Reviews

From REPRO MAGIC of 46 Queenstown Rd, London SW8 comes "Tetrad One" by Peter Kane. Price £4.50.

Suffice it to say that for most people, who knoW what is good in magic, the name of Peter Kane will be sufficient incentive to rush out and get this.

Unlike most of Peter's other stuff, this is not a single trick. It seems that some years ago he invented a children's card game called "Tetrad" which was marketed commercially by Arnolds of Leeds. The game is played with double faced cards, bearing simple geometric designs in various colours. The pack contains thirty of them.

What Peter has done is to apply his extremely fertile brain to the various magical effects, which can be accomplished with this pack. Purchasers will receive a "Tetrad" deck plus a sixteen page booklet explaining its construction and six possible effects.

All of the effects are of a mental nature and are extremely strong and well thought out. My own personal favourites were "The Tetradic Square" and "The Subliminal Force". However, onpe you have read the book and your eyes have been opened to the many possibilities with the "Tetrad" pack you will enjoy experimenting for yourself and seeing what you can come up with. Highly recommended, especially to mentalists and those who enjoy experimenting with new ideas. 956

Gert Malmros presents This is a series of four booklets, each priced £1.50 and available from Martin Breese and others.

Each of these booklets contains one effect/routine, described in six or seven pages with line drawings by Conny Ray. The effects are "The Chink a Chink Coins", "Coin Assembly", "The Jumping Coins" and "Disappearing Aces". Of these, "Coin Assembly" does require a faked coin (copper/ silver). The others all use normal coins/cards.

Gert has been a personal friend of mine for many years now, and I have seen all of these effects performed by him on several occasions. In his hands they are beautiful magic. The moves are not difficult but much practice will be required to obtain the smooth perfection of the originator.

All of the effects/routines require that the performer be seated at a table with the audience in front. If you are going to work regularly under those conditions, you will certainly find something worthy of study in this series.

"The Percy Press Glass of Water Production Routine" described by Owen Griffiths. Published by Martin Breese, price £1.50 U.K. (Europe £1.75 and Airmail U.S.A. 4 dollars).

This is a small, nicely produced booklet of some twelve pages, measuring 6 inches by 8V2 inches with soft board covers. The design of the book is simple yet very artistic as would be expected from the combined talents of Eric Mason and Jat. There are some sixteen drawings to help explain the text.

The book, which is based on a transcription of the Percy Press cassette, is well written. The descriptions are clear and easy to follow. The modus operandi has been broken down into simple step by step instructions, leaving the reader in no doubt as to how to prepare, how to perform and what to say. There are two priceless tips for anybody contemplating busking type work. One is the construction of the table and the other is how to position the load for easy access, when stealing. These two hints alone are worth far more than £1.50.

As for the trick itself. This is very simple in effect. Attempting to cause a borrowed coin to penetrate the solid table top, under cover of a hat (borrowed), a large glass of liquid is produced. It can be performed under almost any conditions. I remember seeing Percy do this some thirty years ago. I was completely bowled over.

If I have any criticism at all to level at this booklet, it is the fact that I wish that there had been a section explaining the timing and misdirection. The relevent information is all there but it is necessary to study the text, very carefully, and to read between the lines to extract it. However, I have no doubt that anybody taking the necessary items in hand and running through the working would soon "get it together" for themselves.

Martin Breese says that this book was produced for the benefit of those working street parties during the Royal Wedding. In this he does himself a disservice. It is a much more important book than that. It is the fruit of a lifetime's experience, of one of the world's leading exponents of itinerant performing! As such it must find its way into the possession of every serious student of impromptu/close-up magic. * * * * * * *

The Commercial Card Magic of Roger Crosthwaite. Written by Walt Lees. Price £4.75, post 32p, obtainable from the author at 5 Essex Mansions, Essex Road South, London Ell 1JP.

The first time I saw Roger Crosthwaite perform was in the 1980 Magic Circle close-up competition when, last on, he literally took the Circle by storm with a blistering display of sheer originality and zany presentation which left him as the winner by such a large margin that the other competitors stood paralysed on the starting line. In the process he completely transformed my ideas on the presentation of close-up magic, primarily because of his unique combination of technical ability allied with entertainment. Also I was very much fooled.

It was to find out how much that I looked first to "The Commercial Card Magic of Roger Crosthwaite". I was not disappointed nor upset, for it was not through a stooge and a duplicate card that he produced his stunning effect of having a thought of card found in a card case, but a 'Think-a-Card' selection followed by a rear palm. Such things are usually restricted to the thoughts of academic magicians, but here was this man having the effrontery to do it in a roomful of magicians completely undetected.

It is this trick, which to my mind, is the cream of the book. An unbelievable effect by anybody's criteria, and an added bonus of a minutely detailed description of how to do the 'Think-a-Card' selection, in which both Walt Lees and Roger Crosthwaite have taken immense trouble with the psychology behind, and the finger work in front, which constitute the choosing and discovery of a thought of card. Worth the price of the book alone — a cliche, but in this case, true.

The other tricks in the book bear the unmistakeable Crosthwaite stamp: that is to say presentation is at the forefront. They are more suited to the close-up table, mat and attentive audience than the atmosphere of impromptu pub magic. Weird paraphernalia, such as tweezers, goggles, oranges and fluffy toy dogs abound, whilst Crosthwaitian mannerisms (kissing and dusting the cards) are liberally used. Apart from the 'Eidetic Prediction' (described above and my vote for the best named trick — along with Open Travellers — of all time), there are two versions of 'The Geiger Mystery' (which uses the patter of radioactive cards, a geiger counter and the card box as a decontaminator chamber to produce an effect analogous to Alex Elmsley's 'Between Your Palms'), 'Roger's Angels' (a sandwich effect with the 4 Queens whose backs change, with the production of a toy dog as an unexpected climax) and 'Thanks to Kaps' (a card previously selected by the performer matching one thought of by the spectltor). New sleights comprise the aforementioned rear palm, a multiple shift and a simple but unsuspicious and convincing means of doing the double lift, which doubtless will be ignored by most readers. For good measure there is a gimmicked box thrown in, so that it appears empty, when it actually contains a card.

There is no doubt that the routines as set out work wonders in Roger's hands. Whether they would be as successful for anybody else, I am less sure. But it is the breadth of thinking behind the presentation of an entertaining card trick that this book reveals and should be devoured by anybody striving to go beyond 'take a card, and I'll find it in your beermug'. For those of you who prefer to stick to this latter type of effect, still buy it, so that you can do 'think of a card and I'll etc. etc.'.

A final word must be given to Walt Lees who is responsible for getting the talents of Roger Crosthwaite on paper. The book is well produced with 47 large, double column pages, ample photographs and illustrations and a style which renders the following of instructions for any sleight or trick, simplicity itself.

Ian Keable-Elliott

"I take back everything I said about this sweater you knitted for me."

"I take back everything I said about this sweater you knitted for me."

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Fundamentals of Magick

Fundamentals of Magick

Magick is the art and practice of moving natural energies to effect needed or wanted change. Magick is natural, there is absolutely nothing supernatural about it. What is taught here are various techniques of magick for beginners. Magick is natural and simple and the techniques to develop abilities should be simple and natural as well. What is taught on this site is not only the basics of magick, but the basics of many things.

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