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Ripped & Repaired, Booklet Review

Official Review

January 14th, 2005 5:53pm
Reviewed by Brad Henderson
David Forrest's Ripped and Repaired is a small but nicely produced booklet which explains 6 tricks. Let's look at each, and explore some thoughts they bring to mind.

Ripped and Repaired, the title trick, was first offered as a bonus item with David's Card through Window offering, reviewed as well. It is not included in the latest edition, so you have to get it here.

The effect is odd. Intentionally so. The corner of a card is torn and then stapled back into place. The magician rubs the location of the join, which then "repairs" itself. The card is still stapled.

Ok, I'm convinced David has come up with a workable solution for this effect, but I am reminded of the story of the Zen Archer. Most archers take a quiver full of arrows and spend all day shooting things. The Zen archer takes one arrow and spends the day trying to find something worth shooting.

Is the Ripped and Repaired trick as strong as, as good as, a more traditional torn and RESTORED effect? Which would have a greater impact on the audience? While I don't doubt that people might like David's trick, its a little too conceptual for my taste. The card remains stapled so in order to appreciate the effect you have to examine the finished product closely. And really, wouldn't we prefer the staples not to be there? And if removed, what about the hole?. After all you can REPAIR the card, right?

So, While the solution is clever, I don't know if the problem will appeal to many. Of course this is completely a matter of taste. If the effect appeals to you, I think you will like his offering.

On a similar note, let's consider Twirl and Shout. This is David's handling of a Hamman (and Elmsley) effect, The Signed Card (Between your Palms). I think David missed the point entirely. What makes both the Elmsley and Hamman tricks work is the fact that the tabled card is (apparently) NEVER touched. This cannot be said of David's variation. The card is obviously handled. And I think that destroys the whole point of the trick. Again, I would seek out the best handling of any trick I was pursuing, I and believe that either the Hamman or Elmsley (with a look at Bean's and Lovell's additions) would prove more useful.

I feel similarly about Dear Diary. The Birthday Diary effect is one of the strongest in magic. Why? Because it is about someone's personal birthday. David's trick eliminates any personal connection to the effect and renders it a clever stunt. This is really a shame. The Birthday Diary is such a strong trick, I think David missed the ball entirely here.

Digression number one. David offers a couple of nice forces in this manuscript that often go overlooked. Unfortunately, he uses these forces in tricks where the process of the force seems out of place to what the logical course of action would be. I see this a lot. Part of this may be his desire to eliminate the need for something more "organic" as a classic force in lieu of something within the skill set of everyone. But what he has done is matched forces to tricks in a way that seems ill-fitting. I liked being reminded of the forces used, but would encourage the reader to take them away from the tricks and build others around them so that they seem more natural to the process of the trick in performance.

On a related note. Some of the tricks are over handled. "Double cut three cards to the top. Then shift the top card to the bottom." Well, why not just cut the two bottom to the top and eliminate one step? (This is not an exact quote.) I really think performers should be more critical of their work. Vernon said good sleight of hand is the elimination of moves. There are too many unneeded moves in these tricks.

Take Note is good. In fact, Take Note is worth the price of admission. However, the handling offered is overdone. Why not just peek, cop the card and add it to the back of the notepad as you remove it from your pocket? This would be a more direct handling and just as effective. I would surmise that David wanted to eliminate the need for the palm. But I think he did his trick a disservice.

Learn this trick, but follow my suggestion. You will have a keeper.

Signature Piece is a version of Samleson's New York Transpo without the "odd back" factor. I have always found these tricks potentially confusing. I think anyone offering a trick where the front and back halves of a card change places really needs to provide a clear script so the audiences are not confused. This is not provided.

Finally, Boxing Clever is a version of the Bruno Hennig card to ring box. Many versions of this have appeared in print including Harris, Close, Wonder, Swiss, etc. My favorite version using a matchbox is to be found in The Mystery School book. I saw it performed and it went right by me.

David's offering is clever. The gaffed box is an interesting idea, and allows for an interesting visual illusion. There are other solutions and I would encourage the student to consider them all before deciding.

One last digression. It seems that David has been influenced by the Paul Harris style of writing. Jokes are sprinkled throughout the text. While Harris managed to do this without clouding the instruction, there were times when I had to go back and re-read a line or two.

In short, for those of you who like these kinds of tricks, these are the kinds of tricks you will like. The Take Note idea is brilliant and a performer not afraid of skillful card handling could do well with this. A little thought and the modifications needed should be obvious. The other tricks are variations of better tricks. At least, that's my feeling.

Two stars

Available at your favorite Murphy’s Magic dealer

Product info for Ripped & Repaired, Booklet

Author: David Forrest
Average Rating:  (1)
Retail Price: $16.00
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Manufacturer's Description:

A new approach to the T&R plot

A corner is cleanly and fairly torn from a selected card. (It really is!) The magician claims that he can restore this card to its former glory with the aid of a very special and ancient and magic-endowed instrument of necromancy. The spectators clutch their handbags to their faces and peek through the gaps in their fingers. The magician goes to his pocket and produces....a stapler! He talks half the audience out of leaving before re-attaching the torn corner with the stapler. The "restored" card is signed by the spectator as proof that this miracles was witnessed by human eyes. A man in the back row cocks the hammer on a large handgun, a woman in the front is picturing the magi with an axe in his liver....before things turn violent he gathers everyone around close and with a gentle rub (ooh!) he visually heals the torn corner and hands out the card ford inspection, there is nothing to find, just the two staples which once held the card together!

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