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Deep Astonishment II Review

Official Review

August 19th, 2005 9:35pm
Rating:
Reviewed by Gordon Meyer
There's a lot to like about Deep Astonishment II. At one level, if you're familiar with its ancestral tricks, Deep Astonishment and The Anything Deck (from The Art of Astonishment, Vol 3), you'll enjoy seeing how the effect has evolved over the last 9 years. The basic premise is the same, but with each refinement it gets more cohesive and easier to perform. At another level, the effect is just darn good and, properly done, can leave your audience in stunned silence.

This latest version takes on new twists that might appeal to you. But because it is now more carefully staged, your presentational framework is limited in comparison to earlier versions. The specially-printed Gypsy Fortune Telling Cards, for example, are a leap forward in allowing you to more easily, and very much openly, prepare for the final revelation. However, because of their nature and the working, you're pretty much going to have to present this as a fortune telling effect. This isn't a criticism of the trick at all; I just want to be sure you know that coming into this you'll face some difficulty if you intend to go too far afield from this theme.

The wallet that's included is very nicely made and has interesting look about it. In my performances it hasn't raised any suspicion at all, it's simply a leather envelope that looks the part it plays. I was disappointed that I had to fiddle with its construction, a bit of stray adhesive and shifting of the inside contents, perhaps from handling during shipping, that was easily corrected but nonetheless a distraction.

You get 13 pages (letter sized, stapled) of very detailed instructions that cover the setup, presentation, and easy reset for the next performance. As you might expect for an effect with this kind of provenance, every little detail is worked out for you--where to set the card case, the direction to turn the cards over during the reveal, etc--and all cogently explained. There are several photos to help clarify, but note that they're taken from the audience perspective, which is momentarily confusing while reading the text that describes "right side" from the performer's perspective. An over-the-shoulder photographic perspective would have avoided this minor hiccup.

The only quibble I have with the dealer's description of this effect is that the first card you reveal from the wallet is not the first letter of the spectator's word, it's actually a quote-mark card. You also finish the spelling with a closing quote-mark card. In other words, if the name is ROSE the final layout reads " R O S E " -- a total of six cards, not four, because of those quote-mark cards. There's nothing wrong with this, it might even strengthen it in some way, but it is slightly different than how the effect is normally described.

The Gypsy Fortune Telling Deck is a good quality deck that has been specially produced just for this trick. It's very much reminiscent of the old Gypsy Witch cards, but with some important changes. The letters used in the final revelation are neatly hand-printed in black magic marker on the backs. Because of the way the deck is prepared for this trick, you probably won't be able to (or want to) use it for other effects or general fortune telling.

You'll definitely need to spend some time with Deep Astonishment II; not just getting used to some handling nuances, but also learning how to convincingly sell it as fortune telling. You're required to use the same few cards in every reading, so that's not hard, but I suspect that many will be tempted to rush through the "fortune" to get to the killer finish; which would be a disservice to the effect and your audience.

I'm giving this five stars; it's a strong effect, well described and routined, and despite my initial problems with the wallet, everything is well constructed and professional in appearance.

Available at your favorite Murphy’s Magic dealer

Product info for Deep Astonishment II

Author: Paul Harris
Average Rating:  (1)
Retail Price: $45.00
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Manufacturer's Description:

Everything About Deep Astonishment Has Been Improved, Simplified and Beautified.

You display a leather gypsy envelope and a beautiful old gypsy fortune telling deck. Each card has a fortune printed right on its face. You ask your "client" to utter the name of a special someone to create a relaxed fortune telling atmosphere. Let's say her special name is "Rose."

You then do a short three card reading for your client. The first card predicts good luck. The second card indicates an impending mystery. The third card hints that this impending lucky mystery might have something to do with an envelope. Could it be referring to the leather envelope lying on the table?

You open the leather envelope and remove a small packet of fortune telling cards. Their backs are a different color than the cards you've been using!

You slowly and cleanly deal the cards from the envelope on the table. The first card has a large hand drawn "R" on its back. The next card an "O". The nest an "S". The final card an "E"...spelling "Rose"!

No one says anything for a very long time. Then a single word escapes your client's lips. "HOW?"

  • NO Cue Cards!
  • NO Memorization
  • NO Mnemonics
  • NO Lead-in Effect!
  • NO Cards to Hold!
  • Totally Angle Proof!
  • Completely Streamlined!
  • Includes a custom-made leather envelope and a full-color gypsy fortune telling deck!


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