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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Books, Pamphlets & Lecture Notes » » The Illusioneer - Carlos Vaquera (a Magic Portal review) (3 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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The Illusioneer (book) - Carlos Vaquera

The Hype:
he Illusioneer was a critically-acclaimed smash success in its original French language, and now this important work has been translated into English. You'll learn Matrix handlings, as well as stunning card magic designed for use in professional gala shows or strolling engagements. Carlos Vaquera is a seminal force of European magic, and this is his opus. With more than thirty card effects, six coin pieces, and several essays on the practical theory of magic, The Illusioneer will inspire you to push harder with your magic.

You will learn:
32 card tricks
6 coin tricks
6 moves
Plus 8 essays
Belgium's Carlos Vaquera has an unrivaled fluidity and elegance when he performs. His close-up style is visual and effortless, and in this book he takes you through his life's work in concise, step-by-step instructions. With nearly 300 pages of instruction and beautiful illustrations, this book is a rare glimpse into the mind of one of Europe's real masters.

Hardbound. 298 pages.

My Take:
First of all, Vanishing Inc. has once again created a volume that will look very beautiful on your shelf. It has a padded cover which both looks great and feels great, too. Josh and Andi are setting a new standard for publishing magic books and it will difficult for any other company to keep up with them.

Carlos is from Belgium and is the first Belgian to ever make a living exclusively from close up magic.He has quite a resume with a number of awards and television appearances. And it seems that Ascanio was his mentor.

Carlos has posted a video on Youtube of "the Attractive Ladies", a routine from his new book. However, the trick in the book is titled "Leading Ladies". However, it is the same routine.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GeIblYjsE4A . There are also a number of other videos posted but they are in French. The video is a good indicator of his performance style and his professionalism.

As noted above, there are 32 card tricks, 6 coin tricks and 6 moves plus the aforementioned essays. Caveat. This is not a book for the beginner although one might still want to pick it up for the essays. There are also a couple of items that are not sleight heavy. Carlos has a real love for the Hofzinser Spread Cull so to perform quite a few of these routines will require you to learn this sleight. The Classic Pass and Pinky and thumb counts also make appearances. The sleights and moves needed are described in loving detail.

Carlos does visit a number of plots but a couple are referenced more than once. There are at least four Triumph type routines and two Oil and Water. The techniques and plot line are different enough that there is a place for all here.

Even more important to me (and I am sure many others) are the essays he has provided on a number of subjects such as naturalness, creativity, music and crafting. However the essay that makes it worth owning this book even if you never do any of the routines is his essay on stage fright. It is quite a long piece and is loaded with good information. Stage fright is something that most of us have faced and hated. Turns out having stage fright is a good thing and Carlos explains the whole premise. Also, the Eight Tenets of Magic gives you a list of things to not only improve your magic but to make you a better all around magician. In reading this chapter, I realized that a lot of his thoughts could be applied to the non-magical things in my life. Read this thoroughly and just sit back and ruminate. This has the potential to be a life changing piece. Great stuff.

And the magic! He has block buster after block buster but be prepared to put in the work needed. Very few items can be done by the novice but if you are a serious worker, this needs to be on your shelf. Like many others, this is a book that should be read with deck in hand. I have found that even if a routine is beyond my skill level, there might be a part of the effect that I can use elsewhere. He teaches a marvelous way to place a card second from the bottom that I plan on using.

Here are some of the effects that caught my attention.

A Fine New Trick - Two cards visually switch places, before turning into the two black nines.
This is a visually impressive trick and it requires no heavy lifting. The toughest thing is an Erdnase Change which Carlos informs us is actually called the Houdini Change.

Clones - Three blank cards print themselves when they come into contact with a randomly chosen playing card, before returning to their blank state. The demonstration is repeated with a second playing card. The blank cards again print, before becoming blank once more. At the end of the trick, the cards are handed out for examination. Once again, no heavy lifting plus I am very fond of effects using blank cards. (I used to do a Macdonald's Aces using blank cards. Love it.)
Nothing more difficult than an Elmsley Count or an Ascanio Spread here. Plus you are taught the Optical Force which obviously can be used almost anyplace that you might need to force a card,

Day and Night offers one of his solutions to the oil and water plot. A Hofzinser Spread Cull is used here but it is much easier performing with a small packet of cards and this routine only uses eight cards. Probably a good way to get your feet wet with this type of cull.

I have always been a fan of the matrix plot in coin magic. You are given several handlings here plus a few other coin effects. Once again, these are not for neophytes. You do have to know your stuff to properly enjoy this section. You will be expected to be able to palm multiple coins and release one at a time. Probably one of the most challenging requires a muscle pass. All great magic but he makes you work for it.

Conclusion: A beautifully printed book that is loaded with good routines and thoughts. All routines are extensively described so the methods are crystal clear. The references and influences are nicely credited. As all Vanishing Inc. releases are, this is highly recommended.
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Profile of Wordsworth
Good to finally see a review of this one. I ordered mine last week, and really looking forward to reading it. Thanks
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I have made a special place on my bookshelf just for Vanishing Inc. books. Man, do they ever look good. You will enjoy this one. The fact that he is from Belgium gives his writing styple a whole different feel.
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Profile of Wordsworth
I'm only partway through this, but found a couple I really like so far.

Weighted cards. Not what I was expecting. This has a bit of a Paul Harris feel, and when you play with it it really looks great. If you get the movements fluid, state the concept upfront to the audience, and then just flow through it, this looks really really nice. I haven't showed it to anyone yet, but starting to like the way it looks when I practice it.

Every which way. There are a few triumph pieces in the book, which caused me to groan a bit. I don't know about anyone else, but I never feel like I need another Triumph routine. However, so far, these are my favorites from the book, with 'every which way' my top piece from the book so far. He has some very nice touches here that look really nice. There's a part I particularly like, where he has the top half of the deck flipped over, and spread wide to show that the two halves are legitimately back to back in opposite directions. From there he splits the deck and fans the right hand half wide, while flipping the left one over. Just a quick, casual, elegant way of showing the two halves in opposite states. But there's some nice dirty work built in already to back up the display and set up the next phases also. This could be done in the hands also, so a plus for people thinking about that.

Again, I'm probably only 30% of the way through, but finding some nice gems to work with. I agree with Canaday, you've got to love Vanishinginc for what they're doing with book publishing these days. This one is only $40 too, so pretty nice value compared to how a lot of books are priced recently.

If anyone else has any other favorites out of the book, I'd love to hear so I can watch for them as I go along.
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Thanks for the review Jim. Nicely done.
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