I was sent a review copy of this so I'll be thorough. I don't know Kyle personally so this is unbiased. This is the kind of trick that can be exposed easily by a detailed review, I'll my best to avoid that.
Its always difficult to write a review about an effect that its either a love-or-hate. The main effect, "Hands Hof!", a version of Hofzinser's Aces performed completely with the spectator(s) handling everything, has a lot of things going for it, and other things that don’t.
Lets get things out of the way first: The ebook isn’t made by Ben Harris so don’t expect high design quality. There are no illustrations/pictures though you won't need them. The author is very young so don’t expect him to be a great writer. The editing ( at the time of this writing ) can be improved though you will understand the description perfectly. There's a link to a performance in case you get lost. The crediting, however, is phenomenal, this is not an encyclopedia of Hofzinser's Lost Aces Problem though its definitely very informative. If you're new to the plot or interested in it, this is an extremely good place to start looking up information.
How good the trick is? The method is extremely simple and you'll hit yourself for not thinking of it. The effect itself is very good and did get very good reactions in my test performances, particularly since you really don't touch the deck at any point and the magic happens completely in their hands. If that sounds like a pipe-dream, keep in mind these limitations: - Its YOUR deck, with a small setup. - You have to introduce an ace-packet that you setup in advance ( takes less than 5 seconds if you have the needed ungaffed cards, put it in your wallet/pocket and you're set ). You can't use the aces from the deck.
If you decide to carry the ace-packet( in your wallet/pocket ), the setup in the deck itself is so minimal it can be achieved quickly. The effect itself is a variation of the Hofzinser plot, I don’t think I can go through it since its can be backtracked easily by magicians even by description alone. Yes, its far from a magician fooler though it plays very well for laymen. A nice thing about it is you won't have any problems doing it strolling. Only one common sleight is needed. You do end a liiiiiittle bit dirty though you don’t need to worry about. There is a clean up idea offered that adds a second phase ( discussed later ) though I'd ignore it. Its worth mentioning that if you manage to recollect the original contents of the ace-packet nonchalantly after the trick and place it in your pocket, you're clean AND you're reset for another table, leaving you with a clean normal deck ready for your next trick. You can't repeat the effect to the same spectators. The method is very simple and VERY economical, you get a very big effect for SO little effort, and that's where "Hands Hof!" really shine.
That’s it for the main trick. Now for the other ideas.
David Gemmell offers 2 variations. Both minimize the cards needed for the initial setup of the ace-packet though each at a cost. The first variation has a convoluted selection procedure. In the second the final effect is different: the ace ( say hearts ) changes places with the mate of the selection (a diamond ).
A 2nd phase idea by Ray Noble let you finish clean up and change the selection back to the ace. Its not good with no justified actions, and you only end clean if you prepare the ace packet from the deck you're performing with, otherwise you're going to end up with 4 aces ( which you're supposed to to put back in your wallet ) and a deck with 3 aces only. Its obvious he didn't work it, Skip it.
You also get 2 bonus Hofzinser variations taken from Kyle's other ebooks, both of them use 3 selections instead of one. Both are different and somewhat offbeat in terms of plot variation, and while the patter isn’t for everyone I do find them interesting. Both have a climax that I think doesn’t flow with the plot (though the cheesy patter somewhat justifies it): a back changes color or a card to box. Some people might like it especially if they managed to streamline the handling.
In a nutshell-
Get this if: - You don’t mind carrying a packet of 4 cards in your wallet/pocket. - Want a very good, extremely easy hands off version of Hofzinser's Aces. - Appreciate extremely simple methods leading to huge outcomes. - Have no problems knocking your head on the wall for not thinking of it. - Open minded to variations in the plot.
Don't get this if: - You're obsessed with good editing. - Want to do a version with the aces in your working deck ( e.g. producing them beforehand) - Don’t want to spend the pocket space of carrying a packet. - Want to fool magicians
Oh, and its just 5 bucks. 4 stars.
A fantastic book which put across the importance of storytelling and adding meaning to your performances. Steven writes clearly and dispenses little gems of advice that have quite clearly come from a veteran working performer.
I love your book. A refreshing work on creativity. I hope every magician reads it. I am more than happy to offer this through my website.
Not a "flashy" video by any means, but you'll get what you purchased!
This is an extremely clever little count....it really is. My complaint isn't really with the count itself, but it's how so many of these Ackerman segments have been sliced up here at the Lybrary. Granted, you can buy a big ole' video here if you want to spend the $$.....but these little segments are so brief it creates a disjointed experience. Just when you start to get "into" the video....it's over! Again, they're cheap..........and you can "buy" a whole bunch of them in tiny slices, or a big one for a pretty healthy chunk of change or just one if that's all you want.....but I just don't think I'm going to buy any video here again that runs for less than about 3 minutes in total....it's just a mental thing, that's all.
Mind Index is probably the most practical and comprehensive eBook on billets (short of SwitchCraft) that I have ever read. I have no other words to say other then pick this up if you don't already have it.
This Ebook contains nine different effects and two utility items. Most of the magic centers around cards, coins and ESP symbols. John does a fantastic job of describing each effect and then teaching the workings. Mr. Holt has taken the time to properly credit the effects contained within The First Eleven. Each of the magic effects you learn, will spark your creative juices to make these routines fit your own unique style. The First Eleven is for students that have intermediate skills and can help you add some magnificent magic to your repertoire. I can honestly say, that I am looking forward to future releases from John. I give John's Ebook my highest recommendation.
Best Magical Regards,
While this is not a single effect that encompasses all senses as I had originally thought, this is still a worthy collection of useful effects. Some of the principles include things that I've known about, but never seen applied to mentalism before. I'm quite sure that I will be incorporating at least some of these into an act soon.
I bought this video not because of the tricks, but to see how a professional magician would present them, what patter he would use to make such tricks -- which often are obviously self-working and not too exciting due to the counting, spelling, and back and forth dealing involved -- more entertaining and less obvious.
Unfortunately, Mr. Colombini just explains the tricks, he doesn't perform them. In some cases the trick is so simple and automatic that he basically just goes through it twice, saying in words what his hands are doing. A bit redundant. He says at the start that this DVD is a visual book. But given that self-working tricks are not hard to follow from the written page, there is not much added value in having them filmed. I was expecting to watch what is usually not written in self-working trick books: the script.
On hindsight, I should have bought instead Mr. Colombini's Simply Impromp2 book: not only does it contain 10 times (!) more tricks for the same price, it also includes 5 of the tricks shown in this video.
I had an idea how the effect was done but when reading it I saw that another known method was applied and I had an: "Why haven't I thought of that before!" moment; having been in my act in another shape before. This is definitely something that I will add to an act at some point in a different shape.
This is an awesome piece of card magic! I really like the overall idea and its construction which is beautifully thought out! This is immediately added into my current working repertoire. Highly recommended!
The greatest writers in magic got together and appeared in one magazine - and this is it! One cannot begin to list and describe the advice, the history, and the effects that Gibson showcased within this magazine in just one year. From the controversial Houdini attack on Robert-Houdin to secrets and advice of and from Hardeen, Blackstone, Cardini, and others of whom you just might have heard. 703 pages of the best in magic, reviews of magic, reviews of books and performances, history (including history-as-it-was-happening), and much - MUCH more! As soon as I finish reading and using all this material, I'm getting the next volume. And the next!
As said, this is one beautiful book! Delightsome for browsing, meticulous research, or for finding that one specific way to perform the Rising Card(s) under specific conditions. The detail is remarkable and if it seems repetitive at times, it's because there are so MANY methods discussed. Highly recommended!
*jeep! --Grandpa Chet
What a beautiful book! I could (and have) spend/spent an evening just looking at the wonderful posters, woodcuts, and drawings. The text isn't as in-depth as I would like, but there's enough to encourage the reader to research deeper. Like a great magic act, this book leaves its audience wanting more - and I would be very excited if there were a sequel, or something which expands at least two of the chapters. (The chapters on posters and comics.)
*jeep! --Grandpa Chet
Probably the Greatest Card Trick in the World -- Check!
Possibly the Greatest Mentalism Effect in the World -- Check!
Only $4.00 for more than $100,000 worth of use you'll get out of it -- Check.
One of the most charming audioplays in existence, and a tour de force for Andrews, it leaves one with a feeling of actually having attended a few Dante shows. It also leaves one with a hunger for more Dante! This is a one-man play with wings!
"A remarkable man" is how he's often described, and it fits. This audio documentary/biography is almost as entertaining as a Canasta show. With only voice, Canasta's powerful presentation and audience manipulation comes through. If this doesn't improve your own performance, if this doesn't inspire you to use creative (and controlled) boldness, you need to listen to it again. And again.
Priced a bit higher than other audio files, it is still one of the best values in magic.
My Titanic deck has served me well. They can look for marks forever, you can shuffle the deck; they will never discover the secret. Effects are a little more limited than with a normal marked deck, and they can't choose a card as freely, but its well worth it.
Daniel's Oil and Water effect is quite unique. Daniel discusses many phases of his Oil and Water routine which can be added or subtracted, as you wish. Daniel also takes meticulous care to cite references and credits others, which led him to develop his routine. I can tell you that Daniel has included photos in his written explanation which help the reader visualize checkpoints, throughout the routine. Let me assure you this, Daniel's Oil and Water effect uses some of the most visually stunning sequences I have seen in this type of routine. This will wow an audience!!
Best Magical Regards, Mark Williams
The book is almost as delightful as seeing the show in person and only more satisfying in its granting you his patter and effects to remind you of the magic.
An excellent addition to your Bizarre Magic library. I highly recommend this as a personal read and as a gift for anyone interested in the art of Bizarre Magical performance.
Y'know.....for 3 bucks......whaddya gonna do? You get 4 separate MP3's........each appropriate for playing as a "closer". For the money, I'm happy with it/them. Some of the vocal stuff, though, I dunno...........I wish I could chop the word count (on each) down by about half.......and just mostly music. I'm not upset, I'm just not thrilled with this product.
The 'info' in this book can be summed up as 'Get some index cards and keep phoning around'.
Sorry, but this definately is one to avoid.
I've used this book for many years as a source for historical information on the cups and balls. Its value regarding this would be difficult to overestimate. However, the original edition was limited to fewer than 1000 copies, and it is now very difficult to find.
Chris has done magicians a real service by putting this version of Kurt Volkman's book on the market.
It covers graphical depictions of the cups and balls from the 15th and 16th century. When Volkmann wrote the original book, there was very, very little that predated these illustrations. In fact, it has only been in very recent years, through the efforts of Bob Read and Volker Huber that any earlier ones have been unearthed.
If you are a cups and balls aficionado and you want to know more about the history of this ancient piece of magic, you really should treat yourself to this book.
This will not only take a person from beginner to professional, but will improve the act of any professional who studies it. Bob Cassidy calls it the best introduction to mentalism, and I daresay one could say that about any of the genres the book covers.
Don't forget to pick up the book ABOUT June Mussey (Hays) -- his real life was just as magical as his wizardry.
We need a rating better than "Good" for this book.