Reality is Magic

Book by NEAT Review and Anson Chen
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4.6 | 7 reviews
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Reality is Magic

59.95 usd

Book by NEAT Review and Anson Chen (59.95)

Out of stock. Email me when new stock arrives.

13 original routines and 7 thought-provoking essays in one gorgeous hardcover book specifically written for the most loyal and devoted magic enthusiasts.

Reality is Magic by Anson Chen is so much more than just another compilation of tricks. It is a celebration of our fascinating journey as magicians and a rare chance to view a world in which “real” magic can exist.

The only thing that rivals the contents is the book itself. Designed to perfection by The NEAT Review (the super talented creative team behind Derren Brown’s Notes From a Fellow Traveler), and complemented by spectacular linocut artwork from Dr. Will Houstoun, this will be a cherished addition to the library of any erudite.

Within the pages of this beautiful book, you’ll find 13 of the most closely-guarded routines from Anson’s 20+ year magical career. These road-tested effects span everything from close-up magic to parlor magic and even mind-blowing mentalism. Each one has astounded lay audiences and magicians alike across the globe.

Those seeking the real secrets though, will find them in the essay section where Anson shares invaluable advice on how to accelerate your progress as a student of magic and develop presentations that elevate simple tricks into veritable miracles that leave your audience with impossible memories.

This one-of-a-kind book is a must-read for any magician that seeks to:

  • Create a deeper emotional impact with their magic
  • Transform their tricks into memorable showpieces
  • Develop and integrate original scripts in a way that isn’t robotic
  • Leave their audiences with memories that are impossible to forget
  • Make magic REAL for both your audience AND yourself

Nothing sums up the value of Reality is Magic more perfectly than the foreword by Luke Jermay:

“For me this book is a great gift. In this book you will find beautiful magic, highly effective premises and clever methods. But it also holds challenging but valuable theoretical explorations from a performer who has taken his time. Anson has worked in the real world and diligently explored his own relationship to the mystery arts. His explorations have taken him far from the beaten path but always with the audience experience firmly in mind. He knows great tricks, he knows great methods, and he knows that a great trick with a great method is nothing without a great presentation. All of this is evident in the material you will soon learn.”

“Anson Chen is one of the greats of our time and this book is definitely going in my library!” Christian Grace

“There's a small subset of us who might actually be wizards. Anson is one of them.” Jeremy Griffith

“This is not just a book that teaches you tricks… If you read it and follow its steps, by the end of the book you will have become a better magician.” Avi Yap

“Reality is Magic? No. Anson Chen’s new book is magic. If you are serious about giving your audiences a dream like experience with practical methods, you have to check out Reality is Magic.” Harapan Ong

“Over decades, I've watched Anson's magic evolve and flourish. His book, a hidden treasure chest of enchantment, goes beyond tricks, creating a genuine bond between magician and audience. Anson's secrets are rooted in the power of true attention, joy, unwavering focus, and exquisite taste. With captivating aesthetics and content, it's a work of art that both pleases the eye and touches the soul, offering a journey into genuine wonder for all who explore its pages.” Cyril Takayama

Reality is Magic by Anson Chen is available now in limited quantities. Get your copy now before they sell out.


Customer reviews for Reality is Magic



What is magic? What make reality is magic? You will keep ponder and thinking what have you done in your life. This book is deep and thought provoking to open your eyes and mind. I was lucky enough to meet him in Bali. Anson is a very talented magician which has a new approach on how to connect to audience by using a simple but strong effect!



Reality is Magic is Anson Chen's latest release, and it is chock-full of goodies for both magicians and mentalists alike.

The lovely folks over at The Neat Review did a great job of putting the book together, which looks gorgeous with its black-edged pages, giving the tome a mystical vibe that is consistent with Anson's persona, should you have the good fortune of encountering the man.

The contents are listed prominently on the outside cover of the volume, offering the reader a sneak peek at what's inside.

Here is a brief review of the aforementioned contents:

A short opening essay/poem that sets the tone of the book.

An intimate miracle that involves a floating piece of paper transforming into something meaningful for the spectator. Simple in its concept, but profound in its impact. I can't wait to perform this one.

Essay about how to unearth the 'real' magic in what we do - by infusing honesty, by shifting our perspectives, by ridding our performances of B.S.

A dynamic coin routine presented as a lesson in attention control. I've seen Anson perform this at a convention, and the reactions he garners from this are very strong.

Essay on scripting, wherein Anson brings to light the importance of word choice and then provides a 5-step process on how to develop your own scripts.

A notable subtlety as part of an effect dealing in 'Dual Reality', as some of you might be familiar with. This one's really clever, and will have many of you shaking your heads as you read this, thinking 'why didn't I think of that?'

A new take on Vernon's Out of Sight, Out of Mind, developed by Anson and his friend Kelvin Chow. Removes a lot of the tedium from the original routine, resulting in a streamlined version with none of the B.S. and all of the punch. Oh, and for what it's worth, it's FASDIU.

Essay/thought piece/anecdote on a confrontation Anson encountered after a performance in Bali. What would you do?, he asks.

A two-phase prediction effect involving organic, everyday items. Combines several classic principles in a devious way.

Another subtlety, this one touching upon how to improve the less favorable outcomes of a classic principle. In this example, Anson uses ESP cards, which should tickle the fancy of any mentalist reading this.

Another winner that I've seen Anson fry spectators with live. Thought-of Card Across: simple, clean, elegant.

A continuation of pt. 1 of the essay with the same heading. In this follow-up, Anson explores the conundrum in more detail, giving the reader more thinking material to chew on.

Some of you might already have what's needed to perform this effect, while the necessary material(s) might be out of range for others. Regardless, for those fortunate enough to have all the requisite items needed for this effect, it's sure to be a crowd-pleaser, especially if performed during a spectator's birthday, as Anson suggests in the text. Ends with a memorable souvenir for the spectator in question - what's not to like?

Once again, Anson employs his tactics of combining a handful of clever psychological gambits to create a practical routine using simple props that ends up playing big in the brain-busting department. This one also requires something 'extra', but is more simple to obtain.

My favorite piece from the book, to the point where I feel that this effect earns the book its title. Demonstrates how a simple instance of proper framing - in this instance, time travel - can elevate an amusement to the level of a miracle. The only downside to this is that the circumstances involved have to be just right, but once they are... hoo boy, it's game over for any witnesses involved.

Anson's handling of the Haunted Deck. I couldn't find my I.T. to try this out, but from reading the instructions, it seems quite practical and visual.

An exercise in imagination involving two imaginary coins transforming into real ones. Takes inspiration from Garrett Thomas' modern classic "Imagination Coins", so if you like that effect, odds are you'll enjoy this one too.

Essay about Anson's approach to critiquing, evaluating, and therefore improving one's performance after a show. As Anson alludes to, this crucial activity is what separates the amateurs from the pros.

One of the book's topological effects, wherein a burned card miraculously reappears, unharmed, inside a sealed deck. What's notable about this routine is its conditions: as Anson writes, "there is no complex loading procedure, the magician never gets near the sealed deck, the brand new sealed deck can be displayed in front of the audience the entire time, and the deck can be given away at the end."

Another instance where Anson takes a simple principle and makes it play much bigger by layering it with added psychology, gambits, and contextual framing. What I liked about this one is its 'out' - read it and you'll see what I mean.

The final essay, this one about the power of story. Which is not to say that it's about telling fables per se, but about designing and influencing the type of stories your spectators will be left telling themselves and each other after your performance. Anson lists a fair amount of distinct examples in this essay too, which all add together to drive the point home.

All in all, this book was a treat to read and more than worth its asking price (I would've bought it for the essays alone!) The illustrations are beautiful, the photographs feel timeless, and the instructions describing the effects are clear and easy to follow.

If you've read this far, then thank you. My hope is that this review steers even more people towards the enlightened decision of adding Reality is Magic to their carts, libraries, and repertoires.



Anson has put well-crafted, designed, and executed form to the real potential of what our magic has the ability to create using reality rather than offering respite from it. The section beginning on page 46 will likely be the first time some readers have ever thought about the redoubtable power of the word of the magi. Did I mention it's beautifully badass? I hope this gets another run because we can all learn from what Brother Chen has put together for our community.



This is a first class experience in terms of production and content. Anson Chen is a deep thinker who cares about his magic and the experience of his participants. His essays are thought provoking. Three magic he shares in the book is varied from close up to cards to mentalism. All are well designed. Once again Alex Hansford’s Neat Review publishing has done a wonderful job in layout and design. They are setting the bar for magic book production.



Anson Chen is a brilliant mind. This book proves that in each section. Non-Duality and Thought Crime were instantly standouts from the book. They are simple in design but powerful in performance. Best Sory Wins is a fabulous essay with clear and deep insight into the creation and performance of magic. Lastly, Uber Miracle can be a barnburner if done correctly. I've changed it to DoorDash and was treated with a reaction I haven't gotten in years!

I can't rave more about the book more than this. This is the first magic book I've purchased an extra copy of so I can send it to a friend!



An aesthetically pleasing book that will be catnip for anyone dedicated to producing experiences of "real" magic in the minds of spectators. I found the essays to be more compelling than many of the effects, although that may be because it's difficult to communicate the awe and wonder these often apparently simple tricks produce in the real world. Luke Jermay writes the foreword and I can understand why. There's a shared belief in "real" magic, amongst other things. This would make an excellent companion piece to Luke's VI Masterclass.



The design and style of this book is incredible. It looks and feels like a magic book written in the early 1900s and a modern book at the same time.
The material therein I only found to be somewhat appealing which could be a matter of personal preference. The essays were quite short and touched on issues and concepts already discussed in other sources at greater length.


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