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Jack Straw
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So it's been over 2 weeks since the last post here, and I did get a review copy, and I promised to review "Solace".

The first thing that I'd like to say is just an observation.

Mr Helmy offered review copies to a group of people if they contacted him, and I have to believe that several people must have taken him up on that offer.

There are several people here that thrive on free copies.

Madison, I'm sure, got one if he read this thread, and Alex DLF would have grabbed one also.

So far not one of those reviewers has bothered to post here.

I'm not surprised.

Mr Helmy seems well versed in the art of Mentalism, since he mentioned the works of some well known giants in his "Solace" PDF.

His apparent knowledge far surpasses mine, since I only dabble in mentalism.

The best that I can say is, is that this is not for me.

None of the effects in this work is something that I can use.

The 50 pages were very tough for me to read, and I read most of the effects 3 different times.

I cannot really say too much here because whatever I say would probably qualify as exposure.

Mr Helmy gives several examples of the byplay between the mentalist and the spectator, and he always says that they would "have to agree" with what you say.

Well, my spectators would not have to agree with those statements.

I work a tough crowd.

As an example of things that do not work if I were the spectator, he gives a way to f*r*e a name, and he claims that the second letter would almost always have to be "*".

Well, it is true for my wife's name, but she dosn't qualify for the type of person that the f*r*e is for.

However, using the names of every past girlfriend that I've had, it doesn't work.

Donna, Lisa, Michelle, Anne, Joyce, Cindy (or Cynthia), Megan, and Elizabeth (or Liz) do not have his chosen letter as the second letter in their name.

He also claims to be able to get the first letter of a name and the last letter of a name, and once you have those, you'll know what the name is.

Huh? Are you sure, Mr Helmy?

I don't think that I can do that.

Another of his effects gets you to have your spectator give you one of his childhood passions.

Well, that passion may be the dominant one in a large part of the world, but here in the USA, there are 4 of these passions that could be put into play, and none of them are his.

And, to me, there is no way to f*r*e any particular one of them.

Mr Helmy also deliberately mispronounces the name of a country to help f*r*e his passion, but I think the mispronunciation is pretty darn stupid, and, of course, it only applies to his passion, not mine or the ones that my spectators would have, and I highly doubt that your father would be going to that particular country on a business trip.

I also found the effects very confusing and difficult to follow, although Mr Helmy's writing was not as bad as he claimed it was in his forward.

I don't know what else to say here.

$45 for this PDF?

I paid $5 to print out 50 pages of hard copy at my library, and, combined with the time I spent reading this, I felt ripped off.

I'd love to hear the viewpoints of others here that either got a free copy or actually paid the $45 for.

I'd especially like to hear from those that spent their hard earned money.

PS- I still think that KHAWAGA is not a family name and is being used to mock us here.

It's an insulting Arabic word used around tourists meaning that they are rich and clueless, much like those of us here, of course.

Look it up if you have any doubts.

And, of course, I haven't heard anything more from KHAWAGA since I called him out on it.
Jack Straw from Wichita, cut his buddy down
And dug for him a shallow grave, and laid his body down
Half a mile from Tucson, by the morning light
One man gone and another to go, my old buddy you're moving much too slow
We can share the women, we can share the wine
M.Helmy
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Hey
To everyone who has read jack straw’s review I would love to point somethings out

He only talked about 2 effects in the pdf which are names and A&Q

Something that’s VERY WRONG in jack’s review is the following:
In the effect,names, I state that if I simply asked anyone to think of a name the probability that the second letter in the thought of name is a vowel is very HIGH, which you could use as a hit in the routine and actually jack proves my point with the examples he gives: Donna, Lisa, Michelle, Joyce, Cindy and Megan. Which shows you that he didn’t do the best job reading the pdf and if you don’t believe me I could send you the part. I stated also that if the thought person is a female that the second being an A is high but I stated that as a secondary statement for people who would take this lovely risk. I dunno why but he apparently focused on the minor parts of the pdf. Who ever reads this I would like to ask you this question. If I am thinking of a name and you know the following: gender, first letter, last letter, and letter count wouldn’t you be able to know the name ? OF COURSE you would.

And as for A&Q it works and works SO WELL and it’s SO GOOD

I have had migraines upon writing this pdf. Faced many sleepless nights and I’ve been writing it for over a year and “the well known giants” said some good things about it.

I just see that the review is unjust and tackles minor points from someone who just “dabbles” in mentalism.

Isn’t it SLIGHTLY weird for anyone who read the review that there isn’t a SINGLE POSITIVE STATMENT about the effects ? Right ? I thought about that too
Jack Straw
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Well, I can't say too many things without exposure.

In every one of your examples in the PDF, everything goes the way that you want them to go.

In my experience, it doesn't happen in real life.

Here is an exact quote from your PDF:

If the thought of person is a female and the second is indeed a vowel, it is probably an A.

I did forget that you said that it would "probably" be a vowel, which you were correct about.

But then you said that it would probably be an A.

In my case of Ex- girlfriends, including my actual wife, there was only a 15% hit rate.

Six of the eight examples that I gave had vowels as the second letter, but none was an A.

My wife's name is Barbara, so that fits the bill, but she is not an Ex of mine, she is my current and probably last female companion.

And yes, I never said that doing these kind of things are my main area of use, but I sure do like to use the things that fit my style.

But it's stuff like this that gives me a headache and therefore, I don't use it.

I am not going to go through all five effects here.

Your prediction of their date of death was kind of scary.

And the mathematics was excruciatingly confusing and complex.

But I have a simple mind, so I don't like things like that.

Do you really expect people to fold up your prediction and put it in their wallet and hold on to it for 35 or 45 or 55 years and not look at it?

I sure as heck don't.

Sure, go ahead and predict someone's date of death.

If they're about 25 years old, you have about a one in twenty thousand chance of hitting it correctly, and if you do, they'll never know.

They'll also never know if they die before your prediction that you were wrong.

And if they surpass your prediction, then they will know that you failed.

Either way, it's somewhere that I don't want to go.

I don't want to predict someone's date of death.

Why can't you understand that?

It's a personal thing.

Not every effect is useful to every performer.

This is not useful to me.

And by the way, I used my birthdate when I tried to use your formula to do that.

However, my birthday is September 30th.

Your formula only allows for 1 to 9, 10 to 19, and 20 to 29.

You forgot that there are up to 31 days in a month?

I didn't.

I see that you covered that in your Final Thoughts, and admittedly there is only about a 4.5% chance of that happening.

You said that it never happened to you, but that means that you probably haven't road tested this more than 25 or so times.

And this is what I mean when I said that everything always goes the way that you want it to go.

It doesn't always for me.

And I always dwell on the failures, not the successes.

How many other free copies did you give out?

Zero?

Where are the other reviews?

I told you that you weren't going to like my review.

$45?

I see a lot of people demanding refunds.

And I wouldn't blame them.
Jack Straw from Wichita, cut his buddy down
And dug for him a shallow grave, and laid his body down
Half a mile from Tucson, by the morning light
One man gone and another to go, my old buddy you're moving much too slow
We can share the women, we can share the wine
Jack Straw
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I'd be interested in knowing how many review copies went out.

Was I the only one that asked for one?

So far I'm the only actual reviewer, and I really feel bad that I could not find merit in this release.

If Penguin thought enough of this to sell it for $45, I must be wrong, right?

Someone take this opportunity and ask for a review copy.

I'm reasonably sure that you'll be accommodated.

I'd truly be interested in hearing other opinions.

And please, not someone with 2 posts here that registered 3 days ago.

Not that there's anything wrong with that, but I'd like to hear from a name that I recognize.

Maybe I'm wrong about this, although that would be a rarity.

But then again, opinions are like a**h**es- everybody has one.

I'm sure that some of you will find this worthwhile.

I'd just like to know who that would be.
Jack Straw from Wichita, cut his buddy down
And dug for him a shallow grave, and laid his body down
Half a mile from Tucson, by the morning light
One man gone and another to go, my old buddy you're moving much too slow
We can share the women, we can share the wine
chrom
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I have asked for a copy and will review it fair and honestly.

Also Jack is right about the Egyptian meaning of KHAWAGA. However if you do a little more searching you will also see that it is also a common surname as well. I have no idea if we are being made fun of but figured I would mention the possibility.
Jack Straw
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And I will trust your review.

But if you end up deciding that this is a brilliant work, that will not change my mind.

I've been here long enough to know the people who like the same things that I like.

Then there are those whose tastes are different than mine.

Their opinions are not invalid, but they're not opinions that I can base my purchases on.

I really would like to see Mr Helmy be successful.

I wish him no ill will.

His stuff doesn't work for me.

It might work for you.

Are you willing to risk $45 to find out?
Jack Straw from Wichita, cut his buddy down
And dug for him a shallow grave, and laid his body down
Half a mile from Tucson, by the morning light
One man gone and another to go, my old buddy you're moving much too slow
We can share the women, we can share the wine
M.Helmy
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It’s 24.99 now
Jack Straw
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Wise decision.

Just curious- did you give out any other review copies?

You should contact them and request that they put their review up here.
Jack Straw from Wichita, cut his buddy down
And dug for him a shallow grave, and laid his body down
Half a mile from Tucson, by the morning light
One man gone and another to go, my old buddy you're moving much too slow
We can share the women, we can share the wine
Jack Straw
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Quote:
On Oct 20, 2018, M.Helmy wrote:

And as for A&Q it works and works SO WELL and it’s SO GOOD




OK, so lets talk about A&Q, which you say works so well.

Here you are, trying to force someone into figuring out what kind of activity you used to do as a kid.

And, remarkably, they are able to do it.

Well, maybe they do it because you give them all kinds of clues about it.

You didn't like school, you didn't play video games, you did active things, your mother always called you "the little champ", your father went to "Singaspore" for business (yes, "Singaspore" is deliberately mispronounced), you were very competitive, your parents always cheered for you.

And from that, they figure out that you loved to play a certain sport.

And at the end, after they get it correct, you say that you had no idea how they got that, but they did an amazing job.

Well, maybe they got it because of all of the clues that you gave them.

But here in the USA, those clues might lead your spec to decide on baseball. Or football (not your football, our football). Or basketball. Or hockey.

I'm not sure where you live (England?), but there's only one major sport that applies to you (and, no offense, but here in the USA that sport is a pimple on our butt).

Here there are four.

So, how to force a particular one of those four?

Maybe I should be watching the World Series while I perform this.

That should do it.

By the way, I'm impressed that you quoted Jim Valvano in your work.

Maybe you should have forced basketball instead.
Jack Straw from Wichita, cut his buddy down
And dug for him a shallow grave, and laid his body down
Half a mile from Tucson, by the morning light
One man gone and another to go, my old buddy you're moving much too slow
We can share the women, we can share the wine
chrom
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Hi all, as promised I reached out to M. Helmy and received a review copy. The only commitment I made was to be fair and equitable in my review so here we go.

Solace is 50 electronic pages in PDF format. It covers 5 effects all mentalism and each effect would be appropriate in a longer session not necessarily walk around. M.Helmy starts off in his opening comments that he is 19 years old and this is first effect released to the mentalism community.

One of the things I really liked about Solace was the writing style used. Certainly, there were some grammatical and formatting errors, but the language and style used clearly brought, the passion M.Helmy obviously has for this project through. I especially enjoyed the scripts used for each effect. Firstly, I could easily picture the scene and secondly it really showed a genuine attempt to connect with the audience member.

M. Helmy also took great care to both reference and recommend other resources one could use. I counted at least three book recommendations throughout as he clearly thought highly of the work that helped him.

I will not review each effect, mainly for exposure reasons, but each one of them was clearly detailed and each had a few mentioned options on how to go about both receiving the required information and putting it all together.

The effects themselves range from sudo hypnotism to card effects to prediction. As stated earlier each will require prep time and an astute ability to control ones audience. M.Helmy offers many potential outs but even those will require some very quick thinking. My favourite effect is The seed as that is closest to the type of magic I generally like to perform.

As for the cons, Without a doubt this is audience sensitive. You will need a great ability to connect with your audience, ensure they take the session seriously, and they will need to stick with you throughout. I imagine a parlour session would probably be best one in which you could work up, via some other effects, and really generate a rapport with the audience. Once established you could then launch into one of the effects.

In addition to that each effect will require much practise as there is a great deal to remember and at times compute. None of these effects are for the faint of heart. You will need an unwavering confidence and an ability to quickly manurer if / when things go wrong. I doubt I have the chops to pull off any of the effects, except seed. Much of that is due to my own skill but also my audiences are generally much more critical and always looking for how I did something rather than enjoy the experience.

I will also add that I really struggled to understand the last effect. M. Helmy freely mentioned it was tough to describe in print and I may reach out to him for a further explanation.

All in all I found it an enjoyable read and I was able to grab a few nuggets from each of the sections. It is something you will want to read, as if a book, rather than jump around as, for me anyway, I found it easier to follow.

As for if it is worth the newly posted price of $24.95 it’s hard to say. I would have been disappointed at $50 but $24.95 possibly not though I did only get one real effect I feel would work for me. Each to their own I have certainly blown $25 on worst things.

Anyway I hope this helps. Jack makes some good points about the flaws in the works. I tried to cover some of them as well without exposure. However, in reading the work I did not feel this was a money grab. I believe M. Helmy put a lot of his soul into the project and as such felt it was worth a certain amount. Whether the market will bear that is not for me to say. Any additional questions PM me.
Jack Straw
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Excellent review, chrom.

I definitely don't have the reviewing skills that you have.

I agree with almost all of your points, both good and bad, but for me the bad far overpowered anything good.

I have the unwavering confidence, but I guess that I don't have the chops to pull it off, as you say.

I also have the same kind of critical audiences that you have, and that is a big part of my dislike for the effects.

I also don't dispute that Mr Helmy put a lot of his soul into the work, but it takes a lot more than soul to guide a ship into port.

I didn't mention this at all, but I felt that Mr Helmy's opening fictional story kind of set the tone for the rest of his work.

I'll leave it at that.

Well folks, there you have it.

Two reviews.

Make your own decision.
Jack Straw from Wichita, cut his buddy down
And dug for him a shallow grave, and laid his body down
Half a mile from Tucson, by the morning light
One man gone and another to go, my old buddy you're moving much too slow
We can share the women, we can share the wine
Jack Straw
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So, anyone else that bought this or got a review copy care to weigh in here?

I can't believe that chrom and I were the only ones to get this.

Or will anyone that didn't actually read it just care to comment in general?

I'm really interested in hearing your opinions on either the actual brilliant work or my grossly unfair review.
Jack Straw from Wichita, cut his buddy down
And dug for him a shallow grave, and laid his body down
Half a mile from Tucson, by the morning light
One man gone and another to go, my old buddy you're moving much too slow
We can share the women, we can share the wine
Senor Fabuloso
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Quote:
On Nov 3, 2018, Jack Straw wrote:
I'm really interested in hearing your opinions


I think you ought to let it go. We know how you feel.
No matter how many times you say the wrong thing, it will NEVER be right.

If I'm not responding to you? It's because you're a TROLL!
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