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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Books, Pamphlets & Lecture Notes » » Review - The Nine of Diamonds (book) by Various Scottish Magicians (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

KyleMacNeill
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REVIEW

The Nine of Diamonds (Book) Edited by Mark Beecham and Neil Stirton

Price: £24.99 for the Hardback Book

Where to buy: From here: http://nineofdiamonds.weebly.com/ or by contacting Neil directly: nineofdiamondsmagic@gmail.com

The Summary:

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The Nine of Diamonds is a new book from a gathering of Scottish magicians, who meet regularly in an underground bar near Edinburgh Castle (If that does not draw you in, what will?) This is their first project, and written by eight different members of the group, contributing tricks, sleights and more. It is 139 pages long, and contains 10 sleights/techniques (some are contributed by other magicians with permission) 13 card tricks, 3 coin tricks and an ESP trick. What’s really cool, is that the tricks apply the moves sleights/techniques in Chapter 1 in really intriguing ways.


The Production Quality

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The quality of the book is simply fantastic, with notable features including a beautiful red, black and white cover, stylish black and white photos and very nice diamond symbol throughout the book. Inside, it is printed in black and white, and there is nothing to fault with the design or layout whatsoever. A beautiful book for your collection. 10/10.


The Sleights

Here I will mention the sleights and moves used in the book, that were original (not ones put in that were created by other people).

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1. Regurgitator Revelation by Mark Beecham – This is an excellent and very original revelation of a card, where two other cards ‘spit’ out a card from nowhere into your other hand. I have already utilised it in a Cannibal Cards routine, and the move is used for “Regurgitator” in the book, which is where the two cards are made into a mouth shape and then spit out a selection. A really fun and original move! 10/10.


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2. Angled Afterburner by Jason Alford – This is the classic Wesley James “Coming up in the world” add on move on steroids. A chosen card is outjogged at an angle on top of the lower half of the deck, and this half is turned over to re-display the selection. It is turned back palm up, and the card is still seen anglejogged. It has been switched. You will have great fun with this new and exciting sleight. 10/10.


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3. Plate Clip Displacement by Mark Beecham – There is not much to say except that it is a really efficient and clever sleight to displace a card from a spread of, say, the four queens. You can get the card to the bottom of the deck whilst the others remain on top, or even get it into the middle of the deck. This has a real Scottish-magic feel to it, and could easily be used for a really direct Biddle Routine perhaps? 9/10.


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4. Popout Pass Revelation by Frank Thompson/Mark Beecham – Although I have not tried this out, it appears to be a cool little move for those that do the pass, to produce a card face up in the middle of the pack out of nowhere. Good fun once more and again could have many applications. 8/10.


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5. Fiend Stack by Paul Lesso – This is a full deck stack, and although I don’t use stacks this seems to have some really great properties including it being rotational, can be used with the Gilbreath Principle, the sum of adjacent cards is always very similar and mates are 26 cards apart. Everything is mentioned clearly, and I think this seems like Si Stebbins on steroids! 8/10.


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6. Himber Vanish Variation by Ian Kendall –I don’t do coin magic but by reading through this it looks to be a very neat click pass, and I think coin magicians will enjoy it! (No rating due to me not knowing enough about coin magic, but I wanted to include it to show there are coin items as well, and it seems to me to be very neat).


The Tricks

Here are the tricks, excluding the coin tricks as I cannot comment on them in enough detail – but briefly, there is a Hanging Coin Routine by Ian Kendall, a 3-Fly routine by Ian Kendall and a coin prediction effect by Ḗireann Leverett.

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1. Jack’s Departure by Ḗireann Leverett – This is a super cool and extremely direct version of Alex Elmsley’s Point of Departure. It really has a Scottish Magic feel to it, and I think I will be utilising this in a routine. A selected card is cleanly placed into a packet of aces, and suddenly vanishes, reappearing face up in the deck with no palming. 9/10.


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2. Amass Aces by Neil Stirton – This one of the best tricks in the book, and is a mixture of Sadowitz’s Whisperers and Walton’s Collectors. I think this would be really fun to do and the Collectors moment of the effect is extremely startling. 9/10.


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3. Regurgitator by Mark Beecham – This is a simple use of the Regurgiator sleight, and is very direct and clean. Additionally, it is very clean and direct. However, I personally would’ve liked to see a more substantial and wider application of the wonderful sleight, though it is a great foundation for you to create tricks with the move – I have already created a pretty neat Cannibal Cards routine with it. So yeah, maybe a more complex application of the move would have been nicer. 7.5/10.


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4. Radical Decency by Ḗireann Leverett – This is a really neat and direct effect, where two Jokers visually change into two selections. It does utilise one difficult move, but this could be substituted for an easier one if you wished. In addition, I personally would have used a Derek Dingle move to set up for the Joker reveal instead of a reverse move used, but that is just personal choice. Although arguably not that original, (I know that Rich Aviles has done similar things) it is a nice effect, which is direct. 7.5/10.


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5. Still Smiling by Tommy French – This a version of Roy Walton’s classic “The Smiling Mule”, and the end revelation happens face down which makes it very impressive. I like this, and I think that those that perform Walton’s version will find it very useful to test both as this one may be preferable. 8/10.


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6. Frankenstein’s Bunny by Mark Beecham – This is a very commercial card trick, and although requires intermediate skills it has a fantastic presentational hook and there is a lot of magic involved. A bunny is draw onto a selected card, and lost into the pack. One by one, the four Queens are placed face down in the pack, each time turning back face up to demonstrate them not finding the bunny. Each time a Queen turns face up, it is replaced back into the pack face down. After all of them have turned face up and been replaced face down, they all turn face up and in an instant later sandwich the bunny. 10/10.


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7. The Zen Stack by Paul Lesso – Although I do not know much about ESP effects, this ESP stack seems to be very clever and looks quite easy to learn. I can appreciate the ingenious way that it has been set up in, and ESP fans should value this. 8/10.


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8. I Don’t Trost You by Mark Beecham – This is another fantastic idea from Mark Beecham, and is so direct and has a great theme. A deck thoroughly shuffled by two spectators is handed to a third, who deals out four poker hands. She gives all four Aces to her/himself! Really cool trick. 10/10.


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9. Buckley’s Angels by Luke Eaton – This seems to be inspired by a Stephen Tucker routine, Harry Lorayne and also inspired by Arthur Buckley’s “The Ladies and The Deuces”. Although it does require quite a substantial setup it is a really great routine, with lots of magic being involved. The spectator selects a card (say a Deuce) and the magician proposes to find the other three. He in fact cuts to three Queens one by one, so he has failed. And yet when he turns over the three queens they have changed into the three other Deuces! The performer then produces the Queens from his pocket, under the card box from a completely vanished deck and from his wallet. Very strong card routine. 9/10.


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10. Another Flippin’ Collectors by Neil Stirton – Neil Stirton’s second contribution is a very interesting version of Collectors that uses a very nice sleight to perform a switch. It also utilises a great old-age principle, and I think it will play very strong and inspire many new ideas. 8/10.


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11. Sesame Street by Mark Beecham – This is an intriguing two-deck coincidence effect. As Mark puts it, it is “A do as I do effect with two decks, which has a display at the end, which will stick in the spectator’s mind for a very long time”. The display at the end is aesthetically pleasing and I think this was a very appropriate inclusion due to it being quite different to other effects in the book, and not being too difficult. 8/10.


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12. Lazy Man’s Memory Test by Paul Besly – A memory effect is a variation on Bill Malone’s “Hands-off Memory Test”, but does need any real memory work, instead using an easier way to achieve a similar effect. It is simply stunning – you reveal a thought of card cut off by the spectator, you reveal how many cards are left in your hand by apparently weight and you then name every card cut off by the spectator at the start (around 15-20 cards), finishing with their thought-off card. It sounds confusing, but is actually a fluent routine that I will definitely try to perform. 10/10.


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13. Two Faced Mother FIRPer by Mark Beecham – The magician explains that he will show how to palm off a card during a faro shuffle. He does just so, but the fellow magicians realize they have been tricked as the card has gone from his hand and completely gone from the deck… and is now in the box! This is a perfect and fun effect for a card session and has a cool plot. Quite tricky, though and requires something a little extra. 9/10.


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14. Any Card at Any Number by Neil Stirton – Yes, it’s the old ACAAN plot again, but I have to say that I do quite like this one. It requires quite a lot of other cards, but once set up you have a stunning and very clean take on the classic plot. A great way to end the book and I might try this out on some fellow magicians and see how it goes. 8/10.


Conclusion

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Wow! An excellent book filled with brilliant close up ideas, and I can only hope that this gets the sales and recognition it deserves. For only £24.99 you get a beautiful book with over 130 pages of fresh and exciting ideas. If you like card magic (and a little bit of coin magic, too!) then look no further. I am certainly very proud to own this book.


Highly Recommended.
motown
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Thanks for the info Kyle.
"If you ever write anything about me after I'm gone, I will come back and haunt you."
– Karl Germain
n_stirton
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Kyle,

Thanks for that, what an in depth review! Glad you found some items you liked.

If anyone has any questions, please feel free to post here or email me at nineofdiamondsmagic@gmail.com

Thanks guys!
n_stirton
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Hi guys,

Just to let you know that there's a review of the NoD book in MAGIC magazine this month (August, the one with Neil Patrick Harris on the front!)

Best, Neil
duanebarry
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The review is well appreciated, but this format is hard to read due to the quote blocks, which display as much smaller text. (They exist for compactly quoting somebody else's text which has already been read at regular size.)
slim23
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This book also had a review in this month's (october) genii magazine.
It looks like a good book. I am also going to Scotland this summer so I will order this book.
(Get in the the travelling mood...)

Slim
scottishsweetie
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Edinburgh, Scotland
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Slim23 - Give us a shout if you are in Edinburgh on your holidays and want to meet up and session.

There's another good online review here by-the-way:

http://magic.about.com/od/bookreviews/fr......agic.htm

....and the book is now available from most good online magic shops.

Mark Beecham
krazykat
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Looking forward to getting this one...
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