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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Books, Pamphlets & Lecture Notes » » "21 Century Coin Mechanics" full review request (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Noel D
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I have heard a lot of hype for this book, and I think it was the second or third best book of the year according to the Café members.

I am already saving up to get this, but before I take the plunge (Although this plunge is about 2 months away... *** those child labor laws!) I wanted to know if someone could post a full review for the book?

Most threads have little snippets and pieces, but I have yet to see one full detailed review.

Could anyone who owns this apparently unworldly book do that?
boxjumper
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This is my favorite book on coin magic. For me there is more real world type sleights and routines than any other source in my library of about 500 books. While there are many moves taught in the book the Flying Changeover Palm and the Universal Retention Vanish are easily worth the price of the book. I use the effects in the book on a regular basis and the sleights have many additional applications just waiting to be explored. The moves range from easy to challenging. Also everything is explained so you don’t have to refer to another book or magazine article. I pasted together some of my own postings about the book which all together make a more comprehensive review. There are several chapters I did not comment on at that time. Let me add that Lucky Chinese Coin in Chapter 21 and Foreign Exchange in Ch 22 are outstanding routines. Digestible Coins in Ch 19 I now do all the time. 3 coins vanish and reappear in a very perplexing way. Coins From Vegas in Ch 18 is the hardest routine in the book and I’m still working on it. A beautiful one coin routine is in Ch 25. Here is a collection of my prior posts on the book:


I’ve had about a week to read through 21st Century Coin Mechanics and I’ll give you chapter by chapter my impressions of the first 7 chapters. There are a total of 25 chapters. The first 14 are devoted to sleights and the remaining 11 are routines based on those sleights.

Just reading through the preface and introduction I can tell that the author knows clearly how to express himself with words. The book is beautifully done with color photos on the dust jacket and very clear b/w photos inside.

Ch1: Palms and Grips- Sharp b/w photos and clear text showing the concealments and coin grips used in the book.

Ch2: Flying Changeover Palm (FCOP)- The most important move in the book. I can do it now but it took a lot of practice. The key is in synchronizing the wrists as they turn. I still need to work at it. This allows you to secretly transfer a coin in the left hand to the right hand while placing or dropping a visible coin from the right hand into the left. It is used as an acquitment, a vanish, and as a false count. Throughout the book a shuttle pass is never used. It is similar in function to the Sylvester Pitch but there is no pitching or tossing of a coin. The angles on this are great.

Ch3: Flying Changeover Palm Vanish- Similar to the FCOP but only one coin used. It’s shown with bare hands or with a prop such as a playing card or pencil.

Ch4: Pivoting Changeover Palm- Similar in function to the FCOP but it can be done more slowly. This is a very deceptive acquitment that can be used in place of the FCOP. I found it easier to do than the FCOP. It is the key move in Coins From Vegas (Ch 18).

Ch5: Flying False Count- This is actually not that hard to do. The momentum of the coins does half the work for you. It’s used to count 3 coins as 4 or 2 coins as 3. I like it better than the Himber/Sankey False Count.

Ch6: Retention Trip Vanish- This is the first of three retention of vision vanishes. This is the easiest to learn. The coin ends up in what’s called in Ch1 the Downs Oblique Thumb Palm. Larry uses this palm quite a bit. I’ve done this with both halves and dollars and it’s almost easier getting the dollar in this grip than the half.

Ch7: Universal Retention Vanish (URV)- This move and the FCOP appear to be the core moves in the book. The URV technique is divided into slow and rapid techniques. The slow technique allows you to do an unbelievable retention vanish. His fast technique is used in a variety of ways including a number of visible coin changes (Double Helix Change). The fast technique I think is the hardest move in the book but I think it was easier to learn than the muscle pass was for me. I am still working on it.

I have peeked ahead to look at the routines but I wanted to learn or least familiarize myself with the sleights first. Four Coins to Pocket looks awesome. In the routine section before each effect he lists the sleights needed in a chemistry or physics type formula. It summarizes the routine in a pseudoscientific way. Very cool. Beneath the “formula” is a list of “mechanics required” and which chapters these sleights are explained in. I really like the style and format of the book.

Overall, I am very satisfied with my purchase. This is a meaty book which I’m really enjoying getting into to. The moves taught so far are ones that I will really use. They are very powerful techniques. I’ll update my review as I progress through the book.


This is a continuation of my review.

Ch 8: Open Palm Retention Vanish- There are 3 variations of this retention vanish explained. All are easier than the URV. My favorite is Variation #3 which to my eye looks the best in the mirror.

Ch 9: Double Helix Change- This is hard because to do it properly you have to have mastered the “rapid” form of the URV. I’m practicing it with the “slow” URV right now because the I can’t do the other as well yet. To the audience it looks like you are just twirling the coin but it changes to another one instantly. With silver dollars it really looks nice. I’d love to see the author do this in person. Any seminars or lectures planned Larry?

Ch 10: Double Helix Acquitment- Uses a similar motion of the wrists but is generally used as an acquitment. It easier to do because the rapid URV is not needed. Again the photos are invaluable here. This one came to me pretty easily. Basically, you have one coin displayed and one in finger palm in the right hand and in the process of moving that coin to the left you secretly transfer the hidden coin to the left.

Ch 11: Ross Bertram Multiple Coin Changeover Palm- This is a fantastic move which I was aware of from Stars of Magic but never really tried (the explanation in Stars of magic was less than clear). This is a silent way of transferring a group of coins from one hand to the other.

Ch 12: Dollar Deposit Load- A funny name for a technique to load a silver dollar under a card. Works pretty well.

Ch 13: URV Toss Switch- This depends on the rapid URV which I am still practicing. This is like a Bobo switch but the switched out coin is sprung into Ramsay Finger palm as the switched in coin is tossed into the other hand. If you keep the left hand open it works as a cool visible coin change.

Ch 14: Over Easy Change and Acquitment- This move is fairly easy to learn. There are many variants of this described. You can do this with or without the URV. Combining this with the URV allows you to do “cycles” which are maneuvers that transfer the hidden coin between the hands or produce eye candy type coins changes. These could be easily incorporated into any Spellbound routine.

That ends section one of the book. Section 2 has the routines that use these sleights. I’ll update this review as I work my way through the book. So far, very original material, some easy, some hard. The Flying Changeover Palm and the URV are phenomenal moves worth the effort to perfect.

Section Two consists of the routines or "Applied Mechanics."
Ch 15: This is called Copper Silver By Brute Force. This is very quick transposition of a copper and silver coin using the FCOP and the Bertram Multiple Coin Changeover Palm. The work is already done as you describe to the spectator what to expect. This can also be done with a coin and a second object like a ring or maybe a small ball. This is a great quickie.
Ch16: In Four Coins To Pocket the coins one at a time vanish from the hand and migrate to the pocket. Only four coins are used. The FCOP and the FCOP Vanish are needed along with the Retention Trip Vanish. It's here Larry teaches the FCOP false count which is IMO extremely deceptive. There is another false count called the Flying False Count which can be used instead but I prefer the one with the FCOP. The routine flows very smoothly and each action is covered by the appropriate patter and appears very fair. The final coin vanish is not done with a retention vanish. Instead the coin is placed in the palm and the hand closed. A tap with a wand or pencil makes it happen. This is a variant of the FCOP Vanish. It is nothing like the Strike Vanish or anything else I've seen. It's explained back in Ch. 3. This is nothing short of brilliant and so different in method from anything else I've come across.
Ch17: Boomerang Coins is a coins across effect done with four silver dollars. The first three coins travel from left to right one at a time. The hands never actually touch. The last coin never goes and instead the other 3 boomerang back to the left. A similar effect was The Travelers in Tarbell 7 and it was also used in Stars of Magic by Ross Bertram. It uses the same two moves used in Copper Silver By Brute Force and some additional handlings. I really like this routine and plan on using it alot. Larry also gives a version with five coins which allows for some extra convincers but I think I'll stick with four coins. It's great to be able to do magic with coins that are examinable and not have to hold anything out.
Well, that's what I've read and practiced so far. I too am looking forward to the CD showing how the sleights should be done.

I just received the companion video cd and after viewing the clips once I was absolutely blown away by these moves. I now see how great those sleights Larry devised can look. For example, the Double Helix Change is something I played with as I read the book. Now I see that this is worth the effort in perfecting it. The coined literally changed in mid air. The Flying Changeover Palm looks great in Larry's hands especially that two for three false count. The retention vanishes are among the best I've ever seen. That Open Palm retention vanish variation 3 does not seem possible yet I know how it works from the book. The URV retention was also beautifully done and with no tell. At the end there is a performance of Coins From Vegas. Many of the moves in the book are utilized in this gorgeous routine. The moves are perfectly synchronized with the rhyming patter. Too bad the cd is only available to people who bought the book. It would be a great promo for the book. Larry, thank you so much for putting this cd out.
BJ

There's an effect is the book which I'm working on that's I think is a perfect opener that I plan on using. It's in Ch 24 toward the end of the book. It's called The Watch, Wallet, and Ring. It doesn't use any of the original sleights taught in the first half of the book. It's a plot similar to that Tommy Wonder and others have used but there are no pulls or Devil's Hank used. There are moves done but no difficult sleights. The gist of the effect is the magician (you) are held up by a robber who forces you to turn over your watch, your money, and your ring and stuff them in a pre-addressed envelope. He has you put a stamp on it, lick the envelope and orders you to drop it in a mailbox (the robbers address is on the envelope). The robber says that he has performed the perfect crime because all the fingerprints and DNA belong to you and there is no proof of the robbery. The magician takes the envelope with the 3 items inside and proceeds to tear it up showing the items are gone. That's the plot. The script (Larry prefers that word to patter) is very well written and integrated into the routine. I won't quote any of the lines but this routine is designed to emotionally pull in the audience, get them on your side, and keep their attention throughout. I like Larry's attention to detail in the script and in every action done. At the end when you are tearing up the envelope, with each tear a line is spoken until the last tear when the punchline if delivered where the robber has learned his lesson. This is the only non coin routine in the book but he says it was put in because basic moves done in coin magic are applied in the vanishes. I like that the routine could be done almost surrounded if needed and there is no bodywork involved. A different methodology is used to accomplish each of the three vanishes from the envelope and they are fairly easy to do. If you have the book, don't pass this one up.
BJ
Noel D
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Wow!!

Thank you so much for the review! Now I'm certain this will be a good investment. I just wanted to ask, can any of the four coin routiens be done wiht only three coins? Or is it structured so that four coins are needed?

Thank you for the review, It must have taken a very long time to type that up.
boxjumper
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Either Boomerang Coins or 4 Coins to Pocket can be done with 3 coins. Digestible Coins uses only 3 coins. Foreign Exchange which uses 4 coins can be done with 3 as well.
BJ
fbnc
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That was quite a post Boxjumper!!
you sold me .
tommy ng
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Thanks again boxjumper, you do the great job. I will put this book in my list.
Larry Barnowsky
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Hey, I should check this forum more often. Smile

You can read more reviews at: http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......rt=90#27

Anyone who places an order between now and Saturday Feb. 25 will get free Media Mail shipping in the USA. If you want it sent Priority Mail instead, I'll do that at the regular shipping charge of $3.00. For international purchases deduct $3.00 from the cost. If you forget, I'll place 3 one dollar bills in the book. Just ask for "free shipping" in your order.

The solid authentic dollar size Chinese coin is a gift that comes with each book. It is partially ferrous so it's already shimmed and will be attracted by a magnet.

If you have any questions about the book, companion video CD, or the coin, feel free to PM me.

Larry
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