Verbal Magic - Juan Tamariz and Gema Navarro

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Verbal Magic - Juan Tamariz and Gema Navarro

Postby townleystreet » Aug 27th, '09, 08:24



This is my first review I hope you like it. I searched and couldn't find another review of this book, but if there is one I apologize for stepping on any toes!

The Effect

The audience themselves, perhaps hundreds of people, perform the whole trick in their hands. The whole time things are casual and chaotic - it's impossible to predict what will happen! Everybody is doing different things! Suddenly the magician tells us to look closely at what we've done - and somehow the whole room has produced the same word.

Cost
I picked up my copy from The Trick Shop for $34.95 US plus postage to Japan (which is never cheap).
http://www.trickshopmagic.com/verbalmagic.html

I’m sure there are a lot of retailers that would carry this though, so feel free to shop around and pick one that you find geologically appropriate.

Difficulty
(1=easy to do, 2=No sleights, but not so easy, 3=Some sleights used,
4=Advanced sleights used, 5=Suitable for experienced magicians only)

1, Easy to do - with good communication skills.


Review

The tricks in Verbal Magic were put together according to a set of specific goals. The first and foremost is to put the magic in the hands of the audience. The tricks should be accomplished with things that people have around the house or office and can easily get their hands on. Finally, it should be simple enough for anybody to follow.

Tamariz manages to achieve all these goals in a variety of interesting and charming ways. The format of the book uses actual transcripts of his radio / television appearances, so his personality comes through quite strongly. Obviously any serious performer will personalize the presentation quite a lot, but I think that presenting it in this way really shows you how these simple methods can, seemingly haphazardly, lead to great effects.

My first presentation from this book was, as usual, for my ever patient and extremely beautiful wife. We each had 10 cards, 5 black and 5 red, and after all sorts of mixing, flipping, cutting and so on we stopped. Each of us ended up with exactly 5 cards face up, and 5 face down. How? We'd flipped different numbers, cut in different places - yet we had the same number facing up and down. A coincidence? She smiled politely, but wasn't impressed until she saw that in both our hands the cards that were face up / down were all the same colour. Then she was shocked.

This particular trick can even be performed twice in a row to the same audience, and only the most astute will stand any chance of working it out.

At times reading this book it feels like a game, you, the reader, are being walked through all sorts of magical effects that happen in your own hands. It made me feel young.

- Pros

These tricks are appropriate to all ages as you can scale them by choosing different material to work with.

Very simple to learn.

A very fun book to read.


- Cons

A little care should be taken in presentation to make things seem more relaxed and casual than perhaps they are.

The actual methods / maths / secrets are not always explained - but are easily worked out by reviewing the transcripts.



Overall

Even if I weren't going to perform any of the tricks in this book I would rate it highly as an enjoyable book to read. Having taken the time to actually perform a few of these I have to bow my head to a master. Tamariz is a great thinker who loves sharing his thoughts. I've had these effects received well by all ages from 5 to 71, with only the slightest changes in between.

The nature of the tricks and effects means that they wouldn't fit into every routine - but what would? My advice about this book would be: Buy it to read it, and if you like it, perform it!

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Postby Replicant » Aug 27th, '09, 08:57

For a first review, that is excellent. It's informative and I like the "pros and cons" bit. A helpful review and good to see you have used the TM review format, too. I wish all reviews from members who have yet to establish themselves were up to that standard.

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Postby Lady of Mystery » Aug 27th, '09, 09:42

I really like the sound of this, might have a look into getting myself a copy. Great review too :D

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Postby townleystreet » Aug 27th, '09, 10:30

Thanks for the compliments! I've had the book for a little while now, but I was prompted to actually write about it after he turned up on TV over here. Card magic is pretty much THE magic around here.

As much as I like the book though, I'm off to read a different book for about the 50th time in two months - the 'Tawny, Scrawny Lion.' I'm praying for the day when my son finally picks another book to read :(

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Postby philipsw » Aug 27th, '09, 11:37

Thanks for a great review of a book I had thought about before...

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Postby Totally Mental » Aug 27th, '09, 12:54

Nice review, but may I suggest you wean your son onto The Very Hungry Caterpillar. You will never tire of reading that.

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Postby Replicant » Sep 1st, '09, 12:14

I've just ordered this book so I will post my thoughts in a few days.

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