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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Books, Pamphlets & Lecture Notes » » Serendipity by Allan Hagen REVIEW (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Profile of bidbid
Sometime ago I bought this new book by norwegian magician Allan Hagen, the book contains some essays by Allan, plus three performance pieces explained.

The essays are about magic in informal settings, and they really don't say anything new or noteworthy, not only that, they talk about concepts that I think are widely considered obsolete nowadays, if any of you guys wants to read about magic in informal settings I suggest two extremely superior resources: "The amateur at the kitchen table" and "the jerx volume 1", compared to these books Serendipity looks like a book out of the 1960s.

But let's talk about the three effects explained:

The first is magician cuts to the aces, the spectator can shuffle the deck though, But the deck is prepared in a special way (not a way invented by Allan, an old way) and the handling is old and known, it's the kind of effect that everyone does because using the deck preparation Allan talks about in this way is just common sense, Oh by the way, since the way you have to prepare the deck wasn't invented by Allen he doesn't explain how to do it.

Next we have spectator cuts to the aces, Allen suggests to use the method by John Bannon: "final verdict" (he doesn't explain it though), and only gives us who bought the book a presentation for the effect. the presentation could be made fully clear in one line of text, and since he doesn't even tip an original method I have a hard time consider this an "effect" explained in the book, also, in the "jerx volume 1" this idea Allan talks about was already explored in various better ways than the one Allan uses.

The last effect of the book is ACAAN, with two spectators, one names a number, one names a card, someone counts to that number, there's that card. AMAZING RIGHT? Well, I am just gonna quote the words Allan wrote when explaining this trick's method "I'm very sorry". He literally says "I'm very sorry" about the method. Of course it's the oldest method ever, and everyone knows it already, yet again Allan doesn't give anything new or interesting, he just recycles old ideas.

So, I strongly suggest you don't buy this book, I was extremely dissappointed by it, and I little offended.
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Profile of AstoneMagicalSleight
I have to agree with all that. While Allan seems to have some really good material, this booklet is not the place he shares them. From what I've heard "Eleven" (his first set of lecture notes) seems to be better. On the other hand the download he released "Completing the hands" is really good.
This it too bad as I'm sure he spent quite a lot of time working on this booklet (the layout, pictures, etc. look great ). I sure hope he continues sharing material but not in the way he did with this release.
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