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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Books, Pamphlets & Lecture Notes » » Nu Secrets & Realities Review (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Sean Fields
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Winnipeg
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Nu Secrets & Realities is the most recent offerings from one of mentalisms finest, Alain Nu. The 187 page, spiral bound book is a limited edition, available directly from Alain only. I am the proud owner of edition 31 of 250.

Alain needs no introduction. From his highly acclaimed metal bending, to his TV show, 'The Mysterious World of Alain Nu', he is widely regarded as one of mentalism's elite.

In Nu Secrets & Realities, Alain lives up to expectations. With material ranging from Alain's innovative work with branching anagrams and the zodiac, to somewhat grizzy demonstrations of the bizarre, there will certainly be something for all types of mental performers.

Chapter 1 contains Alain's work on the zodiac. Effects include:

-Zodiesque
-Zodiattack
-A Rune with a View
-Palm Mystery

Chapter 2 covers hybrid effects, containing elements of 2 or more existing effects. Effects include:

-Four Told
-Howdy Doodle
-Serialistic

Chapter 3 surrounds Alain's views on 'Suspension of Disbelief', and its implications on mentalism. Effects:

-No Threat Roulette
-Super Duper

Chapter 4 is on what Alain refers to as 'texture'; adding substance to your routine. Effects:

-Flasher
-Invisible Watch
-This is not a Spoon

Chapter 5 is on metal bending; unfortunately, only 1 bend is taught:

-Ripple

Chapter 6 covers bizzarre magic:

-Combustible Blood Blisters
-The Recipe
-A Test of Faith

With such a substantial amount of material, it was difficult to pick out high points, but there are a couple of effects that are simply too good to not be singled out.

Flasher is simply the COOLEST way to open a show. There is absolutely NO magic here; the spectators decieve themselves! A truly surreal routine to experience. This is so good, in fact, that I have adapted the effect to work for walk around settings, and this is now how I open all my performances.

Invisible Watch is again simply bizarre to experience. An unbelievably uncanny effect.

Although the only bend taught, Ripple is a GOOD one! It doesn't read like much, but I was lucky enough to see Alain perform this live, and it LOOKS FREAKY.

Now, while I LOVED the material, it was the ESSAYS that stole the show. Alain discusses at length, everything from mental magic vs. mentalism to adding depth and character to your show. While you may not agree with all of Alain's opinions (I didn't), each discussion will prove to be extremely thought provoking, challenging you to see magic and mentalism from a different perspective, ultimately rewarding you with a deeper understanding of the art of deception as a whole. A strong statement, I know, but Alain is one of today's most prolific philosophers of the art today, and it shows. His unapologetic respect and adoration of our art is obvious in each word written.

While extremely limited in numbers, this is simply a must own book.

===EXTREMELY RECOMMENDED===

Available directly from Alain at his lecture, or you can contact him through his website, http://www.nu-magic.com

Sean Fields
Goku
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Japan
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Thanks for the review Sean, it sounds very interesting. Do you know the price for this book?
Tom Jorgenson
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LOOSE ANGLES, CALIFORNIA
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The website doesn't offer contact, just signup for a newsletter. How do we contact him to geta copy?
We dance an invisible dance to music they cannot hear.
Joshua Quinn
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with an outer triangle
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As soon as I heard that this book existed, I started scrambling to get a copy. No waiting for reviews or descriptions of the effects, just "Alain's got a new book? Where and how much?" I'm now the very happy owner of copy 131.

It's definitely the kind of book that requires multiple readings to absorb everything, and since I've only read it once, I don't feel comfortable trying to give a thorough review. But I will say that my first impression is, "I'm REALLY glad I got one before they sold out." The quality is as high as you would expect from Alain. My initial highlights were No Threat Roulette, an over-the-phone Russian Roulette game with more built-in emotional impact than any "find-the-hidden-object-over-the-phone" effect should rightfully have; and Rune With a View, which uses a a pair of "rune dice" along with a very clever method to "warm up" any sort of cold reading you'd care to give (which, as some of you know, I have a thing for).

So my advice is, if you're at all interested, don't hesitate. More than half of them are gone already, and I get the strong feeling that once they're all spoken for, this WILL be one of those books that starts selling for many times more than its original price on the second-hand market. Note: my copy will not be among those for sale, so don't ask.
Every problem contains the seeds of its own solution. Unfortunately every problem also contains the seeds of an infinite number of non-solutions, so that first part really isn't super helpful.
Magiguy
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Seattle, WA
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Quote:
On 2007-03-16 12:43, Tom Jorgenson wrote:
The website doesn't offer contact, just signup for a newsletter. How do we contact him to geta copy?


Here you go...
http://www.magicalthinking.net/nulecture.html

Great book!
Gordon
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Wow, $50-$60 for a spiral-bound Kinko's special?
Magiguy
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Excellent response! I was hoping that the price would keep this material limited to those with a sincere interest. Trust me Gordon, you DO NOT want this book.




:)
Andy the cardician
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A street named after my dad
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Just to add - the link does not mention that it is a limited editon.
Cards never lie
Gordon
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Yes, limited to the number of people that are willing to pay $60 for a photocopied, spiral-bound book.
Joshua Quinn
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Quote:
Just to add - the link does not mention that it is a limited editon.


No, but the inside cover of the book does.

Quote:
Yes, limited to the number of people that are willing to pay $60 for a photocopied, spiral-bound book.


Spiral-bound, yes. Photocopied, no -- the paper and print quality are fully professional. As someone who was none too pleased with the production value of another recent, higher-priced mentalism publication, I have no problems with this one.
Every problem contains the seeds of its own solution. Unfortunately every problem also contains the seeds of an infinite number of non-solutions, so that first part really isn't super helpful.
Philemon Vanderbeck
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Seattle, WA
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Let's see... 16 effects in the book. That works out to be $3.75 per effect. Quite a bargain, if you ask me.
Professor Philemon Vanderbeck
That Creepy Magician
"I use my sixth sense to create the illusion of possessing the other five."
Gordon
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Well, let's start valuing everything as if it were purchased in bulk at Costco.

By that measure, Practical Mental Effects works out to be about 10 cents per effect.

And it's an honest-to-goodness book, with honest-to-goodness printing (not reprographic), and a binding.

In other words, not a fair comparison. ;-)
sourcerer
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I thought you were the one valuing the matter at hand by ridiculous standards...and now you turn around and pretend Philemon does, nice equivoque there, but as you said, no fair :o)

It is my believe that you pay for the secret (or more general, the information), not the paper it was written on. I mean, people pay for tutoring (in and outside magic), so that would by definition be a rip-off in yout book as you don't get anything on paper (xeroxed or hardbound) at all.

But by all means go out and buy some Tenyo effects, they come in a nice blister pack, so the effects must be darn strong huh?

You must be in the bookbinding business :o)

Kaj
Tony Iacoviello
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Eternal Order
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Sean:

Thank you for the head's up!

Tony
tboehnlein
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ohio
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Alain puts out some great material, I own 2 of his books & the stuff is commercial, performable & no pipe dreams. Yes it is $60 for a 187 page spiral bound book, but it is not a $200 3 page photocopied document.
Gordon
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There was no measurement by ridiculous standards here at all, Sourcerer. If the publisher wants me to give him something of value (ie: money) then he must provide me with some evidence that he values his own work, and respects me as a customer. That is the capitalist system and it applies to everything else you buy, so it should apply to magic, too.

People do judge a book by its cover. And a Kinko's spiral bound publication says "quick and dirty." Especially for this price. As does the alleged "limited edition" (although its not at all clear that is really true) to try and build some scarcity and urgency around it.

But don't take my word for it, just do a little comparison shopping. I offered one already, but here's another. Act Two from Hermetic Press has 54 effects, is a real book in terms of production, and sells for only $47. Its material is commercial, performable, and has no pipe dreams. (That's 87 cents a trick, just to keep things even-keel.)

It's completely fair to question the pricing, and that's all that I have been doing.
sourcerer
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I agree that Act Two is a great book, however I believe that judging a book by its cover has gotten me very bad books as well, more than I'd care to count.
Even though it's nowadays way easier to get something nicely printed and bound, it also still asks for a bigger print run, something some people simply don't want or care about.

I've always been told not to judge by the way something looks as appearances may often deceive.

Yes, people do judge a book by it's cover, you're absolutely right about that.
However, whether those people are smart in doing so is a different debate.

To me, books are about what's printed inside, so whether it's spiral bound (hey, at least it lays flat when opened) or bound to me is a ridiculous standard to measure the value of a magical publication by.

But, you're more than free to not buy it of course. I believe Alain will sell his copies regardless. I just don't see why you'd comment on the price or how ridiculous that is to you. You like it or not, great for you.
If everyone would start posting he isn't gonna buy effect X or Y it be a busy place here, besides if you'd check the price on magic in general you just might find out that all effects are a tad overpriced compared to production costs, and you'd have a fulltime job posting about it.

Kaj

Kaj
Gordon
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Chicago
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Thanks, I have full time job already, but I'll keep your career advice in mind. Smile

I disagree, however, that it's inappropriate to provide feedback to a vendor about their product in this forum. My feedback is clear; I'm disappointed in the production values considering the price. The two are completely interlinked.

But, let's hear from someone who has bought this, and how they feel about its value, especially compared to the other books with which it competes.

I know this is likely to de-volve into the usual Magic Café cheerleading, but hope springs eternal.
Magiguy
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Seattle, WA
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Quote:
On 2007-03-23 14:30, Gordon wrote:
But, let's hear from someone who has bought this, and how they feel about its value


I believe that's where we started. Not altogether sure what your agenda is, (Assuming you don't have the book. Sorry, and correct me if I'm wrong), but why waste your time derailing the initial posters thread? What I find more disturbing than the fact that "this is likely to de-volve into the usual Magic Café cheerleading" is the fact that you seem to want it to "de-volve" into some sort of juvenile slugfest. Let's simply end this thread now, even though I feel certain that Gordon will want the last word, and I say... let him have it, and let's move on.
JanForster
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Amen.
Jan Forster
www.janforster.de
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