Ryan R Chandler
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Magic Book is both a book with some tricks in, as well as being a prop that you can take on ‘stage’ to present the third trick in the book “Mental Picture”. For that purpose, it contains pages of pictures that are used in the routine and has a slight element of gimmicking as well. The book contains only three tricks plus a brief description of an unusual ‘bonus’ card effect using a UV pen and penlight.
The three tricks are intended for formal performance, parlour or stage style. The first two are simple ideas using an old well known fake deck that aren’t breaking any new ground and the second trick frankly is something and nothing.
The third trick utilising the book itself is the feature routine of the book. It involves three spectators, one of whom chooses and memorises a picture from the book while two others select cards. The magician asks questions about the picture to the first spectator which leads to the revelations of both cards in an unusual way, although the spectator won’t understand how they are doing it when the memorised picture is later proved to be quite innocent of any clues. The routine ends with a simple Invisible Deck presentation to bring the effect to a close.
I worry that there is a lot of detail in the picture for the spectator to remember for the card revelations to work. In my experience spectators have enough trouble remembering the value and suit of a single card let alone the five very specific details in the picture.
At best it could be a sensational mental piece but if the spectator fails to recall the necessary details it’s going to fall apart very rapidly. There are also some card value revelations which are not covered if they are selected so you will have to fill in the gaps here yourself. So you will need to be experienced at improvising your way through a routine as well as be able to come up with a few of your own ideas for revealing several of the card values!
I like the ideas used in the feature routine but you will need to pick your spectator carefully and think on your feet.
Review by Paul Preager. Originally published in Magicseen Magazine, issue 89