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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Books, Pamphlets & Lecture Notes » » Just finished reading all of Mnemonica (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

10cardsdown
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I've followed closely the thread on Mnemonica and everyone's comments. In fact, I personally made several comments about the book. As I was only about half way through, my main comments were that I wasn't too impressed yet. Many thought I was a rank amateur that didn't understand this book or the performer of Juan Tamariz.

This is definately to the contrary. The comments that I made during the first half strictly had to do that I personally thought the material was very elementary. Please note, this is my view of how I perceived the MATERIAL in the book. Not my views of what I thought of Juan's performances. Those are two distinct comparisons, and the latter would be appropriate for a thread of it's own.

Now that I've finished the book, I can give my impressions on the entire book. First let me state that I think the material in the book got better as it progressed. One comment I must make is that regardless of what one thinks of the book's material, it definitely stimulates the mind and creates thinking channels of parallels that each individual can interpet into their own routine. I must say that this book is very stimulative from that aspect (as well as any of Simon Aronson's memo deck routines).

The following were areas of interest to myself and the style of performer that I am and the ability to adapt them to my style:

The Kruskal Prediction principle.

Prediction, pg. 91.

A couple of his jazz ideas to obtain the named card and the revelation of it.

Vernon’s Trick That Can’t Be Explained – face down using equivoque.

The False Drunken Shuffle.

Al Baker’s A Number And A Card – offer to count from the top or bottom of the deck. Find card at the named number and the card at the difference of 53. Force the appropriate card.

Any Cards Called For – mental epic format of the one ahead principle.

False cut, pg. 274.

Charlier Flourish False Cut.

Rezvani idea to put the deck in order.

Finally, the strength of the book lies in the unending search of past material that was utilized to build many of the routines. The bibliography with commentary is second to none. A very in depth account of past and present routines and ideas in print. This is followed by a terrific chapter on Sleights and Information Useful With Mnemonica.

Both of these chapters I'm sure are skipped over by many of the readers. There is probably as much useful information in these 2 chapters as the rest of the book. Unfortunately, many find the history and styles of previous performers unnecessary reading. I would personally encourage each reader to read these two chapters, they will definately stimulate the thinking process on the memo deck.

Kudos for including these two valuable chapters.

So now that I've completed my reading on this book, I can make a more accurate assessment of this book on how it pertains to me.

I would definately recommend this book to anyone who is interested in memo work, whether they have memorized a deck yet or not. There is valuable and useful information throughout the book.

The method and stack that Juan uses are not useful to myself. I personally think there is an easier way to memorize the deck, but that's really a different subject that has many current threads on the Café'. I find the fact that the deck can be gotten into from new deck order totally unimportant to me. A stacked/switched deck with good false shuffles/false cuts is plentiful.

Gambling routines I personally find boring. I know many enjoy this material, and for those, I'm sure there is plenty of good material in the pages of Mnemonica. I find gambling routines a display of skill. My personal style is geared to not having dexterity to perform sleights. That's what's so beautiful about the memo deck. No sleights, but the mind knows where every card is.

I think Juan's jazz ideas and material are very good. This style of memo work is open to individual interpetation. Many of his ideas can be incorporated into one's own personal style. I would like to say that while reading his work on Jazzin', this area seemed to stimulate my own personal thinking processes the most.

Finally, (if you've read this far), I must say that without a doubt, the best routine in the book by far is Total Memory, using the anti-faro method. The looks of the fairness as well as the effect that builds with each phase is terrific!

So for those that read my posts earlier and misunderstood many of the things that I said earlier, this should give a clearer and complete understanding of my thoughts on Mnemonica. Hope you enjoy your book as much as I did! Smile
Shane Wiker
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Excellent review. I'm still working on my own review of Mnemonica.

Thanks for posting your opinions of it.

Shane Wiker
BarryFernelius
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A note regarding Prediction (page 91)...

When you read the method for this effect, you'll laugh and dismiss the effect. (I had read this effect in one of the Hofzinser books and dismissed it quite a long time ago.)

Just before I turned the page, I was struck with a nice presentational idea for the effect. (Briefly, it's about visualization, and in the process of performing the prediction effect, a female spectator is given a chance to have her wish come true.) Since the effect and method are simple for the veteran magician using a memorized deck, I gave this effect a try at my regular dinner theatre gig.

The effect generates an enthusiastic response that is way out of proportion for the method employed. First, there's that delightful moment when everyone inhales sharply, briefly and at the same time. (Oh!) Then, the whole audience sits there, completely stunned. This is followed by enthusiastic applause peppered with comments like "No *bleeping* way!"

What more could a magician ask for? And until you try this, you simply won't be able to understand it.
"To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan and not quite enough time."

-Leonard Bernstein
Bizarrist
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I'm still hoping to track down a copy for purchase. I've heard only, for the most part, glowing recommendations for study of this book.

Nice review 10CardsDown! I look forward to reading you review too, Shane!

Looks like this one will be my next target book for purchase!
The Most Beautiful Experience We Can Have is the Mysterious.
therntier
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I am happy with the book. I agree, Total Memory is a fantastic routine. Another one that I really enjoy is his weighted hard effects with the half stack. It's another routine which builds, but has a lot of room to move or add ideas.

I have heard that it is out of print already. Does anyone know if this is true. If so, how many copies were printed?

Thanks
eryanic
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How good is this book compared to Sonata?
david_a_whitehead
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It deals with a totally different field. You can't compare the two. Are you interested in memorizing a deck and using routines that utilize it? If so it is arguably the best out there, if not, then either read it for inspiration or continue studying sonata.
owen.daniel
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I have been talking to several people about Mnemonica...i am still awaiting my copy...however I have heard some people putting it down.
A lot of people seem to share the view that Mem Deck work is only popular of a sudden because of Tamariz' book...i think to an extent this is true...they also think that it will die out soon as well...a view I also agree with.
However I think that most of the people put down the book for its contents magically. I am not looking forward to the book for this reason...i am reading it to learn from Tamariz...a man who certainly knows what he is talking about.
Larry Davidson
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Quote:
On 2004-10-13 16:46, owen.daniel wrote:
"...A lot of people seem to share the view that Mem Deck work...will die out soon...a view I also agree with...."


And that would be a shame because a memorized deck is an incredibly powerful weapon. In fact, I use a memorized deck for one of the strongest effects in my repertoire ("strongest" based on audience reaction). Magicians who don't see the potential of this tool haven't thought about it enough in my opinion.

Larry D.
david_a_whitehead
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It will die out because most magis are not disciplined enough to learn a deck cold. It is that simple. Learning a deck is still a rough rough road most people don't want to deal with. I am glad that this is the case as it makes for a certain level of exclusivity.
scott b.
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Man Oh Man I can't wait for this book (great reviews just keep making me more anxious), ordered this saturday and am waiting.
Thanks! Scott B.

"I don't know the key to success . . . but the key to failure is trying to please everybody." - Bill Cosby
owen.daniel
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David,
Thank you for clarifying my point. What I meant by what I said was that it would die out in popularity as many people will find themselves not bothering to learn the stack...and to keep it in their mind.
I personally decided to learn the stack having seen Michael Close perform at the Magic Live convention...It was a coincidence that Tamariz' book was being released at a similar time. Otherwise I would have learnt the Aronson stack or another substitute.
Owen
10cardsdown
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I would say that memorized deck work is not just a fad because Juan Tamariz has published a definative book on the subject. Stacked and memorized decks have been around for hundreds of years. Juan even documents this in his bibliography. Simon Aronson lectured on this type of work in the late 70's, early 80's. He has several fine pieces of work contributed to the memo deck in his literature (worth studying!).

Anytime something new is released, there is a portion of enthusiasm to go along with a new release. Taking nothing away from Juan, but this type of work has been and is continuing to perpetuate for many years.

If someone thinks they will be enthused by this type of material for awhile and then drift away from it, then they are not a candidate for memo work. This is a style of performing and executing for a lifetime.

Remember the old saying: "There's nothing new in magic, we're only reinventing the wheel". This holds true in today's magic society. Smile
Larry Davidson
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Quote:
On 2004-10-13 18:43, david_a_whitehead wrote:
"...Learning a deck is still a rough rough road most people don't want to deal with...."


David,

Most magicians think it's tough so they won't put in the effort.

I avoided learning a memorized deck for the longest time because I was too lazy to put in the required time and because I know I have a poor short-term memory. I figured if I couldn't even remember someone's 7-digit telephone number, there was no way I'd be able to remember the position of 52 cards. I was wrong. I learned Martin Joyal's Six-Hour Memorized Deck in less than 6 hours (it took me just a bit more time to feel comfortable with it).

Nothing ventured nothing gained.

Larry D.
david_a_whitehead
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That's what I meant. Smile
Dennis Loomis
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I think a lot of guys think that memorizing a deck is a lot harder than it really is. I havn't used the Tamariz method because I've worked with the Aronson Stack for a long time.

Mem Deck use will not die. It's too powerful a tool and once you get into it, you're not going to give it up.

Perhaps it's not for everyone. But I urge you to give it a shot.

P.S. The subject of my November column in Smoke and Mirrors will be the Kruskal Principal applied to the Aronson Stack. You'll soon find the routine I worked out with the help on Simon Aronson on his web site as well.

Denny
Itinerant Montebank
<BR>http://www.loomismagic.com
ROBERT BLAKE
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I hope that a lot of magicians don't learn a memorized deck. this way the poeple who make the effort will have something great. so the more bad reviews the less will try it.
Alniner
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Quote:
On 2004-10-13 05:15, S.W.Erdnase wrote:
I'm still hoping to track down a copy for purchase. I've heard only, for the most part, glowing recommendations for study of this book.

Nice review 10CardsDown! I look forward to reading you review too, Shane!

Looks like this one will be my next target book for purchase!



http://www.browsersden.com/welcome.htm

I know they have at least one copy on their shelves. I saw it there 2 weekends ago.
Skĺl

--
Alan
AlfredoCario
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Most magicians are lazy,and would rather learn something simple than having to work hard. The Mneumonica deck is very useful,but you have to consider also your style of performing when using it.

Alfredo C.
Sensio
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Some barriers for magicians not using it may be
1) the fact that you don't normally start with such a trick because you leave it to do it at the end to make the Strong finish - this essentially means that if you only do card magic, then you must switch decks and magicians seem to be afraid to put the deck in the case (it may bring suspicion) and then switch it
2) you need more than one methods of false shuffling that must not flash at all and this is not well practiced by many magicians - they may know a zarrow but this also, if not practiced regurarly, may flash and get exposed

But it's true indeed that with stacked decks you may make the audience wonder for months how you did your effect....
It is absolutely worth trying because it is absolutely magic...
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