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chmara
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Tucson, AZ
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Here's Book Review of Tales Worth Telling - by DeNomols/Ed Solomon
Recommended even for skeptics! -----

It would be very difficult to meet a more bizarre pair of magicians that Ed Solomon and his constant work partner, DeNomolos. The first thing you notice about them is that they come in the same body. That makes for some very interesting conversations between them.

Recording and compiling the illuminating, sometimes deeply and startlingly magical trips to the heights of illusion that DeNomolos emits falls to the penmanship and diary keeping of Ed Solomon. Through the years he has helped DeNomolos decipher magic and mystery contained in the use of very easy and otherwise common objects that can be redressed or slightly changed to bring them to life.

Ed has now compiled and edited “Tales Worth Telling: Presentations for the Storyteller.”

I must say that when I first received the book in E form -- Ed told me he had included materials very suitable for the Christian magician community. That kept me from reading it right away -- as I feel way too many Christian magicians either ain’t one or the other -- or use insipid material to retell the already well crafted parables of Old and New testament literature. I was wrong to delay.
This material is neither insipid or overtly “preachy” but does, in the most part, pass on tales that evoke emotion in the listener. Most are linked with solid magic.

The book opens with “Beyond the Veil” an exceptional seance set piece with exceptionally simple and easily understood gimmickry. It also brings a full feeling of warm presence to the younger folks and anyone who has lost a dear friend or loved parent through power of words and trick combined.

“Card in the Box” is a Tarot piece -- in which it is preferable you not use the Death or Fool card for an ending -- unless you want to put a hex on someone.

For the first tale of religious parable - “In Carl’s Garden” combines story and effects to evoke not just sympathy but a feeling of deep commitment to doing the right thing. It tells of a Rabbi, a gardner and a gang and delivers a message of hope. DeNomolos admitted that he still does not have a perfect ending -- but makes several suggestions as to what he has tried in his quest for a wonderful effect to keep the story and magic in balance. As it is -- the story could stand on its own, and I feel that is one of the goals of the Solomon/Denomolos partnership. To hone the story and magic to perfection.

On a lighter side -- I can just see these guys sitting around developing “Pizza Please” a matrix routine using pizzas.

The title of the “Moonlight and Roses” routine grabbed me because of an old college romance of mine. It was our song. But Ed takes us back further to books of poetry -- that will take some effort for a dedicated magician to find -- but will open a really beautiful story and routine to their repertoire if they want a tear brought to the eye of older ladies -- or the spark of romance to the eye of women of a zestier age. Used book stores and swap meets may be the source you need to find these props. But I guarantee, for me the hunt for the props, while fun, will not be as much fun as the routine.


In “My Little Piece of Cloth” Christian magicians working “in your face” with message routines will find a doozy in its production of a picture of Jesus.

In “Old Toys and Little Boys” we return to contact with a loved one who has crossed over -- through a symbol of love and fun.

One of the most detailed, richest and intriguing stories in the book is “Princess Amun-Ra.” Six pages in length of intrigue, detailed disaster, arcane superstition (or fact), the sinking of the Titanic (no less) and true artifacts, the piece is sadly undermagicked. In fact Ed admits the late Gene Poinc would have slapped his hands for perpetrating such a long hoax on an audience. But I must disagree with Ed’s assessment. The story as presented, can be used by a creative magician to “magic up” at a number of points with smaller effects building to the climax, even if the climax in this case might be hard to see in a setting much larger than a parlor.

A torn and restored napkin reworked with a heart surgeon and little child is another religious presentation --- and will probably evoke a warm and tearful feeling in the viewer.
There is rich material throughout the presentation -- and thoughts on creativity that directly state what is missing in too many magical clone presentations learned from video and presented by rote.

And one thing I learned -- never, never delay reading a DeNomolos/Solomon work because you do not like one or another approach that may be in it. There is too much material from many sides of the global picture of magic that can be used, Even those plots which, to a non-religious person like me seem antithetical to my views, offer unique thinking and ideas, that if secularized to my taste, allow me to work some solid very warm and touching story magic.

P.S. SAM Members who received their MUM this month were treated to one of the exceptionally well thought out routines from the book in Brother Shadow’s Column. The Ubiquitous Crow.
Gregg (C. H. Mara) Chmara

Commercial Operations, LLC

Tucson, AZ



C. H. Mara Illusion & Psychic Entertainments
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