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martini
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Here is something you do not see every day, A magic dealer reviewing another magic dealers item. I just recieved the new book by Paul Hallas "Small But Deadly" a couple of days ago and have read it from cover to cover. I thought you might like my thoughts on the book.
It is hardbound, 128 pages with a dust jacket. The book is a history and thoughts on packet tricks. Starting off with a discussion of Delands packet tricks from 1908, onto tricks you can count on, cards up the sleeve, ten card poker deal, Marlo's oil and water, Brother Hamman's packet tricks, packet tricks by Alex Elmsley, Roy Walton, Peter Duffie, Phil Goldstein, Magic Ronnay, Peter Kane, Emerson & West and so many more.
Chances are that everyone of you have at least a couple of these packet tricks sitting in a drawer right now. If you ever wanted to know who invented what packet trick and follow the many versions that have come out since, then this book is for you. I personally feel that this is a most valuable reference work especially if you are putting items on the market and want to know what came before and to trace the roots of current material. Paul mentions that it was not his intention to put out an encyclopedia of packet tricks, but I think that is exactly what he has done. If you do close up, you will be reading back through this book time and time again. The book can also save you a lot of money and point you in the direction of some of the best packet effects ever created. In addition to describing and listing so many items, paul also gives you handling tips and thoughts and 6 of his own cartoon packet effects in detail, The Vain Queen, Vampire dawn, Bread & butter, the Beautiful Witch, the Hand is quicker than the Eye, and the Monster Mash (A very entertaining version of the ace assembly).
In all, this is one hell of a book, and the time and work that went into putting it together was tremendous. The cost may put some off here in the states, and that is very sad, because this is a bargain for the material contained within. If you are interested in getting a copy, E-mail paul at:
P.hallas@ntlworld.com or you can check his website at : http://www.PH-Marketing-magic.co.uk.
Check into this, it really is a great reference work for the close up magicians library.
Magically
Marty
Jones
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Marty,
Does the book discuss general techniques and principles that can be applied to all packet tricks? What I mean is, will I see improvements in my current material or will I just be learning new?

Ian
Paul
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Why thank you Marty.Smile It is, of course, the airmail postage to the states which makes it appear expensive over there. Over here it is cheaper than the U.S. books we get to buy. Swings and roundabouts. When you consider I am daft enough to include and detail several tricks I am still marketing then it is extremely cheap. I was thinking of putting the price UP after Xmas.

In actual fact approx. 20 routines are fully explained, including effects from Peter Duffie, Stephen Tucker, Walt Maddison and Martin Lewis.

As you pointed out though, the real value of the book is in knowing what has been done, what is out there,what shouldn't be overlooked and where to find the routines.

It is aimed mostly for the close up worker, but there are references to packet tricks for stand up workers too. Even brief sections on bizarre and mental packet effects (some forces people might not have come across in the latter).

Initial feedback is positive, but it has only been out just over a week now. I expect more comments to drift in shortly.

Paul.

re;
"will I see improvements in my current material or will I just be learning new?"

That depends on your current material Ian.
I certainly don't tell you how to do your tricks better (see Ortiz's Strong Magic" for that)but it may point you in the direction of a better version of the trick you are doing, or tell you where yours came from.

It is not a book on presentation or technique. In fact to say it is a book on packet tricks I don't even describe how to do the Elmsley count (but I do discuss Mr. Elmsley and his count.)Come to think of it, I do mention a cool bit on the five as four Elmsley count (p.72) but you might miss it if you read fast.

If you are just looking for new moves, this book is NOT for you. If you like packet tricks this book will probably be on and off your shelf regularly.

Paul.

Just wanted to point out there will be a delay in sending out orders of this book recieved between the 21st and 29th of September as I will be away at the IBM convention in Eastbourne. Thanks for your understanding.

Paul.
John Pezzullo
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I received my copy of "Small But Deadly" about two weeks ago. This is a very good book, a valuable reference work for anyone interested in performing entertaining card magic.

On page 84 of "Small But Deadly", Paul writes:

"There are also entertaining packet effects out there in print for you to discover. Many magic books, manuscripts and lecture notes have a smaller circulation than you might think. Some good effects simply don't catch on because magicians aren't exposed to them. Most performers of good effects would prefer it this way."

This is so true. There are many gems out there simply waiting to be discovered and brought to life in performance. This book will help you to discover some of these gems.

The 'icing on the cake' comes in the form of explanations for an assortment of packet tricks. One of the tricks taught in the book, 'The World's Oddest Card Trick', has gone straight into my repertoire. It's a 'worker'.
"One arrow. One life."
Paul
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Yep, that's a great trick John. Try out the Universal Card handling next, that's another "worker" I use all the time.

Thanks for your comments.

Paul.
alex keal
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With Christmas almost here, I thought all of you would want to check this out again. I cannot believe that some card workers have passed this by. This book is so good I sat down and read it from cover to cover. If you have ever done packet tricks, want to do packet tricks or are searching for some great packet material, then you owe it to yourself to get this book. The mere use of a reference to locate Phil Goldstein, Roy Walton, Peter Duffie, Alex Elmsley. Bro. Hamman, and many others great packet effects and variations is of such great value. No matter what packet trick or theme you can think of, it is probably here between these covers. Plus there is a lot of good solid hidden material here as well. I liked, The Universal Card Plus, The World's Oddest Card Trick, & Not Another Three Card Trick. Paul states in the end that he did not mean for the book to be an encyclopedia, but that is exactly what he has given us here. 128 pages hardbound shipped from England for $50 is a bargain. I have made so many hand made cards down through the years for people to do their favorite packet effects, If this book was available years ago, I would have never been able to keep up with the demand. This is a book that belongs on every card workers bookshelf and here is why:
1. The book is GREAT!
2. Paul is a nice guy
3. You will find so much good material
4. Paul is a nice guy
5. It is one of the best buys available today
6. Paul is a nice guy
7. Everyone at the club won't have it
8. Paul is a nice guy
9. It will take it's place amongst the classics in card magic for sure
10. Oh, did I mention that Paul is a nice guy?
Seriously, this is money well spent, and you will be thanking Paul over and over for taking the years of time and research to produce this labor of love. Congradulations Paul, you can be proud of this book, it is a winner.
All the Best
Alex
P.S. I make no apologies for rambling on my recommendation especially when this is that good to deserve it, and besides we old people are allowed to do that.
card crazy
Chris A.
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I'm sure Paul's book is great. For those in the U.S. who love packet tricks and want something excellent, but not as pricey, don't forget to try Phil Goldsteins "Focus".

Very fine book with 60 of Phils fave packet effects. Includes the currently marketed *and completely excellent* effect "Shinkansen".
AKA Chris A.
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Dave Egleston
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I've held off posting anything about this book because I didn't want to sound like a "suck-up."
1st. While Focus is a very good, often overlooked, book, and highly recommended - Small But Deadly is an unique foray into the branch of closeup magic (with a couple of exceptions) known as "packet tricks" and very different from Goldstein's tome.

2nd. If you are a serious student of magic and card magic in particular - Find a way to get this book!!

It is a well written history of packet tricks that takes the reader into the early 1900's right up to 2001 with the evolution of some of the most popular packet tricks we as magicians have seen since the first day we walked into our local magic shop and wanted to "check out some magic."

Also described is the multitude of variations and the creator of each variant and sometimes the inadvertent and blatant thefts.
Mr. Hallas winds up this historical, magical journey by showing us "some of his stuff" a trick that is a variation of Oil and Water called "Paul's Bread and Butter" will be particularly well received by audiences if you get Mr. Hallas's specially made cards.

I'm not a very good writer nor am I a book reviewer as most can tell by this post - but I felt compelled to write something about this remarkable book - I'm afraid the magi here in the colonies will be missing out on an important part of magic literature and a valuable resource.

Last point: Mr. Hallas is a nice guy - I've only communicated with him by email, however the professionalism and pride of authorship was clearly evident, and no, you can't borrow my copy.

Dave
LeConte
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I've wanted this books for a couple of months now. I asked my local magic shop to contact Paul about getting some copies. Maybe I should just buy one from him directly.

It is a great title for a magic book as well!

Cheers to the fine work of Mr. Hallas!! Smile
Drive Carefully
alex keal
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Contact Paul direct and buy it as it is not being supplied to dealers over here. It is one of the best investments you could make.
Anyone who misses this book, will kick themselves over and over about it later. Also check with Martini as Paul will be coming to the states for a couple of weeks in either late January or early February. He will be lecturing in Northern Maryland and Marty could give you the details.
All The Best
Alex
card crazy
MarkFarrar
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I bought this off Paul at the IBM Convention in Eastbourne, and it's one of the best books I've bought in a long time.

Part of its enjoyment, for me, came from thinking things like "I used to do that effect a long time ago - I wonder where it went to" and "I'd forgotten about that"!

A great buy, and great value for money, especially if you're willing to research the many cross-references.

(Oh, and Paul IS a nice guy too!)
Mark S. Farrar

Email: [email]MarkFarrar@TheMagicCircle.co.uk[/email]
Web: www.MagicSquaresBook.com, www.RandMPublishing.com, www.TheDailyGoalMachine.com, www.ParvoBuster.com
Paul
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Blimey, I'm not sure how I missed this praise but I did,blush, thanks guys.

Regarding Flip's comment:

I'm sure Paul's book is great. For those in the U.S. who love packet tricks and want something excellent, but not as pricey, don't forget to try Phil Goldsteins "Focus".

Very fine book with 60 of Phils fave packet effects. Includes the currently marketed *and completely excellent* effect "Shinkansen".

Yes, "Focus" is an excellent book, in fact highly recommended within the pages of "Small But Deadly" along with specific recommendations of effects within (including Shinkansen), but direct comparisons cannot really be made. "Focus" deals exclusively with the packet tricks of one man, SBD deals with the originations of many and works as a book on a number of levels. It will hopefully act as a great reference work, a memory jogger, an amusing read AND a material source.

Oh yeah, its an oversize book, so if it had been the same dimensions as "Focus" it would probably have had a hundred pages more, but as I said earlier, in no way can the two books be compared. It is not a Pepsi Challenge type publication, lol.

It is also not a mass produced item. If it was available in the USA it would probably be no cheaper as anyone stocking it would still have to factor in the cost of it being shipped to the USA, just as U.S. books work out more expensive in the U.K. for the same reason.

Happy New Year to everyone.
Paul.
p.s. Another great card book I got for Xmas was "Ahead of The Pack" by Avis and Lewis. That is only available from one place in the U.K. also. Smile
Chris A.
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Quote:
On 2002-12-25 16:26, Paul wrote:


Yes, "Focus" is an excellent book, in fact highly recommended within the pages of "Small But Deadly" along with specific recommendations of effects within (including Shinkansen), but direct comparisons cannot really be made. "Focus" deals exclusively with the packet tricks of one man...
But when that man is Phil Goldstein...Smile

No knock was meant on your book Paul.

I'm quite sure it's wonderful and wish I could justify the cost plus shipping to get a copy...
AKA Chris A.
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Paul
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re;
I'm quite sure it's wonderful and wish I could justify the cost plus shipping to get a copy...

?? It needs no justification, that's the cost and that's the cost with shipping. Actually with the exchange rate is SHOULD be dearer now. With credit card charge from Paypal and withdrawal of funds charge I am actually subsidising foreign orders.

Can you justify the cost of "The Lost Notebooks of John Northern Hilliard"? Goldstein's "Color" series of booklets when they appear on e-bay? The price of a carton of milk? I fail to see your point.

The retail price is decided on by the producton cost. Books produced in thousands actually cost far less per book to print than books produced in small quantities. It is probably correct in saying this book cost more to produce than any Kaufman, L & L or Hermetic Press book, and my profit margin is smaller. The book, over here, is not expensive at all, cheaper than most U.S. magic books available over here.

You may have prefered it if I lived in the States and produced my book in the thousands there, or even gave it away free. Unfortunately things aren't always as we would like. If you can think of some clever way of reducing shipping costs to the USA I would be pleased to hear it.

In fact, I'm not sure why on a thread concerning my book, that you have not read, you felt the need to recommend another (good as it may be)which cannot really be compared with it. I'm not sure of the logic of it. Maybe someone next will recommend Karl Fulves's "Self Working Card Tricks" (that's good too)as an even cheaper book? Smile

As for your selective quoting ending on "one man" and not completing the sentence on why it cannot be compared, it is immaterial if that one man is Phil Goldstein (who I respect greatly) or not.

If one were to start holding up the works of one man, maybe "Focus" could be compared with Hartman's "Card Craft" or "Stewart James- The First Fifty Years" more easily than "SBD." Smile

I know you are not knocking my book, but it seems you are knocking the postal costs over which I have no control.Smile Do you post much to other countries? It costs more Smile Fact of life.

Paul.
Dave Egleston
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Hey Mr Halas:

Thanks for the subsidy!!!!

Let them complain - This has taken a place in my Top "20" I've read it once already and even though I'm about a year behind on my magical reading list - I've started reading it again - I wish all history books were as well written as yours

Dave
Chris A.
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Quote:
On 2002-12-25 19:44, Paul wrote:
It needs no justification, that's the cost and that's the cost with shipping. A
I meant that I can't personally justify the expense right now. No disrespect towards you or your book was intended.

Quote:
Can you justify the cost of "The Lost Notebooks of John Northern Hilliard"? Goldstein's "Color" series of booklets when they appear on e-bay?
Actually, I can't. I'm sure they're quite wonderful, but I can't personally justify the expense. I'm sure others wouldn't hesitate and that's their perogative.

Quote:
The price of a carton of milk? I fail to see your point.
The point was that IMHO, I would love to have both books, but my personal magic budget situation doesn't allow for it right now.

Quote:
The book, over here, is not expensive at all, cheaper than most U.S. magic books available over here.
Understood. I'm sure the price is quite suitable for many, just not me personally.
Quote:
You may have prefered it if I lived in the States and produced my book in the thousands there, or even gave it away free.
I suggested no such thing.

You might want to look up the definition of a Strawman Argument

Simply put, I'd appreciate you not putting words in my mouth to make your point. Smile

Quote:
Unfortunately things aren't always as we would like.
Did I ask you to reduce the price of your book?

No.

Please, let's stick with what I actually said ok?
Quote:
If you can think of some clever way of reducing shipping costs to the USA I would be pleased to hear it.
Hm, once again, where did I explicitly state that your tome was too expensive?

I simply stated that I wish I could afford it, but my current budget for "packet trick" books is a bit stretched at the moment.

Quote:
In fact, I'm not sure why on a thread concerning my book, that you have not read, you felt the need to recommend another (good as it may be)which cannot really be compared with it.
Both books closely concern "packet tricks" eh?

Is it a huge stretch to believe that Magi interested in your book would be interested in Goldsteins book and vice versa?

Quote:
I'm not sure of the logic of it. Maybe someone next will recommend Karl Fulves's "Self Working Card Tricks" (that's good too)as an even cheaper book? Smile
See Strawman argument link above.

I suggested no such thing and made no logical link to price/quality.


Quote:
As for your selective quoting ending on "one man" and not completing the sentence on why it cannot be compared, it is immaterial if that one man is Phil Goldstein (who I respect greatly) or not.
I simply felt you were being unfair by apparently denigrating "focus" as only being the work of "one man".

Quote:
maybe "Focus" could be compared with Hartman's "Card Craft" or "Stewart James- The First Fifty Years" more easily than "SBD."
I made no direct comparison of the two books because I haven't read yours. I do know that both contain work pertaining to "packet tricks".

As such, it didn't seem a terrible thing to apprise others of another highly regarded book that they might be interested in as a purchase in conjunction with your book.

Should I stop recommending books on similar topics to other magi?

I've often recommended your book to those who enjoyed "Focus"? Should I stop doing that also?

Or should I only refrain from suggesting other great books to our fellow magi when you feel that sales of your book might suffer?

Quote:
I know you are not knocking my book, but it seems you are knocking the postal costs over which I have no control.Smile
*sigh* I know that international posting costs more. I do it quite often.

Once again, do you understand that I was saying that I would love to have both books, but that my personal budget doesn't currently allow it?

No offense was intended on my part at all.

But it seems offense was unnecesarily taken. Smile
AKA Chris A.
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Paul
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First,regarding;
I simply felt you were being unfair by apparently denigrating "focus" as only being the work of "one man".

???
I was not denigrating "Focus" at all and am unsure how you came to that conclusion.I say it is an excellent book in the post and that it is highly recommended in SBD. I was simply stating a fact, and a reason the books cannot really be compared. If you had SBD you'd fully understand. My favourite magic books tend to fit into the category of "the work of one man" which was why I suggested better comparisons of "Focus" would be to James and Hartman books rather than SBD. "Focus" is a book we can both agree on recommending.

re;
Please, let's stick with what I actually said ok?

OK. You actually said: "For those in the U.S. who love packet tricks and want something excellent, but not as pricey, don't forget to try Phil Goldsteins "Focus".

Which could be interpreted as you suggesting a less pricey alternative rather than as you later said; "I simply stated that I wish I could afford it, but my current budget for "packet trick" books is a bit stretched at the moment.

re;
As such, it didn't seem a terrible thing to appraise others of another highly regarded book that they might be interested in as a purchase in conjunction with your book.

That isn't a bad thing, but it didn't come across that way, it came across as suggesting a less pricey alternative. "Focus" is an excellent book (I've said it again) but is neither a reference book, nor historical so cannot be compared unless you are simply comparing it as "another book" to buy that costs less.

re;
I suggested no such thing and made no logical link to price/quality.

er..you said "want something excellent, but not as pricey,"

I really wasn't putting words into your mouth. But I did suggest some imaginary option you might have liked because it would have made the book more readily available to you.

Re;
Should I stop recommending books on similar topics to other magi?

No.

Re:

I've often recommended your book to those who enjoyed "Focus"? Should I stop doing that also?

Well, a suggestion they might like it makes sense, but I don't think people should recommend books they haven't read whether it be by me or anyone else.

I did see your good advice to someone asking what packet tricks to buy next that his money might be better spent on "Focus" os "SBD". Both books are better value than a few packet tricks and will keep someone busy for a while, (Focus has a thread all on it's own too, on which we both recommend it) "SBD" may actually save someone money in the future by helping them discriminate between good and bad packet tricks and give them the background knowledge they need in the genre.

re:
Or should I only refrain from suggesting other great books to our fellow magi when you feel that sales of your book might suffer?

No, I don't think you should refrain from suggesting great books you've read to others at all. But it has obviously crossed your mind now that the positioning of your initial post within this thread might have affected sales adversely of a book you've not actually seen or read.

No, I've not read the Strawman argument (but I once saw "The Straw Man" movie with Sean Connery and Gina Lollabrigida and it was awful:)) but after your last post I realise it wouldn't be helpful Smile

Ok, you have clarified your personal situation so I fully understand where you are coming from there and know no offence was intended, I never thought there was, and I was never offended, simply a little puzzled and perhaps a little over defensive of my "baby".

Certainly my postings have not been typed in an annoyed or offended mood (I am so laid back I almost fall over)but simply an attempt to clarify my interpretation of your post.

I wish you good health and wealth for 2003.

Paul

Smile
Joey Evans
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Paul,
I have a question about your book, actually am quite confused. =) Is it a book on history of magic or teaching effects, or both. I would come to think both, after reading the reviews. Sorry to ask this, but I couldn't get your website up and get a description.
Thanks!
The Visual Comedy and Magic of Joey Evans

http://www.Evansmagic.com/



The Impossible Has Never Been So Funny!
Rennie
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Paul's book is an encyclopedia on packet tricks, I purchased it about 6 months ago and it is very interesting reading if you like packet effects...History as well as performing.
Rennie
The effect is the important thing, how you achieve it is not.......
Paul
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With an absence of new reviews yet (any time now in the larger magazines) thought some might find these older ones useful. Also to clarify a few things.The new edition from H & R books has more pages, but ONLY because it is no longer an over size book. The print content remains the same, with simply the addition of a few pictures. Also for those in the USA it is now more easily available as this edition is printed here. One advantage is that it costs less than having it shipped from the UK. And you can see from the current exchange rate what that has done to UK produced books available in the USA..

Those that bought the initial very limited print UK edition do not need this new one, in fact you may have something that becomes collectable SmileThose that didn't get it at the time simply because of International shipping charges now have their wish, readily available all over the USA.

Don't contact me for it, get it from your favorite dealer.

Paul.
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