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793.8 Review

Official Review

October 6th, 2014 7:01am
Reviewed by Dr. J. M. Ayala de Cedoz
Well, this book was thoroughly entertaining to read and by 'entertaining', I mean thought-provoking.

When you read this e-book (or the printed version) you will find that most of the book is mostly a collection of theories that Jeff has based on his experiences. I do know Jeff quite well, virtually speaking - he is well-known performer in the magic community, a big name on this site and he and I are both admins of a Facebook group for magicians. Jeff is not a full-time professional magician but if he did not say that outright, you may never guess that about him when reading this body of work.

You will not agree with everything you read in this book (nor should you - I certainly did not), but the main idea behind them is to cause you to think more about your own magic and your own performances and ideas. Jeff states which ideas/theories have been tested before an audience and which have not. Many would ask, "Why publish an untested idea/theory?" I ask, "Why not?" Paul Harris and Tom Stone are two notable authors that have done and continue to do just that because even untested, they are something to think about which may lead to experimentation and/or answers in other areas of your work. It is great to see them put out there.

As I read through the effects in this book, I realized that like me, Jeff loves 'old' material - classic material from the old masters. Those things are still around because THEY WORK! I am not saying that the effects here are old or that they are just a re-publishing of old effects - far from it. Instead, those old effects serve as a starting ground for the material here, the inspiration for them. There are both original effects in here as well as additions to effects published by others. The crediting for each item in the book is very well done.

There is a section that I particularly enjoyed and it was the last part of the book, which is a tribute to Max Malini. Readers may not know that Malini was well-known for carrying around a set-up for an effect that may never be performed because it requires just the right setting, requires lots of work and may never be topped or repeated. I myself have one particular effect that I have had for a good ten years now, which I carry in many different situations ready to go and have only performed it about 17 times in those ten years. This section certainly has some of those kinds of effects in it worthy of consideration and study.

Both the printed book and the e-book reference videos on YouTube as a supplement to certain sections throughout the book - I think it is a great idea and a great way to illustrate certain points in the text that words alone could not fully explain.

There are extra files that come with this which can be used for some of the effects in it, such as a receipt maker, cards (not playing cards) that Jeff uses for one of the effects, etc.

Even though you will not agree with everything in this book and you may not like every effect in it, you will certainly find something of use in this book whether it is a thought/theory or idea that makes you think about your own work or an effect that you would like to try. I found a couple of them myself and one of his effects I found solved a problem for a similar idea I had been working on for a while.

For the record, the ad copy is 100% accurate and I would expect (nor accept) anything less from a guy who would be the first to eat a product alive for an inaccurate ad copy.

To sum everything up here: Get off this site and go buy this book or this e-book - you will enjoy it!

Very highly recommended!

Product info for 793.8

Author: Jeff Stone
Publisher: Stone Cold Magic
Average Rating:  (3)
Retail Price: $29.95
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Manufacturer's Description:

Over a Dozen effects . . .
More than 20 essays and thought experiments . . .
Nearly 270 Pages of madness . . .
You’re sure to find the answer to the question "Where is the magic?"

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