Hey guys! Let me just bring this right up front now, I originally wrote this review for itricks.com. I was waiting for Vanishing inc to get this in stock and now they do so I will carry this over to it's final resting place, where it truly belongs. Enjoy!
Finally, The LONG AWAITED review for Joshua Jay's new book, "MAGIC: The complete course". Before I begin, I discourage anybody who does not like to learn good magic, To please click away. Most people who see this
would insist this book is strictly for beginners. To tell you the truth, I cannot decide whether that is a lie, or just REALLY good beginners magic.
STRUCTURE 5/5 This book was very well put together. The binding was very nice as well as the size and weight of the book. This must way at least 5 pounds. Behind the front cover you will find a DVD which is in a sleeve BOUND TO THE BOOK. He starts wit h a full table of contents then moves on to how to use the book and DVD, Magician slang, introduction, essays, a lesson in deception then the chapters etc.
IMPROMPTU MAGIC 5/5 This is the real beginners section of the book, But it includes some nice tricks for people of all skill levels and interests from magic with coins, cards, ordinary objects, and an analysis of sleight of hand. He teaches some grips, palms, forces, and hand exercises. One of my favorite effects on this entire project, Is one that teaches you how to make a blister completely vanish without a trace impromptu.
DINNER DECEPTIONS 5/5 This is the perfect chapter for anybody who just learned some cool tricks, and is now looking toward performing magic. But still keeping some of the beginner tricks out of it. You arn't learning how to deal 10 piles of cards and adding and subtracting, But really cool effects like card in bread etc. In this chapter, He goes into lapping beyond belief. You have never seen lapping explained like this. He teaches how to lap salt shakers, bananas, spoons, forks, knives, water bottles, glasses full of liquid etc. Have you ever wanted to change water into wine, Read this section.
THE GREATEST CARD TRICKS OF ALL TIME 5/5 This is a cool chapter because in the very beginning he teaches some standard card sleights but they make you look like a total professional. He has pictures of his hands and each part of his hand is labelled so the viewer knows what he is talking about. In this section he teaches sleights, out of this world, an awesome four ace production, card revelations, poker related tricks, things with the invisible deck,PLUS how to make your own invisible deck with something you probably have just lying around the house and much MUCH more!
KID CONJURING 5/5 This is the section to show your neices, nephews, kids, pets, or even if you are a professional, you can include all of these great tricks into your regular arsenal of effects. He teaches the coin from ear, gumball from ear, gumballs from mouth, a REALLY cool rope through assistants body illusion, the history of sawing in half, a cool finger through shirt illusion, and my FAVORITE effect in the ENTIRE project, The vanishing pet, which uses a super old concept but the effect is so cool and it can be done for anyone in any country, who speaks any language. such a cool, magical effect. I would be willing to spend any price is he released this as a single trick (if it doesent already sell out!)
WORKING MIRACLES 5/5 I know a LOT of professional magicians who also work at an office or have other jobs. This is the chapter for you. It is devoted to magic that can be done at the office and will still fry any audience. Btw, I'm only half way through the book. He does an awesome pen through bill effect that looks just like dough, But is in some way cleaner because you can do it with a borrowed, crisp or wrinkled bill. He has Danny Garcia contribute to this book by adding "Telekineticlip", Which allows you to psychically straiten out a borrowed paperclip, Then BEND that paperclip without mercy. Mathemagic is also a good effect. This is going to turn a lot of you on right here. The 14 dolllar trick on penguin, Is in here. The magic square. He gives you mnenmonics, and ideas and a full perforomance script here. There are book tests spoon bends, even stick predictions which is cool because everybody in America is linked to the stocks somehow. A really nice effect in this chapter is one where you mix cream and sugar into a coffee, and then extract that cream and sugar so the coffee is now black, the cream is in the creamer, and the lid is sealed back on. Also, A sucker is born every minute is tought in this chapter. One of my other favorite effects is karate clip. You stab your finger through a paperclip mid-air, and then it is all busted up on your fingertip.
MONEY MAGIC 5/5 As you can tell, There really arnt any disadvantages in this book. Joshua goes through some key essential sleights and warm-ups and then a really nice misers dream routine. I really liked the essay he wrote in here on the bullet catch. Don't even get me started on penny pressed. Just recently, The stretching coin effect has become popular. Jay Leslie is my first known reference, But joshua just killed every other variation of it. He borrows a penny, Then on the spectators palm, flattens the coin, Crushed, expanded, with all the details still on the coin. They can even keep it. Also, a full analysis on the folding quarter and its applications. A really nice one is also where he turns 4 blank slips of paper into four tens and twenties. Also the coin roll and almost all other applications are tought on here,
PARLOR PRESTIDIGITATION 5/5 moving on from the other venues of magic, This is possibly one of the hardest to master, Which is why it is in the back of the book (but still not finished ) COnquering the fear of an audience. Joshua gives the hard won knowledge to making your performances great and making them perfect so that your performances are awesome. The ovation position is a professional working piece, so you can produce a full glass of liquid from your jacket without fear of spilling. The hand scam is an effect we have probably all seen that is really cool, But isn't really magic., But can still freak out your friends. Josh teaches the torn and restored newspaper in like 6 pages. There is also a brief bio on Gene Anderson who is one of the most renowned Torn and restored newspaper performers today. Yet another book test. Earth shoes is an awesome production where a rock falls out of your shoe. Not just a rock, But a HUGE rock, Now his full professional performance of the linking rings, This is 8 pages long.
TELEPHONE TRICKERY 5/5 This chapter is nothing but over the phone magic. Full proof magic effects you can do any time with your friend thousands of miles away. Does this really need a long explanation to tell you how awesome this chapter is?
GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER 5/5 This is THE hardest chapters in the entire book to master. This is for the people who want to start performing magic seriously and even for the more seasoned professional. We can all learn some good from this. Through each chapter, Joshua picked out some of his favorite tricks and put them together into an act that works for him lasting 20 minutes each. There is stuff with close up, money, cards, parlour, kids, and stage. Each of these sections has a checklist and tips for performance. I don't think joshua will really mind if you use these, But why should you? You already learned some killer material and enough to go pro. Now he closes the book
OVERALL 5/5 Joshua is one of the best writers and authors of our time. He makes sure everything can be understood with good performance and explanation techniques. The book was well constructed with over 500 illustrations, photographs, and over 300 pages of intricate performance scripts, essays, tricks, and explanations. A MUST buy for anyone interested in magic. You WILL walk away with something that you can use. I know I did.
Now it is time to review the included DVD that Joshua made exclusively for this book. It was a very wise choice because some of these effects need to be seen for the reader to fully appreciate them and the impact that they have on the audience.
THE LAYOUT 5/5 Joshua did a fantastic job laying out this DVD. I don't think anybody should buy another DVD or even MAKE another DVD until you get this one. This is the best DVD I have ever seen. Everhting from the motion graphics to the transitions to teaching to performing etc. He breaks down each section of the DVD just like his did in the book. Office, cards, money, parlor etc. He performs them in each of the venues like on the street, in an office, durring a live show, at an elementary school. very niiiiiice!
PERFORMANCES 5/5 Should I even bother giving each section a rating? They are all perfect 5. The performances like I said, Are where they are meant to be. In the office, street, show etc. He really connects with the audience and makes them understand magic and what it is really about.
THE TRICKS 5/5 I already mentioned above why I think he made the companion DVD. If you don't believe some of these tricks will work (and believe me, I was one of them!) he shows you the audience's reactions and how they respond to each type of performance. Joshua gives the best version of out of this world as well so that is a plus.
THE TEACHING 2/5 JK 5/5 Joshua goes into a bright white room with his table and explains everything step by step with motion graphics and special effects for some of the tricks to get the full impact of it all. He also gives you some tips and ideas for most of these as well. If you have seen the Daniel Garcia project, all of these tricks have some sort of special teaching style. WHat I mean by this is, SOmetimes durring the explanation, Close up explanations appear on the same screan so there are multiple angle shots including from your view, over the shoulder, on the ceiling, close up, far away etc.
OVERALL 5/5 What more is there to say? Josh is an awesome perfomer, a great magician, and he has a keen passion for the art of magic and one of the best practitioners of our time. Nobody beats Joshua Jay. It is just that simple.