First off let me say how behind the times I am with this booklet. I remember hearing about the booklet when it was released, I think that was 2009, and the effect I kept hearing about was ReSwindled. Since everyone was talking about the one effect, I decided to pass on picking up the book. I managed to learn ReSwindled when I picked up True Astonishments by Paul Harris when it was released, so I never looked back about buying the book. I recently picked up a copy and I’m happy I did.
When it arrived, I was a little thrown off by the size of the booklet. There are only 71 pages in this soft cover staple bound booklet, but it is packed with some great material. The quality of the booklet is high, and the photos are nice and really help with learning the effects.
I like that at the beginning of each effect there is a sleights section that lets you know what sleights you need to know to be able to perform this effect. Also, the credit sections are well done, with references so if you need to check a move or inspiration effects you can. Caleb throws in in some additional comments at the end of effects that are useful so don’t forget to look at those.
Not all the material in this book is my speed, simply because I prefer more impromptu card magic and there are some things in here that require some moderate to heavy setup, but there are several things here that I really enjoyed. There is a lot more usable material in here than just the one effect everyone was talking about. I don’t want you to miss out on this book, like I did.
There are 12 items in this book and they are all fun routines with cards. Some of the material is impromptu, some requires a simple setup that can be done easily on the fly, and some requires a rather in depth setup.
Offbeat Aces 4
The performer uses three jokers and three indifferent cards to cheat at cards. The jokers help change the indifferent cards into the four aces. A small easily attainable setup is required for this effect. You will need a surface to place piles of cards on.
This is the reworking of Paul Harris’s Reset the is the stand out routine in this book. This is my favorite effect from the book and easily the best version of Reset I have ever seen. Even Paul Harris thinks this is the best version. 4 Jacks are removed from the deck and set aside. 4 random cards are removed from the deck. One at a time the indifferent cards are switched for the jacks, and then when the performer is caught cheating, the cards are returned. In the end, the jacks are changed into the aces. There is a minor setup here but it is easy to get into position while talking. Caleb shares a method of doing this in the book.
26! (26 Factorial)
A spectator is influenced to shuffle half the deck to match the other half. This is bold, and requires some significant setup, so it’s not going into your walk around set, but this is fun.
This is Caleb’s stand up version of Deep Astonishment by Paul Harris.
Blackjack Be Quick
The spectator shuffles the deck and the performer is instantly able to find a perfect blackjack hand. There is a minor to moderate setup for this effect, but it sure is fun to do.
This is a wonderful easy, and versatile false cut that has multiple purposes, and it’s fun to do.
Little Fella Grows Up
The performer demonstrates some gambling techniques in which the 4 kings are secretly dealt to different players. In the end the spectator gets a royal flush. A minor setup here but I like the effect and I think I would probably do this from time to time and take credit for doing something that never happens.
The magician shares some of the features of his new computerized deck. The page up key, F1, and other features bring a selected “file” to the top of the deck, and it can also copy and paste. This is a fun motivated and commercial ambitious card routine with a production of the 4 of a kind at the end. I think this is very commercial and is one of my favorites from the book.
A virus is found in the deck and attempts to quarantine the virus fail when the entire deck gets infected. This is a color changing deck routine.
Wake a Wish
A birthday cake with lit candles appears on the back of a selected and signed card. In the end the candles are blown out and the card is given to the spectator. This is a great little effect that is commercial and easy to do.
Semi-Automatic Luck Test
Playing a game and dealing the cards the spectator finds the 4 kings and the four aces. There is a minor setup here, but the rest of the trick is self-working so it balances out.
Here-A-Move, There-A-Move, Everywhere-A-Move-Move
Aces twist and turn, and change color, then change back, with one named card turning back again. Lots of magic here.