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arthur stead

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Reply with quote  #1 

Just bought my first John Bannon book, Mentalissimo, because the concept of doing mental effects with a deck of cards really intrigues me.  The first effect in the book is called Line of Sight (Redux).  It is apparently an update of an effect by Alain Nu called Line of Sight which Bannon featured in his Linking Ring column about 25 years ago.  

 In my new book, Mr. Bannon mentions that he explained an extended version of this routine in his book Dear Mr. Fantasy.  Also that he added an opening line about a murderer and his victim.  

 But that line doesn’t appear in the Mentalissimo description.  So, a couple of questions:

 1.  Does the murderer & victim patter line appear in the Dear Mr. Fantasy book?

 2.  Is it typical of Mr. Bannon to refer you back to his older books for the “complete picture” of an updated effect in a new publication?


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Amazer

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Reply with quote  #2 
1. Yes, it's there.  It's just a small snippet, so I think it's acceptable to quote it here:

"Did you know that, for hundreds of years, people actually believed that if you looked into the eyes of a murder victim, you could see the face of the killer?  Because that was the last thing the victim saw before she died."

2. I don't think I've noticed that with Bannon before.



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arthur stead

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Reply with quote  #3 
Thanks very much, Amazer.  That's a great quote, and a unique way to start a presentation!

Glad to know Bannon doesn't make a habit of referring readers to previous books for finer details.

Other than that, so far the Mentalissimo book looks great!  I've only read through the first two effects.  But it's beautifully produced with excellent photo illustrations, and I like Mr. Bannon's style as well as his inclusion of detailed credits and historical background for every effect.

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magicfish

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Reply with quote  #4 
I have all of Bannons books and they are all fantastic.
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arthur stead

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Magicfish, I have to say I really respect your love of magic books.  I do own some DVDs (and I have several VHS tapes which taught me a lot but are useless now). 

 But by far my preferred method of learning is to read a book.  I feel it gives you a deeper personal understanding of where the author is coming from.  Plus it sparks your own imagination, leading to you developing your own interpretation of an effect or routine.  

 Of course there are exceptions, but for the most part, I feel that DVDs and videos can lead to people simply watching and copying the author’s exact moves and patter.


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Robin Dawes

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Reply with quote  #6 
Just a follow-up on this presentational line:  I introduced the effect this way at a dinner-party where I had been asked to provide some post-prandial entertainment.  My volunteer dismissively responded "I read a lot of mysteries and I've never heard of that idea.  Did you make it up?"   (As you might have already guessed, this gentleman turned out to be quite hostile to magic.  Oh well, some people are.)  I just said something like "It's an interesting idea though, isn't it?" and kept on going.

But I looked it up - Bannon is 100% correct.  It was called optography, and the belief was widely held in Victorian times.  Optographic evidence was actually admitted during at least one murder trial in the 1920s.  The last scientific study on this subject was conducted in the 1970's.  It concluded that under ideal conditions some rudimentary images could be extracted from the eyes of some animals, but the structure of the human eye made it virtually impossible to get anything useful for forensic purposes.  Here's the Wikipedia page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Optography

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Gareth

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Reply with quote  #7 
Arthur, I’ve used Line of Sight Redux often as a quick opener and the Medieval CSI is a great hook. A little while a go I had a pair of identicle twins at a gig and used a “twin connection” hook and had one twin see a card and read the eyes of the other. Interestingly got jaw dropping from the surrounding spectators. The twins were surprisingly cool about it. The ‘connection’ seemed nothing new to them!!
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magicfish

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Reply with quote  #8 
Quote:
Originally Posted by arthur stead

Magicfish, I have to say I really respect your love of magic books.  I do own some DVDs (and I have several VHS tapes which taught me a lot but are useless now). 

 But by far my preferred method of learning is to read a book.  I feel it gives you a deeper personal understanding of where the author is coming from.  Plus it sparks your own imagination, leading to you developing your own interpretation of an effect or routine.  

 Of course there are exceptions, but for the most part, I feel that DVDs and videos can lead to people simply watching and copying the author’s exact moves and patter.


I couldn't agree more Arthur.
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Gareth

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Reply with quote  #9 
His small packet OOTW 'Mundo' is fun.
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Knowcows

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Reply with quote  #10 
Reading Brannon's books I get the same feeling reading one of Lorayne's books. You become an addict and you can't stop and you ending buying more of there material. I can't say that about a lot of material out there but I can for those two.
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EVILDAN

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Reply with quote  #11 
The use of Optography is interesting and I've seen Max Maven make good use of it in a routine at The Inner Circle of Bizarre Magick's Gathering of the Magi a few years back. However, Bannon's use of it doesn't make sense. The only way it could make sense, since supposedly it's the last thing they saw, is for them to close their eyes once they see their card. Then, they open their eyes, you get the read off their eyes, and go in for the reveal. Any other stray looking around after the look at the card erases the previous image. 
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Robin Dawes

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Reply with quote  #12 
Oh no, a premise for a magic trick that doesn't make logical sense?    After introducing the "murder victim" idea I just say "Suppose we could look into a person's eye and see an image there" and then go straight into the trick.  
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