reviewed by Bert Britton
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Friday 08 February, 2008)
Reading an e-book will probably come as a new experience for many, as it did for me. I approached the prospect with some trepidation fearing the loss of a comfortable feeling one gets from curling up with a book in hand, and perhaps a warm fireplace and glass of Port. Sitting in front of a cold computer screen seems an unlikely exchange for that relaxing old easy chair.
Yet the new experience was not nearly as taxing as I had anticipated. Navigating through the well-constructed pages of this book was easy and pleasant. It is possible to get an overview of the contents by scrolling ahead or using an index that allows one to jump immediately to any section of the book. That feature is also a handy tool for flipping back and forth to re-read or compare various parts of the text. It was no chore to turn pages in the usual fashion by a simple mouse click.
The page layout, formatting and quality of illustrations is also far better than I had anticipated. It is equal to any finely published book and a pleasure to use. The technology of this type of book construction has developed into a form that makes even a confirmed bibliophile take notice of what may well be the future of book publishing.
Douglas Mudd, the principle author of "Money and Sovereignty as Expressed in Gold Coinage", is a well-known numismatist who has a decided flair for history, and understand how the two studies blend together to make interesting stories. His work was also enhanced with suggestions from Michael Fagin. The substance of this book is easy to follow because it is arranged chronologically to cover a representative group of different cultures with stories that shows how the designs on their coins are a meaningful expression of their art, religion, economic status and growth. All are elements that reflect the candid nature of their society and status in a way that other documents often fail to demonstrate.
The opening chapter discusses The Origins of Money, and is an excellent condensation of how the world began using this ubiquitous tool. A clear explanation is given about how the use of money was developed not as a unique experiment, but almost simultaneously in three quite separate regions of the world. One could only ask that a few more illustrations were added to this section to show the diversity of these interesting early monetary items to supplement their brief word descriptions. An expansion of this chapter would set the stage for showing how the development of coins as money and propaganda tools spread throughout the world.
A chapter called The Future of Money is perhaps the most significant part of this study. It is well worth reading and rereading. It is particularly significant in light of today's world economic troubles. In this dissertation is a lucid account of how the creation of 'money' through credit causes inflation and eventual chaos. It foretells exactly the problems that are now facing nations around the globe. Will commerce somehow flourish using credit cards instead of coins as currency? Probably not if as this study shows circulating coins continue in their role as a reflection of national ideals and standards.
The balance of this book is taken up with short essays on selected coins from various cultures, with comments on the historical aspects of how a nation's sovereignty is often shown through their coinage. Each of the coins in the text is beautifully illustrated with enlarged full-color actual pictures of some of the rarest and finest known specimens. The book adequately fulfills its promise of covering such pieces, but leaves one wishing that more coins could be included to demonstrate that many other pieces in silver and even copper served the same role, and were more widely dispersed to spread their stories.
The items covered in this work seem all too limited to show the broad extent of how coinage expresses national pride. A scant 27 items are examined and explained. Even so, the reader will finish with a fresh outlook about the designs on coins, and will likely have a new appreciation for, and interpretation of, the images seen on coins in everyday commerce as well as those from around the world and of all ages.
reviewed by Chris Walden
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Monday 28 January, 2008)
This 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.
reviewed by Andrew Loh
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Saturday 26 January, 2008)
I 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.
reviewed by Larry Brodahl
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Wednesday 23 January, 2008)
One 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.
reviewed by Anonymous
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Wednesday 23 January, 2008)
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.
reviewed by Robin Z
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Sunday 20 January, 2008)
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.
reviewed by Feras Kh.
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Thursday 10 January, 2008)
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.
reviewed by E M
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Wednesday 09 January, 2008)
A 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.
reviewed by Andreas Danetzki (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Wednesday 19 December, 2007)
reviewed by Paul Budd (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Saturday 17 November, 2007)
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.
reviewed by Carlos Negron (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Thursday 15 November, 2007)
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.
reviewed by Richard Hanson
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Friday 09 November, 2007)
This 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!
reviewed by Erick Castle
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Thursday 08 November, 2007)
reviewed by Peter Emerald
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Tuesday 30 October, 2007)
What 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.
reviewed by Feras Kh.
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Sunday 15 July, 2007)
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$ ).
reviewed by Feras Alkharboush
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Thursday 21 June, 2007)
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.
reviewed by Brian Chan
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Thursday 14 June, 2007)
I 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.
reviewed by Anonymous
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Sunday 13 May, 2007)
all 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
reviewed by Jim Kasmir (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Friday 11 May, 2007)
reviewed by Jim Kasmir (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Friday 11 May, 2007)
I 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!
reviewed by Stuart Hayner
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Tuesday 08 May, 2007)
reviewed by John Wells
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Thursday 26 April, 2007)
reviewed by Charles Stylesmith
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Tuesday 10 April, 2007)
reviewed by Joe Libby (confirmed purchase)
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Friday 06 April, 2007)
This 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.
reviewed by Sam Weiss
Rating: ★★★★★ (Date Added: Friday 06 April, 2007)
ADD TO CART!!!!!