I have put this review in a couple of other places, but if it reaches more people all the better.
The Self Working Project by Ryan Matney
This is a nicely produced 6” x 9” softfcover book. It’s a slim publication, only 54 pages, and includes seven well described card effects. The subtitle of the book is “Sleight Free Card Magic With a Big Bang” suggesting all the effects have a big impact.
Some of the effects appeal more than others (isn’t it always so?) and what appeals to me may not appeal to you, but having said that, there is no filler here and ALL the effects are good ones and I can see myself using them all at some point in different performing conditions (how often can you say that with a book?). The routines have been fun to work through.
The Walton Deficiency Experiment is a totally impromptu coincidence effect that takes up little table space.
The Maven/Bannon Triangle conversion is not as strong as Maven’s Four Sided Triangle (a mental effect) but borrows the patter for a very effective and strong four ace revelation. I’m sure a lot of people will use this.
The Psychic Dyslexic Approximation allows the performer to have predicted the exacted position of a card being thought of in the deck (or at least that is how it will be remembered). A little procedural because of the method, I still like it and know I will use it at the right time. It reminded me of Simon Aronson’s “Prior Commitment” though you’re only finding one card. Once you have written numbers on the jokers you’re set to get into this at any time, however, because they are not positioned within the deck.
The Positive Fortune Observation is a clever fortune telling presentation for Fulves’ “Oracle” with a few different endings suggested. I’ll probably try this later with a blank deck because I could still do other routines with the blank deck afterwards, though the AS deck ending also appeals, reminding me of David Parr’s “A Game of Life and Death”. Currently I’m doing this with a standard deck but the other deck types give a nice second climax. On the fortune card I write “One Lucky Person” then I can use the same card for a man or a woman.
The Joker Proximity Conclusion seems a cute way to start a card routine, finding the jokers in a magical way to remove them.
The Skill Minimization Theory. Last time I performed something similar to this was Lorayne’s “Numero Uno” (which may pre-date the Jennings reference given) though here Ryan’s twist takes it away from finding a selected card. Instead it is both a demonstration of skill and a prediction. You could have a small stack set under the prediction card for a follow up miracle.
The Fourth Street Correlation is another coincidence effect lifted by the presentation.
If you’re not familiar with Ryan’s work this is a good place to start. If you like self working card effects that are not just a collection of older stuff this book is for you. If you just like good card magic this book is for you. I’m sure any reader will add several of these effects into their arsenal which is pretty good going when you consider there are only seven effects included. This may be the perfect ‘after Christmas’ treat for yourself.