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Second Thoughts by Ramon Rioboo and Hermetic Press (Hardcover)

A collection of magic that fools the most knowledgeable audiences, designed to be performed with an air of casualness. LIMITED FIRST EDITION FIRST PRINTING.
Price: $59.95

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"His effects fool me, and his ingenious methods amaze me." -R. Paul Wilson

"Ramon Rioboo constructs card tricks with so many devious and interlocking layers of deception you just can't crack the code." -Steve Beam

"Wow! This new book is an incredible compendium of some genius-level thinking about card magic. Ramon’s forte is methods based on hidden mathematical principles, cunning psychological ploys and crafty stacks. Add in several innovative new sleights, some inspired use of gaffs and some extraordinary yet commercial presentations and you have a collection of fabulous new material that will be used by magicians for decades to come. But this book contains so much more. The theoretical underpinnings of Ramon’s style and approach are thoroughly examined and explained. And keener students will be pleased to know that’s just the start; Ramon discusses much of his philosophical research and conclusions about what makes for strong magic, powerful tricks and successful magicians.

If you like fooling other magicians, then this book has your name written all over it. If you are a professional performer, there are at least half-a-dozen killer tricks that you’ll want to add to your repertoire immediately. And I finally have an answer to my question: “If Einstein had been into card magic, I wonder what kind of book he would have written?” Now I know. Highest recommendation.
- Mark Elsdon

"Every card magician will be fooled by his creativity and deeper concepts and thinking about card magic. I suggest you get his book before you become fooled, fried and Rioboo'd by somebody else." -Raj Madhok

"I was super impressed. Not just the volume of tricks (which there were a ton of!) but I found very often I was highlighting things throughout the book. Tools and insights within those tricks that I can apply to other areas. If you're looking for a book with a lot of really great material plus a lot of nuances you can apply to other areas of magic that you do, check out Second Thoughts." -David Corsaro

Ramon Rioboo has a reputation as an innovator of card tricks capable of fooling and entertaining the most knowledgeable audiences, whether magicians or the public. His methods defy the common expectations of mathematically based solutions. They are at the same time simple and sophisticated, often seasoned with a touch of sleight-of-hand. His constructions make the math and the manipulation invisible. They are pointedly designed to fool everyone, and they do. Riobóo delights in taking what spectators know or suspect and using it against their reasoning to leave them with a sense of pure astonishment.

While his first book,  Thinking the Impossible showed Riobóo’s ability to fool the best and brightest, all who have read Second Thoughts, his newest collection of card magic, judge it to be not a sequel but a step up to a new level of ingenious deception. It is a substantial gathering of truly baffling card magic, designed to be performed with an air of casualness that baits the trap and then springs it down hard onto your rational mind.

For those who have read Thinking the ImpossibleSecond Thoughts will delight with its advanced skullduggery. For those just meeting the card magic of Señor Riobóo, take a deep breath; you’re going to need it when his magic leaves you gasping in disbelief.

As befits a longtime friend of Juan Tamariz, Ramón Riobóo knows what makes a baffling card trick and how to manipulate minds as adroitly as hands do playing cards. When you open this book, be prepared to marvel at familiar effects that suddenly take a turn into the twilight zone, as well as effects you’ve never dreamed possible.

Riobóo’s magic is like no other’s. Procedures that appear totally innocent and unpremeditated conceal a level of deceit and cunning that produces events seemingly beyond explanation.

Second Thoughts is a generous second helping of Riobóo magic. In it he explains nearly fifty tricks and routines, gives a selection of his favorite tools for constructing marvels and rounds things out with essays explaining his thinking and the theory behind his unique brand of card magic.

Second Thoughts will have you rethinking your approach to card magic and applying Riobóo’s ideas to make its effects entertaining, its methods impenetrable. Second thoughts for everyone!

After graduating with degrees in screen writing, direction and journalism Ramón Riobóo settled into a twenty-year career as a writer and director for TVE (Television Española). He began to practice magic as a hobby in 1987. While his discovery of magic was later in life than usual, his deep passion has made up for lost time. His main interest is card magic and the principles of psychological deception. He is the recipient of the Ascanio Award (1992) and the First Prize in Card Magic from the XIX National Magic Congress (1993, Barcelona). Riobóo is also a member of the prestigious Escuela Magica de Madrid. He is the author of two books on card magic, Thinking the Impossible, being the first.

Page Count - 356

Nominee Book of the Year Penguin Magic Awards 2020

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A Treasure Box For Card Lovers Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on January 21st, 2020
Hi, here is my review of Ramón Riobóo’s Second Thoughts

When I review a product, I’d like to judge the product by itself alone. I will try to put myself into readers’ shoes and give the most honest review.
If the product is good, I say it out loud. At the same time, if there is bad about the product, I don’t hesitate to say it.
I believe by giving you the most transparent information, you will have better knowledge to judge.
Helping my readers is my biggest goal with this review.

You get a 356-page 6" x 9" hardbound book with 115 clear black&white pictures.
The pictures are well selected to aid the explanation.
The book comes with full-color dust jacket.

The book is well written with a nice format which is easy to follow.
It prints with nice quality paper. If you own Ramón's previous book ’Thinking the Impossible', you will be delighted to find that it feels thicker and nicer in hands.

Number of Tricks: 42
Number of Tricks Need Table: 35
Number of Tricks Done in Hands: 7
Number of Memorized Deck Tricks: 3
Number of Moves: 3
Number of Principles: 3 + many introduced in the tricks
Number of Articles about Theory: 6

The book is purely a card book. There is not even a single non-card trick.
Ramón Riobóo’s card material contains a lot of mathematical principles and psychological subtleties. In other words, you won’t find exciting new card move or difficult sleight-of-hand magic in the book.
Some readers may avoid ‘mathematics’ in their magic, but as Mr. Riobóo explained in the first article in the book, there is nothing wrong with mathematics, as long as it makes the tricks more magical.
In fact, many of the tricks in the book doesn’t look like ‘mathematical tricks’ at all. They are skillfully structured and look more magical than many sleight-of-hand tricks.

The quality of a book often depend on number of ’surprise’ in it. Namely, how many nice & better combination of known materials (moves, plot, presentation etc), and new & worthy material.
This book comes with both! Many effects look totally impossible to the most intelligent onlookers. I was constantly surprised by the cleverness of the material as I went through the book.
For some effects, I even fooled myself when I was following the instruction.

Besides ’self-working’ tricks, the book contains some tricks involving memorized deck and special cards.

I usually rate a trick based on several factors:
1. Practical of Effect
2. Effectiveness (how magical the effect is)
3. Creativity

Sometimes, even I rate a trick (5/10), that doesn’t mean it is a bad trick. Maybe I just think the method is not particularly new or interesting. The effect may still be ok.
And even if an effect was very magical and creative in execution, I wouldn’t give high rating if it involves a lot of procedures or easy to mess up. This book comes with a few.
As a general guideline, a trick rated 7 or above is good. A rating of 9-10 guarantees a great trick (even if you don’t do it, it contains a lot of new things you can learn).
I will try to give a reason if I rate an effect low score. I hope this will give you a better idea of my reasoning.

The Good-Old Crimp
My Spelling System (9/10)
The Gene Finnell Free-Cut Principle
The Injog Cut Control
My Bottom Palm (7/10)

(Article) What the Ruses are About
The Optical Cutting Deception (9/10)
Strategy for Ascertaining One Card of Three (3/10): Not too original and it’s not too convincing
Dribble and Packet Replacements (10/10)
My Packet-Turnover Shuffle (9/10)
My System for Showing Blue and Red Backs (10/10)
Cut, Shuffle and Restore (8/10)

(Article) Reflecting on Our Magic (9/10)
An Adjusted Prediction (8/10)
Klondike Poker (10/10)
Impossible Dribble (8/10)
Shy or Showoff (7/10)
Nuclear Weapons (5/10): Too many procedures. It’s not too good even with interesting presentation.
The Twenty-first and Whatever (7/10)
Signed Card from Packet to Packet (10/10)
The Whispering Card (7/10)
Heart and Fortune (9/10)
Saint Rita and the Zodiac (7/10)
Cards That Manifest Themselves (8/10)
Fair Value (8/10)
21st Century 21 Card Trick (8/10)
More Piles and Total Freedom (8/10)
Free Cut, Spell and Reinhard (9/10)

(Article) Magician, Method and Effect (9/10)
The Prophecy of Absent Magician (5/10): This involves ‘Miraskill’ principle. But I don’t see much magic in this trick.
Controlling Chaos (9/10)
Mysterious Divination (10/10)
Same Number for Three (10/10)
Grand Telepathy for Five (6/10): A simple alteration of the trick can make it much stronger. But a much indirect approach was chosen, which I don’t like.
Double Allerton (7/10)
Divination through Another’s Touch (8/10)
A Magic Card and a Magic Number (6/10): The setup is too obvious and not well hidden.
Divine and Locate (9/10)
The Bad-Luck Card (8/10)
A Taste for the Ladies (9/10)

(Article) Magic and Knowledge (8/10)
The Underground Stop (6/10)
The Rioboo Lapping Technique (8/10)
Back-Color Transposition (7/10)
Impossible Prediction (6/10): A similar effect can be achieved easily instead of using a sleight which is not done by many.
The Black-Hole Principle (10/10)
I Always Miss. So I Never Miss (10/10)
Mr. Galasso and the Black Hole (10/10)
Touch and Telepathy (8/10)
The Principle of Inverted Compensation (9/10)
The Roulette Deck (7/10)
Swindle Deal for Three (7/10)

(Article) Difficult, Improbable and Impossible (9/10)
The Stapled Card, without Jokers (8/10)
Two Cards and Two Envelopes (8/10)
Black Widow (6/10): I prefer a non extra card approach.
Prophecy, Value and Suit (7/10)
A Quick Trip (7/10)

(Article) Seen, Noticed, Suspected (9/10)
Double Magic Trup (9/10)
Out of Touch (10/10)
Premonition and Divination (6/10): Heavy gimmick (but readily available) deck is used
Guaranteed Premonition (6/10): Heavy gimmick (but readily available) deck is used

1. It is well written. Very easy to read.
2. Tons of very clever material. You will be delighted by the number of clever applications and unknown principles.
3. Detailed analysis of the effects at the end of explanation. This gives the reader better understanding of the effects.
4. Most effects are easy enough for beginners.
5. Almost all effects are foolers (even to magicians).

1. Some tricks look very similar.
2. Many tricks involve card dealing. But it doesn’t mean they all look mathematical in nature. I point this out because some performers just don’t like dealing cards.

Ramón Riobóo’s Second Thoughts is a sophisticated book.
Though many of the effects are easy enough for beginners, it doesn’t mean it is for beginners.
It’s like Sonata in classical music, which music knowledge will make the listening experience more enjoyable; people with considerable card knowledge will appreciate the book much more than an ordinary curious person does.
There are very few similar books on the market which can guarantee an intellectual journey with readers. But this book can do it, and did it perfectly.
I’ve already picked up some material immediately because they are very magical and clever.

Some people may dislike the fact that the effects are not direct enough. People may ask ‘why would you separate the card into piles in order to select a card?’
But the fact that non-direct selection process is not confined to some tricks in this book. As magicians, we always have to live with the procedures of tricks. How to make the procedures relevant often defines how good the performer is. So, if you only read and do visual magic, this is not a book for you.

The book also provides a lot of ‘ingredient’ to you for making your own good magic.
I foresee that I will re-visit the book many times in future just to get inspiration.
I will recommend this book for any serious student of magic, and all card magic lovers.
I hope you will enjoy this intellectual journey as much as I do.

Book Quality: 8/10
Effectiveness of Tricks: 9/10
Practical: 8.5-9/10
Creativity: 10/10
Cost Performance: 9/10
Final Score: 9/10
33 of 33 magicians found this helpful.
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Second thoughts. Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on December 27th, 2019
Finally. I have been waiting for this book to come out. Don’t know why it’s taken so long to come into English print. Don’t hesitate to buy this book. Ramon is awesome in his methods and his teaching.
5 of 6 magicians found this helpful.
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Just ONE of his tricks is worth the cost of this book! Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on May 28th, 2020
I'm one of those amateur magicians who loves to read books on magic, cards, coins, gimmicks, etc., so I have quite a library. But if I was ever asked to select only ONE of my books and throw away the others, then this would be the one I'd keep. Within 2 minutes of scanning the book I found something that has completely changed how I will perform card magic forever, yet it was so SIMPLE! As I read more, I found more and more gems like this - how I wish I had this book 40 years ago!
3 of 3 magicians found this helpful.
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A Treasure Chest Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on January 6th, 2020
To my chagrin, I missed out on Sr. Rioboo's first English translation, and jumped on this one as soon as it became available. I am a lover of The Spanish School of card magic, as well as the use of subtlety and psychology. This book rings both bells.

The material is top notch, the thinking brilliant, and the translation wonderfully executed. Sr. Rioboo provides not only jaw-dropping routines, but also carefully explains his thinking and reasoning. These are not self-working tricks. They require thought, audience management, and yes, even technical sleights. But those are kept to a minimum, and used only when necessary as the best method for achieving an effect. And in the end it's the effect that matters most, not the method.

Excellent value for the price! I'd get one before they, too, are gone.
3 of 3 magicians found this helpful.
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Good Book, but with some Caveats Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on April 7th, 2021
Having been in magic for several years, I was looking for a book that fed my hankering for some non-slight effects. I am a fan of the Spanish school of Magic (in particular Arturo De Ascanio), so thought I would check this book out.

The Great - there are some truly intriguing mathematical principles that Mr. Rioboo walks through, that left me looking up at the ceiling muttering "How on earth does someone think of these things?...amazing!". His Black Hole Principle and his carefully thought through Spelling System are two of the best examples.

The Good - Several effects are well worth your time. However, I would say that even though all the details are laid out, the effects still felt more like sketches, and will require a strong effort from the magician to add their own plot/scripting, etc. to make them feel complete. It's similar to Tamariz' Mnemonica, where lots of ideas are shared but putting all the details together will be left to the performer. I prefer (at this stage in my development), a much greater level of detail shared, step by step).

The not so great - I enjoy very thorough essays that delve deeply into a magic topic (see Tamariz Magic Rainbow, Maskelyne's and Devant's Our Magic, Derren Brown's Absolute Magic etc.) Unfortunately these essays were a disappointment...interesting ideas but not fully explored. Perhaps if I had seen how few pages were set aside for these essays, I would have known not to expect too much.

The Meh - a couple effects require the user to put the deck behind their back or under the table as part of the presentation. That to me is an automatic no-go. It may be my lack of presentational abilities to sell that as a legitimate thing to do, but my audiences would automatically roll their eyes...and it just feels like a kids trick. Even Penn Jillette performed one of Rioboo's effects and had to use a cloth over his hands...which to me looks ridiculous and unmagical. That's my own take on these so your mileage may vary.

A good book, just be aware to put the time into really fleshing out the effects presented in the book. The blueprint is there, but much more effort will be required (at least from someone who's done magic for 3 years).
1 of 1 magicians found this helpful.
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Glenn Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on January 31st, 2020
Concepts are illustrated with an engaging writing style. As magician with intermediate skills, the techniques presented are either new to me or allow for improvement with polishing subtleties.
1 of 1 magicians found this helpful.
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second thoughts Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on January 21st, 2020
If you want magician foolers, look NO further
1 of 1 magicians found this helpful.
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Incredible boook-highly recommended Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on January 22nd, 2020
This book is just great. Ramon delivered more than I did expected. This book contains not only lot of workers, but also explains principles they are based upon. As I did buy it on 30th December 2019, it is best book of 2019 for me.
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second thoughts Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on January 21st, 2020
If you want magician foolers, look NO further
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