Caleb: High Spots: the
Knockout Magic of Caleb Wiles
©2009, Vanishing Inc (www.vanishingincmagic.com)
Andi Gladwin, Joshua Jay editors
Stapled in printed wraps, 71pp, 6x9
Image from Vanishingincmagic.com
Comment (Dr Danny): A nice-looking, well written book. It's not for the novice, but neither is it beyond the abilities of the average card man. Most moves used are described here, and there's a list of credits and references after each effect. "ReSwindled" will likely be popular, but don't ignore "26!" And those are not the only clever and well thought out effects. Except for a couple of weaklings that you may well find useful, I think this is a worthwhile and fun book, and I look forward to more from Caleb Wiles in the future. Well done, Mr. Wiles!
7 So, What's with the Title? Preface
9 Offbeat Aces: An X card placed between two jokers changes to an Ace. Repeated 3 more times to produce all 4.
12 ReSwindled: A variation of the ever-popular Re-Set. One at a time, 4 black spot cards change places with the Jacks from a tabled packet. (That's Re-set in a nutshell.) But the tabled packet is then show to consist of 4 Aces. Not difficult, and a novel way of dealing with Re-set's weak ending. Originally appeared in June 2006 issue of Magic Magazine.
19 26! (Twenty-six Factorial): Spec has a chooses one of two halves of a shuffled deck and shuffles (yes, shuffles). Magi retains the other in original order. Spec then cuts both halves, cutting to a mated pair (e.g. 2 red Qs). Further, Spec names a number: counts down to it in each half, finding another pair of mates. But in fact, you now show that the spectator has managed to order his half exactly as the other: all 26 mates are in the same position! I've not read the references that inspired this, so I'm not sure how much is original, but it is an extremely clever and effective semi-automatic effect. Naturally there's an extensive setup, but in an afterword, Wiles outlines a way to set it up during a prior effect.
27 Word Perfect: Spec-1 selects a card which is lost in the deck. 2nd Spec thinks of and announces a "magic word":- free choice of any word. E.g. "toast." Magi removes a few (10-ish) cards that are candidates to be the original selection, then spells the magic word, discarding one card per letter. The arrived at card is the selection. But then Magi produces a sealed envelop which contains alphabet cards that spell the magic word, none leftover! (No, the cards are not the discards from above.) Not self-working, and requires a simply-prepared
deck, obviously related to Harris' Deep Astonishment, but this has better structure, and would play well in a stand-up setting.
32 Blackjack Be Quick: deck divided into four piles, shuffled 2 piles together, other 2, then both combined. Magish instantly produces blackjack at his fingertips. Stupid trick, requires 8-card setup and hokey shuffling procedure.
35: Crystal Cut: a semi-fancy in-the-hands 3-way false cut. Not difficult, quite adaptable to controls as well.
39: Little Fella Grows Up: 3 phase 2-handed poker deal trick with surprise (what else?) royal flush. The title is from Harry Lorayne's "Little Fella-Big Fella" from CUCM.
45: iDeck: an attempt at a topical effect with lots of computer buzzwords in the patter. The trick is OK, the patter: not so much. (But then I've been a computer professional for more years than the author has been alive, I suspect, so I may be a bit jaded.) Not exactly self-working, but it isn't that tough.
51: Replicator: yet another computer-related patter line, this time for a fairly mundane color-changing deck routine. Nice handling, but I hate the patter.
57: Make a Wish: Birthday boy selects a card, signs it, lost in deck. Card appears in deck with cartoon B-day cake drawn on the back. It is the signed selection. The you blow out the candles, leaving the cartoon cake with cartoon smoking stubs. If you do Red-hot Mama (Chicago Opener) and have a dbl-backer, you can figure it out.
62: Semi-Automatic Luck Test: Spectator apparently locates 4 Ks, then 4 Aces. Like the title says, semi-automatic, and effective.
65: Here-a-Move, There-a-Move, Everywhere-a-Move-Move: 4 blue-backed Aces magically turn face up one at a time, then one by one their backs change to red, then all 4 change back to blue. A lot of magic from only 4 cards, this will exercise your packet-trick muscles to the max: all standard moves, briskly paced and visual.