September 18th, 2009 8:35am
|I have several reasons for not wanting to review this item. First, I don't do book tests. Second, Todd Karr is a good friend. What if I hated it? But he sent it directly to me and asked me to write the review. So here we are.
I can start by saying that I might actually do this. I could see this book sitting on a shelf in my library. And the method is simple enough that it doesn't feel like too much work for the effect. And maybe, just maybe, I could make it interesting. My main grip with most book tests is that I find them immeasurably boring.
The book, itself, is beautiful. Instructions come in a PDF on the included CD. Todd begins with his “Top 10” things he doesn't like about other book tests. I had to agree with him on all of them.
The method is straightforward. Todd gives you several options for the “memorization.” First of all, there's not much to remember, which is nice. You can do a straight memorization, if that's your thing. There are some mnemonic tricks to help. There are also several “cheat sheets,” including a bookmark from the Si Stebbins Bookshop. Cheeky monkey.
The instructions also include tips on choosing the right volunteer, getting them to select the Shakespeare book, and of course the selection of a word.
I have two gripes about the book, one minor and one major. The minor gripe is that the book should not have been printed with the title The Complete Works of William Shakespeare. The Complete Works in 800 pages? I don't think so. Even someone mostly unfamiliar with Shakespeare has got to know such a thing could not exist in a single tome.
The major gripe is the obvious repetition of pages. Of course, the book is not comprised of all the same page. That would be stupid. But there is enough repetition that a cursory flip through the book is going to raise some red flags. Of course, you're not asking your audience to do this, but I think a lot of people will want to flip through the book (maybe after you've left the room).
But, again, I'm not an expert at book tests. I'm sure professional mentalists think this is a stupid point to worry about. But most of my friends are technical geniuses. They're going to look.... I just know it.
Product info for The Shakespeare Experiment (Complete Works of William Shakespeare Book)
Author: Miracle FactoryAverage Rating: (1)Retail Price: $300.00
Perhaps the finest mind reading book effect ever printed.
It's the ultimate luxury in mentalism.
"A book test with The Complete Works of Shakespeare, you say? Verily. Instead of being Much Ado About Nothing, here is an approach which demands the performer use a book - and what a book it is. It seems carefully prepared so as not to be the Comedy of Errors that so many recent book tests have turned out to be. Measure for Measure, this is one of the cleverest and most useful tests of late. They say that "All's Well That Ends Well," and if that is true, the routine for which the book was designed is all well indeed. If you are looking for a beautiful object, a powerful effect and a "novel" method, you will find this very special book to be As You Like It."