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In A Class By Himself: The Legacy Of Don Alan Review

Official Review

April 29th, 2008 11:57am
Reviewed by Scott Brown
I am so sorry I did not buy this book sooner. Until reading “In A Class By Himself: The Legacy of Don Alan”, my exposure to Don Alan was unfortunately minimal. It is sad to say, like most of today’s magicians, my main exposure to Don Alan was the Stevens video along with the occasional mention by Eugene Burger. It is however fortunate that this video record of a true magic icon gives a real feel for the man and his magic. I had eyed the book on the magic shop’s bookshelf for a couple of years, the hundreds of freeze frame photos, along with script transcriptions from the video, lead me to believe it was just a rehash Stevens tape by Jon Racherbaumer. I was so wrong!

Yes, it does give a near frame by frame breakdown of Don Alan’s performance for Stevens, but it gives a whole lot more. Of course the effects from the video, along with Don’s Pretty Sneaky Act are fully explained. The real gold is that you don’t only get the effect, you get all the things that made him a legend along with it. All the sub-text, psychology and strategies, with complete breakdown of timing, control and momentum. This is a rare treat, to really get the whys and hows, not an instruction sheet. All in all you are treated to 41 complete presentations.

All magicians (yes, that means Ellusionist and Penguin trained magi as well) should read this for real insight into routining and performing. Learn about personal space and why Don Alan would have never done David Blaine style “Street Magic”. If you really read this book you will think about your magic differently “ GUARANTEED!

I nearly forgot the heart felt introduction by Eugene Burger. Also included are scenes from Don Alan’s Magic Ranch television series with assorted photos. This is required reading!
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Product info for In A Class By Himself: The Legacy Of Don Alan

Author: Racherbaumer, Jon
Publisher: L & L Publishing
Average Rating:  (1)
Retail Price: $40.00
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Manufacturer's Description:

The most eagerly anticipated book of the New Millennium. Don Alan's landmark work has finally been fully and dramatically captured in multi-faceted, multi-mediated form by Jon Racherbaumer, and L & L Publishing is proud to offer a vital masterwork written the way magic books should be written. Not only are all of Don Alan's signature tricks explained in meticulous detail, but his unique format, important sub-text, psychology and presentation - the life-blood of what set Don Alan apart from the rest - is fully explained. These are the aspects which made his entertaining routines the prevailing paradigm of 20th Century Close-up Magic. You will get an inside look at what made Don Alan the most talked about and most copied close-up entertainer of all time. And you will learn the whys and hows of his synergistic routine-making and the all-important underlying themes: the Circle of Fun, the uses of environmental and personal spaces, picking players, timing, control, momentum, interrogation strategy, and much more .

The stunning volume contains 309 pages, 330 freeze-frame photos and 41 items, including Don Alan's professional Pretty Sneaky Act, which is comprised of 13 action-packed, fully-developed presentations. Also included are introductions by Eugene Burger and Ron Bauer, a retrospective review of Don Alan's Magic Ranch television series, two behind-the-scenes, candid, and thought-provoking interviews with Don and 16 scrapbook photos.

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