I should preface this 'review' by acknowledging a few things.
First off, I rarely write reviews anymore.
Part of the reason is that most of what I come across these days doesn't remain in my possession for very long; invariably ending up in The Magic Café's 'recycling bin' - TRICKS FOR SALE section.
I don't publically harp on the many disappointments I've purchased, as I've merely come to accept that the vast majority of things I buy will either fail to meet my specific needs or, are more commonly just sadly awful.
But on the rare occasion that I do come across something of merit, enthusiasm motivates me to share my reaction - which is by no means anything more than one man's opinion (albeit, I hope it is perceived as a somewhat 'informed' opinion).
So, when I read of Vanishing Inc's release of Steve Thompson's revisiting of a U.F. Grant style routine with magazines, I was cautiously curious.
To put that cautious curiosity in context (I love unintentional alliteration), I have purchased and disposed of several recent efforts in this category, including N.K.'s Tru-Test and the late M.B.'s Market Update. I won't offer detailed comments on either of these, except to say that they came up well short of what they might have been.
I should also preface this bit of feedback by offering my credentials in the category of the BT (I'm keeping things as nondescript as possible as this is a searchable forum).
In developing the routine that I regularly perform I have studied as much of the published material on the subject as I have been able to acquire.
I own or have owned a multitude of marketed BTs, including my own multiple edition of Mother (including an original soft cover version and 2.0).
I have also written my own, as yet unpublished BT, which may or may not see the light of day.
So, while I would certainly not place my knowledge on the same shelf as our recently departed friend Dick Christian, who was without question, the most informed person on the subject, I would offer that I know something of what I speak of on the subject.
So, that brings us to Glance.
In a word, Glance is superb!
Here are the factors upon which I base this fairly bold comment.
1. It looks as it should (I bought the two-copy edition, which is absolutely worth the minor added cost). Whether or not you decide to use the provided covers, the important stuff (the content) should easily pass the scrutiny of the 'normal' performance environment. Suffice it to say, like all gaffed materials, you don't want to loan this out to someone looking for bathroom reading material (come to think of it, there are several reasons why that would be a very bad idea)! But I cannot overstate just how much attention to detail went into the design of each page. Sure, if you look long enough and with a critical enough eye, I'm sure you can find something to criticize, but upon 'ordinary' conditions, this looks really good (the same cannot be said of its previously mentioned predecessors).
2. An added feature to ascertain the needed information is beautifully nuanced and, should you choose to us it, fiendishly clever!
3. I'm still a tiny bit on the fence as to the number of, let's call them, "options," which is far fewer than Mother's nearly full range.
On the one hand, I believe the subterfuge could have been greater with 'more;' however, I get why this is what it is and see added benefits to the 'less-may-in-fact-be-more' approach.
4. Packs small, plays.....sorry, couldn't resist at least one cliche in this post. But in this case, it really is true.
I know that others do not share my passion for offering multiple books in their routine (and I respect differing opinions - most of the time ), but in my case, I carry 3 or 4 books to perform my routine.
I can now conceivably accomplish the same perception but with only a fraction of the space and weight!
On that note, I would love to see a 3 or 4 'item' option, particularly if they could be provided without the front cover.
5. The cost. Are you kidding me? This is THE STEAL OF THE YEAR!
The grain of salt to this entire post is that I have yet to perform with these (I hope to later this week - which is crazy fast for me), but I perceive this kind of thing like a tool; a carpenter doesn't have to hammer a nail to know if the hammer is good enough to consider having it replace the 'old faithful' in his tool box.
And on that note, you know what, these just might end up replacing my hammers!
Kudos to Steve and the crew at Vanishing - who also impressed me with their customer service.
I will end this with the statement that I paid full retail for these and do not have any personal relationship with either Steve nor anyone else at Vanishing Inc.
In fact we've never met before - and they seem really happy about that