It seems that the recent trend among magicians has been to release every half-baked idea they
conceive as a one-trick DVD. Eric Mead fought this trend by spending twenty years as a professional
magician without publishing a book. "Posthumously. That used to be my stock answer whenever I was
asked when I might publish a book of original magic." So when someone with that strong of a will
finally gives in to writing a book, it is inevitably worth every penny.
All of these
effects come straight out of his working repertoire. Mead once tweeted, "When a magician is selling
a routine 'directly from my working repertoire' it almost always means he doesn't work very much."
These are harsh words for most magic creators, but once you read how well thought out his routines
are, you realize why he has the right to feel that way about most products. In a "catch all" style
of book like this, wherein the magician describes a couple of tricks for every possible genre of
magic (and this book does contain powerful tricks for close-up, stand-up, stage, mentalism,
walk-around, kids shows, etc), it's unbelievable how Mead has fully thought out every single trick
in terms of method, structure, presentation, pocket management, and situation. No matter what your
specialization is within magic, there will be an effect for you.
And for the card guys, the
two essays "Disorderly Conduct" and "Jazz Charts & Favorite Licks" will expand your repertoire
tenfold. In "Disorderly Conduct", an essay on the memorized deck, Mead explains how to disguise a
stacked deck throughout both false and real shuffles, even allowing a spectator to shuffle the
cards, and always return to stack order through the procedure of other tricks. This way, you can
perform non-stack tricks in the middle of a set of tricks with a stack. He even teaches a trick
whereby the spectator unknowingly re-stacks the four aces (only works for Aaronson, though). Best of
all, it's a great trick that can fool magicians!
In my favorite essay, "Jazz Charts &
Favorite Licks", Mead teaches his approach to the trick that cannot be explained. Try this, and you
will create situations for miracles to occur with an ordinary deck of cards. His approach has much
more to do with thinking ahead and treating it as more of a routine of effects rather than one
effect, essentially treating it like playing jazz. And just like how John Coltrane could improvise
on a single song for two hours but give it the contour and variety of an entire set, this approach
to TTTCBE could fill an entire show full of special tricks created on the spot, never to be
This book is not for beginners; sleights like the Zarrow Shuffle and the
classic force are unexplained, though references to essential magic texts are provided. But for
those prepared enough to handle the material, books this good are rare in the magic community. As
Teller says in the introduction, "There is no bullshit, not a nugget, between these covers. If
you're like me, you'll emerge changed, inspired, and tingling. Everything you'd expect from the
performance of a real artist." I'm eagerly awaiting his next book.
3 of 3 magicians found this helpful.
The truth is Eric Mead s one of the best magicians in the world. This book is meant for the serious
proffesional so most of the stuff like the equivoque as a way of life and memorized deck is simply
not worth it for other people. All I got from the book is tie one on and children walk with three
foot canes. Those two tricks are excellent and well worth the $40 as I use them so often and
theyre so strong.
2 of 2 magicians found this helpful.
So Eric Mead is my favorite magician. I love all his work, in this book there will be things that
you'll need to get separately to accomplish them. The essays for the memorized deck section is pure
gold, and just understanding Mead's mindset on how he approaches his effects is great. I don't
perform everything in this book, just a few actually, but it's still a wonderful book. This book
might also be a challenge to follow, but after you get through you'll understand how to read magic
books, cause I was struggling to follow along as well.