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The Art of Deception

reviewed by Chet Cox (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Thursday 25 November, 2010)

The Art of DeceptionWhat 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

Out of this World

reviewed by Chet Cox (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Tuesday 23 November, 2010)

Out of this WorldLet's see...

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.

Tell Them You Saw Dante

reviewed by Chet Cox (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Tuesday 23 November, 2010)

Tell Them You Saw DanteOne 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!

Chan Canasta

reviewed by Chet Cox (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Tuesday 23 November, 2010)

Chan Canasta"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.

Titanic Deck

reviewed by Bill Dekel
Rating: ★★★★ (Date Added: Wednesday 17 November, 2010)

Titanic DeckMy 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.

Holy Blood Holy Water

reviewed by Mark Williams
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Sunday 19 September, 2010)

Holy Blood Holy WaterDaniel'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 Dark Waltz

reviewed by Countess de Jumecourt
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Thursday 26 August, 2010)

The Dark WaltzA poetic and well written taste of Bizarre Magic at its most elegant. Fraughton's elusive show material is laid bare and exposed for any who desire to know its secrets.

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.

Magic Enhancer 1: Closers

reviewed by Paul B.
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Tuesday 24 August, 2010)

Magic Enhancer 1: ClosersY'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.

Go Book Yourself

reviewed by Bobby Thomson (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★ (Date Added: Sunday 15 August, 2010)

Go Book YourselfUnless you live in the U.S.A then avoid this book like the plague! All of the 'leads' only pertain to there.

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.

The Oldest Deception: Cups and Balls in the Art of the 15th and 16th Centuries

reviewed by Bill Palmer
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Sunday 08 August, 2010)

The Oldest Deception: Cups and Balls in the Art of the 15th and 16th CenturiesI'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.

The Amateur Magician's Handbook

reviewed by Grandpa Chet Cox (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Monday 02 August, 2010)

The Amateur Magician's HandbookThe BEST single magic book written, bar none. Its only competition is any volume from Tarbell's Course -- and I'd recommend the full Tarbell Course before any one volume.

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.

Magic in the Modern Manner

reviewed by Grandpa Chet Cox
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Monday 02 August, 2010)

Magic in the Modern MannerOne of the Lost Classics - we have to thank Chris for saving this! Meyer is all but forgotten, but his work is literally immortal. This includes what is probably the ULTIMATE bullet catch -- chilling and terrifying in all aspects, for performer as well as audience and shooter.

I could go through this book, throw a dart, and hit a classic. This man, who helped make the Jinx's and Annemann's reputation, deserves to be well-known to any mentalist or wannabe mentalist.

Al Mann on Mentalism

reviewed by Grandpa Chet Cox (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Monday 02 August, 2010)

Al Mann on MentalismFor thirty bucks, you get detailed descriptions of one of the most impossible headline prediction effects (which, by itself, sold for more than $30 a couple of years ago), plus other prediction methods, PLUS other mentalism effects which were and are ahead of their time.

And that's not even the best part of these audio files!

Al had so much to say, so MUCH good advice for the performer and creator, that it's amazing it didn't take the entire day to relate. His conversational style makes this a pleasant listen, and you WILL want to listen more than once -- at least once, you'll want to take copious notes.

This is VERY underpriced.

200 More Tricks You Can Do

reviewed by Chet Cox (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Monday 02 August, 2010)

200 More Tricks You Can DoThis is the review I wrote for the first volume (200 Tricks You Can Do); it applies just as much to this sequel. The one improvement for which I would hope, would for these two books to be translated to PDF so I could carry them in my Kindle-for-iPod.

(ahem! the aforementioned review)--

Don't dismiss this as "just for beginners," though it is very good for beginners. Don't be surprised if you find many effects which are being performed by the big stars, or which are being sold as "new" magic today! I gave up counting the number of these effects which I use in public speaking and home teaching. That's not even counting the card magic or cigarette tricks!

Be sure to pick up the companion volume!

200 Tricks You Can Do

reviewed by Chet Cox (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Monday 02 August, 2010)

200 Tricks You Can DoDon't dismiss this as "just for beginners," though it is very good for beginners. Don't be surprised if you find many effects which are being performed by the big stars, or which are being sold as "new" magic today! I gave up counting the number of these effects which I use in public speaking and home teaching. That's not even counting the card magic or cigarette tricks!

Be sure to pick up the companion volume!


reviewed by Carlos La Borde
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Sunday 18 July, 2010)

23:23Turnover 23 is probably one of the most powerful effects I know of. Its better than KK or Bang On, and can literally be performed impromptu, with a a borrowed deck.

I mean, imagine borrowing a deck, placing your prediction card on the table, having your spectator name a card, and then flipping over your prediction to reveal the very card they thought of... Pure Power.

Hofzinser's Card Conjuring

reviewed by Tim Conger (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Tuesday 29 June, 2010)

Hofzinser's Card ConjuringThis book is legendary for reasons I think are well-deserved, if only because Harry Houdini once had a copy of this book and then sold it and was sorry that he couldn't replace it. He was a very big fan, as evidenced in the biography in Houdini On Magic.

Hofzinser's use of stacked, perarranged, and special decks doesn't suit me right now, but who knows what the future may bring? In any case, maybe I can master one of the sleights Hofzinser invented and use it in a trick of my own invention. Reading Hofzinser really expands my magical imagination. Plus, his patter is hilarious--sort of a cross between a 19th Century psychologist and a pirate. One of his mock decks, for example, he calls "the divine." At another point, he says his deck only has four Aces so he will have to "employ his satanic powers to cause these to multiply. Now try getting away with saying that nowadays! Anyway, the important word of warning is the sleights are really really hard even for unusually dextrous people so you have to really be determined if you want to learn to do a Hofzinser trick. Treat it as an adventure and a keepsakes.

Teleshock 2.0

reviewed by Pablo Amira
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Monday 21 June, 2010)

Teleshock 2.0This is powerful. With your mind you change the unplugged TV to a thought channel! OUT of BOX thinking at the best. Just enjoy this document and experience for yourself this miracle.

Light and Easy

reviewed by Pablo Amira
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Monday 21 June, 2010)

Light and EasyThis ebook is a bargain. 2 great effects that can build a great reputation.

CAN is a effect where you apparently take weight from the participant. As a symbolism, your participant can stand in a normal aluminium can. Powerful effect.

NEWS is a thought reading effect where a free selected page in any page on a newspaper is revealed.

Take your bucks and support the mind of Nefesch.

The Mental Magick of Basil Horwitz Volume 2

reviewed by Toruga Toruga Magic
Rating: ★★★★ (Date Added: Saturday 19 June, 2010)

The Mental Magick of Basil Horwitz Volume 2Very nice/interesting presentations with simple workings. Very nice angle and patter.. Thumbs up!

Encyclopedia of Card Tricks

reviewed by Paul Budd (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Friday 11 June, 2010)

Encyclopedia of Card TricksA truly DEEP book. You could peruse this book quickly....and you'd spend 4 nights doing just that! I'd been looking for some effects using double-backers and this was just what the doctor ordered!!

Loads and mounds and piles of beautiful ideas and effects in this one! A new "top shelf" title in my personal magic library.

The Jack the Ripper Seance

reviewed by Mark Piazza (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Thursday 03 June, 2010)

The Jack the Ripper SeanceI must have been one of the first to purchase this and, after printing it out, I devoured it! I couldn't put it down!

Paul, I think it's fantastic!

I plan on using the close-up routine 'FROM HELL' from my very own Shuddershadow Mansion ebook and/or the 'FROM HELL' parlor/stage version in my Memories, Mayhem and Mephistopholes ebook to create interest and upsell the Jack the Ripper seance.

My routines are simple but atmosphere-based and that's what I love about Paul's seance - the ATMOSPHERE he suggests creating.

I have my own Jack the Ripper seance scripted but I probably will abandon it and go with Paul's. Why? Because Paul's is 'cleaner'! (I will be substituting the phase with the glass becasue I need to employ one of my ideas here which would work better for me.)

Overall, this ebook is EXCELLENT! I can't wait to start reading it again!

The Extended Tossed Out Deck

reviewed by Chris Stolz (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Friday 16 April, 2010)

The Extended Tossed Out DeckI printed out the PDF last night and read this on the Toronto subway while trying not to have a giant grin on my face for the entire ride. What a well structured routine! A lot of thought and research has clearly gone into this and it has certainly paid off. As each phase progresses it cleverly cancels out method possibilities from the previous phase. This means that by the time you finish the routine with the tossed out deck, you've eleminated any conceivable methods from the minds of your audience. THAT is what I call intellegent magic thinking.

Thank you to Luke and Chris at Lybrary for putting this out. I'll definitely be using this....OFTEN!

Shuddershadow Mansion

reviewed by Ray Haddad (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Thursday 01 April, 2010)

Shuddershadow MansionThis is an exceptional book by Mr Piazza as far as routine development goes but lacks in the method descriptions. In half of the effects presented, the method is described as the means found in another effect in another book. I do understand the need to credit originators with their creations but if the effect was included in the book, it should be fully described with the permission of the originator.

I cannot in good conscience recommend this book for a novice magician no matter how his/her thoughts may run to the bizarre or supernatural. There is just too much missing which only a seasoned professional could possibly fill in without extensive additional material. The magician with encyclopedic knowledge will find this book to be crammed with great stuff.

There are even a few effects that describe methods from sources that are long out of print and probably not available. I would advise Mr Piazza to rewrite this otherwise worthy book and make it more complete.

These flaws are the reason for an otherwise 5 star book to receive only 3 stars from me.

Silent Running

reviewed by Jamie Daws
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Monday 29 March, 2010)

Silent RunningSilent Running by Ben Harris

So, what could possibly be next from Ben Harris. Crossroads was an absolute show stopper and would be very hard to follow up. So with silent running were promised that the spectator thinks of a number which they never say out loud. True. They then think of a suit which they never say out loud. True. They then marry the number and suit up to make a card which they still don’t say out loud. True. Nothing is written down. True. Despite all this, you can instantly reveal their card to them seconds after they have thought of their card. True. 100% true. Practical. True. Commercial. True. Something you will use often. Most defiantly True..... Can you see what happening here? What sounds like false advertising is 100% true.

You can tell this is going to be one of the most talked about methods in mentalism this year purely by the list of names commenting on it. Banachek, Marc Paul, Nathan Kranzo, Peter Duffie, Marc Spelman, Devin Knight, Dee Christopher and the list continues! So, the review.

It’s easy to see how this effect has progressed from the legend of an effect that is crossroads. Again, the usual Ben Harris quality. Instantly thrusted into the Foreword by Looch. He takes us through his stories of using Silent Running and gets you motivated to keep on reading. Onto Ben’s introduction. Introduce “Duffies Dodge”. What on earth? Ben really gets you thinking. Apparently silent running, born from crossroads and utilizing a hidden tool from Peter Duffie. Lets move on quickly and get to whatever this Dodgy Duffie Dodge could be!

Much like the support act at a heavy metal gig hypes up the audience, Ben still holds back the secret as he explains why where and when the trick came around. Explaining the extent to which this trick will fry an audience. Then finally, after i’ve been thrown about in the mosh pit of Ben Harris’ mind, we delve into the method. Might I say, Wow, What a method it is. I’ve used countless methods for a deck-less method for learning a spectators card. One that was practical and looked like real mind reading. I must admit, some methods came close but non came close to Silent Running. Ben goes into stunning in depth explanations of the processes you need to go through to get to the stage in which your ready to reveal the card. The best part about Ben’s method is, it looks and feels like real mind reading. Mad, I know but unbelievably true. To know that what I had to ask the spectator to do was think of a number from 1-10 then think of a suit and lastly keep that card in their mind.. and STILL have a 100% hit rate was an indescribable feeling. For those who think there is something missing for what i’m saying or am trying to cover an extra little part of the process, i’m not. The selection process might throw up one slight issue for some magicians but, when thought about logically, here are VERY simple ways to abolish the subtlety that Ben has placed in. After performing the effect, I LOVE Ben’s subtlety and think it means that everything will go perfectly every time but realize, in all honesty, some may wish to walter it slightly.

Ben get’s us to the stage in which we are ready to reveal the selected card. Enter: The Routines. Ben begins with a version of his much loved Crossroads effect. So now, those of you with Crossroads will already have the deck ready to go. Those without, Ben still explains what you need. Imagine, having a card THOUGHT of. The deck is opened and without them saying a word, it is the ONLY card in the deck missing. Then it’s produced form wherever you so wish. Sounds to crazy to be true right? Well yeas it does sound to crazy to be true, but it is. I loved Crossroads so much and it’s become a stable part of my card act, now, ill use it even more often. Every deck I won will be a crossroads deck so that i’m always ready set go for Silent Running if I need it!

Second we have Ben’s direct mind reading approach. His brilliant system for revealing the card without any props. This is a fanatically thought out piece of script. Seriously cool. Everything seems fair and you have a 100% hit rate every time. Alternatively, Ben shows you a fantastic way to adapt it to a pad. Giving you another way to reveal everything in a fair and clean way.

Ben’s last routine is a brilliant take on the cards on table stab. This allows you to spread a genuinely normal deck on the table. Place some news paper on the spread cards and then plunge a knife into the paper, thus impaling a card on the knife on the other side of the paper. The paper is removed, the card is shown to be the thought of card. Again, Clean. Ben’s method is sublime and incredibly practical. I’ve never performed this kind of effect before, but with Silent Running, I have no reason not to perform it. Everything is brilliantly explained in depth and with clear photos.

End Routines. Enter Appendix. This section of the book teaches you how to make a Crossroads deck that works with Silent Running. As well as this, all templates and diagrams that are mentioned in the book are added here. Again, brilliant detail and the original Duffie Dodge is explained here in depth!

Last section of the book are the contributions from other magicians. Good times indeed.

The highlights of this section are Bob Cassidy’ suggestion of performing it for two spectators. This makes it even simpler and even more direct. Not to mention, more magical. It’s a small thing that makes a huge impact.

Paolo Cavalli’ Court Card illusion is another simple but brilliant idea that will make everything seem just that bit more amazing.

Devin Knight offers some brilliant work on a popular method in mentalism. It is genuinely priceless information that will put those people who are uncomfortable with it completely at ease. Another invaluable piece of advice that can be used for so much more then the original Silent Running effect.

Steve Shufftons work with Silent Running and a deck is also gold. A brilliant way to end the book.

The reason i’ve not gone into depth with the Bonus section is I believe that this method is so versatile that so many magicians will be coming up with their own interpretations with it. I myself have already come up with countless ideas with it and I know Ben has hundreds more. This method will soon transcend that of just cards and move onto other forms of mentalism. This really is one of the best methods for a thought of card that will have nearly any mentalists buzzing with joy. It’s a practical, workable and truly remarkable method. The products quality is amazing and those who complain that the book or PDF is of a high value for just one effect, it’s not necessarily about the singular effect but the sheers amount of idea’s and effects you can add it to. If you use this trick more then 5 times, the book has paid for itself. The book is quality and I’m more then proud to have it in my collection. Ben has excelled himself with Silent Running and i’m certain we’ll be hearing lots more about it.

“Ben Harris’ Silent Running is by far some of his best work and a new method that the mentalism world will cherish for many years to come. Ben has excelled himself with this project and the evidence is there in printed and digital format. I love it and i’m certain you will too!”

********** 10 Star Rating

Released 30th March 2010

Ebook Price: $39.95 (£26.67) Printed Price: $39.95 (£26.67)

Reviewed by Jamie Daws.

Displaying 1534 to 1558 (of 1708 reviews)
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