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The Amateur Magician's Handbook

reviewed by Chris Walden
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Monday 28 January, 2008)

The Amateur Magician's HandbookThis book was what led me from the juvenile section to the grown-up book section in my library as a kid. It was incredibly tough trying to learn sleight of hand with few pictures (by today's standards) and a whole lot of narrative.

Yet between these covers was a world of magic that I had never imagined. It went far beyond the "make at home" approach I had seen and showed me the full range of sleight-of-hand, mind reading and stage illusions. It not only talked about doing tricks but told stories about what it was like to be a magician and to be around magicians. It taught about the work required to do this stuff right and made it clear that it was not something that would happen in an afternoon.

I read and reread that book. When I found a paperback version I snagged it. I finally got a hardback version which I treasure. Now it's here in beautiful, portable, searchable electronic form. It is not the best book for learning any particular branch of the art. But it is a perfect book for acquainting someone with the idea of magic as an art form and the rich palette it provides.

Own it. Read it. Grow from it.


Kolor Killer

reviewed by Andrew Loh
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Saturday 26 January, 2008)

Kolor KillerI went through Peter's "Kolor Killers" and tried out the routine. I would like to say that this is an excellent routine and another excellent approach to Roy Walton's Oil and Queens plot. I really love the ending climax and each of the phases. The reason is because the nature of this routine itself I can see will fry the spectators many times in the process with the great impact. A well-constructed routine.

To be honest, the first time I watched Peter's performance at his site, firstly I thought and I told myself "I think Peter is going to separate the colors of the cards and I am sure at the end, he will produce the Queens." - But I am wrong, he produced the Kings, Queens and the big excitement for me is, the Queens have the cross at the back of the cards! And another bonus is that, the "cross" patter fits in nicely with the climax. I think this routine is flexible too, you can change your patter to suit your preference.

Perhaps instead you use red-backed cards, you may use blue backed as a substitution and at the end, perhaps you change your patter to the "Queens turn angry" and at the end, you produce the red-backed Queens. Anything is possible.

Another question I asked myself "Hey, so, what happened to those spot cards then?" This is where my curiosity comes in, and I am surprised that the method is simple.

Perhaps you would like to check out Peter's "Laughing Queens" in his 7 ebook, another great version too.

Perhaps I am a little biased as I favor Walton's Oil and Queens plot. As you can see, when I watch a magic show or clip, I always put my position as a layman perspective and based on my thoughts, I am sure this routine would play very well to laymen.

Highly recommended!


The Amateur Magician's Handbook

reviewed by Larry Brodahl
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Wednesday 23 January, 2008)

The Amateur Magician's HandbookOne of the absolute best books ever written. It concerns itself not only with how the tricks are done, but why. It talks about when apparatus is better than sleight of hand, and when it's not. Some of the coin work seems supremely complicated, but every book should leave you with something further to learn. This book covers about every basic sleight imaginable, along with many prop items. The updated chapter on close up stuff is also very nice.


The Magic of Tyler

reviewed by Anonymous
Rating: ★★★★ (Date Added: Wednesday 23 January, 2008)

The Magic of TylerI have to say, this is one of the worst purchases that I have made. I almost went for Mr. Tyler's more expensive book, and am VERY glad that I did not. $20 for this book was way too much as it is.

The book is packed with minor adaptations to existing effects and the rest are poorly thought out routines.

Mr. Tyler's writing style, or lack there of, is a MAJOR issue with the format of this book. Not one of the routines are clearly defined. Instead you are often reading into the method and trying to decipher the actual effect, all while trying to understand his rambling explanations.

A couple of times he prefaces the instructions by explaining that it will be hard to put the effect into words, but I feel this is just do to his writing style and could very well have been explained easily.

To top it off, while trying to sift through the explanations, you are left either to imagine what the heck he is talking about or just give up on it all together, because Mr. Tyler chose to not to add any photos or drawings to the mix.

Also his Pyramid Deck Switch is a essentially Tommy Wonder's deck switch, without credit to Mr. Wonder.

Tyler repeatedly quotes Sankey and utilizes moves credited to Sankey (which really go back further), which leads me to believe that he is fairly new to the magic world although he claims otherwise.

My advise is to spend your money some place else.


The Royal Road to Card Magic

reviewed by Robin Z
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Sunday 20 January, 2008)

The Royal Road to Card MagicA classic in magic!

I can't accurately express how important this book is for a card magician. This book will teach all of the basic techniques for cards. This includes False Shuffles, Double Lifts, Hindu Shuffles, The Pass and many more. Along with the techniques you will find tricks that use the handling you have just learned.

If you really take the time to learn all of the techniques, as well as some of the tricks you will be better than most amateur card magicians.


Ambi-ga-box

reviewed by Feras Kh.
Rating: ★★★★ (Date Added: Thursday 10 January, 2008)

Ambi-ga-boxA small booklet, from an unknown author. Yet, this routine is actually very good, even though it might be confusing to read, its so simple.

The routine is done with a borrowed deck, with a normal box (provided in a reasonable condition ). Here's the routine:

2 cards are selected and signed, card A is returned to the deck, card B is returned. Card B is shown to be on top 3 times, then its placed inside the box *to prevent it from getting on top of the deck*. Suddenly, it penetrates the box. The box is shown empty, then is given to the spectator to shake it above the deck, she hears a sound, she checks the box and sure enough Card A is inside (this is the first and only appearance of card A in the routine).

The description was excellent until I reached the box section. There are photos that sure help, and once you understand how it works you'll have a nice routine. By the way no way a routine for beginners. Other than the box sleights (which some I never seen before, and some I did), you need to know the pass (its hard to change the move here , injog, tilt and a double turnover and Lift (lifting a double that is).

Angles are issue when it comes to the box section, but its controllable. The routine plays well for the spectators, provided that you have the patter for it. Since no patter is given.

Overall, I use this routine here and there. The last phase does get amazing reactions, and you could use it in other effects. If its 20$, I would say *get away*, for 4$, then its a very good buy. Just don't have lunch for a day.


Laboratory Conditions

reviewed by E M
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Wednesday 09 January, 2008)

Laboratory ConditionsA straightforward, simple idea, easy to do the mechanics and all done using easily available materials. The selling of the idea is up to you, but then that's kind of the point of mentalism, isn't it? I like this and I'm glad I bought it.


Blueprints

reviewed by Andreas Danetzki (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Wednesday 19 December, 2007)

BlueprintsVery good stuff! The ego-slip alone is worth every penny!


Another Vaudeville Magic Act

reviewed by Paul Budd (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Saturday 17 November, 2007)

Another Vaudeville Magic ActPlease note: if you like Vaudevillian-style patter (and I do), you'll LOVE this book!!

At only 25 pages, it's more of a pamphlet really, and please be aware: you really only get about 3 "tricks" within the book (and not much explanation of those at that).....they're common effects, well documented in magic literature (you'll probably already know them). What you get, really is the VERBATIM patter of a (roughly) 16-minute Vaudevillian magic act, clearly outlined with instructions for: A. How to set the stage before your performance B. Orchestra cues (and comedic bits of how you might interact with the orchestra conductor) C. All the "walk here - stand there" blocking notes you might ever need for this act.

I love Vaudeville and this drips with that certain "style". The cost is reasonable. Get it only to help you remember how important self-depracating asides can be when you want your audience to laugh during your act. A great investment and will be treasured addition to my magic library.


Professional Close-Up

reviewed by Carlos Negron (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Thursday 15 November, 2007)

Professional Close-UpI hate to give this review but I want to give the author some credit after reading this book. Why? Because I want this information to be all mine.

If you have been doing magic in your bedroom, mirror, family, and friends and want to take the show on the road. Here is a no-nonsence book on what you need to do. I think even if you have been performing and don't think your doing what you think you should be doing...well this book might have some tips for you.

An easy read that is packed with the facts.

This is the best book I've downloaded yet to date from Lybrary. What more can I say...

No tricks, just straight talk on what one must do in order to perform, get gigs, and keep gigs.


From The Other Side

reviewed by Richard Hanson
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Friday 09 November, 2007)

From The Other SideThis is a truly wonderful book. Don't be fooled by how short it is. There's plenty packed in here to think about. For those new to the Himber wallet, this should be required reading. For those who have used the Himber, there's new food for thought. Dig out that Himber, stop thinking about it as just another prop and read this book!


A.W.A.P. Book Test

reviewed by Erick Castle
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Thursday 08 November, 2007)

A.W.A.P. Book TestThe routine is straight to the point, and it is definitely my cup of tea.


Samuel Cox Hooker and his Rising Cards

reviewed by Peter Emerald
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Tuesday 30 October, 2007)

Samuel Cox Hooker and his Rising CardsWhat a wonderful ebook about a most fascinating personality and a most inexplicable effect. Mr. Wasshuber has done an outstanding job bringing Samuel Cox Hooker to life, explaining his scientific background and achievements as well as his interest in magic and how and why he created his rising cards. Wasshuber's explanation of how the trick could be done makes a lot of sense and I would be surprised if not at least a number of aspects of his method are indeed the way Hooker achieves his miracles.

I love the fact that a host of unpublished as well as published source material is included in the ebook. This way I can read not just Mr. Wasshuber's well researched and thought out deductively argued theory but I can also check myself the source material and come to my own conclusions.

Highly recommended. I wish Mr. Wasshuber would write a few more ebooks like this one.


Scotland Up Close

reviewed by Feras Kh.
Rating: ★★★★ (Date Added: Sunday 15 July, 2007)

Scotland Up CloseHi there.

Mr.Duffie released this booklet on card magic while back, and after its success he released the Englland Up Close, which is a MUCH larger book.

In this book, you will find 26 card effects, many utilizes unique sleights. I shall describe the routines and give my opinion on them. I will describe the routines and give the comments. Here you go:

Autograph Hunter: By Roy Wolton. The effect is as direct as the description. The reason that I don't do it, because it uses alot of classic passes. Something that I don't like.

The Hands of a Surgeon: A VERY good spectator cuts the aces routine by Gordon Bruce. Very commercial with little setup ( the one you're thinking of ). An EXCELLENT packet reverse is taught here.

The ESP Shuffle: ESP effect. I don't use ESP cards, so I don't use this one.

Hot Flush: Self working Royal Flush production. Very easy, very direct. Without going into details, spectator deals four piles, where you show a 10S, KS, JS and QS on top of each. So its not shown as a poker hand.

Justice is Mine: Gambling demostration of bottom dealing by Jim Boyd, where you actually bottom deal. You show four cards on top, deal them to show the kings. You explain the bottom deal. Kicker is that you offer to demostate again, then you deal the aces instead. Really effective, if your bottoms are great. Mine aren't.

Hofzinser 2001: A GREAT variation of the Hofzinser problem. Problem is there are some angle issues, but can be easily covered with misdirection. A use for The Jordan count.

A Hobbit's Tale: Nice routine by Euan Bingham. I don't perform it due to the need to do a pass with few cards. I'm not very good in that.

Phantom Aces: A routine by Euan Bingham that needs a Himber Wallet. Don't have one, so I don't do the routine.

Diamond Snatch: Utilizes a Bill Simon sleight that is overlooked by many. This is one great routine by Gary Middleton.

King for a Day: AWESOME version of the Hofzinser problem. The card turns over, then change into its mates. I'm working on the sleight needed, as its quite tricky to do, though I will be using the sleight alot.

Captives of the Cranium: Uses a full deck stack.

Stebbins Prediction: Uses a full deck stack. I only stack up the deck when the effect is REALLY brillant. This one and the one before it, are good, but not the best.

Veeser Meets Steranko: Spectator cuts to aces, very direct and also you learn a very little used sleight. If you are seated in a table, this is PERFECT.

Thanks to Collins: Oh my God .. The gem .. SO original uses in this effect.

Big bank Hunt: A classic sandwich effect that gets out of the usual methods. You learn a sleight here that is .. wierd, but very commercial and usable.

Stranger: Great effect with great method. Awesome.

Total Recall: A method of memorizing entire shuffled deck (!). I didn't even read it yet, due to way too long description ( which is a good thing )

New Wave Oil and Water: Unless you openly use dup.s, you cannot use this with playing cards. O&W cards are used, as said in the ad.

Walkaround: Perfect routine for walkarounds, a complete act! Love it.

Eight of Two Kings: Production of two-four of a kind by Dave Forrest. Fancy ( but not too fancy ), and brillant.

Skinned: Card to impossible location. Very neat.

Finishing Touch: Another great Duffie effect.

52 Minus 1: A use for that One Way Deck in your drawer.

Thinking Cap: Awesome effect by R. Paul Wilson.

ConCam Cards: Cards Across with envelopes. I don't use envelops, but if you do, you'll gonna love it. Simple method.

L.K.D. Monte: AWESOME, AWESOME 3 card monte move ( not the monte with the V bend on it, just a flat, 3 cards monte ). A utility move that is very, very deceptive. I fooled myself when I first tried it.

Overall, this book demands some skillful card handling. If you are a beginner, or an intermediate, you will need to work on these material.

I would give it five starts, but when you compare the price of this ebook with the England Close up, the latter book has the most bang for buck ( MUCH more effects for 20$ ).


Back Alley Lecture Notes

reviewed by Dan Army
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Friday 06 July, 2007)

Back Alley Lecture Notes|BACK ALLEY LECTURE NOTES| ..::reviewed by dan army::..

"This kid is amazing! Don't let his age fool you ... let his magic!" ~ Michael Eaton

Well, I must say he is right. He is spoken like a true master. Calvin has been one of my best magician friends for a very long time. He has been there for me through thick and thin. I know for a FACT he is one of the most talented and creative performers I know. At such a young age, he has stormed the underground scene. Needless to say, when I heard about the release of these notes, I knew I had to purchase them straight away. Let me tell you, I was EXTREMELY pleased with what I saw. Calvin never ceases to amaze me, and it just re-enforced the idea that age is truly not a factor. Calvin is not just any other kid. He is one of those kids, where you say, "He is going to be something someday." It is just a gut feeling, because you can detect his passion, conviction, and drive to do what he does best. I purchased these notes from Lybrary, and I was very content with the purchase. Let's get to the review, shall we? ___________________________

BACK ALLEY LECTURE NOTES BY CALVIN LAUBER REVIEWED BY DAN ARMY ------------------------------- Price: $15.00 USD Availability: Back Alley Lecture Notes TYPE: Instant PDF Download

FOWARD FROM DAN: Now just because Calvin is my good friend, doesn't mean I am not going to be honest with the notes. I am going to give my true opinion on each effect, and go into intricate detail as much as I can. Calvin is highly creative, and quite the magician. I think you will be very pleased with this purchase as well! Let's get to the review.

THE PDF: The PDF itself is one of the coolest designs I have ever seen! Apparently Calvin designed the pages himself. He is quite the creative little dude! The PDF was very easy to navigate, and worked very nicely. There were quite a few grammar mistakes, but nothing major. It still came out nicely! Overall it is a full 15 page PDF, that is very nicely laid out. It includes nine full effects, two flourishes, and a few great ideas! -------------------------------------

TABBED: An impromptu soda tab into can effect. You simply break off the tab of a soda can, and visually push it right through the bottom. The audio factors surrounding this effect are truly convincing. I feel that Calvin could have explained this effect a bit more in depth, but the advice he provides should suffice. He has plenty of high quality full color pictures to help you along the way. I truly enjoy this effect because it affects more than one sense of the human mind. I revere that as the best magic, because it just tricks the mind in more ways than we can ever know. The SPECTATOR hears you break off the tab, and they see you break it off. They SEE you visually push it through the bottom, and they HEAR you push it through the bottom. It is super convincing, and super-practical. Also, I know what you're all thinking...yes, it can definitely be routined with something like Wayne Houchin's Sinful. That is another reason I love this effect. Calvin truly captures the art of magic for what it truly is. He knows how to work in impromptu situations, and he is a master of routining. You borrow a can, and blow their minds. Do not underestimate this effect. When I first read it, I thought it would never work. But, I tried it at a party a week later, and the effect KILLED. It truly takes your audience down that path you want them to take. You borrow their supposed prop you need for the effect. They can't help but say, "Wow, this guy is fair." Then, they see you visually push the tab into the can. Within this amazing effect, there is minimal sleight of hand, no gimmicks, and it is absolutely impromptu. No limits. This is definitely one of my favorite effects in the notes. I have tweaked this to my own personal style, and it works great. Calvin's work is very open for change, and it will still work in real world situations.

SUBEMERSION: This is without a doubt, my favorite effect in the notes, and I think a lot of other magicians would agree with me. Why do I like it so much? I was able to manipulate it into my own repetoire. It had an amazing concept, and then I was able to routine it with my other magic. This effect is simple. The spectator freely selects a card, and signs it. You FAIRLY place it on the table. Without any suspicious movements, you wave your hand over the card. It VISUALLY penetrates the glass table, and falls through to the other side. The audience knows what's coming for them. You slowly reveal their signed card...audiences go crazy for this. I had been performing on my friend's patio the other night, and you guessed it, I was on a glass table. I saw this as the perfect moment. It couldn't have gone any better. My presentation was right on target, and I heard many colorful words when that card fell through to the other side. This devastating effect is impromptu, and the card can be signed. Instant reset. Truly amazing! Thanks for this Calvin!

HEART ATTACK: This is not one of the best in the notes, but it made it's way into one of my close-up routines. That is what I love about Calvin's creations. You can tailor them to your own style. This effect is simple, and works very effectively. Like I said, not one of my favorites, but it is worth a shot. Basically, a card is selected, signed, and buried in the deck. The performer picks up the first several cards. He holds them in his hand. As he flicks the cards, they all visually vanish, and one card remains not before seen in the spread! Their signed card! As I write this, I am starting to change my mind. It is actually pretty good...actually, it's very good! It's all in how you view it. I routine this with my custom ace production, moving into Dan and Dave's Fission for Aces, then the Asher Twist, and finally ending with Calvin Lauber's Heart Attack! It is truly a great reveal, and worth some practice. I think I've covered enough of this effect!

ACCIDENT: This close-up card effect is a lot of fun to perform! It has now served as my opener to my Vegas cheat routine several times now. It is very versatile, straight-foward, and downright fun to perform. Calvin's creativity came into play once again, and really shattered the barriers of conventional audience involvement! This effect not only involves one spectator, not just two, not even three, but FOUR spectators. The magician claims that he can influence their thoughts to choose certain cards. He claims he can make the four of them choose the four aces. To his suprise, they just choose four random cards! He really has made an ACCIDENT. With a magical gesture, the four random cards he was previously holding, suddenly morph into the four aces without any strange movement! Once again, Calvin left it wide open for your own personal performing style. I tweaked it a little bit, and I psychologically force the four of a kind I am utilizing for the effect, and I came up with a flourish to produce that four of a kind within this effect "Accident" It is truly a wonderful effect, and has some great values behind it! The only thing I have to nitpick with Calvin, is the fact that he did not properly credit one of the major sleights within this effect, but that should be straightened out shortly!

THE SUBWAY EFFECT: Subway, Eat Fresh...magic. This is, without a doubt fresh magic. Calvin knows the route OFF the beaten path...the beaten path is exactly that...beaten. He knows how to take an old effect, and turn into something truly devastating. This magic conveys ultimate misdirection, and spectators freak. Out of all of the effects in the notes, this is the one I perform most. This is one of the closing effects for my Ambitious Card Routine, and will stay there for a very long time. Let me describe the effect for you. This is an amazing cross between Dan and Dave's Hand to Mouth effect, and their Subway effect. In a nutshell, a card is chosen and buried within the deck. A few moments of silence. The audience slowly looks up. Without ANY strange or suspicious movements, they openly see two jokers wedged in your mouth. As you slowly remove them, one card is sandwiched face down in between them. This destroys the old saying of "being a step ahead of your audience" You are more than steps ahead of your audience. You are a whole marathon's worth of steps ahead of your audience. You are pursuing them on a high speed chase of mind games. You slowly, and inexplicably turn that card over. The reactions just keep building and building, as they see their chosen card. There is no other explanation besides true magic. Calvin has truly created something great here. Enough said.

ARREST: Throw all of your loops and ITR's out the window right now. I don't want to hear any more excuses. Calvin has created an IMPROMPTU levitation. A card is openly placed on the magician's hands. There is no thread, wires, sticky stuff, magnets, plastic, gimmicks, or gadgets of any kind. The card SLOWLY rises several inches off of your hands. It does have a few bad angles, but nothing a little audience management won't handle! With the right presentation, this effect kills. It is very convincing, and I can now safely leave in the morning without invisible thread. Once again, I can not stress the fact of how versatile these effects are. I kind of got tired of floating cards while practicing this, so I let my creativity take over. Now, in my performances, I borrow a cell phone instead of using a card! I borrow a phone, have the spectator place it on my palm. It visually rises several inches off of my hand without any barriers! This effect is practical, direct, and perfect for those sticky situations. I highly recommend this effect as well as the rest of these notes!

DU WUTT CHANGE: This is a great little color change perfect for any closeup card routine! The spectator freely chooses any card, and it is lost in the deck. The performer flips the deck over, and displays the random bottom card. In the motion of rubbing his arm, he comes down, waves over the deck, and it VISUALLY changes into their selected card. I find this very useful in a quick ACR, and is worth a try! This change, has actually been done before, but this is not the exact handling of it, so I think we can let it slide. There you have it, a simple color change. What else do I have to say?

DOVE CHANGE: This is Calvin's signature color change, and I can see why. It is fast, visual, and the card literally morphs into their selected card. I was quite suprised to find that Dove Change, is the exact reverse of the Bridge Change which I had created many years ago. But the way Calvin executes the sleight, lead me to other ideas. I was actually able to concept an idea to better cover the Cardini Change with the handling of Dove Change! You will see this happen one hundred times over with Calvin's material. He presents you with a devastating concept, but leaves just enough room for you to manipulate to your liking. Your creativity will really fall into place with these notes. If you're looking for some new material, Back Alley is the place to go! This really is a great change, and will get you thinking about some other color changes. Hopefully, it will help you concept some bigger and better card routines! This is it for the effects, let's move into the flourishes... _______________________________ FLOURISHES _______________________________

INVERTED LADDER: Gah! Calvin has done it yet again. He is not only an accomplished magician at such a young age, but he is quite the flourisher as well! This "Inverted Ladder" is the perfect example. It doesn't get any better than this. These notes truly have something for ANY performer. I don't care about your skill level, social status, or anything like that. It will have something for everyone. This cut is a crazy cross between a Butterfly cut and a Molecule cut. It looks absolutely insane, and once you build up the speed, you will surely look like a master. Looking to attract audiences? You will definitely turn heads with Calvin's original material. Calvin is truly talented, and creating a good name for himself. Even the most esteemed professionals like Daniel Garcia, Michael Eaton, and Justin Miller knows he has a bright future within magic. I can definitely see it in him as well. He just "has it" Not everybody has the proper...I don't know what to call it, not passion, but maybe presence. I can definitely see it in Calvin, and I will always recommend his material to you. He is a great guy, and his magic is even better! If you watch the promotional video for these notes, you will see how good this stuff is!

GEICO DISPLAY: I have no idea why Calvin would call this the Geico display. Maybe he wanted to do the display and say, "Well, I couldn't find your card, but I can tell you I just saved 15% on my car insurance by switching to Tally-Ho's!" I have no clue! But this display is crazy! You can see for yourself in the promo video! It is one of my favorite flourishes to perform. I haven't gotten it up to speed yet, but it sure is fun to practice along with my other flourishes. It will truly make an awesome addition to your arsenal. (That sounded Ellusionist-ish, didn't it?) Anyway, this cut is amazing, and I think you will think so as well. Buy these notes, and find out for yourself. After getting fed up with Dan and Dave's Jackson Five, I reverted to this display which is just as good, but slightly easier! The pictures Calvin has attached with both flourishes are amazing, and have stunning clarity. There is the perfect amount of screenshots for every essential step of the flourish. Once you have the moves down, you can start tweaking it to make it your own! You will truly enjoy it. The flourishes contained within Back Alley were awesome! Now, let's move into some of the ideas contained within Back-Alley... ______________________ IDEAS ______________________

MOVING PIP: What an ingenious idea. I am not going to mention what card is utilized in this effect to protect the secret, but it does NOT involve any gaff cards whatsoever. It can be a borrowed deck if you wanted! You take that card, and VISUALLY move the pip up and down on the face of that card! No gaffs are involved, and you just take the card, and start manipulating the ink right on the face of that card! Truly devastating. Calvin one-upped Ellusionist, and starting creating effects without the use of a gaff deck, but providing the same EXACT illusions! You have no idea how creative this kid is. I am confident with his work, and I am very proud of him. He never made this look so easy...he is changing the world of magic one step at a time. Keep it coming Calvin!

EGO CONTROL: This is Calvin's variation of Danny Garcia's amazing Ego Control. Sick of trying to do the pass with an entire packet? This control eliminates that issue. Calvin had full permission from Danny to teach his variation which is amazing. You do not have to deal with a hefty amount of cards in this control. You are manipulating their card, and their card only throughout the deck. It is hard to describe without exposing, but trust me, you will DEFINITELY be able to make use of this control within your performances. You will truly enjoy it. Guaranteed.

ACR FLIP CONTROL: This is more of some food for thought. It is an incomplete idea Calvin provides, and your creativity will fall into place where it is needed! Basically, after a few failed attempts of find the spectator's chosen card, the magician tosses the deck high into the air. The performer catches it, and claims he has made their chosen card "warp" to the top as he tossed it. He CLEANLY deals down the top card, which is you guessed it, their chosen card! I have made a full effect out of this idea, and created an amazing opener for my card at any number routine. I love the style of this effect, and I think you will as well. It is direct, practical, and heart-stopping card magic has created from scratch. Perfection. _____________________________________________________________

LAST WORDS: Well, the ultimate question is, was this worth it? To put it simply...YES. I believe that $15.00 is the PERFECT price for these set of notes. They are very well designed, and very well laid out. I enjoyed reading them. I actually purchased these notes awhile back, and I have been picking apart the material so I can provide the reader with a very thourough review. I must thank Calvin with the uppermost appreciation for releasing these notes. I really enjoyed them, and I HIGHLY encourage you to make this purchase. It is well worth it.

You can always tell in my reviews if I truly like something if I say it is "insane". Well, here it is...Back-Alley notes ARE and ALWAYS will be INSANE! Calvin is the man. There are some great ideas and production values contained within these effects!

Calvin is a young guy, so I won't rank on him for this, but I think Calvin has even more potential to be released. His writing skills will improve over time. I think Calvin could have included an introduction, maybe some thoughts on performing, and a closer, but he didn't. These notes didn't include these measures. I know for a fact, Calvin has some great ideas surrounding magic, but he failed to externalize those thoughts. He is a passionate artist, and I can slowly see his expression coming out of him. We can most definitely be expecting more out of him in the near future, and the long run. I am going to repeat myself for the last time. I really enjoyed the notes. I am not hyping you up on false information just because Calvin is my friend. I gave my honest opinion in every aspect of these notes. These notes are well-designed, and present themself in a very direct manner. The verdict: give these notes a try. You'll get something out of them. I promise. It's worth it. Enough said.

Stop listening to me blab. Go buy these notes...NOW. _______________________________________

Best Regards. DAN ARMY


Card Addict

reviewed by Feras Alkharboush
Rating: ★★★★ (Date Added: Thursday 21 June, 2007)

Card AddictHi there. I don't have any of Duffie's work, and I read that this is the book to get when it comes to Duffie. I bought it as a special offer elsewhere, and its really, really good.

Alot of effects contain dealing. Sometimes spelling is used ( combined with mathmatic priciples ). Sometimes dealing is used to mix the cards ... etc.

Standard sleights are not explained. Sleights like Elmsley count, Vernon Add-on, Faro, Reverse Faro ( even its not a move, but the term is used ), half pass and double lifts and false shuffles, are needed, but not explained.

I loved some effects, and liked others. I know I won't use some of them though, because they look more like puzzles, than a magic effect. I'll review the effects I use:

Kickstart Aces: Spectator locates the aces with a help of magic card. A VERY neat, clean 4 of a kind production. The spectator locates the aces in a very clean way. Its has some prepration,which can be done if you know how to cull effectivly. Other than that, its a winner.

Sweet Sixteen: Though the effect is fun to do, the plot itself is not the best. You show 4 cards, pointing out they are 16 in total. You turn them face down, turn of them face up, count the cards and the face up 4 changes to 2. You do another change, getting two 2's. You say 16-4 = 12. So I should have 12 left! No! I have TWO 12s! ( i.e queens ). The plot is not the best, but it might be nice to do once in a while.

Six Cards Interlude: any deck is shuffled, then top six cards are taken. One is fairly selected, and revealed later one. You never touch the cards, you don't have to be there anyway. You can instruct your friend in the phone! The effect takes awhile to do ( dealing and transfering cards ), but its *nice*.

By Pass: A very quick effect, which is really fun and nice to do. Two cards are selected, You take produce one from your pocket and the other is reversed in middle of the deck. The method *flows*, and is really quick. A very good card control is taught here, which is something I will use.

Halloween Location: A selected card revelation thought a fair process. Again the dealing card be boring here ( I've had the spectator dealing 45 cards once, his card is 46 .. ) Fact or Fiction: One of my TOP favorite effects! THIS IS the lie detector I will use! Its simply brillant! Performed it 4 times, each time got a kick out of it! There is some setup, but the effect is well worth it.

Make Mine a Double: An extremly clean way to produce 2 cards of the same suit and value. Spectator chooses a card for you, then a card for him. Both are the same in value and suit. Very simple method, very direct and quick effect.

Totalizator: As it reads, 2 value's of the selections are summed, and you produce two cards with the same summed result. Easy and direct. You will use it if you like the plot.

The Mental Pack: A card and a number are selected in a fair way, and the number is *produced*, and so is the card ( in a visual way, like in the standard card sandwich handling ). I will use this, though I'll use a short card instead of the crimp ( I'm telling this in case you bought the book! ). Some setup is needed, but well worth it for the effect. I use this in my performances.

Hour Magic: A little quickie for you to use. I don't use it in my performances, only in *here is my deck. Show me a quick trick* situations. Borrowed deck, no sleight of hand.

These are the effects I read and use. I didn't have time to read the others, I will do since holiday is coming. For now, some effects here are really amazing, while others are like *nice .. *. There is something for everyone here.


Conn-juring

reviewed by Brian Chan
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Thursday 14 June, 2007)

Conn-juringI have read quite a few trick from this book, but only PERFORMED Joints, so I will only comment this one alone. I have tried it out in the real world, in front of many different groups of people and frankly, this trick was really well recieve by my audiences (both layman and magicians). It can be done at an impromptu situation, you can borrow the coins from your audience if you wish. The routine was really well thought of and Mr. Conn also provide some nice subtleties to enhance the effect (USE THEM, it's quite important). There are no suspicious moves, as I said it was really well thought out, everything flows in this routine. If you want to get into a nice Elbow, Knee and Neck effect, this is a great one to learn from. If you are a member the of the magic cafe, you can also look up reviews for this book.


Basic Chip Tricks

reviewed by Anonymous
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Sunday 13 May, 2007)

Basic Chip Tricksall of Ian's teaching videos are of value. his website has a large number of tutorials for cards, coins, ropes - and toothbrushes! - and he concentrates on substance over style, in terms of giving you what you need to know and imparting that knowledge well. he has a pretty informal teaching style, and you get a good feeling for each of the moves. i've bought things from him before, and never been disappointed, and always felt that I've improved as a result


The Dark Waltz

reviewed by Jim Kasmir (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Friday 11 May, 2007)

The Dark WaltzA beautiful and inspiring work. If you love bizarre and spooky presentations, you'll treasure this. Fraughton is a genius!


The Classic Cider Swindle

reviewed by Jim Kasmir (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Friday 11 May, 2007)

The Classic Cider SwindleI like this very very much. If you have Pentalogy...if you like R. Shane...then you know what to expect. It is fun, antic, full of comedy. I'm surprised nobody has written a review yet. I will be trying this one out in the real world very soon. There is nothing technically demanding here, but you might require a light heart. And you even get to quote Damon Runyon! What more could you want!??! Oh yeah...you get to hand out an extremely cool souvenir!


House of Cards

reviewed by Stuart Hayner
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Tuesday 08 May, 2007)

House of CardsPAUL ROSINI was loved by both Magicians and laypeople. He knew how to put art in magic. If you love magic read this book, but be forewarned it ends tragic.


The Moldavian Switch

reviewed by John Wells
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Thursday 26 April, 2007)

The Moldavian SwitchWhile this is very similar to a switch published by Walter Gibson, it has the touches that are only learnt in performance. This is a very good switch to have in your arsenal.


The Lexicon Phenomena

reviewed by Charles Stylesmith
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Tuesday 10 April, 2007)

The Lexicon Phenomena$80 for the instructions and a bit of hard labor. BUT... You'll have the most astounding audience knockout of your act!!!


The Magician's Road to Fame

reviewed by Joe Libby (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Friday 06 April, 2007)

The Magician's Road to FameThis is a very enjoyable read; in fact it's basically a swipe file of ideas that present-day entertainers can model for posters, publicity stunts, etc. A lot of the ideas presented are so old they're new. Recommended; it's a bargain at $9.00.


Victory Carton Illusions

reviewed by Sam Weiss
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Friday 06 April, 2007)

Victory Carton IllusionsThis is a really good ebook and every illusion you will want to use. The 1st one that I made was the dog vanish and I fooled everyone. all I have to say is 3 words

ADD TO CART!!!!!

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