Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Scotland Up Close - My Review

I am very excited the new ebook as I am a big fan of Scottish card magic.

As soon as I read the descriptions and the number of contributors involved in this ebook such as: Peter Duffie, Roy Walton, George McBride, Euan Bingham, and other contributors, this ebook really made me eager and excited to read all the effects. Just read the names of the contributors and the contents, my instinct tells me that this ebook is a "gem". Without elaborating much, please allow me to give my review on each of the effects as follows:

Autograph Hunter (Roy Walton)

Roy causes a spectator's signature to jump from one card to another. You'll love this!

- This particular effect has added in my list as the effect itself is practical. It's just visual and has a great element of surprise. I like this effect very much!

The Hands of a Surgeon (Gordon Bruce)

Gordon compels an unwitting spectator to cut to the four Aces. It's not often Gordon publishes material, so this is a real treat.

- This is a very nice version of spectator cuts to the Aces using "suspense" patter in the presentation.

The ESP Shuffle (Gavin Ross)

In this first routine, Gavin creates an incredible coincidence with an ESP deck despite the cards being mixed by a spectator.

- This effect is easy and self-working. Just follow the steps, and you will amaze this works every time although the spectator has the free choice of cutting, mixing and turning the cards.

Hot Flush (Gavin Ross)

In this 2nd routine, a randomly cut deck results in a Royal Flush in Spades!

- This effect is very easy and the ending, it's totally a surprise. At first, it seems like you screw up the effect, but in the end, you produce Royal Flush in Spades! I like this kind of effect especially it has the element of surprise.

Justice is Mine (Jim Boyd)

Jim explains how he deals from the Bottom - then he fools you!

- Exactly the effect sounds as above, you may want to read and try this out. Very clever!

Hofzinser 2001 (Peter McLanachan)

Peter revisits the Hofzinser Ace Problem and dispenses with the deck, using only four Queens and a freely selected card.

- Another easy yet nice transposition effect. It's practical and I will perform this whenever I have the chance.

A Hobbit's Tale (Euan Bingham)

In this 1st routine, Euan vanishes the black Aces. When he tries to produce them again he finds the black Queens instead! This is no problem because the Queens suddenly change into the missing Aces. The black Queens are now found reversed in the middle of the deck.

- This is a nice transposition effect. There are 2 handlings for this effect. I like the way the Aces vanish from top and at the bottom of the pack one at a time. In the end, the Aces and Queens changed places.

Phantom Aces (Euan Bingham)

In this one, Euan causes Four signed aces to magically pass from inside a wallet to a deck of cards; he then makes the Aces travel from the deck back into the wallet. All without the use of duplicates or palming!!

- This effect requires you to use a very well-known wallet in order to perform this effect. It's very nice especially the transposition of the cards.

Diamond Snatch (Gary Middleton)

Gary makes the four Kings magically rise to the top of the pack, one by one, in search of a Diamond haul - the last King finds it!

- This is a very nice effect, completes with nice patter and presentation. I think Gary's patter goes very well with the routines and spectators would definitely enjoy the routines as well.

King for a Day (Gary Middleton)

Gary loves the Hofzinser Ace problem; especially when the rest of the cards change to the mates of the selection. And this is precisely what happens here!

- Nice effect and visual. I like Gary's idea of incorporating the Hofzinser Ace problem with element of surprise.

Captives of the Cranium (George McBride)

The is an impossible card discovery where one spectator helps find another spectator's card.

- This effect is very effective. There are some setup required and the effect is just brilliant. There are no difficult sleights involved. I just like it! Awesome!

Stebbins Prediction (George McBride)

A terrific prediction effect where you will also admire the ingenius methodology!

- Well, I think this effect from George McBride is a true "gem." I thought that was a KILLER and worth the price of this ebook. I am sure you will DEFINITELY love this - it KILLS people when you perform this effect. Just awesome!

Veeser Meets Steranko (George McBride)

A spectator cuts the deck and finds the four Aces. Just like that!

- Just as the effect stated above, this is another nice and neat version of spectator cuts to the Aces, the handling is different with other version of this which can be found in this ebook too.

Thanks to Collins (Steve Hamilton)

A professional mind-bender from the late Steve Hamilton. Clever stuff.

- Another powerful routine. It's just excellent and brilliant thinking. I just love this as soon as I read and tried out this routine. For those who loves restored card in lemon or sealed envelope, you will definitely love this one.

Big bank Hunt (Scotty Johnston)

A sandwich trick that fooled the a**e off me!

- This is a neat and nice version card sandwich. At first, I thought the method is difficult to do but after I tried out, it's very clever and not so difficult to do. I would say the sandwich process is very visual and fast. This is one of my favourites.

Stranger (Richard James)

Richard uses two Kings to cause the back of a freely selected card to change colour, then it changes back to normal again. You'll love the simple direct method here.

- Very nice! I am very surprise that the method here as the effect is easy and practical. I would say if you like colour changing effect, I think you may like this one.

Total Recall (Iain Girdwood)

Iain memorises the colour order of a deck of cards after it has been shuffled by a spectator. 100% every time. Combining a system with a principle, you really do memorise the cards!

- I have spent huge amount of time and tried to understand the principle which applicable in this unique effect. At first, it was very difficult to understand the principle but as you keep on trying, you will soon understand the principle. I am extremely surprise that Iain came up this amazing principle.

- After you understand the princple, I would say it's a KILLER. I think the principle is very useful and maybe can be applied to other effects. Excellent!

New Wave Oil & Water (Val Le-Val)

Val's lovely Oil & Water routine using cards with O & W printed on them. So easy, yet so effective.

- As soon as I read the effect, I just would like to say, it's excellent! The effect is very easy to do and does not depend on heavy sleights.

- This effect also added in my list as it's a packet trick. I showed this to my friends even though I did it in a very slow manner, but still managed to fool them. I carry these cards in my card wallet and if anyone requests me to perform a trick, I definitely will perform this one. Brilliant!

Walkaround (David Walsh)

David tips his full walk-around card routine - a lot happens! Ambitious Card / Repeat Card to Pocket / Deck to Pocket / Card in Wallet. A 4 minute entertainment.

- As the effect above said it all, the routine is well-constructed and with a nice flow on each of the effects. Excellent!

Eight of Two Kings (David Forrest)

David presents a showy production of Four Kings and the Four Aces appear as a stunning kicker!

- I always love four of a kind productions. For this one, I just like the way Dave's approach and I am sure you will like this one.

Skinned (David Forrest)

A selected card appears folded inside a packet of cigarette papers....in a flash!

- Based on what I read, I think David came up a neat idea. I think the effect is very cool.

Finishing Touch (Peter Duffie)

Peter allows a spectator to choose any four cards at random - then he changes them visibly into four-of-a-kind as they are dealt to the table - or onto a spectator's hand!

- This is my favourite as the effect at first, the spectator randomly chooses four cards and you instantly cause the random cards to change into the Aces as you deal them on spectator's hand. Very nice and clean. I really like this!

52 Minus 1 (Peter Duffie)

A demonstration of psychic powers where only the audience touch the deck.

- I think you will like this one. I regard this effect as one of my favourites.

Thinking Cap (R. Paul Wilson)

Paul lets a spectator just think of a card, then he finds it - no set-ups, and no difficult sleights!

- Just as the effect exactly stated above. For those of you favour to reveal thought of card genre, I believe you will like this one.

ConCam Cards (R. Paul Wilson)

Paul's rendition of the classic Cards Across. Three cards travel from one packet to another, despite both packets being enclosed inside envelopes. No Palming! But if you like Palming, Paul offers a method with that, too.

- This is a nice version of cards across effect. I really like the approach and you will surprise its simplicity in this effect.

L.K.D. Monte (Dave Robertson)

Dave places a Queen between the two red Aces. So, the Queen is in the middle? No it's not. An easy and deceptive move that will enhance any 3-Card Monte routine.

- Yes, I truly agree with the above description; it's fooling and effective. The move is valuable to add into your card Monte effect. I think this move alone can be applied into many areas. Excellent!

In a nutshell, I am really enjoyed this ebook very much as there are quite a number of effects that I will actually use in my act. There are many wonderful effects in this ebook to explore. In addition, the contents and the presentation of this ebook is awesome and fully illustrated. Highly recommended!

Andrew Loh

No comments: