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Topic: Magic Inside Out - Robert Neale and Lawrence Hass (a Magic Portal review)
Message: Posted by: canaday (Mar 20, 2021 11:23AM)
Magic Inside Out - Robert Neale and Lawrence Hass

The Hype:

ROBERT E. NEALE is an international treasure for magicians who enjoy mind-bending magic and powerful presentations.

Magic Inside Out collects fourteen of Bob's astonishing routines-twelve of which appear here for the first time. In keeping with his trademark style, they employ a range of simple props and provocative themes to delightfully twist the perceptions of audiences.

Magic Inside Out also includes a major interview in which, for the first time, Bob turns himself inside out, sharing the powerful story of his creative life and inspirations.

My Take:
This book is pure gold! Robert Neale is a master of topological magic. I have had his book "Frog Tales" on my shelf for many years where he does origami with playing cards. Also, for years I carried a Wonderland bill in my wallet. This is Nick Brown's take on Robert's trapdoor principle and it never fails to astonish. Another of my favorite effects based on Robert's work is Roddy McGhie's Stargate. I have showed this to a long time professional magician and despite the simple moves, it still fooled him. If you like the afghan bands (or even if you don't), this is a book you will love.

I recently read an entire book based on the principle. "Mechanations" by Ben Harris. Robert not only wrote the Forward but also contributed a new effect for the book. He is credited with the Trapdoor principle but was actually inspired by a topological problem presented to Martin Gardner and discussed in his book, "Mathematics, Magic and Mystery" where his take involved reversing a vest while his volunteer is wearing it and has his hands clasped. He also stated that he performed his routine with a pair of boy's underpants which sort of disturbed me. More on this later

The first and last routines are based on his Trapdoor principle. "The Dream Door" and "The Possibility of Paradise:. The second is a completely realized story that will play on the emotions of your audience. Robert finally gives a couple of very nice presentations for the trick. He gives complete instructions and scripts for both and I guarantee you will be making one up to try out to fool folks with. It just looks impossible but it works itself whether you understand it or not.

The second item is the book fascinates me. It is a new presentation and simplification of Robert's "Baffling Boromean Rings." Three rings are cut from different colored vinyl folders. The rings are all linked together without actually being linked. They are held tight yet none of the rings intersects one of the others. I can't tell you how many times I have gone back and looked at the illustration and marveled at the construction. And, not only are the rings held together with no link, you can also change the order of the colors. This one is causing me some sleepless nights.

"The Pink Gorilla Tale" is actually a card trick using not cards but cardboard disks. "Just Imagine" allows you to tell fortunes using a special deck. I understand this is available in a special limited edition printed deck. However all the symbols are easy to draw and it would be pretty simple to make your own using blank cards.

Hate carrying those little plastic wallets for your card tricks? Robert shows how to construct a band using a dollar bill that needs no tape or glue. (Plus, you always have a buck if you need one!)

"Journey With the Joker" is a nice, easy to do trick based on George Sands' "Prime Choice", while "Attraction" is a simple mental miracle based on Michael Weber's "Soul Searcher" routine.

"The Nun Who Saw Strangely" is a very clever (and once again, simple) Magic Square routine which involves some moves I have never seen used in this trick before. "We Can Tell by the Smell" is a mentalism trick that veers into the Bizarre Magic realm. Handled right in the right setting, this has the potential to be a very strong piece.

Being a Viet Nam veteran, "Vietnam Zippo" caught my eye immediately. It is a routine that features the volunteer making moves and items are removed each time, ending up with just the Zippo lighter. This is reminiscent of some of the routines Max Maven has performed on some of the TV magic specials.

Which brings us back to the boy's underpants. After reading the actual routine my train of thought did a quick 180. He tells the story of a boy who thought he could wear his underwear twice as long by turning it inside out. As an added attraction, he stuck his arms through the leg holes, clasped his hands and proceeded to reverse his briefs without unclasping his hands. Being that a very popular series for young readers involves a character known as Captain Underpants, this could play very well (and hilariously) with the right presentation.

If it is not obvious by now, I absolutely love this book. It is well written, easy to understand and perform and the routines are not only unique but fun to do. You cannot go wrong buying this book chock full of gold.
Message: Posted by: emyers99 (Mar 23, 2021 10:09PM)
I read the first four routines and was incredibly underwhelmed. Lost interest after that. Will eventually have to keep plowing through in hopes that the material gets better.