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highmagic
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It seems that the Ian Rowland’s “Mentalism Lecture Notes” are now available. Has anyone received them yet? Do we find original methods inside, or just new presentational approaches? You can find a description of the contents at http://www.ianrowland.com
Stephen Long
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We certainly do find original methods inside. These notes are superbly produced, exquisitely written, and contain some first-class material.

His 'No Method Drawing Duplication' is, for me, worth the price of the notes. A hearty well-done to Ian.
Hello.
Glenn
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His light metal is one of the easiest and funniest spoonbending routines you will see.

Glenn
enriqueenriquez
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The notes are great: beautiful methods and great entertainment value in every routine. The NMDD is a masterpiece.
highmagic
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Thanks. I may check it out. I was indeed attracted by the NMDD.
Lamberto
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Well, on your recommendation I ordered a copy yesterday. Looking forward.

Have you all been to the lecture?
Stephen Long
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I wish I had. I have never seen Ian perform, regrettably. If his writing style and presentations are anything to go by, it would be an absolute pleasure to see him lecture.
Hello.
Glenn
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Stephen,

He has a video for sale called Mind Power: Fact, fiction and Fakery.

There are demonstrations of metal bending under "test conditions", thought photography, telepathic drawing duplication, psychic intuition.

Please note that they are demonstrations.

No secrets are revealed.

His performing style is excellent.

Glenn
Trois
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I can't find the lecture notes for sale. How much are they, plus shipping ? Anyone ?
Not clever enough to come up with something orginal, or did I.
John Clarkson
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They are £20.50 including postage to the U.S. At today's conversion rate, that's about $39.00. (The dollar is waning against the pound.) If you use a credit card, expect your bank to add a surcharge for currency conversion, too.

:nose:
John D. Clarkson, S.O.B. (Sacred Omphaloskeptic Brotherhood)
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Trois
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Thank you, John.
Not clever enough to come up with something orginal, or did I.
salsa_dancer
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I have just ordered a bunch of stuff from Ian, so I am looking forward to receiving this.
Karswell
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I’ve yet to have a single dud from Ian - simply great stuff!

Nick.
John Clarkson
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There have been (in other places) a lot of great comments about the content of the lecture notes. I look forward to receiving them soon.

:nose:
John D. Clarkson, S.O.B. (Sacred Omphaloskeptic Brotherhood)
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"There is nothing more important to a magician than keeping secrets. Probably because so many of them are Gay."
—Peggy, from King of the Hill (Sleight of Hank)
adolphus
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I had an opportunity to flip through his notes. I thought I'd see him perform some of them first before I would decide to buy and study them. His spoon bending bit is in it, and is one of his signature pieces. That alone, as a "worker" may be worth the price to some. But I imagine there are other published bits that work well, too.

Other effects use items that are more in line with "magic" than straight mentalism, but I'm sure it all entertains. His "no Method Design dupe" generated some interest here, though I've heard a lecture attendee essentially say it seemed more "filler" than "practical."
"Unlike the mere Conjuror, the Mentalist reaches into that space which a hat normally covers. And from there, he withdraws something more fleeting - and at times, far fuzzier - than any rabbit"
Gordon
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Aside from the spiral binding (which I dislike in all notes), I found them to be exceptionally well produced. The writing is crisp and clear. The typography and illustrations (all done by Rowland, I believe) are very good.

Having seen the lecture, I found that the notes were an excellent accounting of what he demonstrated. I think they easily stand alone. That is, unlike some notes, they don't require you to have seen the lecture in order to make sense of them.

Additionally, due to time constraints, for some routines there is actually more in the notes than discussed live. (Alternate approaches, for example.)

All of the above also applies to the "Card" lecture notes, which I actually find to be more useful to me. Good stuff in there, too.
Ian Rowland
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Gordon - just a word of clarification. I intentionally created the lecture notes such that I could take the master pages (or disk) into any high street copy shop and get sets of them duplicated and bound. This is far more practical for travelling around the world than carrying large stacks of printed paper in my suitcase. This is why the notes are spiral bound, as opposed to my other stuff which I always get printed using perfect or 'burst' binding.

And yes, I did all the illustrations myself (thanks for noticing). This took forever because I'm no artist, so every single illustration is a line drawing created from a posed photograph. But I think the results are worth it. Love the material or hate it, but the illustrations are darned good!
www.ianrowland.com . Working Magic.
Nir Dahan
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Ian I just ordered and recieved the lecture notes from you - add me to the list of satisfied customers.
some people out there (especially in the mentalism area) sell stuff which has less value (effect-wise) is less in volume and production value and call it books!

this is really a great addition to my library.
great effects, great presentations (I will use the comedy spoon bending with a few other twists - pun intended)

Nir
Alan Jackson
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If you are thinking about getting them, think no longer. Get them.
There are 10 kinds of people: those who understand binary numbers, and those who don't.
Harvey Nerzof
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HN Review 95: Mentalism Lecture Notes – Ian Rowland

AD:

The Mentalism lecture notes are professionally printed and bound to a high standard, covering 5 complete routines from my professional repertoire as well as a complete explanation of what I call 'Preludes' cards. I've taken a lot of time and trouble over these notes to make sure they are worth buying and good value. They are well-written and illustrated, the detail is comprehensive, and the material is all practical, tried-and-tested stuff you really can use.

In detail:

Light Metal: this is the best, cleanest, most baffling and funniest 'test conditions' demonstration of metal-bending you will ever present. A member of the audience checks your hands and the spoons right at the start (no extra spoons are added later!), and also checks every aspect of this amazing 'psychic' feat as it unfolds. Yet a freely-selected solid steel spoon is seen to slowly, visibly and openly warp, bend and even break while held gently at the fingertips.
It is beautiful, it is baffling and it is also huge fun. This is just about my most-prized routine, and it is a sure-fire applause getter. I know you see that a lot in magic ads, but in this case it's true. I have never known an audience not to break into spontaneous applause at the climax of this routine, and when you see how carefully it is structured you will see why. Not hard to do, but calls for some presentational flair and confidence. (I perform this item on my 'Mind Power' lecture show video - see the non-magi Items To Buy page).

Thought Flash: a target is randomly thought of, and you cause an image of that target to appear on a previously blank piece of photographic film. This is the easiest and most practical of all 'mental photography' routines: you don't need a camera of any kind, it is totally future proof (do it no matter what they invent next), there are no consumables apart from a small piece of flash paper, and you can carry it around with you anywhere. The target can be anything you want: famous person, famous place, sports star, a selected brand or product... whatever.
No gimmicks in the hand, no chemicals, no timing, no double-exposures. It is a fun, thoroughly baffling routine using simple and familiar principles to devastating effect and it does get audible gasps. It really does! Perform it stage or close-up as you wish. Easy enough to do, no sleights, works every time. (I perform this item on my 'Mind Power' lecture show video)

The Subliminal Prediction: I'm genuinely proud of this. How can you put a writtten prediction on full and open display, right in front of the audience's eyes, such that not one person in the room will see it until you want them to? That's the intriguing premise behind the Subliminal Prediction, and you will love it! I suspect you will want to present this routine right away, just for the joy of that killer finish when you show that your prediction was right there, unconcealed and on open view the whole time - and yet no-one in the audience saw it!
The routine itself is essentially a straightforward prediction effect. Given 16 choices on open display, a spectator makes a series of simple selections so that 16 become 8 become 4, 2 and finally 1, which he is amazed to find matches your prediction. Strong features of this routine are that there is only one prediction (no multiple outs) and it is set in stone right from the start. The spectator's choices are all genuinely free, and there is definitely no equivocation or magician's choice at any point. You keep what he tells you to keep, you discard what he tells you to discard. Yet it still comes out right! Works every time, not hard to do. Close-up or stage. (I perform this item on my 'Mind Power' lecture show video)

Elephant From Matchbox: a silly name for a beautiful principle which lends itself to any number of different routines and presentations. You invite the spectator to mentally play any game which has a 50:50 outcome, such as tossing a coin. You write down your prediction using a bold marker pen on a writing pad. He tells you whether he's visualising heads or tails, and you instantly show that you predicted (or read his mind) correctly. Imagine being able to do this five times in a row and you can be 100% correct every time! (You can in fact be as wrong or as right as you want to be.)
This beautifully deceptive principle works with any 50:50 choice. Spectator mentally picks a card - red or black? Mentally plays roulette: odd or even? Mentally picks a famous person: male or female? And so on. He does it all in his head - no forces. You write your prediction first, you are always as right or as wrong as you want to be, and it is sure-fire. No nailwriters or band-writers or last-minute writing-in. No delay or awkward pauses, because there is nothing to fix or write-in. You show your written prediction immediately each time!

The No Method Drawing Duplication: exactly what it says! You will keep this wonderful approach to the Drawing Duplication effect in reserve for those times when your standard methods and the usual 'impromptu' methods are either unavailable or can't be used. The spectator makes a simple drawing, you tune in to his thoughts and attempt to draw the same thing. You can do this under test conditions exactly as if you could do it for real, because there is essentially no 'method' or 'trickery' for anyone to find! No billets, switches, peeks or glimpses; no impressions or forces; none of the usual tools of the trade.
Is it sure-fire? No, but it is sure-fire enough! I started using this approach just as an emergency parachute, but now it's actually my main method which I use almost to the exclusion of all others. You will get a creditable result 90% of the time, and if you want to rack that up to nearer 100% then I describe some simple additional ideas which enable you to do just that. Once you have learned this and have it in your head, you are ready to present it anywhere, any time.

Preludes: Preludes are a mentalist's best friend! Preludes are not a trick or a routine, but my favourite way to 'warm up' an informal or close-up audience using a few picture cards you can easily carry with you at all times. Call them mood-setters, ice-breakers, or just a great way to get yourself noticed and talked-about - you will soon learn never to leave home without them! Easy to make, and yet oh-so-useful to have with you when you want to make an impression as a man of mental talents and mystery

REVIEW:

Poorly produced booklet, especially when compared to Rowland’s previous releases. The contents however are interesting: the spoon bending comedy routine is described in full details and is certainly a winner in stage/parlor settings. The other effects are based on standard methods with fresh presentational twists – for example the NLP/motivational approach taken on some well-known visual illusions (Prelude cards), or the Universal Drawing add-ons (NMDD).

I unfortunately cannot ignore the recent exposure concerns (please refer to the relevant thread for further comments) and need to point out that the spiral binding format lends itself pretty well for photocopying purposes.

H.
Ian Rowland
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Criticism which is informed and constructive is always welcome. Unfortunately, not everyone can manage this.

And so to the above 'review' (sic) by Mr. Nerzof. As RW Emerson once said, 'To take apart is the art of those who cannot construct'.

Some minor corrections, if I may.

"poorly produced booklet". I disagree. The Lecture Notes were intentionally designed so that I could take the master pages (or disk) anywhere in the world, and get copies produced by any high street copy shop. This saves me having to cart tons of paper around airports, and means the notes are less expensive than they would be otherwise.

Hence they are 'spiral bound' with stiff covers, rather than 'perfect bound' with glossy, laminated covers. I fail to see why 'spiral bound' should be equated with 'poorly produced'.

The Notes I sell from my website are spiral-bound, but they are professionally printed. If the wise Mr. Nerzof knows of a better way to print them which preserves the advantages of on-demand local printing mentioned above, and keeps the costs low to my purchasers, I'm sure he will be good enough to share his wisdom with us all in due course.

The paper stock is good, the stiff covers will last a while if you're careful. The writing is, I think, of a good standard (according to purchasers) and the text layout ditto. I'm told the Notes are easy to read and to follow, and that the explanations are thorough. Again, if the talented Mr. Nerzof has work of a better standard to offer us all, so that we can compare his efforts and admire the improvements he is able to make, then I'm sure we'd all be most grateful for this learning opportunity.

The illustrations have to be line drawings for the reasons stated above, but are very clear and comprehensible (again, based on customer feedback and people I've met at lectures). Once again, I'm sure that if the very capable Mr. Nerzof can turn out better line illustration, he will soon be along to explain the improvements I should have made.

So what's "poorly-produced" about Notes which are professionally printed, well-written, easy to follow, well laid-out, durable and with clear, hgih-quality line art?

"The other effects are based on standard methods". Not so. There is an item in the Lecture Notes to which I've given the silly name of 'Elephant From Matchbox'. I would be most grateful to the experienced Mr. Nerzof, who is evidently so knowledgeable about these things, if he could either (a) tell me where he has previously seen this method published and why it qualifies as 'standard method', given that no magician I've met so far who has seen me demonstrate this had ever seen it before, or (b) retract the statement about 'standard methods'.

Likewise, there is an item in the Notes called 'Subliminal Prediction' in which I found a way to stick a clear, bold prediction in front of an audience, and even point it out to them several times, with no cover, and yet have it remain unseen until the end of the routine when I WANT them to see it. If Mr. Nerzof thinks this is a 'standard method', I'd be ever so grateful to him if he woould point out where this method has been widely disseminated before.

As for 'exposure concerns', these are fully addressed on my website (in the For Magi Only section) and have been for some time. I'm not an exposer, and my very many friends in this business know I'm not.
www.ianrowland.com . Working Magic.
seraph127
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I received my copy of these lecture notes recently.

"Poorly bound"?!

Nonsense! The spiral binding is excellent and allows the book to be laid flat or even folded back quite easily. The layout is neat, clear, and uncluttered.

The routines are explained in pretty close detail, including dialog and presentational logic, and they are all effects I would do.

Re: "exposure" - like the man said, he dealt with all that in excruciating detail on his website. Contrary to what Ian says, I found it interesting reading; moreover I found it persuasive. Ian might be tickled to learn that at one time I thought the "PK Dixie Cup" thing or "Black Coffee Mentalism" might actually work.

Well, back on topic, I found the notes to be of very good quality as to form and content, and all effects explained in very clear and helpful terms.

My rating: 10/10

Oh, BTW...I think it really sucks that you all found about about these lecture notes. I was hoping to keep this all for myself. Sorry Ian. You know how it is...

Smile
There are many tricks, and many effects, but rarely a Grand Effect. There are many entertainers, but few real magicians. Many technicians, but few artists who use their art to explore their vision. - Derren Brown, Absolute Magic
Harvey Nerzof
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Quote:
On 2004-06-09 16:47, Ian Rowland wrote:
Criticism which is informed and constructive is always welcome. Unfortunately, not everyone can manage this.


After more than 20 years in magic and mentalism, I have indeed the presumption that my reviews are well informed. And they can be as constructive as you want them to be.

Quote:
"poorly produced booklet". I disagree. The Lecture Notes were intentionally designed so that I could take the master pages (or disk) anywhere in the world, and get copies produced by any high street copy shop. This saves me having to cart tons of paper around airports


What happened during your lectures of last year is an entirely different matter. Now you’re selling the book from your studio over the Internet, and you could have attained a higher production value. The notes have instead kept that cheap homemade feel.

Quote:
and means the notes are less expensive than they would be otherwise.


and therefore your profit is higher…
In any case, you are obviously entitled to produce your books in any way you fancy and sell them at any price you deem appropriate. I am simply saying that these notes are poorly produced.

Quote:
Hence they are 'spiral bound' with stiff covers, rather than 'perfect bound' with glossy, laminated covers. I fail to see why 'spiral bound' should be equated with 'poorly produced'.


I fail to see how you cannot make the difference!!

Quote:
The Notes I sell from my website are spiral-bound, but they are professionally printed. If the wise Mr. Nerzof knows of a better way to print them which preserves the advantages of on-demand local printing mentioned above, and keeps the costs low to my purchasers, I'm sure he will be good enough to share his wisdom with us all in due course.


One needs to look no further than your previous publications.

Quote:
The writing is, I think, of a good standard (according to purchasers) and the text layout ditto. I'm told the Notes are easy to read and to follow, and that the explanations are thorough. Again, if the talented Mr. Nerzof has work of a better standard to offer us all, so that we can compare his efforts and admire the improvements he is able to make, then I'm sure we'd all be most grateful for this learning opportunity.


Please note that I was referring to the material production. The CONTENTS however (including writing, explanations etc.), as mentioned in the review, are certainly of a good standard.

Quote:
"The other effects are based on standard methods". Not so. There is an item in the Lecture Notes to which I've given the silly name of 'Elephant From Matchbox'. I would be most grateful to the experienced Mr. Nerzof, who is evidently so knowledgeable about these things, if he could either (a) tell me where he has previously seen this method published and why it qualifies as 'standard method', given that no magician I've met so far who has seen me demonstrate this had ever seen it before, or (b) retract the statement about 'standard methods'.


We cannot even speak of a “method” here: this is one rare case where the modus operandi of the effect is sillier than its name. A childish 50/50 trick with a non-examinable gimmicked notepad… please keep that one for your next drink with Derren Brown.

Quote:
Likewise, there is an item in the Notes called 'Subliminal Prediction' in which I found a way to stick a clear, bold prediction in front of an audience, and even point it out to them several times, with no cover, and yet have it remain unseen until the end of the routine when I WANT them to see it. If Mr. Nerzof thinks this is a 'standard method', I'd be ever so grateful to him if he woould
point out where this method has been widely disseminated before.


Well, believe it or not, I do not recall the effect you are mentioning … And I have read the book only a few months ago! This is certainly due to my age, but still – this effect was probably not devised to leave an indelible trace.

Ok, fortunately I had the notes around. Here it goes, Subliminal Prediction. Now, a bit off topic, but when I read things like “you will need an extendable pointer, the display board of 16 celebrities, a large photo, some blank card stock, some roughing fluid etc etc etc etc” my mood dangerously darkens.
Hopefully you understand why.

Anyway, without exposing anything (……………), I really can’t see any particular originality here. What did you come up with, the acr***ic idea? This is what I call a “fresh presentational twist”. Or were you talking about the half moon cut on the card? The force procedure? Sorry I don’t get it – perhaps this is just due to lack of interest.

Quote:
As for 'exposure concerns', these are fully addressed on my website (in the For Magi Only section) and have been for some time. I'm not an exposer, and my very many friends in this business know I'm not.


It is not my intention to discuss this topic. I have seen a video – enough for me.

H.
seraph127
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Quote:
What happened during your lectures of last year is an entirely different matter. Now you’re selling the book from your studio over the Internet, and you could have attained a higher production value. The notes have instead kept that cheap homemade feel.


Quote:
I am simply saying that these notes are poorly produced.


Mr. Nerzof, your copy must be radically different from the one I received just recently. The interior layout is flawless, including grammar, spelling and punctuation; the line drawings are well-done and well-positioned with respect to the text they illustrate; the front cover and title page are attractive; the wire binding allows easy acces to any portion of the volume and the thing can easily be folded back on itself. I've seen spiral-bound volumes with a single coil that made page-turning, laying flat and folding back of the volume a real headache.

When you say "poorly produced", what's your standard of comparison?
There are many tricks, and many effects, but rarely a Grand Effect. There are many entertainers, but few real magicians. Many technicians, but few artists who use their art to explore their vision. - Derren Brown, Absolute Magic
Harvey Nerzof
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Seraph127, the “well-done drawings” or “attractive cover” etc. notions are subjective.

Allow me to clarify my views with a few examples and objective indicators.

1. Let’s consider Derren Brown’s Pure Effect (just to be sure that Mr. Rowland owns the book as well…), from H&R Magic Books.
Solid hardbound; full color dust jacket; thick paper; clear pictures etc.
This is a good quality production – it’s not a question of opinions.

2. Let’s move down the ladder: consider Banachek’s Psychological Subtleties or Psycho-physiological Thoughts, from Magical Inspirations: glued hardbound (not stitched) – it falls apart easily. No dust jacket. 2-color cover.
Average production.

3. Further down the spiral, pun intended: Ian Rowland’s Notes.
A few A4 pages printed on your local PC. B/W cover. Spiral bound.
Poor production.

4. Of course there is always worse, as you correctly pointed out. I do not mention examples here because I am afraid of the off-topic reactions.


Finally, the subjective part: I personally prefer to pay a higher price for a top quality / limited distribution item, instead of saving a few $ to get a cheap booklet that all the kids can afford.
seraph127
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Quote:
Seraph127, the “well-done drawings” or “attractive cover” etc. notions are subjective.


So? Your "poorly produced" is equally subjective, and the "cheap homemade feel" comment (emphasis mine) is manifestly subjective.

Additionally, my observations that the text is clearly readable, that the illustrations are close to their corresponding text, and that the spiral binding allows for easy opening of the book are NOT so subjective.

Moreover, comparison to Pure Effect or Psychological Subtleties is bait-and-switch. These are lecture notes and I believe it's fairly conventional for these to be comb-bound or spiral-bound (thank God Rowland didn't choose the former option or I might be joining your gripe, in some small measure at least). That's unsurprising - I don't know how one would justify putting a small amount of text in a more-expensive hard binding. After all, while these kinds of publications may be distributed beyond their original scope of the lecture hall, that is where they start and I don't see how either the author or the intended buyers could be expected to afford hardcover lecture notes.

Hey, I love luxurious hardback books myself, but it seems a bit unreasonable to expect every set of lecture notes to be published by Miracle Factory!

Smile
There are many tricks, and many effects, but rarely a Grand Effect. There are many entertainers, but few real magicians. Many technicians, but few artists who use their art to explore their vision. - Derren Brown, Absolute Magic
Seth speaks
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I completely agree with seraph127 -- the notes are SUPERB, in both the content and the production values. Mr. Nerzof is entitled to his incorrect opinion, of course, but he's obviously confused as to the difference between "Lecture Notes" and "Books"... If he's used to receiving his lecture notes in hand-stitched cloth or perfect-bound volumes with four color covers and lavishly photographed interiors, then he's been practicing a branch of magic with which I'm unfamiliar.

Ian's clear writing, grammar, syntax and humor is absolutely top-notch as usual (he's a professional writer as well as a mentalist), and his line illustrations are unbeatable -- he definitely knows his way around graphic art of all types. In addition, the effects are all awesome! This is one of those rare times when I wasn't disappointed AT ALL.

Yes, I'm a gushing fan of Ian's, but there is a REASON for that -- he's a consummate professional AND a great guy. And I'm glad to see he's back on the forum -- I'd feared that his few detractors had chased him away with their feeble-minded "exposer" mantras...

~Seth
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I don't necessarily purchase magic books based upon the production quality. More important to me is the quality of the material contained therein.

And as far as spiral bindings go, I LOVE spiral bindings over all other bindings. Why? Because the book stays open and is perfectly suited for its purpose, namely, instuctional purposes. Nothing is harder than trying to follow multiple complicated instructions that require simultaneous usagae or two hands and then a third hand (or a heavy object like an ashtray) to keep the da** book open at the page you are trying to keep open, read and work with.

Real world example? Doug Conn originally released his book "Tricks of My Trade" in a traditional high class binding. (The book quickly went OOP). Earlier this year, Doug re-released the book in e-book format. I quickly printed out the book, added a clear acetate front cover and a thick vinyl back cover and had it spiral bound at Kinko's. I love the spiral binding and would take it over the original any day of the week because I am interested in the book for its instructional utility NOT for its collectibility.

Mike
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Dave1216
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Personally (and this is just me) if the MATERIAL in the book is good, I don't care if it is written in crayon on the back of a cocktail napkin.

Dave
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Seth speaks
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Quote:
On 2004-06-16 17:25, Dave1216 wrote:
Personally (and this is just me) if the MATERIAL in the book is good, I don't care if it is written in crayon on the back of a cocktail napkin.

Dave



I wholeheartedly agree. And Ian's material is really fantastic -- it just happens to have great production values, too, compared to many other lecture notes. (The only problem with the crayon on the back of a cocktail napkin is that it takes so darned many of 'em to make a good set of lecture notes..!)

~Seth
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