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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Books, Pamphlets & Lecture Notes » » The Garden of the Strange - soon to be published. (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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oxygen
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With all those good materials coming up this winter, it seems like Santa will have go to a gym or take stéroïds before christmas time...
Stellan
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Hello Caleb!
You end your post by saying "If you have any questions don't hesitate to ask". Well, as I see it you have made trick descriptions in to ways. One is describing some of the effect like "A borrowed coin bends and melts away", this gives me some information about what I am buying.
The other way like "A story about collecting" gives out nothing about the effect. For me this way only rises questions.
Since you have chosen this way in most of the descriptions I look like a question mark.
Probably you have made an interesting contribution to this field, but as a magic buyer one has made a lot of experiences in this area and one thing that I now can advise others generally is that if the effect is not properly described. Stay out!
This may not apply to your work and is not a criticism of that. It is only the reaction you evoked in me by writing mystifying descriptions and then asking if I have any questions. This may not have been your intention.
Generally, again this may not apply in this case, this "strategy" is used to cloak poor work. As consumers I think we are entitled to know what we buy in a more specific way.
Please, take this in the right way and try to see my point.
"There is no reality, only perception."
Seance
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Stellan,

I must interject here. Caleb is a longtime Café member and is most recognizable in the "bizarre magic" and mentalism forums. He has contributed numerous stories free of charge at those forums.

The "Garden of the Strange", from his descriptions, mirror what he has written in the Café and his reputation has been solidified by his willing participation.

It is on that reputation that others, including myself,
are awaiting the arrival of "The Garden of the Strange".

After we receive it then constructive critique may be offered, if necessary.
Stellan
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I am very sorry as I may have hit the key board too fast here. I admit that I do not have this context, and of course, a good creators' reputation and earlier contributions sometimes is a guarantee for the product.

Thank you very much for the information, Seance.

Still, I will turn somewhat defensive here, if the post is intended only for those in the know it is ok, but then I will stand up for the rest. We also want to be excited over the arrival! On the other hand maybe we (I) should inform us better?

I have the uttermost respect for the work put into any creation. Being hooked on to create magic effects myself I know what it takes. Maybe I only exposed my own frustration in not always being able to express the value of an effect and my own frustration in this case of not being able to grasp what the effects are about.
"There is no reality, only perception."
Seance
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Stellan,

I understand your frustration with ill-defined descriptions of effects, as I have also been taken by the same. The difference here is that if you have been exposed to bizarre magic, you will know that the emphasis is on telling a story that touches an emotion or emotions with the effect enhancing the story.

The practitioners of bizarre magic often prefer simpler effects, as they are more concerned about presentation of the whole, both the story and effect. With that in mind, we expect "The Garden of the Strange" to be suffused with great stories to tell with the effects to tantilize the audience along with the stories. That is Caleb's reputation, and that is why we eagerly await it.

To get a further insight into bizarre magic and what it is, try this link. It attempts to explain what bizarre magic may be.
Caleb Strange
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Stellan,

You raise an interesting point, namely, how to balance the needs of the buyer and the seller.

One of the reasons for my coyness, with regards to the specifics of the effects in my book, is that I believe that it is difficult to divorce the presentation from the physical effect. In one sense, the routines are their own explanations. I know this doesn't exactly help Smile, so let me provide you with one or two details:

'The Collector' could be described as a simple packet-printing effect, which on one level it is. But on another level, it's a chilling story from which the magic convincingly arises.

'A certain charm' is a broken and restored routine, but also a way of life Smile.

'Safe Hands' is another reason to perform psychic surgery, other than outright debunking. It's also my favourite story from the book.

This may not help you, but here is the publicity blurb which has been written for the book:

"In early 2003, Luke Jermay commissioned Caleb Strange to write a book: nearly two years in the making, 'The Garden of the Strange' is the brilliant result.

This beautifully written, deeply affecting book takes Mr. Strange’s trademark blend of innovative thinking and stunning presentations to the next level. With nineteen compelling and original routines, and an additional near-dozen ‘from your pocket’ variations, this eagerly-awaited work will be of great use and interest to mentalists, bizarrists, and table-hoppers alike.

Imagine yourself adding these miracles to your repertoire:

Hidden Treasure: Your magic sparkles meaningfully inside a borrowed object, which at no point do you touch.

The Koestler Protocol: A cunning, yet beautifully clean ‘test-conditions’ drawing duplication, with several jaw-dropping and truly dazzling variations.

The Collector: Destined to become a spine-chilling classic, an unsettling story and some simple yet unnerving ‘packet printing’ combine to devastating effect.

And many many more audience-centred wonders.

Yet beyond its fine effects, 'The Garden of the Strange' contains something more, of equal value to the working performer. For tucked away within its full and thorough notes, the attentive reader will find explained a wide range of powerful yet often neglected techniques (linguistic, literary, theatrical), which can be used to maximise the impact and enhance the quality of one’s work.

'The Garden of the Strange', then, is a thrilling and, above all, fresh exploration of the art of the impossible: a lyrical and accomplished volume, it has been called, more than once, ‘the most inspiring book of magic I have yet read’.

In the words of a much-respected performer:

‘Look out for Caleb’s new book: in my humble opinion it’s the best thing I’ve read in the last ten years! It really is that good.’"

Warm regards,

Caleb Strange.
-- QCiC --
salsa_dancer
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All I can say, and I hope Caleb doesn't mind me singing his praises, is that this book is just beautiful! The storytelling is chilling, the effects are inspiring, overall it is a thing of beauty that should not be released!! (That is a joke for those that never seem to get it, of course I mean that it SHOULD be released it is that good!!)

Thank you for letting me read it Caleb! If you have any interest in presentation, bizarre magick, or even just good reading then this is for you...
Stellan
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Seance and Caleb,
Thank you very much for your responses to my post. They are most helpful.
I must tell you that this kind of magic is my kind of magic. I love expanding magic from sleight of hand and methods into engaging peoples fantasy. I consider this as the premium brand of magic and probably the most difficult kind of magic. More diffcult than manipulation. More so these times when peoples attention span seems to be shorter.

Most magicians are not story tellers and seems to get very anxious when an effect lasts more than one minute. There is also a saying that makes bad for this kind of magic -"a good effect can be explained in one sentence". I do not necessarily agree with this, but of course there will be a complication if you need to describe it.

I am aware of a lot of the work in the bizarre field and also the stagnation that occured after Invocation. Lately I was happy to read Borodins great contribution.

It is difficult to describe these effects, but on the other hand I think that your last post, Caleb, showed that it can be done.

There is also an other type of effects that have similar problems when it comes to description for buyers, when it depends on a joke. Should you tell the joke? I find my self in that situation for the moment and for the moment, I think you should.

My standpoint is that I think all buyers are entitled to know what they buy, except for the secret of course. We all have a lot of experiences of buying effects and getting disappointed due to omitted information.

Anyway, I would like to encourage magicians to experiment with story telling as the rewards can be great. It will be a long and stumbling road as you will tend to loose their attention: But don't give up!

I once read a great article in The Altar Flame about how to write scripts by Eugene Burger where he showed a script in different stages of it's evolution. You probably have a lot of say about this, Caleb, but maybe that's a different thread.

I am very interested in your book. A great book in this field is on the top of my wishing list.
"There is no reality, only perception."
Caleb Strange
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Stellan,

Many thanks for your interest, and I'm happy that you found my post helpful - particularly as I had a sinking feeling that I'd been as obscure as before Smile.

The point you raise about joke magic is illuminating, I feel, as many stories in bizarre magic rely on twists and unexpected endings: it can spoil one's first experience of a story routine if one already knows the ending. Hence some of my coyness.

Incidentally, there are lots of good stories over in the Bizarre forum for anyone interested exploring this area, a few of which are mine. It's a chance to 'try before you buy', for those undecided - though I must add that I do sincerely feel, and have been told, that 'The Garden of the Strange' is comfortably my best work to date.

Salsadancer, many thanks for your kind words - they mean a lot to me.

Warm regards,

Caleb Strange.
-- QCiC --
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