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Fem Fatal Review

Official Review

November 20th, 2003 1:27pm
Reviewed by David Parr
The following quote is Docc Hilford's review of Fem Fatal: 64 Sinful Secrets of The Cassandra Deck(TM) from his introduction to Docc Hilford's Fem Fatal: 64 Sinful Secrets of The Cassandra Deck(TM):

"The tricks in this book are all good, some are great and others still outstanding. There are no bad or mediocre tricks here."

This should sufficiently convey the shameless tone of the rest of this "book." I use the word "book," in quotes, because that is what the author calls it. Fem Fatal: 64 Sinful Secrets of The Cassandra Deck(TM) is in fact a 64-page, photocopied, saddle-stapled pamphlet or booklet, replete with typos, misspellings, tortured sentence structure, and whimsical punctuation. For added value, there are two hazy, indistinct illustrations, one of which appears to have been drawn by a monkey on an ether binge.

Again, I quote: "This book contains 64 original tricks... Each trick is so uniquely different you can do an entire show with The Cassandra Deck(TM)..."

The booklet does not contain 64 "uniquely different" tricks. It contains several basic routines and many, many variations on the theme, some explained in as few as two paragraphs. For instance, effect number one demonstrates a basic handling of The Cassandra Deck(TM). The performer riffles the cards with the faces toward a volunteer, requesting that he or she mentally note one card. The performer then identifies the card following a "pumping" procedure. Effect number two proposes that the performer might invite the volunteer to shuffle and cut the deck prior to having a card noted. Effect number ten suggests that the above routine could be performed while wearing a blindfold. And so on.

The author firmly recommends reading the booklet from beginning to end. One reason for this advice is that so many of the effects are variations on one another. But the author also cautions that, by skipping here and there, the reader might miss "helpful information" scattered throughout the text. For example, effect number 40 relies on mastering the art of "sound reading" -- determining what letters or numbers a person is writing by listening to the sound the pencil makes on paper. "A couple of evening's practice will reward you with a trick that can't be equaled." And here, presumably, is the helpful information: "Sussurus Arcanus by Docc Hilford is an audio tape teaching sound reading techniques for professional performers. It is available from the author."

For $35 -- the cost of a professionally edited, illustrated and printed hardcover book -- you can own this pamphlet. Need I say more?

Half a star

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Product info for Fem Fatal

Author: Hilford, Docc
Average Rating:  (1)
Retail Price: $35.00
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Manufacturer's Description:

Docc Hilford's Cassandra Deck is a special deck of cards that made magical history in 1999 when it sold to a very select group of inside professionals for the unprecedented fee of $100! Those few fortunate enough to own one, guarded its secrets closely. Now, you can learn the innermost secrets.
The Cassandra Deck is so much more than a special deck of cards, it's a tool that enables the amateur or professional magician to perform miracles.
This book contains 64 original tricks that are designed to shock both your audiences as well as you with their directness and mystery. You will also be shown what no one has ever known before, exactly how to build your own Cassandra Deck.
Each trick is so uniquely different you can do an entire show with The Cassandra Deck and your audience will experience a wide variety of magic and mentalism-not just card tricks.
Absolutely one of the finest pieces of workable mentalism.

Available from your favorite magic dealer.

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