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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Books, Pamphlets & Lecture Notes » » The Essential Stewart James (4 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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ASW
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On 2007-10-10 12:42, MagicSanta wrote:
Why the giggle? Do you understand the math? I gottsa know!


No, it was just funny to read someone describe a pretty dry, mechanical effect as enthusiastically as you did.

I know there are magic enthusiasts who enjoy the whole explorative nature of James' material, and that's cool. Different strokes.
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silverking
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To live as miserable a life as he did, and to maintain a sense of humor and a love of magic is a huge victory for Stewart James.

Some magicians don't like James material.
James himself would have been able to accept that observation with humility, and it likely wouldn't have bothered him in the slightest.
There ARE lots of folks who consider James creations to be brilliantly conceived.

(Slightly off topic and a bit of a rant).......the one thing that grinds me is when folks describe Stewart James as having "multiple personalities", or worse.
He didn't have multiple personalities or anything else of that nature. None of his three "friends" manifested themselves in PLACE of James himself, they always joined him.....a very different thing.
It's important to remember the James first manifested them at an early age in order to overcome the devastating loneliness and misery of his childhood (his parents wouldn't let him go to school, on top of everything else they put upon him) and "the three" stayed with him developing hundreds of magic effects for almost his entire life.
It's interesting and almost tragically sad that James himself writes that later in life "the three" started to leave one by one, never to return.

If I appear overly defensive of James it's because I see him as a man who through his sheer human ability and love of magic adapted to the most dire circumstances, and overcame a miserable personal and family life to triumph as a creator of magic.

I think James is worthy enough that magicians should give him his due respect for what he accomplished in life, and in magic, whether you consider his effects your style or not.
Doomo
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Part of me is really ticked off that this was released. I spent a LOT of time going over the previous volumes. I culled some of the material that suited me best and found some truly KILLER material. And now they are placed out for the lazy ones to look at. I have only one bit of sunlight. Practically NO ONE WILL ACTUALLY USE IT! HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

In fact, two of the effects listed by Santa above in his review are totally commercial and I have been using them with GREAT success... No, I will NOT say which ones... I also have a backlog of about 30 effects that I am experimenting with that are just beautiful... The Stewart James books are a Treasure trove...
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Paul
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[/quote]

No, it was just funny to read someone describe a pretty dry, mechanical effect as enthusiastically as you did.

I know there are magic enthusiasts who enjoy the whole explorative nature of James' material, and that's cool. Different strokes.
[/quote]

James' presentational patter makes this 'dry' effect play well, and that was never mentioned at all.

Personally I'm glad I have the Stewart James books in my collection, whether I will add the new one or not is doubtful seeing as I already have the material, but I would recommend it to those who are not familiar with his work.

Paul.
MagicSanta
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I can appreciate your feelings ASW (I'm Navy, ASW is Anti-Submarine Warfare) but my presentation is hardly mechanical. I love the James material and really think he was brilliant. Poor Doomo is correct though, so many will just ignore this and make him look all the better for being one of the few doing these great routines.
shaunproof
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Quote:
On 2007-10-11 13:10, Doomo wrote:
Part of me is really ticked off that this was released. I spent a LOT of time going over the previous volumes. I culled some of the material that suited me best and found some truly KILLER material. And now they are placed out for the lazy ones to


Don't worry about it. Any time soon expect someone to ask for the best tricks in this book.
ElliottB
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Um...so...err...what are the best tricks in the book?
MagicSanta
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They are all good. The best is likely.....Sefalajia
ASW
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Quote:
On 2007-10-11 22:35, MagicSanta wrote:
I can appreciate your feelings ASW (I'm Navy, ASW is Anti-Submarine Warfare) but my presentation is hardly mechanical. I love the James material and really think he was brilliant. Poor Doomo is correct though, so many will just ignore this and make him look all the better for being one of the few doing these great routines.


I can dig it. As I said, different strokes.

Now make your depth 300 feet, all ahead full.
Whenever I find myself gripping anything too tightly I just ask myself "How would Guy Hollingworth hold this?"

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"I would respect VIPs if they respect history."

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Al Straker
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Quote:
On 2007-10-11 13:10, Doomo wrote:
Part of me is really ticked off that this was released. I spent a LOT of time going over the previous volumes. I culled some of the material that suited me best and found some truly KILLER material. And now they are placed out for the lazy ones to look at. I have only one bit of sunlight. Practically NO ONE WILL ACTUALLY USE IT! HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

In fact, two of the effects listed by Santa above in his review are totally commercial and I have been using them with GREAT success... No, I will NOT say which ones... I also have a backlog of about 30 effects that I am experimenting with that are just beautiful... The Stewart James books are a Treasure trove...


I agree with Doomo, I have been having a field day discovering and modifying James' material and was a bit disappointed when this best of was released. James' material is awesome fodder for wrapping highly commercial presentations around. As long as the principles are sound (which they are with James) "commercialising" the routine is then up to the performer. Not all routines can be window dressed commercially but the majority can with thought.

Cheers,
Al
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Ben Train
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Orignally I was interested in this book. I have the other james books, and I was enjoying going through them (and I use some of them often). I liked the challenge of shifting through the material, and the thrill of discovering something amazing. This, to me, seemed to take away the challenge.

But, now that I have thought about it, I have changed my mind. What this book does is allow you to compare your favorite effects with the choices of other notables. I feel good to know that something I overlooked is Walton's favorite, and that I was given another chance to discover it.

I think, if you have the other James material, this is still worth it. If you DON'T have the material, it's a no brainer.

Ben
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MagicSanta
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How many magic books come out that have people complaining it has too much good stuff in it? I love this book, I hate Stewart James parents....
Ben Train
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Quote:
On 2007-10-14 22:02, Nordatrax wrote:
Orignally I was interested in this book.


Shoot. That should read- "Originally I WASN'T interested in the book... but then changed my mind"
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michaelmystic2003
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This book is simply wonderful. Reading about James' life was simply saddening and tragic. However, I must say he is a creative powerhouse... hard to beliebe he created so much original material but he DID. The Essential Stewart James showcases the best of the best. I am working on adding 5 of the card effects into my repertoire. I personally believe The Robot Deck and Falling Card were worth the price of the book alone! However more favourites of mine are Miraskill, Vocalculate, Simplicity Four Ace Trick, and Further Than That. I absolutely love this book.

My magician friend Reuben, although he hasn't been a magician for very long, is extremely bright and knows a fair bit about magic. I showed him all of the above noted James effects and he was simply giddy about them. His giddiness soon turned into disbelief, with him desperately asking "How the HECK does this guy come up with this stuff???"

Then I told him that James created over 1000 effects in his life... he nearly soiled himself.
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Vlad_77
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There is no doubt about Stewart James and his genius. Much like the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches have Doctors of the Church, I think that Stewart James is one of the Doctors of Magic.

Sometimes great adversity is a gift in disguise. How diminished the world would have been if this man had succumbed to the horrific life he was forced to lead. But he chose to rise above it, never being bitter, and offering to us in the Art creations that were born out of of a great mind that refused to be fettered. God bless him.

I remember reading an account of Professor Diaconis visiting Stewart James in Aberstwyth. He asked James for a pack of cards so that he could show James something he was working on. James replied that he had no cards in his house. Diaconis asked James how he could work out all of these intricate methods without cards. James replied that he was sure Agatha Christie didn't have to murder someone to write a mystery novel.

The Essential Stewart James is a bit of a misnomer. The book's title implies that of his oeuvre of over 1,000 effects these 50 are THE best. If the reader believes that these 50 all she needs to experience James magic then she is robbing herself. Much like Marlo, the joy of James is in the discovery. Indeed, any of the great works in any field of endeavour advances through the discovery process. For my money, The Essential Stewart James should serve as an introduction to the larger body of work. Yes, the lazy ones will stop at this slim volume. But those who have been hooked by the diabolical methods of this Doctor will WANT to dive into the mammoth works and discover hundreds more delights to fry the poor spectators.

The late Rick Johnsson said that James was Gandalf. I couldn't have said it better. Smile

Best,
Vlad
Luke Dancy
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I had a chance to check this out last night during the live Magic Marketplace product review show and here are a few of my thoughts from the show. If you'd like to see the full review of The Essential James along with two other brand new products you can find it at the link below. Enjoy!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42KLcbMnd2U

Pros:

- If you've never experienced the work of Stewart James before this is a GREAT introduction to it. With well over 1,000 creations it's nice to have the top 50 in one place.
- The production of this book is exceptional and you'll be happy to add this to your library.
- It's really interesting to not only read the magic that Mr. James created but also some fascinating stories about his life.

Cons:

- This is card heavy. If you're looking for more of a variety of magic then you should look elsewhere. Don't get me wrong though, there are a couple of non-card effects included but the majority are card related.

Overall:

This is a wonderful collection of magic ranging from self-working to more intricate effects. Some of the effects will actually fool you when you're running through them to practice. There are also plenty of goodies in here (Miraskill) that are sure to fool other magicians when you visit your next convention. I have to admit I haven't been this excited about a book in a long time!

luke
robert1996lb
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Quote:
On Sep 1, 2007, Peo Olsson wrote:
Here is the the list of the effects from “The Essential Stewart James”, with a speciall thanks to Stephen Minch who provided me with it.

The Boy’s World
The Knot of Enchantment
A Match for Gravity
Murder by Suggestion
Spell of Mystery
Balldown
Freedom of the Size
Simplicity Four-Ace Trick
Miraskill
Face-Up Prediction
The Book of the Dead
Sefalaljia
Sefalaljia Jr
The Man in Aberystwyth
The Love-Sick Tennis Ball
Remembering the Future
Further Than That
Half and Half
The Robot Deck
Silkscreen
Vocalculate
The Prophet’s Choice
Go Go Vanisher
The Clincher
The Other Place
First Class Passage
Jamesway Poker Deal
Ten Nights in a Cardroom
Pokericulum
So-Fair Poker Deal
The Gobak Card Mystery
The Purlooined Letters
Pocket of Persistence
Essay by SJ
Ring Leader
Falling Card
MicawberBaker’s Dozen System
The Doozer
Matchimera
Lejun
The Gofar Ball
The Tenth Variation 1 3 4
My Father’s House
Card V
The AAG Principle
Split Second
Stranger From Two Worlds
Double Boomerang
Incantations
Oraclew
Dollars and (6th) Sense
Parenth-Thesis
The Secret Partner
TRY aNother FIELD
Ontene Prediction
The Dream Goes On
A Class by Itself
Anger with a “D”
Package Deal
While at the Talking Table
robert1996lb
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In the The Essential Stewart James, are there any tricks that do not involve difficult sleights, are they subtle card tricks??
fogelka
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I've read ALL of the James material that I know of, and I can't think of any effects that use anything but simple sleights, subtleties, and very well hidden mathematical principles.
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