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Bob Read Collection (4 DVD Set) Review

March 27th, 2008 12:08pm
Reviewed by Scott Brown
There are times I am genuinely excited by the release of a new product; rarely is that a DVD. This is one of those times. For the most part it lives up to its hype and despite its $120 price tag, it is worth it.

I am not among the fortunate who got to see Bob Read live. I do not pretend to believe that I will truly know what the experience was like, but it does capture a real piece of his genius. I am not sure but I believe I may have rewound his bottle production each time he did it; and you get to see it a lot on the first disc alone.

Unlike most DVDs though, you get to see a more 3 dimensional picture of the man. Rather than just a collection of performances, you also get to experience his lectures and get a feel for what it was like learning from a master performer. It goes deeper still and includes historical lectures given by Bob Read, including his final lecture. He unfortunately passed 10 days later. You even get a magic tour of London, along with an assortment of PDF files containing his lecture notes.

You do not even need to be a fan to get something out of this project, however if you are looking for an example of what a true performer is like or are a comic magician, you can not pass on this one.
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Product info for Bob Read Collection (4 DVD Set)

Author: Bob Read
Average Rating:  (1)
Retail Price: $120.00
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Manufacturer's Description:

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Robert Graham Read ("Bob" to one and all) was one of the unique figures in magic. Bob was the greatest magician the United Kingdom has ever produced. His comedy, his magic, and their combination was unique and produced a rolling wave of hysteria in his audiences that few magicians other than Juan Tamariz, David Williamson, Bill Malone, and Tom Mullica have been able to match. He was also a dogged-researcher and historian/collector, specializing in the early history of magic in London and images of magicians performing the cups and balls.

This unique 4-DVD set contains over eight hours of Bob Read's performances, ranging from 1976 through 2005, including all of his most famous routines. Several lectures are also included in which many of the routines are taught, along with Bob's ideas and theories about comedy. You'll get to see Bob perform his incredible "Bottle Production," "$100 Glass Through Table," "Transpo Tumbler," "Knife Through Coat," "Quasimodo Card Trick," "D(I)ice Stacking," "Gypsy Torn and Restored Thread," "Impromptu Cups and Balls," "Four Coin Production with Handkerchief," and much more. Many of these routines are also thoroughly explained.

Also included are two historical lectures Bob gave, one on the history of prints of the cups and balls over the last 300 years, the second on the search for the mysterious author of parts of one of magic history's most famous books, the Annals of Conjuring.

Let Bob also take you on a walk through magical London, pointing out the sites where interesting magic tidbits took place over the past 400 years. Sit in on a private interview Richard Kaufman conducted with Bob in which he explains the true secrets of misdirection and comedy magic.

Also included on this set are pdf files of all seven of Bob Read's publications, Thanks to Pepys, What You Get is What I Do, "Knife Through Coat," "Bottle Production," "$100 Glass Through Table," "Transpo Tumbler," and "Penultimate Cups and Balls." The entire issue of Genii dedicated to Bob and his work from 2004 is also included.

All told, these four DVDs encapsulate the life of one of magic's greatest practitioners.

Disc One Running Time Approximately 2hrs 14min
Disc Two Running Time Approximately 2hrs 6min
Disc Three Running Time Approximately 2hrs 20min
Disc Four Running Time Approximately 75min

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