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 Post subject: Corinda's 13 Steps to Mentalism DVD - My Review (huge!)
PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2010 4:27 pm 
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Corinda's 13 Steps to Mentalism DVD - My Review

Buy it: http://www.penguinmagic.com/specialorde ... p?ID=11799

Demo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUGeCgauRZg

(sadly this is L&L's youtube channel with a HORRIBLE quality demo)

Price: About $81 after discount

Purchase the book here for $22.50 after discount : http://www.penguinmagic.com/product.php?ID=1093

I've watched this set 4 times now, performed probably 15 things from it, and figured it was worthy of a complete review.

This is from L&L so you have the usual overreactions, cute girls with cleavage and lots of skin plus the cheesey music between segments. The video and sound are of course exceptional, as with all products they create. Overall, the videos run over 12 hours in length and are filmed in a small studio complete with the large eyeballs from the book in the backdrop. I've seen some discussion about Richard being a bit out of his element in these, which is somewhat true. He does "uh" and "um" a lot more than usual, pace a bit much and doesn't seem 100% comfortable, but he does address this in a reply on the Cafe. I don't feel this distracts much from the videos, and really enjoyed watching his take on various effects.

DISC 1 (2.5 hours)

Introduction to Corinda's 13 Steps to Mentalism - 2 mins

Step One - Swami Gimmick

Introduction / Discussion of the Book (9 mins)

Richard doesn't agree with everything in the book, has his own ideas on approaches and modernization to a variety of tricks. He has tried to update some of the effects with some fresh ideas. They have also gone through the book, and picked out things that they believe best represent the overall demonstration of each step.

Swami Gimmick - Discussion (8 mins)

Richard shows 8 varieties of writers, from grease pencils to regular lead ones. Both under nail and thumbtip gimmicks, discussing the benefits and disadvantages of each. An example can be seen here:

http://www.penguinmagic.com/product.php?ID=S2696

An Opening Effect (10 mins)

Richard walks out with a folded piece of paper in his hand, asks a woman from the audience to name a random number (which happens to be her birthday), and immediately hands out the paper for reading to the rest of the audience. Of course, it contains her birthday.

During the explanation section, Richard shows the ups and downs of different papers/cards you can use. He also introduces a method of writing with the thumb freely without actually holding the paper. Plus how to use a folded card inside of a sealed envelope for the reveal.

A Stage Effect (14 mins)

"The Stage Trick" from the book. Three people name off pets, family names, dollar amount of coins in their pocket, which appear on the back of cards that had predictions from the beginning of the effect. Richard shows the value of body movement, timing and other useful tips for writing.

Dartboard Prediction (15 mins)

After a prediction is written on folded paper, an audience member tosses darts at a board. Once the score totals are added, they match the prediction. Richard has some great tips on casual handling of paper, having the spectator initialize both sides, explaining scoring totals, etc.

A First Class Newspaper Effect (8 mins)

Spectator picks a random sheet from the newspaper, rips it into halves until only a small piece is left. They choose a word from that remaining chunk, which is on your prediction from the start. The presentation is obviously the key component of this trick. Richard touches on how to handle complex or long words, plus other handwriting tips.

Matches or Cigarettes (19 mins for all three)
A Close-Up Quickie
Living and Dead

Under the table writing is performed and explained. Again, Richard has some great tips on how to present the checkmark or number in a different manner to make it bigger than life.


Step Two - Pencil, Lip, Sound and Muscle Reading

Introduction (2 mins)
The Spectator as the Telepathist (11 mins)

A combination of sound, pencil reading and swami to project a 3 digit number onto the spectator. What they write on the chalkboard appears on a prediction card from the beginning. TONS of great ideas and tips like body positioning, outs in case you get a number wrong, ways to write without being detected, etc.

Just Chance (Impromptu) (11 mins)

This is called "Touch Reading" in the book.

Three empty small coin envelopes are displayed, and a $20 bill is stuff into one. The other two have blank pieces of paper. After the spectator seals all three up, they choose any of the three they want. And of course, the $20 is contained within the leftover envelope Richard has.

This is NOT 100% impromptu unless you constantly carry around "the gimmick" plus three unsealed envelopes plus the extra papers. But it's a cute trick.

Ghost Deck (12 mins)

Called "Psychic Sorting" in the book, Ghost Deck being a marketed trick pack from long ago.

After spectator shuffles the cards, Richard identifies black vs red, and hearts vs diamonds by feeling the cards under the table. I wasn't that impressed with this effect performed live, especially since it seemed to drag on for too long.

Sujan Location (16 mins)

Variety of muscle reading tricks. Spectator picks a color (twice) which Richard identifies while holding their hand. The spectator then wanders out into the audience, handing an envelope to someone else, which Richard walks right to, even though he was turned the opposite way during this process. Lastly, spectator chooses a random color from an envelope while Richard's back is turned again, which he immediately picks out of the stack of other envelopes upon turning around.

This is ultimately cool, and will take a LONG TIME to master. Possibly the most difficult item in the set, but obviously the biggest payoff to master since you're iterally reading the spectator's mind.

Muscle Reading - Discussion (4 mins)

Other important details to consider if you're seriously persuing muscle reading.


DISC 2 (1 hour 38 mins)

Step Three - Mnemonics and Mental Systems


Introduction (2 mins)
The Amazing Memory Test (31 mins)

A very long demonstration of memory, as the audience names off 20 items and Richard finally names them off in order they were written. This presentation took too long for me for a memory dump.

A Day For Any Date (9 mins)

Several audience members name off their birthday, and Richard provides the day of the week it falls on. Looks like a mathematical calculation he's running inside his head. Even the audience looks less than impressed (IMHO). I didn't like this as much as the previous DVD.

Extraction of Cube Roots (9 mins)

Another effect to make you appear to be a genius. Richard picked the easiest one (cubed root), where a spectator multiples a number by itself three times. Then hands him the large number, which of course he instantly knows the cubed root for.

Keep in mind the book covers:

- Squaring
- Extraction of square roots
- Cubing
- Extraction of cube roots

Magic Square (11 mins)

Everybody's favorite, and covered in most beginner texts! Spectator names off a random number, which Richard draws into a 4x4 square of numbers, then reveals all combinations of which add up to the spectator's number.

Knight's Tour (16 mins)

The groaner of the entire DVD. A large chessboard is setup, and spectator attaches stickers one by one on numbers Richard names. These match places that a chess knight could move to given his weird L shaped restrictions. I thought it was never going to end.

Simple Card Systems (13 mins)

A look at cyclical card systems including Richard's own, and Si Stebbins stack. Spectator pulls 3 cards out at random, and he knows which they are. Another spec reverses a card in the deck while under the table, and again he know what it is.

Here's Richard's card system: http://www.penguinmagic.com/product.php?ID=S5118

Image

and although he doesn't cover full deck memorizations, here's a great one from Tamariz:

http://www.penguinmagic.com/product.php?ID=913

Image


DISC 3 (2 hours, 11 mins

Step Four - Predictions


Introduction (2 mins)

How to spice up general predictions, and mix them into more aspects of your act so it's well rounded. This is also where "Prediction Chest" tricks fall into, as demonstrated here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8AP8ZwU_gg

or "Master Prediction System" as here:

Image

and a variety of others, all of which were expensive back when 13 Steps was written, and are still outrageously expensive today.


What is a Prediction? - Discussion
Predictions, Billet Knives, Pencils, and Indexes - Discussion

Richard shows various billet toys, including plunger devices inside pencils, billet knives, pocket indexing systems etc.

Sample billet knife here: http://www.penguinmagic.com/product.php?ID=S12069

Image

A Million to One (7 mins)

Spectator stabs a pin into a random city on a large USA map. A prediction handed out into the audience before the trick began is opened, and the city matches the randomly stabbed one. An ingenious method behind this, I loved it (sans the huge setup of course).

The $75,000 Test (14 mins)

Spectators name off 5 random numbers, all of which are filled in on Richard's lottery ticket that's been sealed inside his wallet the entire time. Obviously updated from "Derby horse race ticket" as described inside the book. Fun method, easy to master effect that hits hard.

Astronomical (20 mins)

Three spectators write random 6 digit numbers after a prediction has been handed out into the audience. Once added up, the numbers match the sealed prediction (or dollar bill serial number in this case). Again, a super easy method with a great stunner ending.

The Third Choice (10 mins)

A set of 5 ESP cards are mixed up, sealed into envelopes and tossed out by the spectator until she's holding just one. The envelope is opened up, and her final choice is on the prediction chalkboard from the beginning. Cool trick, however requires more little coin envelopes and special ESP cards that are probably difficult to find. Richard does give an alternative way of making your cards.

The Prophesy (10 mins)

A gypsy letter is shown, and handed out into the audience. Another spectator picks a card at random, which turns out to be the one inside the letter. Fun effect, however the paper cannot be handed out for examination.

Hanging Prediction (9 mins)

An envelope hanging in the audience the entire performance is opened to reveal an unusual name given during the middle of the act. Requires an expensive prop, however an "impromptu" one is given inside the book. Definitely provides a kicker ending to a series of tricks, highly recommended if you can afford the item.

Also, keep in mind that there's a TON more prediction effects inside the book as well to choose from.


Step Five - Blindfold and X-Ray Eyes

Introduction
Sightless Vision Act (23 mins)

A blindfold is created out of newspaper and black cloth. Richard is able to identify objects on a tray even though he cannot see. Cool effect you've probably seen a hundred times in various forms throughout the years.

Impromptu Test (performance only) (9 mins)

Richard names an audience member's adopted son's name without any prior information. Method not listed in the book as well, however he does cover similar methods in his "Question and Answer act" from Disc 6.

Mental Masterpiece (Fogel's Newspaper Prediction) (12 mins)

Spectator highlights a random word out of a newspaper while Richard is blindfolded using his stainless steel blindfold. Richard then unblindfolds himself and writes out the word onto a chalkboard. Has a "sealed prediction in an envelope" component as well, but that's never shown, just referred to after opening. Another fun effect, however can obviously be performed sans the metal blindfold by just using a cloth one. Has an odd hurried nature about it at the end as you cram the sealed prediction into your pocket, but other than that, impressive and fun for the audience.

Here's Richard's blindfold: http://www.penguinmagic.com/product.php?ID=S2749

Image


Last edited by akirafist on Wed May 05, 2010 9:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Corinda's 13 Steps to Mentalism DVD - My Review (huge!)
PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2010 4:28 pm 
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Joined: 10 Jun 2006
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Location: Arlington, TX
DISC 4 (2 hours, 17 mins)

Step Six - Billets Introduction


Billets - Discussion (11 mins)

Very thorough discussion of billets (small pieces of paper with info/predictions on them). Richard has an interesting observation about the OTHER steps, many of which utilize billets as well. This is a real workhorse of mentalism.

Center Tear (20 mins)

Standard method of peeking a word on a small slip of paper during the tearing process. Richard does a demonstration of "automatic writing" of an audience member's family name by having her write it down, he tears it, then he writes the name. He does the circle method as explained in the book (sans the burning), although keep in mind there are many other methods and details inside the book (including a one-handed tear).

Richard's 40 years of experience with mentalism really shines through here, as every little detail of the center detail is covered, along with the logic behind your statements, movement, etc. Very thorough explanations including how he varies from Corinda's text and why.

WHERE ARE BILLET SWITCHES?!

- Bare hand switches
- Magnetic clips
- Lapping
- Matchbook

A monstrous portion of the book is skipped here, and I do miss a good discussion of Billet Switches. But instead we go to the Tricks section...

Jaks' Crystal Locket (16 mins)

Dr. Stanley Jaks trick (based on an idea from Stewart James) where 6 people write names of relatives on little slips of paper, one name being a dead person. Each is then cut into 3 sections. As a locket is hovered above the little slips, it stops on the three fragments of paper with the dead person's name.

Wonderful routine that does take a while, but well worth the effort. Perfect for a party, where you can spook the guests a bit by having them gather around and watch the locket swing like a pendulum. The "secret" is rediculously easy, making this 99% presentation and stories to fill the paper cutting gaps. The L&L audience really looked freaked out.

Three Little Questions (14 mins)

Spectator writes 3 questions on little slips of paper, folding them in half twice after she's done. I love the "hold to your forehead and concentrate" which you think wouldn't go over well these days, but Richard makes it work. He discusses opening the paper in secret, different methods of casually reading it, details on the switches, etc.

Great Minds Think Alike (14 mins)

The strongest trick in the DVD set, by far. From "Punx the German Mentalist", two people seperately write numbers on paper which turn out to be exactly the same. The presentation is wrong, the audience reaction is strong, just an overall kicker effect. As Richard says, "it's the most impossible routine in the whole book".

Does require a certain type of paper, and will require an out since it's not 100%. But when it works, it's huge. Thankfully, it ends clean and everything can be examined.


Step Seven - Book Tests

Introduction
A Classic Swindle (11 mins) - Magazine test in the book, but converted to books in performance.

Standard duplicate book test, where you take one book and the spectator chooses a supposedly different volume. I dislike these, since you're doing something that can easily be construed as looking up the details in another book. Richard does cover the various methods involved in other book tests and alludes to the dozen or so contained within Corinda's book. But as some reviewers have pointed out, most book tests sold at magic shops are outrageously expensive for what you receive.

My Word (14 mins)

Spectator writes a page number, line number, and word number. After a different spectator picks up a book and looks up that particular word at that location, it matches a prediction written before the effect starts. Good routine, easy to perform.

A Lesson in Mentalism (13 mins)

Spectator rolls dice, arrives at a number. Counts down to that numbered card in a deck of cards, arriving at a number card. They then open a book, count down to that page and word, and line, and the word matches a prediction written before the effect began. Has a double reveal, since another piece of paper matches the playing card selected as well.

The Missing Link (12 mins)

Spectator digs through a bowl filled with paper slips, each containing a page number. Once they are shuffled through, and spec chooses one, it's revealed to be the only page in the book on the table, with a corner missing.

The Crossword Puzzle ( mins)

Spectator rips out a random page from a book. They then draw a large cross, and choose the word that's intersected by the two lines. Richard then rips up the page and has spec stuff it into an empty bottle, promptly writing the word on a chalkboard slate. Center tear meets book test. Body movement and hand motions are really fishy during this process, but a cute trick.

DISC 5

Step Eight - Two-Person Telepathy


Introduction
Two-Person Telepathy (26 mins)

Richard wanders around the room, picking objects from spectators while his blindfolded partner names off details about them (eg: dates on coins, serial numbers off bills, etc). Great routine with coded communication combined with swami gimmick, observations, and even a tick tack toe game. This gets moderately complex since you can convey colors, money, dates and such via the basic number code taught in the book. Richard covers the major categories (numbers) plus a few of the minor ones in this video.

The act, although 20 minutes long, never really starts to drag because you're wondering what the blind person can possibly predict next. In the book, "sub-miniature radio equipment" is described, which corresponds to some of the great tricks by promystic (Multi Dimensional, Proximity, Impossible Insight) where spectator holds an object (like a cube) and you can remotely detect which side is up.

Step Nine - Mediumistic Stunts (30 mins)

Introduction
Mediumistic Stunts
Cold Hand
Zarkamorta II
Spirit Slates

The lights are dimmed, and 4 people are gathered around a table with Richard while he does various stunts. First, his hand is ice cold, then a spectator tears out a magazine page with a voodoo doll drawn on it, which magically appears back into the magazine, restored. Lastly, Richard shows two chalk slates and some chalk. Once a spectator names off their grandmother's name, it's suddenly written on both slates when they're put together and separated again.

The last piece is called Spirit Slates, which can be purchased from most magic shops.

Image

The book covers a LOT more, including Ouija boards, Cryptopsychism, moving table, ghost walks, etc.

Step Ten - Card Tricks

There are 20 total in Corinda's book, however Richard does the following:

Introduction
Photo Memory (7 mins)

Richard apparently memorizes a full deck of shuffled cards in seconds. Once several spectators name off random numbers, he names the cards at those locations, then reveals it's true by counting down to them. There are of course several better routines for doing this, but he's just showing the 50-year old book method.

Incredible Slate Test (14 mins)

ESP cards are used instead of the letter ones inside the book. Richard writes a prediction on a chalk slate for ESP cards, which turns out to be true. Very cool trick, but requires you to build your own chalkboard with elastic straps, thumbtacks and other mechanics (not sold in stores). Very cool effect, with an even cooler secret! And the one trick that Richard immediately wanted to start working on when he heard about this project.

Teleprognos (13 mins)

Very long, drawn out effect where cards are placed inside larger envelopes, then the spectator #1's chosen card is magically picked from the others by spectator #2 even though it's sealed. Requires 13 envelopes (trip to Staples) per performance. Some can be re-used, but still...

Birds of a Feather (7 mins)

Multiple card pieces are shown on the table, and 1-4 spectators choose 4 pieces of random cut up cards. When put together, they form a single card. I didn't like this one that much, although it did get a good reaction. Utilizes the billet pull, and references Corinda as the creator in the book.

Blind Coincidence (9 mins)

A deck is cut in half, and one is put behind the spectator's back, the other behind Richard's back. A card is selected from each, and traded to the other person (after a good shuffle). Once these are placed back into the opposite person's deck half, they are revealed to be pairs (King of spades/clubs for example). Easy, quick effect with some slight setup. Excellent.

Two Minds
Before Your Very Eyes
Gamma Location (18 mins)

Two spectators grab 8-10 cards from a shuffled deck. They then trade packs, so one person has all the cards. As Richard is counting the cards, spectator #1 memorizes the card that's in the position corresponding to the number of cards they had. Spectator #2 grabs the card that's in the position corresponding to the number of cards THEY had and lays it on the table. The card is the same for both people. There are two other segments to this trick I don't feel like typing out, that are long and involve multiple counting and spelling.


DISC 6 (1 hour 21 mins)

Step Eleven - The Question and Answer Act


Introduction
The Question and Answer Act (33 mins)

Combination of cold reading, guessing and having prior information about spectators. The presentation is obviously a key component, and Richard says this is the backbone of his act for the past 40 years.

Step Twelve - Publicity Stunts

Introduction
Publicity Stunts - Discussion (28 mins)

Although it says "stunts", this is mostly (in part 1) information about how to get known, and get gigs. Part 2 does cover some of the standard publicity stunts that you see on TV like blindfolded driving.

The book covers:

- Personal column advert stunt
- Radio prediction
- Registered letter prediction
- Fogel's bullet catching
- Haunted house
- Visiting card gimmick
- Challenge seance
- Headline predictions
and more

This can also include things like Post Mentalism by Alvo, Cloud Busting, Uri's TV spoon bending, etc. Richard has some great tips on business cards, brochures, websites, and demonstrates his brochures and pressbooks.

Step Thirteen - Patter and Presentation

Introduction
Patter and Presentation - Discussion (21 mins)

Corinda covers in the book:

- Personal appearance
- Manner and speech
- Patter
- Good effects
- Handling
- Timing
- Misdirection
- Coordination

and Richard picks up some of these ideas and expands upon them. Great discussion, worth hearing.


Conclusion

It's Richard Osterlind doing 13 Steps!

Seriously, if you're interested in mentalism then pickup the book for $21 after discount. It covers more material than these DVD's, expands upon more on the ideas and is an old classic that every mentalist or even hobbyist should have on their bookshelf. If you want to see the material live, then there's no better introduction than this DVD set. Richard demonstrates the best hand-picked effects from all Corinda's chapters, updates quite a few with new ideas and shows with a live audience, the power and presentation behind the text.

If you have the $81 to spare, this set is exceptional.


The official spam:

Quote:
12 HOURS OF CLASSIC MENTALISM - PERFORMANCE - EXPLANATION - DISCUSSION

Tony Corinda's landmark work, 13 Steps To Mentalism, is widely considered to be the mentalist's bible. In this comprehensive DVD series, modern-day master Richard Osterlind performs dynamic effects from each step of Corinda's seminal work in front of a live audience. Then, along with co-host Jim Sisti, digs deep into the principles and concepts that make this material so strong and timeless. This DVD set ably demonstrates why Corinda's 13 Steps To Mentalism will always be a fundamental and substantial part of any mentalist's education.


Image


Last edited by akirafist on Wed May 05, 2010 9:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Corinda's 13 Steps to Mentalism DVD - My Review (huge!)
PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2010 4:39 pm 
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Yipee! Akira is back! Can't wait for part two.


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 Post subject: Re: Corinda's 13 Steps to Mentalism DVD - My Review (huge!)
PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2010 6:55 pm 
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Awesome stuff Akira, as always. How does this set compare to his mind mysteries vol 1-7? I own the entire set and I think Richard is great, love his teaching style and performances.


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 Post subject: Re: Corinda's 13 Steps to Mentalism DVD - My Review (huge!)
PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2010 7:21 pm 
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Holy crap, this is awesome (as usual)! I'm gonna' come back and read this all later.


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 Post subject: Re: Corinda's 13 Steps to Mentalism DVD - My Review (huge!)
PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2010 9:07 am 
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Location: Arlington, TX
Review now complete.

Quote:
How does this set compare to his mind mysteries vol 1-7? I own the entire set and I think Richard is great, love his teaching style and performances.


That is a lot of his own material, however this is straight from the Corinda book. So it's kinda odd, he seems out of his element at times but overall I liked it. If you're already heavy into mentalism (and sounds like you are), and have studied the book, there won't be much new for you.


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 Post subject: Re: Corinda's 13 Steps to Mentalism DVD - My Review (huge!)
PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2010 4:58 pm 
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Joined: 14 Mar 2005
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Location: Australia + New Zealand
akirafist wrote:
Review now complete.

Quote:
How does this set compare to his mind mysteries vol 1-7? I own the entire set and I think Richard is great, love his teaching style and performances.


That is a lot of his own material, however this is straight from the Corinda book. So it's kinda odd, he seems out of his element at times but overall I liked it. If you're already heavy into mentalism (and sounds like you are), and have studied the book, there won't be much new for you.



Hmm....interesting. Thanks akira. I haven't studied the book that intensively I must admit. Might pick this dvd set up regardless I think. Richard is awesome!


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 Post subject: Re: Corinda's 13 Steps to Mentalism DVD - My Review (huge!)
PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2010 5:23 pm 
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soowee wrote:
Hmm....interesting. Thanks akira. I haven't studied the book that intensively I must admit. Might pick this dvd set up regardless I think. Richard is awesome!

You may want to look into this...
http://www.penguinmagic.com/product.php?ID=2094
No way to say which one is better until after the Jermay class and some reviews come in. So far the PMM class has been pretty good.


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 Post subject: Re: Corinda's 13 Steps to Mentalism DVD - My Review (huge!)
PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2010 9:26 pm 
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Great review. I got this set but have not had a chance to view it. I am looking forward to it highly though. I had the book for years as well.


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