightly so. It is a remarkable demonstration of mind reading with a poker-related surprise kicker. As is the case with every effect he releases, Bob has worked out every detail, giving you variations to fit every performing situation. I learned and often performed the impromptu version of Tsunami when it first came out. I had forgotten how great the original method (using a stacked deck) was. This trick is worth the price of admission all by itself.

You should know that you’ll have to do some prep work before you can perform any of these effects; part of this prep work involves tracking down the necessary “tools.” Bob gives complete details on what supplies you’ll need and where to purchase them. None of the effects in the manuscript requires any sleight-of-hand ability.

If you do memdeck work, The Bammo Tarodiction Toolbox is a must-have. Fans of Bob’s previous efforts and those who enjoy ingenious, semi-automatic card effects will also want to pick this up. But for me, the main selling point of The Bammo Tarodiction Toolbox is that it is only the tip of the iceberg of what is possible using the sorting technique explained. I have had several long conversations with Bob about ways to utilize his discovery and further developments I’d like to see implemented, and he is enthusiastic about pursuing those ideas.

Bob has not stopped thinking about the principle explained in TBBT and has already released four addenda that contain more effects and ideas. Unless he plans to release a second edition, I predict that TBBT will be the first manuscript in the history magic to have more pages of addenda than pages in the original text.

Trust me; you want to get on the TBBT train right now. The ideas explained are as clever as anything I’ve seen lately. You’ll fool everybody, including yourself.


The Bammo Tarodiction Toolbox

reviewed by Rolando Santos
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Friday 10 July, 2020)

The Bammo Tarodiction ToolboxReview from Linking Ring, March 2018:

After reading The Bammo Tarodiction Toolbox, I am convinced that former Magic Magazine columnist Bob Farmer has a math degree hidden somewhere in his wall, even though he says he flunked math in school. Less than a year after publishing the exhaustively researched Bammo Ten Card Deal Dossier, Farmer has put out another brilliant work that delves into a mathematical card sorting system seldom used in magic. With the Tarodiction Tool Box, you can secretly arrange cards in front of spectators and stack cards in Tamariz, Aronson, and Si Stebbins order in less than two minutes. It works with a specific tarot deck or any regular deck once you code it. The system is easy to see and understand.

Farmer painstakingly thought through the math so we don’t have to, and includes an entire section for math mavens who are interested, along with fifteen effects. However, you don’t have to understand the math to do the magic. The effects all include some counting, but the plots Farmer includes are structured so it doesn’t feel like it.

The manuscript also includes a hard to find, gambling routine called “Tsunami.” According to Farmer, “Tsunami” is “Variations of a single effect combined for a full performance. A card is selected and located, but there is gambling, mentalism, and some hustles along the way.” You bet the spectator one hundred dollars that you can discover his mentally selected card. Initially you lose, but eventually, you are able to win all the money back.

Bammo Tarodiction Toolbox also has one of the few excellent bizarre magic presentations I have seen written up in a general magic booklet. The premise for that trick is the prediction that famous occultist Aleister Crowley wrote the night he died is finally going to be explained using tarot cards.

Tarodiction Toolbox requires more than a little preparation. Most of what you need can be found in high-end art supply stores or online at Amazon. Don’t be put off by the prep work; the deck will last for years once you create it. Don’t let the math scare you off, either. Don’t worry about the why just follow the method laid out. Serious card workers and the math experts of the magic world will have a field day with the concepts. For the rest of us, this is something we can use to fool our fellow magicians as well as our audiences.

Highly recommended.


The Bammo Tarodiction Toolbox

reviewed by Jon Lovick
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Friday 10 July, 2020)

The Bammo Tarodiction ToolboxReview from Genii:

Bob Farmer is one of those singular figures in the world of magic, whose brain doesn’t work like anyone else’s. A lawyer by trade, he is not a performer, but is a very interesting creator. He’s been marketing and publishing his unique creations for decades (always accompanied by amusing and confusing ad campaigns). Some of his creations that you might be familiar with include “Headhunter,” “Mutanz,” and “Deja VooDoo.” You likely know him as a long-time columnist in MAGIC magazine and the author of The Bammo Ten Card Deal Dossier.

What has Farmer unleashed on the magic world this time? In The Bammo Tarodiction Toolbox Farmer explores a mathematical system for sorting cards and he has found entertaining ways to exploit this system. The system relies on a ternary (or trinary) number system. What is that you ask? You’re familiar with binary systems, surely; think of ternary systems as the same thing, except there are three digits, instead of two. The second section of the book explains the mathematics involved, but the good news is you don’t need to understand the math in order to do the tricks. You merely need to follow the necessary procedures.

What sort of procedures? Well… (I know this is going to sound dull, but trust me, the tricks that it makes possible are fun, entertaining, and deceptive.) Imagine you have a deck of cards, each of which is marked with (specific, not random) variations of “center, right, left.” If you were to thoroughly shuffle the deck and then deal through the cards, placing each into the pile indicated by the first word, then gather up the cards, then dealing each into the pile indicated by the second word, then gather them up and dealing and gathering a third time, the entire deck would be in a specific order, such as new deck order or Mnemonica. Obviously, dealing through fifty-two cards three times is not something an audience will want to sit through, but the principle can be exploited for smaller groups of cards, and all the tricks in this book use fifteen cards or fewer, keeping dealing time to a minimum.

The challenge with using this system as a method is justifying the dealing and/or making it entertaining. Well, that’s where having a brain like Farmer’s comes in handy; he is nothing if not entertaining.

The tricks include one where you teach a spectator how to cheat at cards, a couple gambling-themed tricks that are reminiscent of “Sympathetic Cards,” some interesting effects involving ESP cards, and a wonderful, elaborate routine using Tarot cards. The manuscript I was originally given for review was 99 pages long, but in the short time since, Farmer has come up with so many new effects that there are addenda, and the book now comes in at 146 pages. The addenda include some really interesting new tricks, ideas, and variations, including a fantastic routine, inspired by “The Tantalizer,” which has long been one of my favorite tricks.

Also included in the manuscript is a reprint of “Tsunami,” a long unavailable gambling manuscript that was, as Farmer says, “universally praised by those who praise universally.” I remember Michael Weber frying me with this at a magic convention many years ago. This is welcome addition to the manuscript, an underrated trick, and I’m glad to finally have a copy of it.

The ternary principle explained here is very interesting and Farmer explains many variations. I’m sure it will continue to inspire a lot of new applications. Serious card men (and math nerds) are going to have fun with this Toolbox.


Deckless Divination

reviewed by Karsten Meyerhoff (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Thursday 09 July, 2020)

Deckless DivinationFirst of all, it needs to be said that all the claims made (no stooges, no peeks, ...) are true. Well, the playing card is not entirely freely thought of, but that doesn't take away too much. Other than that, the effect really plays out the way it is described, it is self-working and at 6$ - and even more at 3$, which is the special intro price I paid - you can't go wrong. You get an effect that requires nothing but a double-blank card - business card or otherwise - and you get an effect that should play very well.

There is one thing, though, that I think needs to be mentioned: The way the effect is described, it only works in the English language. If you want to adapt it to another language - German in my case - that is certainly possible, but needs some tweaking, tweaking that some crossword-solving-help-websites (if that is a name at all ...) can help you with. And while you are at it, fiddling around with words, you discover that there are a lot of other possibilities for word-play - so, that may even be an advantage ...


Deckless Divination

reviewed by Craig Daniel (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Wednesday 08 July, 2020)

Deckless DivinationSimple, straightforward, easy to do with a nice effect on the spectator. Well worth it. Also, a possible use for the new Tyvek Himber Envelope if you choose to head that route.


Gaukelwerk with Cards

reviewed by Tony Bianco (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Monday 06 July, 2020)

Gaukelwerk with CardsI have only read the first chapter so far and already I would say get this. Worth much more than the asking price. If you always wanted to learn how to clock a deck, this is the book for you. Get this and you won't be disappointed. Like I said I have only read the first chapter and I would recommend this highly. Can't wait to read the rest of what's inside.


The True Secret of Mind Reading as Performed by the Zancigs

reviewed by Giovanni Iuliani (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Friday 03 July, 2020)

The True Secret of Mind Reading as Performed by the ZancigsThe system is based on knowing your A-B-C. Lacking is the phraseology that supports each cue. As an example, I don't think that the person holding an item retrieved from a spectator, would say: "Here tell ..." Five dollars. There is a hint on page 13 concerning a nickel.

Here, please, what is this? - Nickel.

This means that the one who asks the questions must compose a phrase in which he incorporates the secret word(s). Consequently, a complete transcript of a performance would reveal much more then just a basic code for communicating between two person.


The Fine Art of Magic, 2nd Edition

reviewed by Marc DeSouza (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Friday 26 June, 2020)

The Fine Art of Magic, 2nd EditionThis review was first published in MUM July 2020:

The Fine Art of Magic is a true classic among magic books. Originally published by Fleming Books in 1948, it has remained a seminal text for generations of magicians. Although Jean Hugard is credited as editor of the first edition, he truly was the author, putting Kaplan's work to print. So many magicians have been inspired by this book, no less than Juan Tamariz, who penned the preface to this new edition.

I was pleased to take this opportunity to reread this book and was amazed to see how many now-classic effects are taught within. I also looked at the original side by side with this new edition to see what has changed. My friend Warren Kaps has done yeoman service in not only bringing the original back into print, but in adding much in the way of new and updated information. Many will long for the look of the original, but Lybrary has done a fine job of producing a very clear and clean layout that is easy to read. In addition, a bolder, clearer font is used. The original Frances Rigney illustrations are still here, but are augmented by additional illustrations by Tony Dunn that capture the same feel of the originals.

Reading Kaps' forward to the Second Edition lays out not only his goals, but much about the original edition. Rather than focusing on each chapter's contents and revisions, let me make an overall statement that applies to everything in this book. By using Chapter One on the corner short as an example, one can see how much has been added or revised for modern day techniques and advancements. The new title is "Corner-Short and Breather," making the case for the new editor's preference for what was really arcane knowledge of the day of the first edition, but is now a well-known tool. Kaps gives an analysis of why he prefers the newer technique. Throughout the book there are additional credits and references to newer sources for additional information on the effects and subjects noted. There are several new effects and added commentary, along with newer, better handlings for previous entries. I might add that these references are by no means voluminous and are generally acknowledging a limited grouping of more well known published works of recent vintage.

There is also a new chapter added titled "Amusement Area" that contains a number of stunts and bar bet type novelties. In Chapter Twelve, "Concluding Observations," Kaps appends a number of his own to Kaplan’s original entries. I would have preferred that he notate which were his comments versus the originals, but that is a small criticism. All in all, both of these gentlemen have provided excellent commentary.

I would be remiss if I did not at least provide a list of some of my favorites from the book. Will O' The Wisp is a fine Cards Through Newspaper assembly, later popularized by Albert Goshman. The Stop Fan Discovery is a superb forcing tool that is still in use by many. The Giant Trio Flight is a stand-up version of Cards Across using jumbo cards and envelopes that might enjoy renewed interest, along with a great handling for Card in Balloon. The Spirit Slates and Magazine Test is a favorite of Tamariz that also deserves more consideration. The Stack of Quarters has a great handling and one I use frequently. There is a superb copper/ silver handling of Sympathetic Coins. Kaplan’s routine for the Brema Bill Tube may well have you scouring your drawer for your set. For anyone considering The Bill in Lemon, you should certainly read and absorb the wonderful details provided in this book. Finally, my favorite of this tome is certainly The Gypsy Thread. Despite numerous variations, this remains the seminal work on this effect and there are details provided here that have been forgotten. It has been a constant in my own performing repertoire for over forty years.

This book has been out of print for many years and has commanded high prices on the secondary market. This is not just for its collectible nature, but that it is a wonderful resource on great, performable magic. The fact that it has been reprinted would be beneficial enough, but Warren Kaps and Lybrary.com have gone far beyond that goal. This edition deserves to stand right next to the original on its own as a new classic. Highly recommended.


The Jastrow Illusion in Magic

reviewed by Larry Brodahl (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Friday 26 June, 2020)

The Jastrow Illusion in MagicA pretty good read. Has a lot of history and research that I didn't know about the 'boomerangs'.


It Must Be Mindreading

reviewed by Alexander Wolf (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Thursday 25 June, 2020)

It Must Be MindreadingThis is a very very interesting read. Amazingly good ideas. The thinking of George B. Anderson is interesting. This book I will read often.


Artful Mentalism: Three Secrets

reviewed by Alexander Wolf (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Thursday 25 June, 2020)

Artful Mentalism: Three SecretsI love to listen to Weber and Cassidy. And if you think you only get three secrets.... you get very much more than that. Just Enjoy.


Laboratory Conditions

reviewed by Alexander Wolf (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Thursday 25 June, 2020)

Laboratory ConditionsI love this method. Its so good. I don't want anyone to buy this because its so great.


The Mastermind Papers

reviewed by Alexander Wolf (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Thursday 25 June, 2020)

The Mastermind PapersBillet Work, impromptu mentalism, and behind this is the mind of Bob Cassidy. I don't have to say much more.


Behind the Scenes with the Mediums

reviewed by Alexander Wolf (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Thursday 25 June, 2020)

Behind the Scenes with the MediumsHere you can learn much about the true works of the mediums. Very interesting and amazing book.


Psycho Gizmo

reviewed by Alexander Wolf (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Thursday 25 June, 2020)

Psycho GizmoThis is great. I really enjoy to read this. There are great ideas you can use. The important part is that you use your imagination how you could do the things written yourself. Sometimes we read these old magazines and books and right away discard it. Just use your imagination. I found so many things that where very interesting.


Mind and Magic Magazine

reviewed by Alexander Wolf (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★ (Date Added: Thursday 25 June, 2020)

Mind and Magic MagazineThis is very worth having. It is practical and interesting. A magazine without much card work.


Mentalism Masterclass 4: billets

reviewed by Alexander Wolf (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Thursday 25 June, 2020)

Mentalism Masterclass 4: billetsIts an okay read. I feel that there are better books on Billet Work. But you find interesting bits in here like psychology and good thinking on the way to reveal information.


Stunners! Plus! Two Decades of Mental Magic

reviewed by Alexander Wolf (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Thursday 25 June, 2020)

Stunners! Plus! Two Decades of Mental MagicThis is creative thinking plus. A beautiful written book about this man's life and his way of thinking. Every Mentalist should read this.


The Bold and Subtle Miracles of Dr. Faust

reviewed by Alexander Wolf (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Thursday 25 June, 2020)

The Bold and Subtle Miracles of Dr. FaustAs a Mentalist I feel that you must read this. Its David Hoy. His book test is originally written up here. Find out about him and the way he thinks and why his book test is so great.


Jinx

reviewed by Alexander Wolf (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Thursday 25 June, 2020)

JinxThis is full of great ideas. I love it.


Golf Ball in Glass

reviewed by William Freeman (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Thursday 25 June, 2020)

Golf Ball in GlassI can’t get consistent enough. 1 success in 5 attempts. The technique is undoubtedly valid but I can’t master it. I make impossible bottles and hoped to add this. I’m a wedding Celebrant and toastmaster and these would make a unique gift to golfing couples. I’ll look to buy instead. Pity.

Displaying 56 to 80 (of 1405 reviews)
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