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Khayyam’s Coin (Coin and Wand Routine) Review

February 17th, 2014 10:38pm
Reviewed by Dr. J. M. Ayala de Cedoz
I originally purchased this because first, I must say that I love John Tudor and the work he does. He is an excellent magician and if there is anything else he is even better at, it is acting. John presents magic in a very theatrical way, even in close-up work.

The second reason I bought this was because over the years I have developed my own coin and wand routines because, be honest, how many coin magicians do you see using a wand to do coin magic? Hardly any if any at all, and that is what I love about the idea - it is quite unique.

Khayyam's Coin was inspired in part by a single poem from a collection of poems known as the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, (numbering around 1,000) as written by the Persian poet, Omar Khayyam. For those not in the know or for the morbidly curious (or not), a "rubaiyat" is a two-line stanza with two parts per each - what Nostradamus scholars call a 'quatrain.'

As you recite the poem, the coin appears, vanishes and reappears, in conjunction with the words in the poem. There are three phases which can be done singly or all together, and one even involves an audience member if you so choose. Think of this as a "flurry" type of routine but without the rapidness of a typical coin flurry.

That is all very well and good, and the routine will look fantastic if you practice it well (it demands good practice for smoothness and ease of flow) and keep a good pace.

So, why the low rating? Well first of all I expected a booklet in better shape from a name like John Tudor - even for $10.00 - what I received was a poorly and unevenly bound set of 8 or so pages of 8.5" x 11" paper folded in half, and the cover is a heavier card stock - also unevenly folded and cut into two pieces. The two staples holding the two pieces of cover askew to the pages in the middle of the "spine" are quite rusty.

The accompanying photographs are black and white and for the most part, they are okay. I think that with the advent of the current digital camera technology, they could most certainly have been better - I have purchased very well-put together manuscripts with a few effects for $5 with much better photos in them.

The instructions for some of the moves which were described could have been made clearer - they just leave too much out for the reader to get a full understanding. Having said that...

In this manuscript, for the most part, John assumes that you either already know some of the sleights or moves, or that you have the sources to look them up. Just in case, he lists the name of each move/sleight again in the back along with where you can find them. This is great and there is nothing wrong with assuming such things and pointing out resources, BUT...

What bothered me the most was there were a couple of moves that he mentioned in passing as a suggestion (they were not used in his handling of this routine), then he neglected to list where to find said sleights/moves.

The other thing that really bothered me was his defining of two well-known subtleties and the differences between them: The Kaps Subtlety (sometimes called the Kaps/Malini Subtlety) and the Ramsay Subtlety. In the context of this routine you are holding a coin in your hand whilst using the Ramsay Subtlety. This is where he says that the difference between the Ramsay and Kaps Subtleties is merely a change in the way the hand faces (palm up/down) - that is NOT the case. The coin (or other object) would be in a different position for the latter. This is simply misinformation.

Back to another somewhat positive thing: Within the instructional text, you will find the appropriate corresponding word or line of text from the poem, the word or line that you are supposed to recite as you perform that particular action. The problem here is that there are one or two times where an action is described and the corresponding word was left out. This just makes the proofreading and editing look sloppy - which if I am to just all copies of this manuscript by the one that I received, really is sloppy at best.

In the back of the book there is a sort of "addendum" if you will - a single page that looks to have been added in post-edit or post-release in regards to using a magic wand within a magic performance, not just in this instance. This page was printed on the back of a spare copy of the references page. This was attached haphazardly, via a single staple at the top, onto the inside of the back cover.

All I can say is that I have spent less money on other similar manuscripts with more material in them, much better photo quality, much better editing and proofreading and that were very nicely and neatly put together.

If I were to judge this work solely based on the routine and its ideas, I would give it 4 stars, maybe 4.5, but with all the negatives about it I cannot. I guess I just expected better quality (even for the $10.00) from such a well-respected professional. If in the future I come across a copy with the above issues fixed (even an attempt at making it better) I may just alter the rating, but for now, 2.5 stars.

Product info for Khayyam’s Coin (Coin and Wand Routine)

Author: John Tudor
Publisher: John Tudor Magic
Average Rating:  (1)
Retail Price: $10.00
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Manufacturer's Description:

Close Up routine using

simple props and

classic poetry.

16 pages, 30 photos

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