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7 by Michel Hout Review

Official Review

January 27th, 2004 12:54am
Rating:
Reviewed by Brad Henderson
This nicely produced manuscript, penned by David Acer, features seven magical offerings from Michael Hout.

The manuscript is well produced, and well illustrated. David's writing style adds a touch of entertainment as well. However, the material neither excited nor moved me to action. But maybe that's just me. So here's a run down with commentary.

I Really Knew It: Spectator chooses one of 4 aces. Three aces are seen to have the words "I Knew It" on their back. The chosen ace reads, "I really knew it." This is "cute," but I prefer my magic to have a stronger punch than the subtlety of this particular revelation. Also, it is basically a sleight of hand version of the "I knew you would select this one card out of four from a packet" trick. Given the fact you are not totally clean, I think you would be better served with something even dirtier, but stronger (such as B'Wave.)

Ultimate Aces: This is a vehicle through which to teach Hout's Spring Change. I must confess, though a die hard book-man, video would have served well here. I spent some time on the move and think I am doing it correctly. Sadly, the printed word fails to convey entirely what is supposed to be happening. Basically, a packet of four cards is shot from hand to hand and seen to visibly change into 4 other cards mid-flight.

This looks okay when I do it (which may be irrelevant), but I would still opt for a swivel change up against the arm (ala snap change) or even the DeSouza Shape Shifter as they accomplish the same things albeit not in mid air. Acer credit's Sakai's Duck Change from Magic, Sept. '91 claiming the two are mechanically similar. Perhaps a look at both sources will clarify the intended effect.

Not my cup of tea, but I assume it could make a nice change for those who like to have their cards go flying about.

D'Christmas Tree: A gag for the holiday season. Magician removes light from tree. Antics ensue. Cute idea.

Don't Follow the Leader: Spec. 1 selects a card from the red half of a pack; spec 2 from the black. First, both packets are spread to reveal the cards have reversed. Then the cards are shown to have switched packets. What makes this clever, and dare I say it, "cute" is the presentational hook Acer has added. By having the movements of the spectators "affect" the position of the cards, he makes the small and rather uneventful effect play big. However, if presented as written this is a piece for which you need an audience as the first revelation occurs with your two assisting spectators' backs to the table. I know some acts for whom this would be an asset, but I digress.

Acid Trip: Magi causes a cup of coffee to come to a boil and eat away at his half submerged spoon. More of a stunt (like the Christmas tree effect) than an outright piece of magic, but it would be a nice moment for those who also enjoyed turning their coffee to slush back in the 90's.

Cellular Fun: Three cards are revealed with the aid of your cell phone. The first appears on the screen when the phone is powered on. The second is found when the phone rings mysteriously as the cell phone is held above the correct card (this is NOT self contained). And the third is found when the spectator calls your answering machine. Cute way to use a cell phone to reveal three cards, however other than the phone ringing on its own, these are really nothing more than high tech versions of a prediction in an envelope.

Signed Quarter in Balloon: This could be very good. I have not tried it, but am familiar with the lineage of coin and card in balloon effects and based on my experience with them can see how this would be very deceptive. Definitely the best piece in the book, the only one where any sort of creative ground seems to be broken. (Though I do not care for the idea of having the spectator choose a balloon and then pulling out a preinflated one under the excuse of time constraints. I'm sure they chuckle, but maybe we should ask ourselves why?) If you wanted to do a coin or object into balloon effect, you should look at this.

So, overall, I'm left kind of blah. Maybe its just that this material is not meant for me. So I'm going to give it a non committal 2 1/2 since the book is so well done otherwise. Perhaps others will comment on how this material works with their vision of magic.

Product info for 7 by Michel Hout

Author: Acer, David
Publisher: David Acer
Average Rating:  (1)
Retail Price: $12.50
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Manufacturer's Description:

A regular invitee at Fechter’s Finger Flicking Frolic, and a frequent guest on David Acer’s MagicWorks shows in Montreal, Michel Huot is one of the industry’s best kept secrets. His material has appeared in Genii, Magic and Natural Selections, Vol. II, but this is his first solo collection, and it contains simple riches the likes of which are rarely seen!


  • Ultimate Aces: A strikingly visual change of four indifferent cards into four Aces using an astonishing new sleight!

  • Don’t Follow The Leader: The movement of two spectators becomes completely sympathetic with the movement of their cards... but who’s controlling who?

  • Acid Trip: Your coffee engages in a blistering battle with your spoon, resulting in an impossible transfiguration!

  • Signed Quarter in Balloon: A signed quarter is tossed into the air by a spectator, but when it hits an inflated balloon, instead of bouncing off it, it drops inside! The quarter then rolls around in the balloon, whereupon the magician suddenly grabs it through the latex and tugs it back out, leaving the balloon intact!


And more! Seven By Michel Huot is the first in a new series featuring exciting close-up miracles from innovative magicians working on the front lines! Written by David Acer, with a foreword by Richard Sanders.

$12.50 U.S. (postage paid).

Available from your favorite magic dealer.


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