Review by Michael Easler for Arcade Dreams by Jon Racherbaumer, Ed Marlo

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Review by Michael Easler for Arcade Dreams by Jon Racherbaumer, Ed Marlo
Review by Michael Easler for Arcade Dreams by Jon Racherbaumer, Ed Marlo
4 out of 5

A Surprising Stroll Through Marlo’s Mind

This is a volume that breaks the usual mindset magicians hold toward Marlo’s work. Far from the usual sterile descriptions of Marlo’s card effects, this intriguing volume offers his handling for some common, non-card items. Having briefly worked in a friend’s magic shop myself, I was surprised to learn that Marlo had been a demonstrator in a Chicago magic shop peddling slum magic to the masses. This book reveals many clever variations Marlo developed to deceive even the wise ones with items like the ball and vase, and color-vision.

While not diminishing his rightful iconic status, this book embues Marlo with a surprising humanity. The anecdotes included demonstrate he was quite a rascal, intellectually obssessed with fooling all and sundry.

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Review by Caine for Card Magic of Nick Trost, The by Nick Trost

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Review by Caine for Card Magic of Nick Trost, The by Nick Trost
Review by Caine for Card Magic of Nick Trost, The by Nick Trost
4 out of 5

Good material – However, not hard hitting…

I originally purchased this book because it discusses many slieghts used in most card magic. I was also short on budget and couldn’t afford the entire "Card College (Volumes 1-5)" by Roberto Giobbi at the time of purchase.
The routines contained within "The Card Magic of Nick Trost" are great for the historical card magician. There are lots of references to Dai Vernon and other past greats. Many of the routines are older and have been reworked by Trost to take on a contemporary flair at the time of publishing. However, due to the fact that most of the routines are fairly old they are somewhat lengthy and cumbersome in contrast with today’s fast paced, hard hitting street magic as seen by David Blaine or T.H.E.M.

If you’re looking for a nice collection of older, less common routines, this is a great book. I have adapted many of the routines for my own personal tastes. I find many of the routines contained herein work great with an older crowd, especially when you are in a sit-down, close-up environment where their attention is all yours.

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Review by Anonymous for Impossibilia by John Bannon

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Review by Anonymous for Impossibilia by John Bannon
Review by Anonymous for Impossibilia by John Bannon
4 out of 5

Impossibilia: A Short Review

This book contains very simple and easy to perform tricks that focus on performance over sleights. The effects are ALL powerful and things that you would use in everyday work. I am a card guy so I concentrated more on the card effects in this book and they are all amazing. The Bonus routine involving a card being "printed" is quite amazing if I say so myself. There is also a prediction effect which is simple, witty, and hard hitting. I recommend to pick this book up NOW if you want some new, intriguing, magic for your repertoire.

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Review by Andy Martin for Shattering Illusions by Jamy Ian Swiss

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Review by Andy Martin for Shattering Illusions by Jamy Ian Swiss
Review by Andy Martin for Shattering Illusions by Jamy Ian Swiss
4 out of 5

A Modern Day Fitzkee?

I love it when intelligent, gifted magicians take time out to really analyze our industry and art. Jamy Ian Swiss, like the greatly respected $link(2120,Trilogy of Dariel Fitzkee), holds no punches and makes some very thought provoking observations on magic, magicians, and mentalism.

In my book anything that makes magicians think twice about what they do and say is a winner. We don’t need more mediocrity in magic; this goes for performers, inventors, dealers, and manufacturers. By reading authors like Mr Swiss maybe our industry can get over its love of itself and actually start to produce great magic and entertainment that was abundant forty or more years ago.

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Review by Andy Martin for Man Who Was Erdnase, The by Bart Whaley, Martin Gardner, Jeff Busby

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Review by Andy Martin for Man Who Was Erdnase, The by Bart Whaley, Martin Gardner, Jeff Busby
Review by Andy Martin for Man Who Was Erdnase, The by Bart Whaley, Martin Gardner, Jeff Busby
4 out of 5

A bit too heavy for me!

This is a very thorough book about the man who susposedly wrote one of the great card Classics: The Expert at The Card Table by S.W. Erdnase. Unfortunately, for me it was a bit too heavy going. Over 430 pages of fairly small type. I managed the first 100 pages and flipped through the rest.

The conclusions reached by Bart Whaley, Martin Gardner and Jeff Busby are the subject of a great deal of contention and there appears to be a lot of evidence to support the theory that S.W. Erdnase was not Milton Franklin Andrews. A great thread on this whole subject can be found on the Genii Forum by $link(http://geniimagazine.com/forum/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=1;t=000947 target=_blank,clicking here).

I think you would find this very stimulating reading if you were a big fan of Erdnase, but given that I have not read it yet (oh my word!) its hard for me to get too excited by it. I have however just $link(http://www.canick.com/erdnase.html target=_blank,ordered) the 100 year Anniversary edition so maybe I will revisit this book another day after I have emersed myself in the classic itself!

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Review by Anonymous for Close-up Card Magic by Harry Lorayne

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Review by Anonymous for Close-up Card Magic by Harry Lorayne
Review by Anonymous for Close-up Card Magic by Harry Lorayne
4 out of 5

Review for Close-up Card Magic

This book is simply one of the most influential book in my magic learning – and it’ll remain in the magic library for many years to come. However, it’ll mainly benefit newcomers of card magic. If you dabble at card conjuring then you will want to take a look at this. It contains a lot of beautiful routines that are very easy to do. This is the genuine ‘easy to master’ card miracles. If you know your basic sleight-of-hand (hindu shuffles, double lift, glide – to give you a rough idea of what level) you’ll have no problems learning the routines in here. Even if you don’t, it’ll only require a little practice before you’ll be entertaining your friends and family with a deck of cards. What I love most from this book is some of the routines end with a beautiful layout. There are some routines I relearn once in a while because they are so effective. The downside is the description is very wordy at times and the routines have too many unnecessary actions from an effect standpoint. You’ll also have to accept the fact that names to moves like the bluff pass will not be given because Harry Lorayne wrote the book way back in the 1960s. Otherwise, it’s a great classic!!!

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Review by Anonymous for Classic Magic of Larry Jennings, The by Mike Maxwell

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Review by Anonymous for Classic Magic of Larry Jennings, The by Mike Maxwell
Review by Anonymous for Classic Magic of Larry Jennings, The by Mike Maxwell
4 out of 5

Review for The Classic Magic of Larry Jennings

This rather large book contains lots of routines that are real gems. It covers coins, cups and balls, and cards. However, more on cards than the previous two. I won’t comment on the coins and cups and balls as I don’t have any experience with them, but I will give you an idea about how I feel concerning the card routines.

There are definitely strong card routines you’ll find in this book. The sleights are so devious that makes it worth your buy. You’ll find a lot of useful sleights that will fool the audience. However, a drawback is that it contain many unwanted ideas that make the learning process difficult (some of them are based on opportunity). Perhaps if you have all the time in the world, but we magic aficionados want only the best material – in which is embedded within these pages but it is diffused among other less satisfying ones. You’ll have to plow into these pages and find great ideas here and there.

You will also run into the problem of finding some routines so great except for that 1 or 2 parts you know you don’t want to do in front of people. Perhaps it’s more about practice however I personally felt even with practice I wouldn’t be able to fool people with certain moves – only a person with strong presentational control can do it. In such a case then great, get this book. It has lots of great ideas. However, don’t expect every routine to be intellectually gratifying.

I have to give this book an B+. While this book contains a great amount of sleights for use, it’s bogged down with information we don’t want to know as well. I believe it is worth your time to look through this book because you’ll get a lot of sleights you won’t know through magic fad.

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Review by Andy Martin for Quicker Than The Eye by John Mulholland

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Review by Andy Martin for Quicker Than The Eye by John Mulholland
Review by Andy Martin for Quicker Than The Eye by John Mulholland
4 out of 5

Eye witness tales about Magicians all around the world

Written in 1932 this book by John Mulholland takes you on a virtual tour of many distant lands as he tells tales of magicians from almost every culture and part of the world.

It is quite amazing to think how much Mr. Mulholland travelled with magic so long ago. It has some great stories and anecdotes that are very entertaining reading. It is not a book of tricks, but rather of cultures and people and the types of magic they have performed.

I’m sure 75 years on much of this is no longer quite the same, but it is still a thrill to read about the old days when you can help thinking there was a bit more "art" to our magic. One quote by Jack Gwynne is worth repeating:
"Mr. Gwynne, I have seen your act and I think it is perfect."
"Thank-you," Gwynne replied, "I’m glad you liked it. I feel that it has many flaws, but after all it should run smoothly, for it takes but twelve minutes to do and I have worked twelve years on that act. Allowing a year’s rehearsal for every minute’s performance it would be astounding if it were not smooth".

Can you imagine a modern magician spending so much time on one act? Maybe this is one of the reasons, that there are so many bad performances out there …

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Review by Davide for Theater of the Mind by Barrie Richardson

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Review by Davide for Theater of the Mind by Barrie Richardson
Review by Davide for Theater of the Mind by Barrie Richardson
4 out of 5

Great new mental effects

If you are looking for new mental effects to add your act you can try this book. There are many effects and ideas but not all are so good.
But two or three worth the whole price of the book (cheap for a book like this). There is a method for knowing how many coins from a can will a man pick up; one of the greatest predictions ever where a billet is sealed in a inflated balloon and burst by the spectator himself reveailing whatever prediction you want; there is even a chapter with three methods of the famous" Any card at any number".
Very good book

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