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Redivider Review

Official Review

March 27th, 2003 2:57pm
Rating:
Reviewed by Brad Henderson
No radar on magic literature was blank the day Redivided came out. Many people thought this was Max/Phil's long awaited opus on the Gilbreath principle. While we will have to wait a little longer for that treat, in the mean time we can revel in this small but informative volume.

In Redived Max systematically reveals and explores the principle behind the palindromic or stay stack. The reader is guided step by step from the introduction all the way through moderately complex tricks and routines, all featuring this fascinating technique.

For those familiar with the stay stack, the concept of Faro Shuffles immediately comes to mind. Max avoids that route entirely, substituting Down-Under deal procedures to good effect. For those who disdain such handlings, I would invite you to stay with Max until the end of the book, where the impact of the routines presented more than justify this procedural choice.

The tricks range from the very simple, to the very interesting. Starting with examples that utilize only the most basic of handlings, Max takes the reader in hand and guides them into more complex territory. When reading the book the first time, I found a lot of the repetitive instructions annoying, but Max gradually phases them out, after they have served their purpose. I then realized that because of this process I had a very firm understanding of the palindromic principle and could "see" the effects and handling happen in my minds eye. I understood how the cards were moving about, and I could see why each move was necessary. And I never once took the deck in hand. That's a pretty amazing task for any writer of card tricks.

The tricks themselves are good. I particularly liked Stack Cats and Swap Paws, though every routine has something to offer.

The book is slim, but very well written and densely packed. Is this an exhaustive study of the "stay stack"? Well, having not studied it myself, I don't know. But it is a very thorough introduction and one walks away feeling they have gained a fairly deep understanding of at least one manifestation of the stay stack concept.

As I have stated I like to rate items based on their own merits as well as how they compare to similar items. As a single volume exploration of a single concept, this is great and better than most similar type studies. Production is fabulous, and there are some fun Palindromic "Easter eggs" hidden throughout.

5 stars.

Product info for Redivider

Author: Goldstein, Phil
Publisher: Hermetic Press
Average Rating:  (1)
Retail Price: $15.00
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Manufacturer's Description:

It has been a few years since Phil Goldstein's last book of magic, Thabbatical, was released. It is now a sought-after work, out of print with secondhand copies hard to obtain. So what has Mr. Goldstein been up to since then? The answer is REDIVIDER, a book containing 24 tricks and routines with cards, including mental feats, a devilish repeat Do-as-I-Do, a detective mystery, a lesson in sexual politics, a Poker demonstration with an historical surprise finish, and moreā€”all based on one fascinating principle (no, not that principle, but a good one, nonetheless), with minimal manipulation. Mr. Goldstein, after giving a clear explanation of the self-working principle underlying all the pieces in the book, leads you from simple applications to ever more clever and confounding tricks and routines, many with full and very entertaining presentations.

80 pages of highly reflective magic in a quality paperback (with sewn signatures).


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