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Topic: Plots and methods review
Message: Posted by: Wordsworth (Oct 16, 2019 09:21PM)
Hi guys,

I read this booklet over the weekend, and wanted to share some thoughts.

What you're getting: Plots and Methods is a 45 page booklet containing four effects, and one presentation for a separately marketed effect (Polish Poker). The writing and explanations are clear, and the book feels professionally polished. This reminds me of some of the smaller booklets Vanishinginc put out a few years back (eg. Caleb Wiles High Spots, Rich Aviles Above the Fold), where you're getting something shorter, but all the material is good. I'm a book lover, and wish we had more books like this.

Difficulty: Low. There are a few moves in here, but mostly Michal is relying on well-constructed routines and smart thinking to make things work.

The tricks:
All in: A sandwich routine. It's smart, and looks good, but this is probably my least favorite effect of the four. There's a move in here that's not my forte, and that I don't like using, but that is just preference on my part.

Lucky You: This one I really liked. It's a CAAN effect, using pieces of paper thrown like dice to arrive at the number where the spectator's card is found. The cards are shuffled and in the spectator's hands for the selection, and this will appear very random from their perspective. I have a presentation in mind for this one, and will be trying it out shortly, once I've worked through it a few times. This is smart, and not difficult in execution. I definitely like this routine.

RM: A card vanishes from a packet of 12, only to be found inside a sealed envelope that has been in view the entire time. (I should be writing the ad copy...) I really like the presentation that went with this, and I feel like it would give you lots of opportunity to time the pieces of the routine out appropriately. It is apparently descended from a Brother John Hamman effect, and should play nicely.

Three + one: I wanted to perform this one for myself before I wrote it up, but have not yet done so. There's some (not difficult) setup behind this, and I like the presentational angle, where the performer talks about destroying cards, etc, to justify working with a smaller pack. There's a rainbow deck idea here that seems to me to fit very well with both the presentation and the method, and that I feel would add to the random nature of what the spectator sees. And I think that, particularly if you perform for family and friends, this would give you very smooth way into this effect. In short, the effect is: spectator cuts a card for you, and you place it under the card box unseen; each spectator then works through a series of steps imagining a playing card, the color etc, in order to arrive at a random card on top of their own packet; note that the spectators are each making all their own decisions, and it really feels completely random and chaotic; at the end, the spectators have arrived at matching cards, and those cards match the card they selected for you to start the effect. You have three of a kind. For the kicker, you shake the card box and find that one card has been left inside, and of course it turns out to complete the four of a kind. I felt like using the partial deck might raise suspicion, but as I said I think the presentation works that in in a more conversational manner that makes sense. I will be trying this one out.

Polish Poker bonus: This is a presentation for a separately marketed effect, and you do not learn Polish Poker here, and cannot perform it based off of this writeup alone.

Overall thoughts: This is a short and satisfying book containing four solid effects. There is no filler, and I can see myself trying out all of these effects. This is my first time seeing Mr. Kociolek's magic, and he's made a fan out of me. Nice job, Michal.
Message: Posted by: tenchu (Nov 5, 2019 09:31AM)
Thank you for the review!

As for now, you can only get the booklet from Vanishing Inc. You can get it here, either a hardcopy or the ebook: https://www.vanishingincmagic.com/magic/card-magic/plots-and-methods/

Although it's not a limited edition, there isn't a lot of them available! :)

Message: Posted by: EvilClown (Nov 8, 2019 11:47AM)
You can also buy it direct from Michal.
Message: Posted by: tenchu (Nov 8, 2019 04:27PM)
[quote]On Nov 8, 2019, EvilClown wrote:
You can also buy it direct from Michal. [/quote]

Bad news - I don't have any copies left!

Good news - you can order the booklet (or the ebook version) from Vanishing Inc. Murphy's Magic just got some copies (not a lot!) so you can also get it from places like Penguin Magic.

Message: Posted by: Tim Cavendish (Nov 9, 2019 03:52PM)
When writing a review, please prominently identify both title and author. Thanks!

Plots and Methods
by Michal Kociolek