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Review of Diary of a Madman

Official Review

August 13th, 2022 3:17am
Reviewed by Paul Budd
I spent a lot of time with this book. It isn't a huge book by any definition. I have, from a young age, liked magic books that present a broad gumbo of effects and ideas. This delivers in that department. I like how Jeff "thinks aloud" in his books -- that appeals to me. He is the kind of guy who will write: "In January, I was going to perform this trick in blah-blah manner, but in March I did it a different way." A very few people do a great job in being non-terse in how they write and Jeff is one of them.
This book references his personal magic diary, a thing more of us could stand to keep. Thusly, most of these items bubbled up from that process.
While not a beginner's book, nothing here is too tough. If you've been heavily involved in magic for at least a year, the methods/thoughts/props referenced here won't scare you. This book sort of falls into the scope of 'Bizarre' magic, but not entirely...some of the material is creepy and some of it is fun. Don't let the cover fool you too much. He gets moderately heavy into his scripting and that is good. However, one bit, "Flying High Again", just reads a little odd. It is an OK trick, kinda playful, really, but the wording/patter drags a bit. He also uses this convention where he uses names (e.g. "John does this. Bill grabs that. Tommy leans into his audience.)...maybe I'm old, but that kind of stuff tires me somewhat. I just like, "performer does..." and "spectator deals..."
For the investment, this is a good book. The print version is laid out well and is professionally printed (he also has it as an eBook via his site). This item has a 'Bank Night' bit that I can 99% promise I will work into my act IMMEDIATELY! My opinion? Get it, read it, use the material!

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