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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Latest and Greatest? » » The Time Machine - book test by Matthew Benjamin (3 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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NeilS
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I have a great fondness for book tests and over the years have seen and presented many. However, having worked in the publishing industry for a long time, I have high standards when it comes to book quality and authenticity. If the book looks suspect, I avoid.

I was therefore very interested when Matthew Benjamin sent me The Time Machine by HG Wells for review and on the condition I did not read the instructions until 24 hours after receiving the book.

This was a wise move.

It allowed me ample time to study the book in detail and, while wise to many of the principles used in book tests, I did not spot anything untoward. I did have an inkling about how one of the tests might be accomplished but otherwise I was stumped.

When I did read the instructions I can see why I did not detect anything amiss. The method is brilliantly hidden and the book could be easily handed out for inspection with nothing found or suspected.

There are in fact three different tests possible with the book. One involves divining one of the pictures, another a word and another a sequence of words.

My favourite is divining a word and interestingly Matthew describes a routine I have been using myself for years and which I have never seen in print before. I can vouch for its effectiveness and audience impact.

Another principle draws on one I read many years ago in an Al Mann book. Again I have used this principle but Matthew has substantially improved and built on what Al Mann put forward.

Overall I am very impressed with this release. The publication is excellent with much thought and care having been put into each of the three different tests. The book test is also reasonably priced. However, the cleverness does come with a trade off. With at least two (if not all three) tests, you need a crib. This can easily be hidden (perhaps on markers or in a pad) but provided you do not mind this, you will have on your hands one of the strongest book tests around.

In the interests of disclosure I was sent a copy for review but this does not in any way colour my words. This is a high quality release, an excellent and realistic publication, is incredibly clever in its working and giving you the means for creating some strong and entertaining mentalism. I will definitely be using this.

Further details can be found at www.matthewbenjamincreations.co.uk

Neil
muffin
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This sounds good particularly with the inspectability. He appears to has additional books with the same method available too. .
Matthew Benjamin
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Thank you so much for your review Neil, I'm extremely pleased you like the book.

A lot of hard work has gone into making this, in my opinion, extremely deceptive, extremely examinable and extremely realistic looking and I'm glad you think it is too.

I can't wait for others to see its potential.

Cheers,

MB
Matthew Benjamin
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Just another tid bit of information...

The book is 100% hands off. At no point does the performer need to touch the book to gain any information and you do not need to know the page number.

Here is the official "blurb" for the book test:

PHASE 1



You hand someone a copy of The Time Machine by H. G. Wells. They are invited to inspect the book as thoroughly as possible. They will find NOTHING amiss. The participant could read the book from cover to cover and would only have read The Time Machine. The book is 99% ungimmicked* and can be left with the participant to keep if you so wish.



Yet... you are able to instruct the participant to open the book to the Contents page, you mention how each chapter title is carefully chosen to sound appealing to potential readers. You invite the participant to look over each chapter name and to select ANY chapter to turn to. They do so and read the first four words silently to themselves. They only spell each word out individually in their mind, nothing is said out loud or written down by the participant at any time.



Under these impossible conditions you are instantly able to reveal the four words they are thinking of in any manner that you wish.



PHASE 2



You invite a second participant to open the book to ANYWHERE they like. They read the first line of text to themselves and think of one of the many words they can see. They do not write anything down at any point.



Under these incredible conditions, you are now able to begin reading their mind and reveal the word they are merely thinking of.



PHASE 3



You finally invite a third participant to look at ANY picture found within the book and to concentrate on its imagery. Without anything being said or written down at any time by the participant, you are able to instantly reveal the picture they are merely looking at.



~



100% Examinable - Your participants will NEVER spot the secret.

Performer NEVER touches the book at any time.

Participant NEVER says a word during Phases 1 & 3 or writes anything down during ANY Phase.

NO forces - the participant has a genuinely free choice of ANY chapter - They can genuinely open the book to ANYWHERE they like for Phase 2 - The participant has a genuinely free choice of ANY picture in the book.

NO Impressions.

NO Complicated Fishing.

NO Anagrams.

NO Svengali Principle.

NO Flashback Principle.

NO Peeks.

NO Electronics.

NO Duplicate Pages.

All of the chapters are different - No repeating words.

NO requirement to know the page number for any effect.

BOTH word tests can be done over the phone - provided the other person has the book.



And finally...



You can use it as a normal book to read - it's a great story! Comes with a specially printed paperback copy of The Time Machine, PDF instructions & crib sheet for zero memorisation.



*The book has been altered as little as possible to retain the original story written by H. G. Wells. The book could even be left with the author and whilst he would eventually notice the slightest of minor alterations, even Wells himself would agree that the story remains 100% identical. Most effects utilise rarely used principles invented by Al Mann and Leo Boudreau that allows a near perfect demonstration of telepathy.




I also have The Lost World by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle available and coming very soon is The Hound Of The Baskervilles. Both utilising the same principles that are used in The Time Machine.

Cheers,

MB
Michael Daniels
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This sounds similar in concept to my Facsimile Book Test.

Coincidentally, Facsimile also has The Time Machine and Hound of the Baskervilles - plus The Invisible Man (H.G. Wells), Frankenstein (Mary Shelley), The Sign of Four (Conan Doyle), and The 39 Steps (John Buchan).

https://www.saturnmagic.co.uk/saturn-mag......els.html

My version of The Time Machine is now also available from Vanishing Inc and all Murphys dealers.

https://www.vanishingincmagic.com/stage-......csimile/


I like your idea of including pictures.


Mike
Matthew Benjamin
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Nice little plug! 😂

They sound interesting, I might pick them up!

MB
Pete Legend
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Mike how's the form?! I'm sure you're a gentleman and in my eyes come across really well but in this instance is it not a bit of bad form to post/link to your product (which I'm sure is great) on another persons thread? Personally I would be annoyed if I were in Matthews shoes.
Matthew Benjamin
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Not annoyed at all!

I've only got a few posts on the Café and I'm already plugging my material!

Mike's does sound fantastic, although my book is 100% hands off.

I will be picking up Mike's very soon.

Hopefully his might work alongside mine. The more the merrier I say!

Cheers,

MB
Michael Daniels
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Quote:
On Apr 8, 2022, Pete Legend wrote:
Mike how's the form?! I'm sure you're a gentleman and in my eyes come across really well but in this instance is it not a bit of bad form to post/link to your product (which I'm sure is great) on another persons thread? Personally I would be annoyed if I were in Matthews shoes.


I didn't (and don't) mean to hijack Matthew's thread and I did hesitate before posting. On balance, however, given the apparent similarities in approach, I thought Matthew and other members might be interested in the comparison.

Apologies for any offence caused and thank you, Matthew, for your understanding and generous words.

Mike
Pete Legend
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Fair enough, apologies I probably overstepped. None of my business really.

Have a good weekend lads.

Pete
NeilS
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I am currently on holiday so have a little more time on my hands. During a spare moment I took another look at The Time Machine and got to appreciate even more the ingenuity and care that has gone into this. It really is a quality publication. However, it occurred to me that even if you did not have a crib (which you need for some of the three tests in the book), you could easily use other book test ploys using this publication.

Neil
Ross W
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Almost ALL commercially-produced gimmicked books look NOTHING like real books published by mainstream publishers. This one by Michael Benjamin seems to be an exception!

I perform almost exclusively in schools and book festivals and nearly all of these releases scream "non-standard book" to anyone even slightly accustomed to handling books. The paper is different (glossier, whiter), often the size of the book is non-standard, but nearly always the cover gives it away.

Poor, cheaply designed covers tell the audience that something is "off". I don't mean to pick on the one being sold by Saturn (above), but he did hop into the thread, so I may as well! The cover of The Invisible Man, for example, looks like every other self-published book that has not benefitted from a professional designer. It's awful.

Spectators KNOW this stuff. They may not know that they know it, but they will know something is off. I do book tests with teenagers; granted a kid might not pick it up. But her teacher will, and after I have gone may say, "Yes, but there was something iffy about that book..."

Posts like this often get replies along the. lines of "I've used it for years and it flies..."

Yeah, maybe. YMMV as they say. But this one by Michael Benjamin is almost the first cover I have ever seen that looks plausible.
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Matthew Benjamin
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A lot of effort went into making this book look and feel as genuine as possible.

12 prototypes
3 different cover ideas
2 different page types
Countless font, size and formatting editing...

It looks as real as possible in my opinion

Cheers,
MB
magicinsight
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Will this be available in the States? Also, do both your Lost World and The Time Machine book tests use the same methodology?
Michael
“Belief matters more than truth. Every moment, belief in imaginary things alters lives while truth sits unnoticed and waits.”
—Hakim, Loreweaver
NeilS
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Quote:
On Apr 10, 2022, Matthew Benjamin wrote:
A lot of effort went into making this book look and feel as genuine as possible.

12 prototypes
3 different cover ideas
2 different page types
Countless font, size and formatting editing...

It looks as real as possible in my opinion

Cheers,
MB


Also, unlike many commercial book tests, this book will withstand close scrutiny.

Neil
Joe Roberts
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Could all three phases be done on one person?
magicinsight
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Is there a difference between The Lost World and The Time Machine?
“Belief matters more than truth. Every moment, belief in imaginary things alters lives while truth sits unnoticed and waits.”
—Hakim, Loreweaver
NeilS
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Quote:
On Apr 10, 2022, Joe Roberts wrote:
Could all three phases be done on one person?


Yes. All three use different principles and each is strong in its own way. But to use all three phases one after the other on one person would be in my opinion overkill. Better to do all three in a parlour situation and so involving three different spectators.

Neil
Matthew Benjamin
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I ship worldwide, all three tests can be done on one person and all my book tests use the exact same methods 😁

Cheers,

MB
magicinsight
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Based upon the recommendation of Neil, I contacted Matthew and ordered several copies of The Time Machine: one for myself and one for each of my two teen sons. Matthew is a very nice gentleman and would be more than happy to answer any of your questions if you send him a PM or email. This looks like a very devious and well-made book test.
Michael
“Belief matters more than truth. Every moment, belief in imaginary things alters lives while truth sits unnoticed and waits.”
—Hakim, Loreweaver
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