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The Long Goodbye - Latta on Coins Review

The Long Goodbye - Latta on Coins Review 0

REVIEW BY MICHAEL CLOSE

Latta on coinsJust about everyone who gets interested in close-up magic starts with two basic props: cards and coins. This makes sense, because cards and coins are relatively inexpensive objects (although not as inexpensive as when I was a kid), they are familiar, common objects (although perhaps not as familiar as in the days when card games were a family activity and silver dollars and half dollars were still being used in everyday transactions), and there are a large number of books and magazines (and now videos) devoted to card magic and coin magic. 

Card magic, however, holds one significant benefit for beginners: there are excellent effects that require little or no digital dexterity (or, in the words of the prophet, Steve Beam, they are semi-automatic). With the exception of tricks that use props (like the Coin Slide, Nickels to Dimes, Scotch and Soda) there are few self-working coin effects. Offhand, I can only think of one coin trick based on a mathematical principle: Thieves and Sheep (using identical coins). If you want to learn coin magic, you are going to jump

Handcrafted Card Magic — Volume 3 by Denis Behr

Handcrafted Card Magic — Volume 3 by Denis Behr 0

REVIEW BY MICHAEL CLOSE

Denis Behr is a talented German magician who has presented several fabulous gifts to the magic world. The first gifts are his enormously useful websites, conjuringarchive.com and conjuringcredits.com. I made extensive use of both sites while doing research for my new ebook, Thriving on a Riff. They saved me many trips up and down three flights of stairs to check a source in my library.

Denis has also gifted some wonderful routines to card magicians with his Handcrafted Card Magic series. The first two books are exceptional; consequently, I was delighted to learn that a third volume had been released.

Physically, Handcrafted Card Magic Volume 3 matches the earlier volumes: 6 x 8.5 inches with ninety-two pages. The material also maintains the standard of excellence set by the first two books, with gambling demonstrations, routines utilizing

THE REAL DEAL - A Magician Prepares by Dennis Loomis

THE REAL DEAL - A Magician Prepares by Dennis Loomis 0

REVIEW BY QUENTIN REYNOLDS

Dennis Loomis was one of magic’s general practitioners. Like with Alan Shaxon, Karrell Fox, Billy McComb, and Johnny Thompson, if they phoned and asked, “Can you do X, Y or Z?” the answer was, “Yes!”  Then they figured out how to do it. 

And Dennis did it. He toured the US and Canada for three years with a full evening illusion show. He did an escape act as well as escaping from straitjackets while hanging upside down from cranes and helicopters. He did birthday parties. He did a balloon show (as well as pitching them).
For five years he toured doing school assembly shows - three a day for five days of the week. He did close-up and became very proficient in mem-deck work. He made improvements to every trick he ever performed. To top it all he performed  an SM themed act that caused consternation at magic conventions.

This book is the story of his magical life, his routines, and the characters he met. It’s basically about the stuff working pros talk about when
  • Michael Close
The Elmsley Tahoe Sessions By Alex Elmsley

The Elmsley Tahoe Sessions By Alex Elmsley 0

Review by Michael Close from MAGIC June 1997]

Alex Elmsley has begun to make convention appearances again, and this is a wonderful thing. His recent lecture at the Four F’s convention received a long and enthusiastic standing ovation. While his enormous body of work has received wider exposure due to two excellent books by Stephen Minch, few of us have had the chance to see Mr. Elmsley perform or discuss his creations. Thanks to this new four-volume set of videos from L&L Publishing, Mr. Elmsley can visit with you in your home, and an erudite and charming houseguest he is indeed.

I can’t imagine that there is anyone in magic who has not heard of Mr. Elmsley, since his famous four-as-four count seems to be one of the most frequently used moves in card magic. He is the creator of such terrific card routines as Point of Departure, Between Your Palms, 1002nd Aces, and Diamond Cut Diamond. 

  • Michael Close
The Paradigm Shift Volumes One and Two by Michael Close

The Paradigm Shift Volumes One and Two by Michael Close 0

REVIEW BY JAMY IAN SWISS 

 

Jamy Ian Swiss kindly provided an extensive review of The Paradigm Shift Volumes One and Two on the Magicana website. If you're still on the fence, this might push you over. Read it here: 

http://www.magicana.com/news/blog/paradigm-shift

  • Lisa Close
Closely Guarded Secrets Ebook by Michael Close

Closely Guarded Secrets Ebook by Michael Close 0

Review by Dustin Stinett (from Genii

During my “magic lifetime” (a tad over thirty-five years) magic publishing has experienced two major paradigm shifts. When I started buying magic books in earnest (a nice way of saying “out of control”), most new publications were usually paperback. Generally octavo in size, perfect-bound, stapled, or comb-bound affairs, many with questionable production values – but they were quite affordable ($5-$15). There was the occasional hardbound book (at premium prices, about $15-$25), and many of the older books (those not yet reprinted by Dover) were hardbound as well. But the majority of the new stuff was inexpensively produced (keep in mind that there were, of course, many exceptions).

Sometime in the late 1970s somebody got the wild notion that magic books could be better – a lot better: quarto in size, quality boards, and acid-free paper with prices that matched this premium level of...

  • Michael Close