Review by Allan D. Lakas for Mnemonica by Juan Tamariz
"Mnemonica" by Juan Tamariz
"Mnemonica" by Juan Tamariz- Translated from the Spanish by Rafael Benatar
I would like to start off by saying that Mnemonica by Juan Tamariz is one of the greatest works on the memorized deck in the history of magic; an encyclopedia on the subject Tamariz has painstakingly researched nearly every form of memorized deck since the 16th century. Lovers of magic will consume his 50 page bibliography in which he makes comments on the best memorized deck effects from such masters as Theodore Annemann to contemporaries such as Simon Aronson and Martin Joyal. Indeed the bibliography suggests a lifetime of "required readings" that will provide a plethora of inexplicable "pieces of strange" that will captivate and fool any audience neophyte of experienced magician. In addition he also generously provides another section dedicated to useful sleights including a number of useful glimpses, deck switches, and crimps from the likes of such legendary cardmen as Edward Marlo, Dai Vernon and Tamariz himself. The reader will also discover a number of useful complete false shuffles and other brilliant ideas such as the Tamariz Perpendicular control and the Green Angle Separation. There is also extensive ideas for resetting the stack even after it has been riffle shuffled AND overhand shuffled by spectators. All this and I haven’t even described the main reason for buying Mnemonica, this being the stack and the tricks provided itself!
For starters, the Mnemonica stack itself is a brilliant creation that was recently released to the magic community after 20 years of development by Juan Tamariz:
"The Mnemonica stack contains all the tricks for a memorized deck; all the tricks using stay stack; "Super Poker"; "Any Poker Hand Called For"; the production of whole suits of hearts, spades or clubs; Aronson’s routine using the whole diamond suit; the routine of lucky coincidences; two stories told by the cards; the mental spelling of ten cards; a series of fifteen cards for a divination of three thought-of cards; rummy, poker, bridge and blackjack demonstrations; a version of "The Vernon Poker Demonstration"; other productions and spellings for the Aces, Kings, Queens, and Jacks, spellings to several selected cards, the four Deuces, colors, suits, values, etc.
And finally. It is set from new deck order.
Can be converted to stay-stack order and
You can finish with the whole deck in order."
If you’ve never learned a memorized stack before, or even if you have, you are probably thinking about what a daunting process it must be. I can assure you the system that Juan has devised, entitled "Ultra Rapid Memorization" is just that; the stack can be easily learned in as little as three hours. I did it over the course of two afternoons, about two weeks apart, spending about an hour and a half for each session. And because of the way it is memorized it will stay with you for life. I’ve gone three weeks without thinking about the stack and it is still automatic- the learning process burns the image of the card and its corresponding stack position in your mind indefinitely.
The tricks are divided into a number of different chapters including "Specific Tricks for Mnemonica," "Tricks with the Whole Stack", "Tricks Specific to Mnemonica with the Stay Stack Wheel,"Tricks Unique to Mnemonica using Only Half the Stack," "Tricks with the Half Stack," and "Tricks that Improve with Mnemonica"
Each chapter is filled with many different professional caliber effects and presentations that can be used in both restaurants and for more formal close up demonstrations at the card table, many of which are completely inexplicable even to other magicians. I can’t encourage you enough to pick up this book and see for yourself why Juan Tamariz is considered the master of the memorized deck.
Here’s what Simon Aronson (another giant of magic) had to say about Juan in the introduction of his book:
"Juan is way ahead of us, all the time. Always thinking, always observing, always innovating, always making use of whatever opportunity presents itself. That what makes his use of the memorized deck, and all of his magic, such a joy to experience, and such an inspiring example to learn from. Juan’s magic is a living illustration of his own theoretical writings, urging us to gently cause the spectator to just "give up" rational analysis so that he can revel in the joyous impossibility of that moment."
For those who want to take their card magic to the next level, consider Mnemonica and you will enjoy a wealth of material that will keep you busy for the rest of your life.
Click here for more information.