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Closely Guarded Secrets Review

Official Review

June 5th, 2004 9:26am
Reviewed by Brad Henderson
I have come to learn that the most difficult reviews to write are of products which are very good and those which are very bad. The mediocre products offer a lot to talk about - how this could have been better, how that was a disappointment. But both bad and great products often leave little more to say than either "yuck" or "this is great!"

In case there is any doubt, this is one of those, "This is GREAT!" products. In truth it is better than great, and rather than just repeat such platitudes I will try to offer some opinions and thoughts which may help you realize that this is a product that you truly NEED to own.

First, this e-book teaches (not explains, but teaches) more in its introductory material than most books and videos on the market today offer in their entirety. Michael Close is a deep thinker and an excellent writer. When the Worker's series came out, the material took the magic world by storm, but some people realized that those essays and asides within the tricks carried a lot of value too. Well, Michael has had the benefit of a few more years of performances in a very different environment (and a few more years of life) and these experiences have transported him into a rarefied level of thinking about our art. We are lucky that he has chosen to share it with us.

Now, don't get me wrong, the tricks in this book are killer. In fact, having seen a few of them in action at the Houdini Lounge in the Monte Carlo Casino I must selfishly confess that I'm slightly upset that some of these routines are now available for use by magicians all over the world. They are, and I mean this with utter sincerity, too good.

But hidden within these tricks are the real secrets of magic. I'm not talking methods, I'm talking secrets. In fact, I can say again with complete truthfulness, that almost every chapter revealed a secret to me that I can use to make my magic stronger.

How many books or DVD's can you say that about today?

In fact, the release of this product really does put a lot of the current offerings into perspective. It is a first class production, the material is amazing throughout, it has been audience tested, it is well written, and it does more than offer a novel game of show and tell - it TEACHES.

Now, about the product. I hate ebooks. I can't stand reading things on my computer. Michael has solved this problem AND has made me open a bit of my mind to the future of electronic texts. First, he has made it a simple matter to print the ebook into a normal book form. If you choose this option, you have a wonderful 180 page book which you can enjoy late into the evening and know it will soon find a cozy home next to the Workers series. More importantly, Michael has taken advantage of the ebook technology and uses it in his quest to teach.

In the ebook, short video clips have been inserted to help the reader understand the timing on certain moves, and to clarify certain actions that some readers may have difficulty following. In truth, I found Michael's writing to be crystal clear, but will confess that I was happy to check my interpretation of the Bedwell control against the video.

Like I said, this is a text that teaches, and for this, Michael is to be commended.

So, if you want excellent magical thinking conveyed through real world, A+, killer diller material, then you NEED this book. I haven't enjoyed a magic book so much in quite a long time, and I haven't gotten so much value out of a product in ages. This type of release raises the bar for the rest of us. In short, it's #$@!!% great!

Closely Guarded Secrets sells for $35. As a thank you for ordering from Michael, he will include the cards necessary for two of the routines. Here is the link:

Available at your favorite Murphy’s Magic dealer

Product info for Closely Guarded Secrets

Author: Michael Close
Average Rating:  (2)
Retail Price: $35.00
Buy Now
Manufacturer's Description:

This revolutionary CD-Rom/Ebook includes routines straight from Michael's act at the Houdini Lounge in the Monte Carlo Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

-The Luckiest Cards in Las Vegas
-The Shuffles Routine
-The Dumbest Casino in the World
-The Cheating Lessons
-The Trick that Lance Burton Showed Me ...and much more.

  • Text provides the information
  • Photographs clarify the text
  • Video shows the perfected sleights

This ebook offers unparalleled instruction by allowing text, photographs, and video clips to do what they do best and can be printed out to produce a spectacular 8.5 x 11, 179-page book.

Each routine is described in complete detail in Michael Close's clear, easy-to-read style. It's almost like having private lessons with Michael Close.

BONUS: Three Essays on Magic Theory and Michael's Presentation & Handling of: Dean Dill's Box & Gary Plants Magnetized Cards.

Estimated ship date is June 10, 2004

Available from your favorite magic dealer.

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