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SpellbinderEntertainment
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Review, Part Two:

Since my last post I’ve printed out the instructions and commentary from the CD-Rom
….all twenty-one pages of them

First, my disclaimer is that I am NOT a mentalist, I am a magical-storyteller,
so I must approach it from that perspective where my personal expertise lies.

--The system is well thought out, comprehensive, and thorough in description.

--The system(s) and method(s) are very clean most importantly,
and quite diabolical as well.

--There are many “pluses” in handling, and few if any of the “minuses” of most other book tests. The performer does not need to handle the book or ask pesky questions.

--Don’t expect to perform a multi-phase routine right “out of the box”,
to be optimally deceptive and foolproof you must become intimately familiar with the book, it’s layout, and it’s secrets… all quite easy, but it WILL take time and concentration.

--OK, not everything Shakespeare wrote is represented… you just can’t have everything in a book that’s going to tell you all you need to know to become a Wizard.

--That said, all the Sonnets are represented, and you can even put together a presentation from those poems and the classic illustrations.

--Some top minds in magic worked with this and made invaluable suggestions,
all the subtleties are there, you just need to work with the props!

--So having owned The Shakespeare Experiment for less than two-hours,
I have to give it
a 10 out of 10 for appearance,
a 10 out of 10 for techniques,
a 10 out of 10 for value, and
a 9 out of 10 for flexibility and ease of use.

Oh, and please don’t ask me for specifics,
it would not be fair to other buyers or the publisher, would it?

Magically,
Walt
“Tales of Enchantment: The Art of Magic”
by Walt Anthony
www.LeapingLizardsMagic.com

"spinning tales and weaving enchantment"
fraughton
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Walt, thanks for the review; it is very helpful.

Cliffird, you are my Hero. I saw a picture of that Thomas Jefferson bookstand years ago, and I have been looking for it ever since.

Still, I'm not gonna pay 2K, I'm a violin maker. It will happen in a way that incoporates some of my ideas and costs a lot less. I just needed pictures.

Thanks gents.
Beware of this and that.
Clifford the Red
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Here is a cool gothic bookstand furniture

This one has me drooling: http://www.newel.com/PreviewImage.aspx?I......eID=6004

And my friend I have more pics of that in a different version offered at Monticello...

http://monticellostore.stores.yahoo.net/110000.html

This is the original: http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/jefferson/images/vc22.jpg
http://www.monticello.org/images/media/bookstand.mov (spin it with your mouse!)

In looking for this, I came across this page which has something else brilliant on it - Jefferson had a portable reusable notebook of ivory sheets that he could write on and erase later. Brilliant!

http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/jefferson/jefflife.html
http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/jefferson/images/vc65.jpg
"The universe is full of magical things, waiting for our wits to grow sharper." Eden Philpotts
SpellbinderEntertainment
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I too love bookstands, and this effect I think deserves one
….as long as it cannot in anyway be seen as part of a method or secret to the spectator.

That said, this added prop would be helpful to display the extras,
and hide other aids for the performer.

I too have a love of books and reading,
it is one of my missions, to champion literacy,
and so want to have the same undertone and message as you Red.
To my mind all books are “bibles” and objects of desire and honor.

I’m thinking it will be Spring before I’ve fashioned my own take,
presentation, and routine for The Shakespeare Experiment,
but good things take time, and I want to do this justice,
I certainly won’t innovate on the marvelous workings,
just pick and choose and put things into my voice to make the
statements I personally want to make.

If I’d not purchased this (and it took some courage as well as Todd’s reputation to do it)
I would certainly ask Santa or other powers of the Winter for a copy!

Hope to hear more people’s take on this as they get their volume.
I’m tickled by the extra little games and hidden treasures in this.

Magically,
Walt
“Tales of Enchantment: The Art of Magic”
by Walt Anthony
www.LeapingLizardsMagic.com

"spinning tales and weaving enchantment"
Josho
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There are some laptop tables that look like very elegant, simple bookstands (I've seen some from Levenger's). I would opt for something like that, if the book is relatively small.

Can't wait to get my copies.

--Josh
John
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I'm very interested in this new offering. I, too, do not do mentalism - but I could probably incorporate some some form of "mental magic." Walt, I loved your self-description of being a "magical story teller."

My question is - without encroaching on actual workings - how does it compare with M.O.A.B.T. or Becker's Ultimate Flashback? I take it that he workings use multiple strategies and approaches, but I wondered if there are principles shared with either of those book tests - particularly the first. In other words, how does it compare with some of the other leading Book Tests?

Many Thanks,

John
Todd Karr
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Hi, everyone

I'm grateful to Walt for his complimentary review!

Here are three other comments on The Shakespeare Experiment from other magicians who now own one, two from full-time pros Paul Kozak and Levent, another from Shakespearian scholar and magician Dr. Brian Jay Corrigan. Order yours at The Miracle Factory at http://www.miraclefactory.net

"After 25 years of headlining comedy clubs, I have burned through a lot of material and have a wide repertoire as an arsenal. My favorite magic presentations are routines that I can improvise in and yet depend on a proven payoff. When I opened the wrapper to The Shakespeare Experiment, I felt like I was holding Charlie Parker's saxophone in my hands, the 'Ultimate Jazz Instrument.' I know that every time I perform this, I will be able to jazz out and improvise in the presentation, keeping it fresh and exciting not only for the audience, but for myself as an artist. 'Willie the Shake' and I are going to 'Blow Daddy Blow'!" - Kozak

"The Shakespeare Experiment a is beautifully crafted product. But to me, the real beauty lies in the addition of the gimmicked graphic elements, which open a whole new avenue to book-test mentalism." - Levent

"Masses of congratulations for The Shakespeare Experiment. I am, without exaggeration, a world-known, oft-published expert in Shakespeare, and your work demonstrates a genuine knowledge of and love for the texts. Well done...extremely well done. Beautiful presentation. I am putting it on my office lectern beside beside Dobson and Wells' Oxford Companion to Shakespeare, ready to spring on my students as they come by for consultations. It looks very well there - and very genuine amongst my other Complete Works editions, concordances, facsimiles, etc. Actually, it looks so very much better than the standard college textbooks that it only makes sense to leave it out in full view. The workings, too, are devilish and delightful. Brilliantly done. Many thanks." - Dr. Brian Jay Corrigan

Best wishes,
Todd
The Miracle Factory
http://www.miraclefactory.net
Todd Karr
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Another happy Shakespeare Experiment-er:

"Wow! You have outdone yourself!!! I can tell, like your other creations, this is a labour of love.

"I examined the book for thirty minutes to see if I could decipher some of the secrets...this book can withstand a fair amount of scrutiny without fear of exposure. The CD is very clear in the instructions, and I enjoyed those extra hints and tips from other performers that will elevate this to an extraordinary level.

"The best part is the learning curve is short so I can concentrate all on the presentation. This is a very seamless prop: no stumbling or the shortcomings of some other book tests.

"When you first offered this to the magic community, I already had the perfect venue for this wonderful prop. I perform a lot of charity fundraising events, black tie, wine and cheese events, etc.

"This is a very elegant and classy looking book! It does not disappoint from a visual standpoint and looks like an expensive Complete Works of Shakespeare that you would be proud to hand down...heirloom quality, from the leather grain-look binding to the gold gilding and ribbon bookmark..it exudes quality and luxury. 

"I can't wait to perform this! I already know when I am not using this book for performances, it will have a place of honour on my bookshelves with other books on Shakespeare and or on my coffee table or side table when company arrives.
"My mind is buzzing with all the wonderful possibilities!"

— Rajinder Sangha
John
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Any one able to give a description of what a sample handling might look like?

John
Dave McFarland
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Quote:
On 2008-11-06 22:57, John wrote:
Any one able to give a description of what a sample handling might look like?


I just got my copy this week, and I haven't had a chance to road test it (it definitely will take some time--like any good magical effect--to master). I can tell you, however, that there are a few things that sets this apart from other book tests I have. Most importantly there are multiple types of revelations possible, so it is much more versatile then a lot of book tests. You're not limited to the common "What page did you turn to? Now look at the first word at the top of the page" scenario. You can direct the spectator to different areas of a freely selected page, and divine a thought of word--without knowing the page number. In addition, you can reveal details of images in the book -- not just words. The book has several different sections--the plays, the sonnets, a glossary--which all have their own miracles hidden in them. The great thing about the book is that there's no single method and you can develop a complete (and interesting) multi-phase routine that doesn't feel repetitive. Since you can direct a spectator to different areas of the book and have them look at and concentrate on different parts of a page, your revelations will seem really astounding.

As others have said, the book itself looks fantastic. It really looks like a bound leather edition of Shakespeare (as it should). The quality is great and the massive number of pages makes it all the more deceptive.
Todd Karr
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A few more raves about The Shakespeare Experiment! — Todd

As far as the book is concerned, I must say that you created a masterpiece. Excellent! — Davide Costi

The book itself is a gem; it looks like an heirloom from my grandparents and is very convincing. It looks and feels upper class. I own more than ten book tests, but this one has a total different and diabolically clever combination of methods. — Erik Groesche

Shakespeare has landed and is everything you promised. It is a lovely production and the method thoroughly and solidly constructed. — Stephen Minch

As a full-time working professional magician with a rather sophisticated client base, I have been looking forever for a book test that would suit the atmosphere of my act. Most importantly, I have searched for a book test that has a wide range of presentational options that made logical sense in its presentation applications. Rarely does something appear in the world of magic that has it all. Todd Karr’s latest creation, The Shakespeare Experiment, does indeed…and more. Not only does his new book test have a wide variety of presentation uses, it also has a look and feel that is unparalleled on the market today. From the detail of the cover to the gold-leafed pages, it could easily look at home in the libraries of any wealthy estate in the world. I cannot overemphasize the caliber of the finished product. I had the pleasure of being one of the first people to receive a personal presentation of this work of art. I was wholly surprised when I was told to simply to open it to any page with no prompting. The rest of the effect had me in its grip completely. This is elegant, classic magic at its best. If you have been looking for something special for your act that won’t stay on your bookshelf, buy The Shakespeare Experiment. Or better yet, don’t buy it…I would rather be the only one who uses it in all of my shows! — Peter Morrison
Todd Karr
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And by the way, the $275 special ($25 off the normal $300) for The Shakespeare Experiment for Magic Café readers only is good for another week! Just send via Paypal to toddkarr@aol.com! We pay the shipping! California residents add 8.25% sales tax. Foreign orders add $40 shipping.
necroloid
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Looks fantastic but $40 bucks shipping to Canada is a bit much for me.
Piers
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Have to confess I am very tempted.
Could I also read the book simply as the Shakespeare plays?
Piers.
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Todd Karr
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Hi, folks. A few more reviews to tempt you!

You have done a marvelous job. The quality of the book is outstanding. Thanks and congratulations on this marvelous effect.
— Benedikt Grindel

Thank you for the enormous work you have put into this and the magnificent object you have allowed me to own. Your book will go down in history!
— Nikola Pelletier

What a thing of beauty! Congratulations. I'm very glad I obtained a copy. You certainly have gone "all out" with the look, feel, and effects.
— Richard Paddon
Todd Karr
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By the way, the $275 special is now officially over! Shakespeare is still less than some other book tests out there, so you'll still have a great value for your dollars!
todsky
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Well, I just received mine a couple of days ago, and it's indeed a beaut! Production-wise, it's absolutey gorgeous: I didn't expect such a physical work of art. I haven't gotten around to the inner workings yet; still admiring the 'body' before I get to the 'mind' of this creation. Those gilt-edged pages take my breath away: it's almost too beatiful to use!

-Another Todd
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Jerome Finley
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I don't even do a BT anymore but just had to adopt one of these beauties. Needless to say, I am dusting off an old pet routine and expanding the demonstration using this gorgeous SBT!

The sheer size makes the divination of a word seem absolutely impossible. The quality is such that the book itself is far above suspicion and looks exactly like it should. The workings here are easy to use and deceptive in play with lots of room to tailor fit this test to your own style, character and performance.

Here was I, like a Psalm -
JF
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MINDPSYCHIC
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Received mine the a couple of days ago and it is indeed a work of art. My hope is the Mr. Karr is working on some new titles to add to the lineup. Its a breath of fresh air to have a book test that dosen't look like it came from a dollar store. I finally have something that I'm proud to display and use at high-end gatherings. Perhaps an old Charles Dickens, or other classic work could be next. Please Mr. Karr- keep them coming, and thank you for making this available.
Dick Christian
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For those who care:

I have no idea why the reviews of what is a classic (in every sense of the word) book test ended up on the bizarre forum when they clearly belong on a mentalist forum (e.g., Penny For Your Thoughts or Inner Thoughts). Finding no reviews on either of those forums and not realizing that several reviews -- most of which were pre-publication reviews posted before the book was shipped to purchasers -- had already been posted, I posted a review to the Tricks & Effects forum (where I mistakenly assumed that reviews of newly released products were supposed to be posted) only to have it immediately "locked" by the forum moderator on the grounds that "it has already been reviewed." Anyone interested can still find my "locked" review (which like those here is highly favorable) on page 4 or 5 of the Tricks & Effects forum.
Dick Christian
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