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Floating Light Bulb

reviewed by Sam Weiss
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Saturday 18 April, 2009)

Floating Light BulbI really love Grants method for the floating lightbulb. It is simple, precise, beautiful, and simple to accomplish. As the manuscript says you can in fact very easily do this close-up for people. Even though the description of this effect says it is only for stage the original manuscript's claim is right. I would definitely recommend this to any magician... wait no I take that back I want it all for myself!

1,000,000/5 stars!!!


Understanding 1NT Forcing

reviewed by R Pappas
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Tuesday 24 March, 2009)

Understanding 1NT ForcingThis was the most helpful book in understanding forcing 1NT that I found while I was learning 2 over 1. I highly recommend it.


The Linker

reviewed by Nicholas Cheropovich
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Monday 23 March, 2009)

The LinkerThis is the way linking rings (cards) would look if the magic were real. I've provided a more complete review on the Magic Cafe when this first came out, and I still believe it can't get any more visual than this. It is exactly the way it appears in the video.


A Masterclass in Comedy Vol. 1

reviewed by Joe Libby (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Sunday 22 March, 2009)

A Masterclass in Comedy Vol. 1If you are interested in adding more comedy to your act, or just want to make your presentations your own, this recording and its sequel are must-haves. There are several books and courses available right now about comedy magic and writing comedy, and they may be very good indeed. But for $18.00 you can have approximately two hours of Terry Seabrooke's tips, pointers, and routines at your disposal. A great value.


Liquid Signature

reviewed by
Rating: ★★★★ (Date Added: Sunday 22 March, 2009)

Liquid SignatureOk, I admit the demo made me order this "routine". The demo looks great but all video demos look great; don't they? I always look at these things from a spectators point of view so it looks great from the demo.

The reason I say "routine" because you are paying for the routine, idea, concept and the handling that you see on the demo. There is nothing earth shattering here and I suspect that you if you saw the whole "routine" that you would think twice about ordering. But, with that said...I still give this a good mark...read on....

I am please with this download because of the detail and video instruction covered. Also in reading the download you have an idea/concept that is thought provoking to the point that you will come up with potentially your own idea and/or handlings of this routine.

The practicality of this routine for workers is good, but probably even better for the hobbiest.

For the price it is not bad, but if you get the transfer as seen in the video you have potentially a strong effect on your hands.


Simplicity Bridge

reviewed by Steve Bruno
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Tuesday 03 March, 2009)

Simplicity BridgeIf bridge is going to survive as a recreational activity, it will be saved by Chris Hasney and visionaries like him. Chris successfully teaches someone who literally does not know the difference between a spade and a heart how to play winning bridge in one hundred sixty-three pages. He uses language a non-bridge player can understand. He instills a sense of fun into the entire process by using terms such as "Monster Mash" to describe hands with freak distribution. He lists and elaborates on almost every element of bidding, declarer play and defense that a new player will need to master in order to be successful and does so efficiently and with flair. Not only that, but, at the end of each chapter, he suggests a bibliography which is divided by tiers of difficulty and sophistication.

Chris' target audience is the non-bridge player who wants to learn how to play bridge. This hypothetical player could be young or old. He could have interest in tournament play or his interest could be limited to home or club play. Chris is not trying to save tournament duplicate bridge. He is attempting to save the game of bridge itself, without the trappings of master points or trophies.

This no-nonsense and simplistic (hence the name) approach to teaching the game is just what the doctor ordered. But don't think Chris' discussions of vital subjects such as slam bidding, defensive carding and declarer plays such as squeezes are cursory. Although they may not be able to immediately completely comprehend them, he is able to delve into the finer points of the game in a way that enables novices to appreciate their beauty and availability.

I'm not greatly familiar with e-books and their format, but Simplicity Bridge could have been aided by improved graphics. Chris uses several tables which help explain concepts, but they are somewhat stark and geeky at times.

If your life depended on teaching someone how to be a good bridge player within a limited amount of time, Chris Hasney's Simplicity Bridge would be your magic bullet.


Ventriloquist Scripts for Dummies

reviewed by Joseph Motta (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★ (Date Added: Monday 02 March, 2009)

Ventriloquist Scripts for DummiesThe scripts are written for a particular type of puppet such as a cow or chicken and not adaptable to other characters. The jokes are not very funny. A ventriloquist would be better off in finding a good joke book and working the jokes into a routine.


Mind Blasters

reviewed by Derek Renfro (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Saturday 21 February, 2009)

Mind BlastersI very rarely offer reviews on a product or book as I very rarely find something that delivers more than my money's worth. However, Mind Blasters is definitely in the category of "more than your money's worth". I found several items which I feel are each worth at least the price of the e-book . Many of these items could be sold individually for the cost of the whole collection. Some examples: AAA Serial Number Divination, Back to the Future, Still Battling Along, Con-Flatulation, just to name a few.

After almost 30 years of mentalism and magic I am quite critical when an item sounds too good to be true. None of the items in this collection fit that category. Although not all of the items fit my performance style, there is enough material here which I will use, that I feel as though I got the better end of the deal!!


Madness Volume 1

reviewed by Dennis Thompson
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Thursday 12 February, 2009)

Madness Volume 1Nice ambigram in the title graphic. Flip it over and it is still madness.


The Master of Misdirection

reviewed by Christophe Bonnard
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Tuesday 27 January, 2009)

The Master of MisdirectionThis book is GREAT.


Contemplations

reviewed by McAig
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Thursday 01 January, 2009)

ContemplationsA very interesting ebook, a mixture of mentalist effects, dodges / subtleties to enhance various effects (Sean mentions the effects that he 'adds' them on to, but they are also things you can take and make applicable to your own work), and essays. This gains more depth on each read-through, and the contents overall have lots to commend them. The effects are very good ('Beyond Touch' is particularly impressive in my opinion, but it is by no means the only good one), the mechanisms are well thought out and not hard technically, everything is explained well. The style of writing is fluid and clear. Bought at the end of the 2008, it is definitely one of the best things I bought all year. A really good read, and lots of thought-provoking ideas.


Nu Way Out Of This World

reviewed by McAig
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Sunday 07 December, 2008)

Nu Way Out Of This WorldIf you don't know OOTW, this is a great (not to mention great value) version and well worth getting. If you already are well aware of the basic trick and the many variants around, this is still excellent.


George Blake: The Conjuring Ventriloquist

reviewed by Joe Libby (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Wednesday 26 November, 2008)

George Blake: The Conjuring VentriloquistAs one who also performs ventriloquism and magic, I found this recording a delightful memoir. Mr. Blake does not teach any vent here, but he does share some good tricks and performance tips. He also has some great stories about his performing days. Recommended.


PK Revolution

reviewed by Carlos Negron (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Thursday 13 November, 2008)

PK RevolutionFor the price you might find something to add to your repertoire, but if you are already familiar how PK works there is nothing new here.


The MagiCIAn: John Mulholland's Secret Life, 2nd Edition

reviewed by Paul Romhany
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Friday 07 November, 2008)

The MagiCIAn: John Mulholland's Secret Life, 2nd EditionI am an avid reader of books, all types of books, but not since Harry Potter or The Da Vinci Code have I been so engrossed in a book that I could not put it down. A new book called The MagiCIAn: John Mulholland's Secret Life by Ben Robinson was just released and I have to tell you, it's one of the best books on a magician's life I have ever read. This is so good I even gave it to my wife to read, and she could not put it down. (I should have bought two copies!).

This is not just a book somebody spent time researching over the internet, this is a a book the author spent over thirty years piecing together and investigating, and it really shows. If I ever wanted to hire a person to write my life story, Mr. Robinson would be the man!!

There is so much to learn from this book, I had no idea Houdini's relationship with John or that he lived so close to him growing up - I can only imagine the thrill. The whole CIA aspect was also news to me, and again, absolutely enthralling. The inside knowledge the author has shared with the readers is truly outstanding. Mr. Robinson's writing is extremely intelligent and a joy to read. He captures the essence of a story that many people had heard about, but really not to the depth that the author knows. The fact that the author was bequeathed a private CIA file by Maurine Christopher in 1997 is an amazing story unto itself. Here is a book that will capture the imagination of magicians and lay people alike.


Nu Way Out Of This World

reviewed by Grandpa Chet (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Thursday 30 October, 2008)

Nu Way Out Of This WorldEXCELLENT version of Out of This World! I've heard about it for years, but it's hard to find.

Correction: It WAS hard to find. And it was worth the wait.


Nu Way Out Of This World

reviewed by Vincent Fleuranceau
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Tuesday 28 October, 2008)

Nu Way Out Of This WorldLast night I asked Chris if he had this manuscript.

His answer speaks for itself: "I have this manuscript but it was not yet converted. But since it was only two pages I did it overnight and uploaded it. You can now get it."

Great work. Great guy.


The MagiCIAn: John Mulholland's Secret Life, 2nd Edition

reviewed by William V. Rauscher
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Sunday 26 October, 2008)

The MagiCIAn: John Mulholland's Secret Life, 2nd EditionYou have brought John Mulholland back to life for a new generation and given him the recognition he so rightly deserves. Your book is packed with facts and after reading it one cannot help but totally admire Mulholland. He emerges as grand and wonderful man who was a true scholar of magic. I gained new insights on Mulholland from your book.


Tarbell Course

reviewed by Grandpa Chet
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Friday 17 October, 2008)

Tarbell CourseNot only do I agree with previous reviewers, I think this - the original course - would be a better course of study than the hardback books. True, there is more in eight volumes of hardbacks - but they do not have the careful linear learning that the original course had - and still has. That is, everything builds on what precedes it. This course will start you off either teaching you the basics or correcting any bad habits you have. It entirely depends on where you are in your current knowledge and skill. And then it builds - and builds - and builds.

Lest you think this course is only for beginners, let it be noted that the great Fu Manchu (David Bamberg), disappointed by magic and not wanting to imitate his father, was about to quit magic when Dr Tarbell sent him a copy of this very course. David studied the course lesson by lesson, and built up an act from the early lessons. From there, he built up a larger act from the later lessons. Eventually, he received backing to put on a full illusion stage show -- and he built that stage show from lessons in this course. And he never forgot the lessons on showmanship, acting, publicity, advertising (He would later speak of how he took Dr Tarbell's samples and used them almost verbatim!), and audience direction that he learned from this course.

He had one of the most successful acts to date, and his name was synonymous with entertainment in South America.

Thirty-nine bucks? Each lesson is more valuable than almost every single item in the Lybrary.com catalog. But even if one undervalued each lesson at $10.00 apiece, you would get something like $700.00 worth of working material from this course.

*jeep!


Ode to Ekman: A Seamless Psychological Illusion

reviewed by Raymond Doetjes (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★ (Date Added: Thursday 09 October, 2008)

Ode to Ekman: A Seamless Psychological IllusionThis ebook described a very entertaining psychological effect. Even though the methods are far from new -- but who cares, it's what you do with it. The author has re-arranged these methods into a thrilling 3 stage psychological routine. I like the climax but altered it by combining Doug Segal's BBTLS method to create an even bigger "wow" factor and involve the audience.


The MagiCIAn: John Mulholland's Secret Life, 2nd Edition

reviewed by Grandpa Chet
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Friday 03 October, 2008)

The MagiCIAn: John Mulholland's Secret Life, 2nd EditionJohn Mulholland marked the field of magic with a stamp that perhaps changed much of history. Yet even though he edited the Sphinx (the longest-running magic periodical and the most influential of its time), was friends with the greatest names in magic, and influenced them and many others -- his name just isn't that well known outside our little circle. Even within our subculture, how many of us know just who John Mulholland is?

There have been ugly accusations that he may have helped kill a scientist in the 1950s.

There have been rumors about his moral and immoral activities.

There have even been accusations that he did not write the many articles and books with his by-line.

There is even at least one generation who has no idea who he is.

Ben Robinson spent almost as many years researching this, the first biography of John Mulholland, as Mulholland spent editing the Sphinx. He interviewed key personnel and uncovered many previously classified documents -- thank goodness for the Freedom of Information Act!! And from the zillions of jigsaw puzzle pieces he discovered, he put together a fascinating document which is compelling reading.

The CIA in the title of MagiCIAn refers to Mulholland's work for the newly-formed CIA. You'll have to read the book to learn just what that was, but it well blends the profession of magician with that of intelligence agent. When there was serious research into possible defense uses of ESP, mind control, and remote viewing; anything could - and did - happen.

Magicians will enjoy this. Mentalists will find much to learn herein, and will catch subtleties which might be lost on others. Soldiers and military historians will find this to be exciting reading.

I've been all the above, and I loved this book!


A Magical Upbringing: Collected Letters and Articles from June Barrows Mussey

reviewed by Jim Alfredson
Rating: ★★★★ (Date Added: Friday 03 October, 2008)

A Magical Upbringing: Collected Letters and Articles from June Barrows Mussey[This review was published in M-U-M, October 2008. Reproduced with permission of the Society of American Magicians.]

Gold from Hay

There are probably many who will scan this review topic and ask, "Who is J. Barrows Mussey?" and that is the reason Chris Wasshuber published this ebook. In his Introduction, Wasshuber notes that if you are a middle-aged American magician (or in my case, an elderly...) you will probably know part of the answer if one substitutes his pseudonym "Henry Hay." Mussey, as Hay, wrote a small number of magic books for beginners, two of which are arguably minor classics, Learn Magic (1947) and The Amateur Magician's Handbook (1950), the latter being the largest and best known. They are splendid introductory texts, as they concentrate on the important aspects of routining, presentation, and the like, rather than just showing the beginner how tricks are done. Mussey had a flair for getting across sophisticated principles to the beginner in a clear and simple manner. The books remain as fresh today, as they were when published.

Mussey's life was unconventional, to say the least. Born in 1910, he was a prodigy, graduating from high school at 14, and when he was but 13 — his mother not wanting him to enter college at this tender age — he began a tour of the eastern and mid-western United States clad in Persian costume and performing magic. His mother booked this tour by having family friends in various cities set up shows for him, saying, "He will learn self-reliance" from his travels. Mussey traveled alone, by train, and even in the palmy days of the 1920s it was a rather unusual, not to mention risky, experience for a kid — no matter how mature and intelligent. The highlight of the trip was two days spent at the home of his hero T. Nelson Downs, in Iowa. The following year, both alone and accompanied by his mother, he toured Europe and the Far East, and then entered Haverford College. After college, he went into the publishing business and, in 1950, availing himself of his linguistic abilities, he emigrated to Germany where he became an advertising consultant and American correspondent for Advertising Age. Mussey died in Germany in 1985.

It was Wasshuber's decision to republish The Amateur Magician's Handbook as an ebook for $25 that generated this book, explaining who Mussey was. This is done not by a biographical narrative, rather by means of 18 letters, 19 articles, 10 tricks, and two complete coin routines, all by or about Mussey. One cannot say that this is a biography of Mussey per se, but the material is most interesting and goes a long way toward sketching his fascinating life.

In point of criticism, one might say that a bit of editing wouldn't have hurt the project. Mussey's mother's letters, for example, are of great interest but contain much extraneous material. Because the articles have been gathered from many sources, and written at various times, there is repetition. The leaps from one topic to another may prove annoying to some readers. On the other hand, there is a great deal of interesting material here, and it's handy to have it gathered in one place.

The book is illustrated with photos and line drawings, and is available separately at $15, or if the Handbook is purchased with it, $30 for both. I read it with interest and pleasure.

[Please note that the stars given below were not provided by Jim Alfredson but were added by the Lybrary.com staff.]


Previous Convictions

reviewed by Andrew Loh
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Sunday 28 September, 2008)

Previous ConvictionsHi folks,

Alright guys... I just spent my last night to go through the materials in this ebook. I would like to say the materials are quite excellent. I personally will use 7 effects in my repertoire. The materials contain within the ebook are some impromptu, others need some preparation to setup or gimmick to make the effect possible.

All in all, I really like the materials in this very ebook and most of them are not difficult to do. Some of them immediately added in my repertoire.

Allow me provide you the breakdown or list of effects that really interest me:

- The Go-Between - I really like the nature of this effect as I find it's quick and quite entertaining. While I was reading this effect, this effect reminds me of David Solomon's Kissing Cousin. - What I am trying to say I really love the mates miraculously vanish and sandwich the selection in the centre of the deck.

- Trans-Collection - I would say this effect is excellent and I really love this. I am not going to elaborate on this effect further but what I can say it's excellent. For those of you who loves the selections vanish kind of routine and ends with the collectors-genre, you will love this one. I first time read this effect in Duffie's Card Compulsions.

- Bullet Proof - I find that this effect is very entertaining especially to laymen. I did perform this effect to my girlfriend, and she was shocked in amazement.

There you are, the above effects which I stated I find that there are interesting to perform and worth of your investment. There are other effects which I haven't stated above doesn't mean that there are not my favourites. - I will post my further thoughts if I find there are other effects which worth mentioning when I try out the effects to my peers.

Best Wishes Andrew Loh


Leo Boudreau

reviewed by David Burmeister
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Saturday 30 August, 2008)

Leo BoudreauAs a mentalist I bought all three Leo Boudreau books in the past. I had to buy another set of three books because I wore the covers off and they fell apart from using them all the time. I still use this material today.

In psimatrika I made my own symbol cards and alphabet decks. In spirited pasteboards I learned a LOT about card stacks. In skullduggery I learned more about cards and also booktests.

The material may look a bit complicated, but after a bit of persistance and understanding you will understand Leo Boudreaus material.

If you want impossible looking effects without gimmacked material for the most part, BUY these books.

David W. Burmeister Mentalist Nashville TN


Three Cheers for the Underrated

reviewed by Grandpa Chet
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Saturday 23 August, 2008)

Three Cheers for the UnderratedIt doesn't quite come together as a BOOK, per se. As a volume which collects, explains, and tutors three effects, it's quite effective. The three effects might even blend together well enough to make a full show, but you'll surely want to personalize them.

The first effect, "Three Questions," is simple to personalize. Luke's detailed presentation example proves that presentation is everything - it's extremely personal, entirely Luke, and really sneaky in gathering the information. Work hard to adapt this to yourself and you'll have an eerie show-stopping effect that creeps up on your guests and will have them thinking about it throughout the rest of the night. It doesn't just "reveal zodiac signs," it reveals something of the personality of the person - and it can become intimately spooky. Again, work on your personal presentation. It's worth the effort.

"Phobias Anagram" is another spooky effect, where you'll tell entire groups their specific phobias. It's extremely powerful in practice. More importantly, it's an example, and is used to teach you, of something Luke calls "the Invisible Selection Range." Let's just say that it's Luke's way of turning the anagram branching on its head. A key sentence in his article is "An invisible restriction would be a selection from a field that seems completely open but in fact is not." For those who have ears...

By the way, all the above is included as one of the "three cheers." In short, you are getting two effects and a theory/principle for the price of one effect. Not bad!

The next effect is "the Ultimate Add a Number." I normally dislike titling anything as "Ultimate," since that indicates there will never, ever, ever be anything to add to or improve the item. This piece may have something to its title though. The numbers involved actually MEAN something. Any good mentalist will tell you that when you bring in things which have personal meanings, the audience's emotional involvement goes way, way up. The methods (yes, methodS) are deviously clever, and the whole thing doesn't even seem to whisper a hint of "magic trick."

And then there's "Strength." For those who think that this book is overpriced, I challenge them to use "Strength" as close-up or walkaround and NOT be able to use it to get repeated bookings. Imagine Jean Robert-Houdin's "Light and Heavy Chest" - but with a deck of cards. Some clients can lift the deck; others cannot. Some can take the cards out of the box; others cannot. You should have no trouble convincing them that this has nothing to do with the box, and everything to do with your ability to influence them. In short, you can become a veritable Svengali or Rasputin.

This is not a book for the casual reader. If someone studies this and uses these effects for actual work, the book is well priced and a good value.

Displaying 1273 to 1297 (of 1397 reviews)
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