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Vlad_77
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Yes it's time to break out the Visine again for another excruciatingly verbose Vlad review. What can I say? I am a sadist by nature!

Let's start at the beginning which is always a good place to start in that this e-book's title is a misnomer. Peter Duffie has created so much wonderful magic that even five volumes in we are still not seeing ALL of his best. But I really like Scottish people so I will let this one negative slide. Smile

Henceforth known as BOD5 because I am woefully lazy, BOD5 is the fifth installment of effects by Peter Duffie which he has culled from previously published works. (Clever how I sussed out that BOD5 is the fifth installment! Jamy Ian Swiss, eat your heart out). While Peter Duffie is regarded as one of magic's excellent sleight of hand artists, BOD5 is a collection of card magic based upon as Duffie writes: "principles over sleight of hand." Let's get to the nuts and bolts of the e-book's presentation shall we?

There are over 40 routines in this 82 page e-book. Illustrations that were present in the original publications are reproduced in this volume so there is no need to run back to your bookshelf to consult the earlier work. I really like the fact that the table of contents is hyperlinked in the PDF. In addition, at the end of each effect there is an arrow which hyperlinks back to the table of contents. I like this practice and I sincerely hope that more e-book authors will follow Peter's example with larger e-books. The layout is very clean and the sans-serif font is easy on the eyes so reading on a screen is not an exercise in minimizing eye hemorrhaging.

This book really should have wide appeal even to knucklebusters because effect is what matters most as Anneman taught us and effect is what Peter Duffie consistently strives to maximize and that notion is evident here and indeed in all of his other works whether printed or digital. Having said that, fans of Stewart James and Nick Trost are REALLY going to have a blast with this e-book. James is the master of "principles" to use Duffie's verbiage and of course Trost is well known for his diablerie of method as well.

The very first effect in the book titled "Jack of All Trade Offs" is a packet version of Trost's "Oscar" which is actually based on Dave Campbell's "Fred" effect. (Vlad note: Peter Duffie also wrote the massive book titled The Dave Campbell Legacy. This book is simply a must buy. Dave Campbell was one of Scotland's greats and Duffie's writing really does justice to Dave Campbell's work. For those of you that have Richard Kaufman's 5x5 Scotland - ALSO written by Duffie - you should already be familiar with a sampling the late Dave Campbell's work). This effect however provides an additional climax. While Peter states that sometimes he stops at the first climax if the reaction is good, I would strongly urge you to do the whole routine as the second climax kicks hard enough to make a baritone into a soprano. (Ed. note: not the gangster type of soprano, the OTHER type). The effect is a play on words that turns into a really fun double prediction effect that at first seems to fail. Many magicians are always on the lookout for packet effects that play big and have a strong punch and this effect meets that criteria.

Throughout BOD5 Peter Duffie takes on some classic plots and provides a good spate of Duffie originality as well. Folks that are looking for rotational stacks beyond the more obvious Si Stebbins and Eight Kings would do well to give The Orbital Stack and The Magnum stack some study. The strength of these stacks lie in their simplicity as well as as a Lewis Jones idea which removes one of the weaknesses of the aforementioned older stacks in that there is no apparent cyclic nature of suits/colors. Duffie DOES provide simpler versions in which suits ARE in strict cyclic order, but I feel that it makes no sense to learn the simpler versions since you really gain little over the Si Stebbins/Eight Kings systems.

In magic we have certain effects that are labeled as "holy grails." One of these is Stewart James' "51 Faces North." Stewart James had laid down extremely stringent conditions for this approach to the Open Prediction by Paul Curry, and no one - including James - has ever met these conditions - until now! (note: I should clarify that James never revealed whether he actually DID have a method that met all of his requirements. Considering that Stewart James in Print and The James File each contain a lot of work on the plot but none of the approaches meet James' own criteria, it is safe to assume that James himself did not work out a method). Peter Duffie offers an elegant approach in the book in which he states: "This is my solution to one of the most captivating card problems ever posed: Stewart James' "51 Faces North", which is his method for Paul Curry's "Open Prediction." All I am prepared to say about the following solution is that it does meet every one of the conditions laid down by Mr. James, and the method could be construed as a 'new angle on a known principle'. As you read through you will see all of Mr. James' published conditions at various intervals (in bold / indented) to remind you of them, and also to allow you to check them against the method as you proceed." Please read that again: this approach by Peter Duffie does meet the requirements set down by James. Consider the fact that MANY magicians including Marlo, Lyons, Lorayne, Weber, Maven, and many others have done quite a bit of work on this in addition to James himself, and the idea that the conditions have been finally met certainly is tantalizing. I will say that there is no false advertising here; Peter Duffie does deliver on his promise to list James' criteria so you can check his routine against the original idea. I haven't tried Duffie's solution but I did check the Stewart James conditions in other sources to ascertain the accuracy of Peter's assertion and it does indeed seem like Peter HAS done it. The Open Prediction/51 Faces North plot, in addition to being a grail, has also been as controversial as ACAAN. Some have argued that the Open Prediction/51 Faces North plot is really not terribly magical; the same has been argued about ACAAN. Rather than offer my view on the merits of each, I would rather urge you to study Peter's approach and make your own choice as to whether the effect IS worth all of the years of study that many of magic's greats have invested. I will say that it is fascinating to read the procedure and see that indeed James' conditions ARE met. I do plan to give it a go soon.

I really like the effect titled Where It's At. The effect is based upon Roy Walton's effect Almost Impromptu from The Devil's Playthings. What I find really really intriguing with this particular effect is that Rusduck's Stay Stack principle is involved but there is no stack! It's a very nice impromptu worker.

There is SOME sleight of hand in the book but NOTHING that is beyond the reach of anyone conversant with basic sleights so novices looking for high caliber professional magic have the chance to learn hard hitting magic from one of the best in the business. As already mentioned, even though there are no knucklebusters in the manuscript, there is a wealth of material for seasoned card workers as well.

There are a few effects that utilize the down/under deal, but, there is ONE effect in particular that will fry those who may know the principle. I won't tell you the effect title however. Smile I do not know whether Peter Duffie MEANT to make this part of the effect a potential magician fryer or not but, if you have a good second deal and substitute IT for the easier sleight used in the second phase of the routine you will fool the cognoscenti at the magic club. Obviously, non-magicians will be fooled regardless and the simpler sleight can be used as a second deal might be a bit of methodological overkill.

There are many stand out effects in this latest series of Peter Duffie's Best. Thgere is a nice balance of impromptu, almost impromptu, and setup effects so again, there is a veritable feast from which to choose. I would add that the real mark of an excellent magic book is not - at least for me - whether I can find one effect that I will use. No ma'am, the real mark of excellence comes with what I can learn methodologically that will widen my horizons as a magician. As such, writers like Peter Duffie follow in the footsteps of legendary writers like Harry Lorayne in that you will want to read the book not just for the effects. That said, the discerning magician will have a field fortnight upon the first read through of the book and certainly have in her/his possession an invaluable addition to a good working library.

It is no secret to any of us that are acquainted with Peter Duffie's work that he settles for nothing less than maximum impact coupled with simplicity of method. He is also one of magic's most prolific creators but unlike some others who are even more prolific, with Peter Duffie's magic there is no sense of filler or pipe dreams. The Best of Peter Duffie 5 is definitely worth your consideration and the price is very nice. Here is hoping that Peter writes at LEAST 5 more!

Highly recommended by my cats and me, and available at http://www.peterduffie.com Note, the price as of this writing is 14.95 USD. Peter's site states that the price will increase soon to 19.95 USD. Well, be that as it may, it is STILL a steal at that price, but why not take advantage of a raft of excellent effects from one of the art's most ingenious creators?

Ahimsa,
Vlad
pduffie
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Thank you, Vlad, for the in-depth review of my new ebook. It is very much appreciated.

Best Wishes

Peter
Alternative Magic: www.peterduffie.com
Cameron Francis
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I have made my way through a lot of this ebook and I concur with Vlad, excellent, thought provoking magic as always! And $14.95 is way too cheap for this much quality material! Even $20 is darn cheap. You really can't go wrong.
Moment's Notice 10: Six Impromptu Card Effects Available Now!
http://cameronfrancismagic.com/moments-notice-10.html
KyleMacNeill
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Since Vlad has done the full review, let me say that Duffie's approach to 51 faces north is SO deviously clever! Smile

Kyle
Cameron Francis
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I remember reading the 51 Face Nroth in another of Peters ebooks a while ago. I performed it for Dave Forrest and fooled him bad with it. It's a really cool solution to the problem.
Moment's Notice 10: Six Impromptu Card Effects Available Now!
http://cameronfrancismagic.com/moments-notice-10.html
John Carey
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Quote:
On 2011-11-13 01:20, Vlad_77 wrote:
Yes it's time to break out the Visine again for another excruciatingly verbose Vlad review. What can I say? I am a sadist by nature!

Let's start at the beginning which is always a good place to start in that this e-book's title is a misnomer. Peter Duffie has created so much wonderful magic that even five volumes in we are still not seeing ALL of his best. But I really like Scottish people so I will let this one negative slide. Smile

Henceforth known as BOD5 because I am woefully lazy, BOD5 is the fifth installment of effects by Peter Duffie which he has culled from previously published works. (Clever how I sussed out that BOD5 is the fifth installment! Jamy Ian Swiss, eat your heart out). While Peter Duffie is regarded as one of magic's excellent sleight of hand artists, BOD5 is a collection of card magic based upon as Duffie writes: "principles over sleight of hand." Let's get to the nuts and bolts of the e-book's presentation shall we?

There are over 40 routines in this 82 page e-book. Illustrations that were present in the original publications are reproduced in this volume so there is no need to run back to your bookshelf to consult the earlier work. I really like the fact that the table of contents is hyperlinked in the PDF. In addition, at the end of each effect there is an arrow which hyperlinks back to the table of contents. I like this practice and I sincerely hope that more e-book authors will follow Peter's example with larger e-books. The layout is very clean and the sans-serif font is easy on the eyes so reading on a screen is not an exercise in minimizing eye hemorrhaging.

This book really should have wide appeal even to knucklebusters because effect is what matters most as Anneman taught us and effect is what Peter Duffie consistently strives to maximize and that notion is evident here and indeed in all of his other works whether printed or digital. Having said that, fans of Stewart James and Nick Trost are REALLY going to have a blast with this e-book. James is the master of "principles" to use Duffie's verbiage and of course Trost is well known for his diablerie of method as well.

The very first effect in the book titled "Jack of All Trade Offs" is a packet version of Trost's "Oscar" which is actually based on Dave Campbell's "Fred" effect. (Vlad note: Peter Duffie also wrote the massive book titled The Dave Campbell Legacy. This book is simply a must buy. Dave Campbell was one of Scotland's greats and Duffie's writing really does justice to Dave Campbell's work. For those of you that have Richard Kaufman's 5x5 Scotland - ALSO written by Duffie - you should already be familiar with a sampling the late Dave Campbell's work). This effect however provides an additional climax. While Peter states that sometimes he stops at the first climax if the reaction is good, I would strongly urge you to do the whole routine as the second climax kicks hard enough to make a baritone into a soprano. (Ed. note: not the gangster type of soprano, the OTHER type). The effect is a play on words that turns into a really fun double prediction effect that at first seems to fail. Many magicians are always on the lookout for packet effects that play big and have a strong punch and this effect meets that criteria.

Throughout BOD5 Peter Duffie takes on some classic plots and provides a good spate of Duffie originality as well. Folks that are looking for rotational stacks beyond the more obvious Si Stebbins and Eight Kings would do well to give The Orbital Stack and The Magnum stack some study. The strength of these stacks lie in their simplicity as well as as a Lewis Jones idea which removes one of the weaknesses of the aforementioned older stacks in that there is no apparent cyclic nature of suits/colors. Duffie DOES provide simpler versions in which suits ARE in strict cyclic order, but I feel that it makes no sense to learn the simpler versions since you really gain little over the Si Stebbins/Eight Kings systems.

In magic we have certain effects that are labeled as "holy grails." One of these is Stewart James' "51 Faces North." Stewart James had laid down extremely stringent conditions for this approach to the Open Prediction by Paul Curry, and no one - including James - has ever met these conditions - until now! (note: I should clarify that James never revealed whether he actually DID have a method that met all of his requirements. Considering that Stewart James in Print and The James File each contain a lot of work on the plot but none of the approaches meet James' own criteria, it is safe to assume that James himself did not work out a method). Peter Duffie offers an elegant approach in the book in which he states: "This is my solution to one of the most captivating card problems ever posed: Stewart James' "51 Faces North", which is his method for Paul Curry's "Open Prediction." All I am prepared to say about the following solution is that it does meet every one of the conditions laid down by Mr. James, and the method could be construed as a 'new angle on a known principle'. As you read through you will see all of Mr. James' published conditions at various intervals (in bold / indented) to remind you of them, and also to allow you to check them against the method as you proceed." Please read that again: this approach by Peter Duffie does meet the requirements set down by James. Consider the fact that MANY magicians including Marlo, Lyons, Lorayne, Weber, Maven, and many others have done quite a bit of work on this in addition to James himself, and the idea that the conditions have been finally met certainly is tantalizing. I will say that there is no false advertising here; Peter Duffie does deliver on his promise to list James' criteria so you can check his routine against the original idea. I haven't tried Duffie's solution but I did check the Stewart James conditions in other sources to ascertain the accuracy of Peter's assertion and it does indeed seem like Peter HAS done it. The Open Prediction/51 Faces North plot, in addition to being a grail, has also been as controversial as ACAAN. Some have argued that the Open Prediction/51 Faces North plot is really not terribly magical; the same has been argued about ACAAN. Rather than offer my view on the merits of each, I would rather urge you to study Peter's approach and make your own choice as to whether the effect IS worth all of the years of study that many of magic's greats have invested. I will say that it is fascinating to read the procedure and see that indeed James' conditions ARE met. I do plan to give it a go soon.

I really like the effect titled Where It's At. The effect is based upon Roy Walton's effect Almost Impromptu from The Devil's Playthings. What I find really really intriguing with this particular effect is that Rusduck's Stay Stack principle is involved but there is no stack! It's a very nice impromptu worker.

There is SOME sleight of hand in the book but NOTHING that is beyond the reach of anyone conversant with basic sleights so novices looking for high caliber professional magic have the chance to learn hard hitting magic from one of the best in the business. As already mentioned, even though there are no knucklebusters in the manuscript, there is a wealth of material for seasoned card workers as well.

There are a few effects that utilize the down/under deal, but, there is ONE effect in particular that will fry those who may know the principle. I won't tell you the effect title however. Smile I do not know whether Peter Duffie MEANT to make this part of the effect a potential magician fryer or not but, if you have a good second deal and substitute IT for the easier sleight used in the second phase of the routine you will fool the cognoscenti at the magic club. Obviously, non-magicians will be fooled regardless and the simpler sleight can be used as a second deal might be a bit of methodological overkill.

There are many stand out effects in this latest series of Peter Duffie's Best. Thgere is a nice balance of impromptu, almost impromptu, and setup effects so again, there is a veritable feast from which to choose. I would add that the real mark of an excellent magic book is not - at least for me - whether I can find one effect that I will use. No ma'am, the real mark of excellence comes with what I can learn methodologically that will widen my horizons as a magician. As such, writers like Peter Duffie follow in the footsteps of legendary writers like Harry Lorayne in that you will want to read the book not just for the effects. That said, the discerning magician will have a field fortnight upon the first read through of the book and certainly have in her/his possession an invaluable addition to a good working library.

It is no secret to any of us that are acquainted with Peter Duffie's work that he settles for nothing less than maximum impact coupled with simplicity of method. He is also one of magic's most prolific creators but unlike some others who are even more prolific, with Peter Duffie's magic there is no sense of filler or pipe dreams. The Best of Peter Duffie 5 is definitely worth your consideration and the price is very nice. Here is hoping that Peter writes at LEAST 5 more!

Highly recommended by my cats and me, and available at http://www.peterduffie.com Note, the price as of this writing is 14.95 USD. Peter's site states that the price will increase soon to 19.95 USD. Well, be that as it may, it is STILL a steal at that price, but why not take advantage of a raft of excellent effects from one of the art's most ingenious creators?

Ahimsa,
Vlad
What a great review. Think I will treat myself to this in the week.

John
greig ewen
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Highlands/Scotland
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Just purchased this E-book, cant wait to delve in. Anyone have any favourites regarding the Best of Peter Duffie vol 1 through 6? Smile

Greig Ewen.
If you know the way broadly,you will see it in all things.- Miyamoto Musashi.
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