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Strange Oblique by Mark Elsdon (Book)
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If you like Tequila Hustler, then you're going to love Strange Oblique!

This brand new release takes the classic 'Sixth Sense' effect and makes it both impromptu and completely prop-less!

The classic effect where the mentalist determines which spectator has the only odd coloured ball can now been done on the spur of the moment with pocket change and zero apparatus - nothing at all!

That's right: no bag, no balls or marbles, no magnets and no gimmicks. And you can even be out of the room whilst the objects are chosen!

The booklet explains several versions: the main one uses just pocket change that you never ever touch or need to see. Another handling that is bound to spawn multiple variations uses nothing more than random words written on scraps of paper.

But whichever handling you prefer, you always know who is lying, who is telling the truth and exactly who is holding the target object!

It is strong enough to use in a show, and yet still casual enough to perform for a few friends in a pub or coffee shop. And yes, it can be adapted to any language.

The widely-lauded Tequila Hustler has been called one of the major breakthroughs in mentalism of recent times, providing a completely different, logic-based approach to the 'which hand' problem. Strange Oblique does the exact same thing for the 'Sixth Sense' plot.

"Very short review of Strange Oblique. It's by Mark Elsdon... 'nuff said!!

Let's just say that SO is to Kurotsuke what TH is to 'which hand'. Can be performed completely impromptu. 5 or even more spectators one has the impromptu equivalent of a black ball (or on stage it could actually be a black ball) the rest have the impromptu equivalent of a white ball (or a white ball). The performer with only a few questions, most being funny or random, is able, with 100% accuracy, to locate who has the target object and who is lying.

IMO worth every penny. Also if you use an electronic version for a Sixth Sense/Kurotsuke routine this gives you the perfect out if the electronics fail."

-Mark Chandaue

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Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on July 27th, 2017
Being propless is a big advantage, but it also have even bigger disadvantages (way bigger).

First of all, is not so simple as TH and therefore (as pointed by Mark himself) is not ideal for every audience (the ideal would be intelligent, sober non-aggressive people). TH don't have this problem. I can frame even drunk people in TH with no problem (I've done so). The "simple" also goes to the performer... you'll use more of your rational skills here.

Also, the structure is more limited... I can do TH with 20 people using themselves as marks for their answers, the same cannot/should not be done with SO. Ideally SO is to be done with 5 people. 6 or 7 need one more question... etc.

Next comes the price. When you think of advantages and compare the price of TH and SO, well, that's 3 reasons why it lost 3 stars to me. I had high expectations after TH, but since I already know a lot of staff about this subject, I was not as impressed (Ring Of Truth by Banacheck striked me imeadiatly when reading it and was not credited). I think Mark came to similar conclusions through different inspirations but it was not a an original solution to me, it was a reframe of something that already exists.

Another point that annoys me is the possibility of presentation and the power of the effect. TH can be much more impressive in terms of chances. If I do SO with 5 people, that's 1 chance in 5 to get everything right. If I do TH with 5 people, that's 1 chance in 32 to get everything right (50% for every person). Sure, the chances of SO can be increased if you add information to what they hold, but the same can be done exponentially in TH.

There are more limitations in SO. Every person must know the other roles... this generates the need of random questions to disguise the method when you're chasing, otherwise it will look like a logic puzzle. In my opinion SO cannot be compared to TH. I don't mind paying a lot for a single trick, as sometimes it is absolutely worth it. But this time it was not the case. Being a huge fan of propless mentalism and logic puzzles, I must be more careful next time. Mark, you let me down on this one.
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strange oblique Report this review
Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on May 5th, 2017
This is like tequila hustler taken to the next level and cloaked with a patter that makes it impossible for just about anyone to figure out. Those familiar with logic puzzles may be a little unimpressed with the method, but the effect and the results ARE good! If you buy this you are essentially getting Tequila Hustler's secret for free!
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