DESCRIPTION: The thickness of a magic book doesn’t make it great. Neither does a flashy cover, nor a fancy trailer. The best magic books are the culmination of a lifetime of knowledge and refinement. So Vanishing Inc. Magic is proud to present Artful Deceptions.

JUNKIE THOUGHTS: I consider myself a fairly well-read magician. However, Allan Kronzek is a name I was unfamiliar with. This new release from Vanishing Inc. is a small sample of this gentleman’s thinking and I am pleasantly surprised. Artful Deceptions contains 9 routines, 8 of which are well thought out pieces of card magic theater. The last routine is a lovely presentation for the $100 bill switch. The card routines range in plot from a Sandwich effect to Think A Card to Do As I Do. Each routine is a solid and commercial piece of card magic that is easy to do and entertaining. Each routine is described beautifully well with very thorough explanations. I particularly appreciate the subtle things Mr. Kronzek includes such as the hand motion used for a vanish. This type of attention to detail is a joy to read and makes a big difference in performance. I’m a fan of this sort of thing. As mentioned, the routines are easy to do and rely on very little sleight of hand. The one major move used twice is a quick cut from Marlo that I was previously unfamiliar with.

Of the eight routines I have a few favorites: Playing with the Jokers is a nice three-phase sandwich routine with a ending I’ve never seen before. True Romance is a lovely finesse and presentation for Fulves’ Gemini Twins. This is one I’ll use immediately. Strange Attraction did little for me and did not seem very original. However, I did learn a new sleight, so that’s cool. Buried Treasure is a fun effect that will allow you to make use of that compass you got at Magic Live a couple years ago. I like the presentation but the effect requires a bit too much table space for me. That being said, I’m going to play with this to make it fit my style. Think of One is great. The spectator thinks of any card and you divine it. Pretty straightforward. It will take some practice but I’m sure this is a fooler. Texting the Visitor is a contemporary presentation for Larry Jennings’ Visitor plot. Destiny, Chance and Free Will is Allan’s version of The Lucky Coin from Card College, and is my favorite of the book. I’ve always been a fan of the plot and this version is very good. Admittedly it IS a bit derivative, but its still nice. Allan has added a bit more here for the better. Again it will take some practice but fortunately the learning curve is not bad. This is the second routine from the book I will start doing right away. Lastly, Hypnotizing Ben is Allan’s presentation for the classic $100 Bill Switch. He’s take the routine and flipped it on its proverbial head. In doing so, he’s added interest, drama and comedy. I’ve never been a huge fan of the $100 Bill Switch, but this is enough to make me check it out.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Overall I was pleased with Artful Deceptions. Its an easy read with solid routines. At $30 I think its a bit pricy for nine routines, however if you’re looking for something new, I think you’ll enjoy this.

 

Artful Deceptions by Allan Zola Kronzek, $30.00 – Available from your favorite magic dealer. Dealers contact Murphy’s Magic, www.murphysmagic.com