As mentioned a few weeks ago, my illusion books will be reviewed on a fairly new but very promising magic review site called “The Magic Review”.
“The Magic Review” is run by Milton Andrews and gives one of the most discerning and detailed reviews (online and offline) on marketed magic products, DVDs and books. When I say discerning, I mean he is brutally objective and frank, based on his opinion and wealth of knowledge.
I believe a large percentage of his reviews will be on books, based on readers’ feedback and the fact that reviews of DVDs and effects can be easily found. Books are not as popular as DVDs as a learning medium in this current digital age, but all serious students of the craft know that the best value for money and gems can be found in books.
I’ve always stressed that books are the way to go as they leave the presentation and idiosycratic handling of effects and routines open to the reader. When effects are learnt from DVDs, the viewer tends to be highly influenced by the exact style and presentation as taught – hence turning the viewer into a clone. The only except I would give across the board is that DVDs are better mediums to learn technical handlings and sleights but not full presentations and routines. This may be a reason why current established magicians all have their unique style and the current new generation of ‘street magicians’ all perform, speak and dress the same.
But I digress…
I think that “The Magic Review” is very promising and I hope Milton can keep up with the quality reviews as I know how much time and effort goes to writing good reviews. He has shared his process on his site and I can imagine how long it will take to review a single item. But the end result, is a highly detailed and objective review – which is what the real value is to the reader. It will allow you to decide whether or not you want to invest in that particular item.
I was impressed by the depth of the reviews and the ones that stood out to me were:
The Pendragons DVD – I have watched this set and Ning has the personally autographed set from The Pendragons themselves. So, I knew exactly what is on the DVDs. I think these have been his most lengthly reviews till date and are very accurate.
Verbal Magic by Juan Tamariz – I have this book as well and used it as reference when designing the magic when Ning & I did magic over the radio waves on 93.8FM a few weeks back.
“Smoke & Mirrors” by Rick Marcelli – I do not own this book but there was a considerable buzz in the magic magazines as well as forums. I was a bit skeptical due to the hype but found his review insightful.
So, I’m interested to see how he ‘tears’ my books apart 🙂
The only book that has been previously reviewed anywhere is “Illusionary Departures” in MAGIC Magazine. But, it was reviewed in the “Noted Briefly” section so it was short but positive.
I never bothered sending my stuff for review for mainly two reasons. One, my books are not a commerical endeavour so I have never strongly marketed them as I have not had the time. All my books are sold through word of mouth and my website (www.illusionbooks.com) Two, I like, and know my customers, like the fact that the books are not widely available to the public and are somewhat underground in nature. That is why I also never seeked out distributors for my books.
Anyway, my books will be reviewed shortly and Milton & I have also decided to set up a contest for readers of “The Magic Review”. My book “The Event Illusionist” is up for grabs free (and postpaid) to a lucky ready. The book is what I consider a “must-have” for anyone entertainer who is interested to make a professional career in the special events industry. I wrote it because there was nothing like this in the market and anything close was ridiculously outdated.
I first wrote it in 2004 and decided the need for the 2nd edition in late 2008 because it was out-dated already. Many people who have bought the book have said it was the best investment they had made. In fact, it was someone who had asked Milton to review this very book that got him in touch with me.
How will you get a chance to win this book? The first step will be to join “The Magic Review Facebook” group. As long as you have a Facebook account, you will be able to join. This group will also alert you to the latest reviews on “The Magic Review”.
More info on the contest will be made available on “The Magic Review” shortly.
More on this soon! Check out “The Magic Review”!