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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 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.


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.

Propless ACAAN

reviewed by Ernest Hampson (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★ (Date Added: Sunday 21 June, 2020)

Propless ACAANThis sounded too good to be true. It was. I took a shot. What can I say? Method is pretty obvious to spectator imho. I've gotten some good stuff from Lybrary, so an occasional miss isn't going to turn me off.

PRIC: Propless Remote Instant Cartomancy

reviewed by David Burmeister (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Saturday 13 June, 2020)

PRIC: Propless Remote Instant CartomancyTHE UNKNOWN MENTALIST HAS DONE IT AGAIN!!! I believe this is a GREAT effect for anyone interested in creating the illusion of doing a reading. My personal approach since I'm very serious natured is dropping the jokes about dropping the cards etc...however, if you want to make it more lighthearted then use the jokes. I haven't used this yet but I predict that the spectators reactions will be priceless. THE UNKNOWN MENTALIST has created a way to use this basically without memorizing anything and I believe that was unheard of until now. Having said that, I will personally prefer to copying the reading sheet so I can do this one on one with the spectator, hopefully, when we can meet with people after the corona virus is over. Of course, I will have to memorize all the information for the script. The big thing is that this is so versatile on how you want to do this effect you can't loose. The main thing is whether you choose to use this or not...YOU CAN'T LOSE, ESPECIALLY FOR THE VALUE OF THE EFFECT RIGHT NOW! This has my HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION. The UNKNOWN MENTALIST should have charged more for this. Get the effect NOW before it goes up in price.

PRIC: Propless Remote Instant Cartomancy

reviewed by Fred Rosenbaum (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★ (Date Added: Monday 08 June, 2020)

PRIC: Propless Remote Instant CartomancyDisclosure: I just bought this and have just skimmed it. It seems to match up with the description and I am happy so far and look forward to spending some time with it. After that I may add or subtract a star or 2.

The reason for writing is to clarify something to make it easier for you. In this book he references "Deckology Vol 1–Mystic Deck" here on Lybrary. Don't search for that, you won't find it. Just search for "Deckology" and you'll find there are 3 volumes. I assumed these would be expensive and the intent was to use PRIC as a loss-leader. Wrong. All are free. So when you buy PRIC save yourself a little time and pick up these 3 volumes at the same time.

Silent Two-Person Codes Revealed

reviewed by S Wade
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Monday 08 June, 2020)

Silent Two-Person Codes RevealedThe book needs to be proof read before been released, I noticed a few sentences that didn't make sense, until I had read it again and worked out what it should say.

The methods are ok, but I much prefer 'The Touch'.

The Touch is a much better read, easy to learn, and no mistakes in writing (from what I read).

Scripted #16: Zodiac and Mom's Favorite

reviewed by Steven Beckley (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Thursday 04 June, 2020)

Scripted #16: Zodiac and Mom's FavoriteVery Nice ideas. I saw this concept used once in a semi close up routine and really liked it a lot. It's just so devious and sneaky! I don't know why but it never occurred to me that this could be "upsized" to play beautifully for a parlor/cabaret setting for a bigger audience. (head slap) The thing I like most is that the first routine can be customized to pretty much any theme or selections that fit your performance style, it's easy to do, and very fooling. You also have the flexibility to play this any way you like.... Prediction, influence, mind reading... whatever floats your psychic boat. I could see this working really well as a good opener to a mentalism set and as we all know good mentalism openers are difficult to find. Well worth the money!

U. F. Grant's Lost Illusion Secrets Revealed

reviewed by David Nethery (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★ (Date Added: Tuesday 02 June, 2020)

U. F. Grant's Lost Illusion Secrets RevealedI’m an admirer of the creative genius of U.F. Grant, so I was hoping to get more out of viewing the “Missing Files” of “U. F. Grant's Lost Illusion Secrets Revealed”, but I would have to say this PDF is way over-priced for what it is. $5.00 might be a fair price, but $35.00 is too much. The description of this PDF file says:

“Over the years, Grant sold many manuscripts that just contained one illusion along with building plans in most cases. (Some of these were released by Percy Abbott in his catalog without credit to U. F. Grant.) This compilation is a collection of those plans released by Grant and also in the early Abbott Magic catalogs.

Most of these plans are near impossible to find nowadays and most of the ideas and plans will be new to the majority of magicians. The manuscripts have new typeset, corrected errors and added photos.”

Several of the illusions described have no plans or illustrations at all, most have only a few crude sketches that get the basic idea across, but offer little practical guidance on how you would actually build or perform these illusions. Some do have plans with actual dimensions given, but overall the building directions are sparse.

The description -- “The manuscripts have new typeset, corrected errors and added photos” -- gave me the impression that these various old plans and ideas had been substantially edited and updated with the addition of photo illustrations of the illusions, but the “added photos” are simply a few generic stock photos found on the internet:

- On page 18 a stock photo (with the watermarks still visible ... you're supposed to pay the licensing fee if you use stock images) of a girl with a towel wrapped around her for “The Girl in the Shower” illusion, but this stock photo has nothing specifically to do with the Grant illusion, it’s just a cheesecake photo of a pretty girl with a towel around her.

- On page 112 a stock photo of Santa Claus accompanies the “Santa Claus Arrives” illusion, but again this stock photo has nothing to do with illustrating how the illusion would look or how to build it, it’s simply a stock photo of Santa Claus.

- On page 142 there is a photo of a child’s rubber boot, in connection with the “Farmer and the Witch” illusion where it says: “Some performers who are using this illusion have made cloth ‘boots’ to match the costumes, In the event that the audience should get a glimpse of the feet of the children, the shoes will not give the illusion away. Instead of the cloth boots, you could use the cheap plastic boots which are sold for children in the winter time.”

- On page 143 a stock photo of a surgeon and a nurse in surgical masks is printed at the start of the description for “The Doctor and the Nurse Illusion”.

- On page 165 for “The Bunny-Girl Illusion” a stock photo of a girl in a sort of "Playboy Bunny" type of costume grabbed from a Halloween store website. It has nothing to do with the illusion, except the suggestion that “The girl should, of course, be dressed in the popular bunny costume — bunny ears, white collar and cotton tail.”

- On page 167 a photo of the “Girl on Three Swords Illusion”, but it’s simply a photo of the prop as seen by the audience at the start of the illusion, three swords standing upright on a small platform. There is no description or photo of how to make the gimmick.

None of the 6 stock photos included are of any use in helping someone to build or perform the illusions described, so the mention in the description of “added photos” as a selling point is rather misleading.

Beyond Heaven

reviewed by James Floyd
Rating: ★★★★ (Date Added: Tuesday 02 June, 2020)

Beyond HeavenIt's not at all good...a simple method...

EZ Prediction

reviewed by Shawn Fast (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Sunday 31 May, 2020)

EZ PredictionWell I just purchased this and am disappointed. I was hoping the spectator could name any number and I could then count to the force envelope. This was not the case. A count between 10 and 20 is all you get. Not very impressive. It does say any number could be selected but that was not explained.


reviewed by Marvin Kaye (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Wednesday 27 May, 2020)

3SPThis is excellent mentalism at a bargain price. It takes a little easy preparation and no sleights. The spectator mostly handles the three ESP cards. The climax is impressive and looks totally fair.

Marvin Kaye Author, "The Handbook of Mental Magic"

Streamlined Newspaper Prediction

reviewed by Lothar Vogt
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Wednesday 27 May, 2020)

Streamlined Newspaper PredictionIf you want to do this plot, this is the best way! I think, much better than the "Original" from Al Koran! EASY to learn and yes "1" and "16" are also possible.

Displaying 98 to 122 (of 1397 reviews)
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