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Pure Imagination by Scott Robinson

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Scott Robinson’s Pure Imagination

Andi Gladwin and John Campbell
303 colour photo illustrated pages, hard backed, size 10” x 10”
Available from any Murphy’s retailer or dealers contact www.murphysmagic.com

Price: £60.00

Vanishing Inc have established themselves as one of the world’s leading publishers of hard backed books covering a diverse range of topics from a wide spectrum of authors. Here we are treated to 46 routines and moves from the creative mind of Scott Robinson, a man whose pedigree stretches well back to the 1980s.

One of the advantages of having been devising magic for so long is that Scott has had time to refine and rework older ideas and as a consequence has produced updated versions of some of his earlier work, variations which appear in this book, often alongside the originals.

His magic is almost exclusively confined to cards and/or coins. In terms of props you will require a few half dollars or smaller coins, some matching copper/silver and Chinese coins, a coin purse and occasionally some paper money. His card magic basically only requires regular decks, with a couple of simple card gimmicks which you can make in seconds.

For the card magic Scott visits many common plot themes. Sandwich effects, transpositions, cards to pocket, three card monte, card reversals etc. 

His handlings vary from straightforward to intermediate with one or two requiring a little more. Although not a ‘move monkey’, he does create effects which require special counts, palming, culling, double lifts and other moves, but anyone already interested in card magic will not find anything too much to scare them.

The coin routines require more technical ability and therefore practice. Spellbound, coin and purses routines, vanishes, transpositions, matrix effects are all here. Some of the effects are move heavy and quite intricate, and Scott has a preference for routines that have multiple stages. Often a single effect will be repeated three times in increasingly challenging ways, thus requiring a broad range of different moves within the one effect.

My favourite routines from the book were the more direct ones. I thought the structure of Sucker Monte was really well thought out and in the right hands would be surprising and entertaining. The fact that it just uses three ungimmicked cards was a plus. Severance Pay, which is the visible penetration of a folded playing card through a borrowed bank note, creates a magically strong visual effect that is practical for walkabout. And the Tooth Fairy is a useful presentation idea for a sort of Miser’s Dream routine aimed at children.

A lot of the routines, I suspect, are unashamedly aimed at magicians. Long and complicated plots with clever yet somewhat illogical handlings abound, creating material that magicians love to see and enthuse over but which I suspect might challenge the concentration of the average lay audience.

However, a big plus is that the routines come with Scott’s outline patter, and this shows that he has a knack for intriguing and funny/interesting patter which often sets an almost believable context for the magic that is to follow. In this regard he reminds me a lot of David Regal who has a similar happy knack.

If you are a devoted card and coin guy I think you will love this book. It is superbly colour photo illustrated, the method descriptions are very well written to make everything clear, and the heavy duty silky paper stock it is printed on is a pleasure to handle and read. Another winner from Vanishing Inc.

Review by Mark Leveridge. Originally published in Magicseen Magazine, issue 91