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Magic from the Overground by Paul Hallas - Book
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Paul Hallas, the best-selling author of Small But Deadly and the Mindful Mentalism series is back with his best book yet. His new book is a compilation of his favorite effects from the past 25 years. Some have appeared in print in limited edition booklets and magazines (some obscure), some are previously unpublished and others were released as marketed effects. Of those that have appeared before, some have evolved over the years and additional thoughts are included. You'll find a combination both close-up and mentalism routines, with over 50 routines in all. The close-up magic focuses primarily on cards with a few coin tricks thrown in. Includes an enlightening essay on strolling magic along with a comprehensive list of the best effects to use for strolling magic.
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Customer Reviews (showing 1 - 2 of 2)2 of 2 magicians found the following review helpful:
Ok, but not what I expected Report this review
Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on April 5th, 2010
Almost every effect in this book is a card effect. Not necessarily a bad thing, but I was under the impression there'd be a little more variety in here. There are also a ton of effects in this book, and maybe this IS a bad thing. A lot of it just doesn't seem worthy of inclusion... like take-offs on known themes that don't feel like an improvement at all. For example, there's a variation of the "Phil" trick, in which he uses fruit instead of names. Maybe some will find this to be an appealing twist, but I just don't get it.
There are other applications of known principles that feel very weak... such as the application of the "switchless switch", in which the final reveal ends up being a display that's nearly identical to the one that you just showed to the spectator in the course of the introductory explanation. There are plenty of routines that use this principle that don't require you to clean up quickly before someone notices something like this.
Beginners will be frustrated because there are plenty of cases where you will be told to control a card to the top or bottom, and it is assumed you already know how to do this. In some other effects, there are references to moves or sleights that refer back to the original effect that provided the inspiration, and those aren't generally well-explained either. I'm not saying things like this NEED to be explained, but it should be clear what audience this book is intended for.
Since there are so many effects in here, the odds are that you will come up with a handful that you like. Just be prepared to cut through a lot of chaff in order to find them.
Magic FRom The Overground Report this review
Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on December 23rd, 2012
This is the author's response to the review by Anonymous.
It seems pretty obvious to me you had not been in magic too long when you read the book and I hope since you've had chance to re-evaluate the contents or at least try some of the routines out as they were written. If not, hopefully you passed on the book to someone who appreciated it.
I got the impression you were perhaps a beginner as you complained many of the routines didn't explain how to control a card to the top or bottom or basic moves and you suggest beginners will be frustrated by this.
My thought is that if the book was for beginners it would say so, or be available from general book stores like Barnes and Noble. Please note everyone this is not for beginners and assumes basic card handling skills. By the way what I considered a new approach to a card control was detailed within "Back To Partagus" (p. 32)and I fully detailed it because it was a different control.
As a contrast, when pro magician Paul Rhomany (who I've never met) reviewed the book he considered it a gold mine for the working pro.
But to answer some further critiques of yours like:
" A lot of it just doesn't seem worthy of inclusion... like take-offs on known themes that don't feel like an improvement at all. For example, there's a variation of the "Phil" trick, in which he uses fruit instead of names. Maybe some will find this to be an appealing twist, but I just don't get it."
It also doesn't use playing cards, but the food aspect is because it has a psychological presentation which discusses the food drive. It was also first in print before "Phil" and the basic concept goes back before "Phil" anyway as credited in the book. I used this as an opener on and off for over 20 years and it can be seen demonstrated for an appreciative audience on my "Mind Stuff" DVD. No, you just didn't get it.
"There are other applications of known principles that feel very weak... such as the application of the "switchless switch", in which the final reveal ends up being a display that's nearly identical to the one that you just showed to the spectator in the course of the introductory explanation. There are plenty of routines that use this principle that don't require you to clean up quickly before someone notices something like this."
Again, I actually use this more as a stand up piece and I may have been the first to take it away from matching packets of cards and apparently increase the odds. Another item successfully used in performances for years, which as in my latter example can be seen demonstrated on my "Mind Stuff" DVD. My effect also inspired versions by others and Bruce Bernstein independantly created something similar. I can only assume you didn't present it with the patter I suggested.
In a way it's amusing a couple of effects you considered weak are effects I successfully used for many years for paying audiences.
I really am sorry that from the 58 routines and discussion on restaurant magic and table hopping you didn't find my material from over 25 years a valuable collection for you. You should without doubt avoid anything else I've written of filmed, it's not for you.
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