Truth Fables isn’t for everyone. Now there’s a nebulous statement to open my review! Seriously though, Truth Fables is a thick, nearly 500-page book of mentalism, mostly with cards, all fully scripted, using principles new and old, and requiring little in the way of sleights, and lots in the way of blocking and audience management.
Ben refers to himself as a social performer, and his scripts reflect that nomenclature. His interactions with audience members are relaxed, casual and conversational. There are no “in your face” fancy footwork to be found in any of the routines, but some do require basic sleights; false cuts, controls, etc. And all of the routines, without exception, are potential killers. No BS.
Some of the standouts for me include
Triadox. A clean, card-matching routine with lots of spectator interaction.
Future Reference. Is it ACAAN? No, but it’s close! A simple principle, know to any magician, applied to an entertaining, “down-the-garden-path” script.
Castaway Cards. A new principle, as applied to card magic that is, allows the performer to identify a spectator’s card through a swift and entertaining process of elimination. (And no, it’s got nothing to do with clocking.)
Negative Space. Yes, it’s another ACAAN, but dressed up and ready for the world. Inventive and entertaining.
Sunwise. Ben describes it as “a self-working and squeaky-clean Brainwave routine.” It is.
Demin. An impossible card location. And it does indeed appear impossible.
Anachrosis. A predicted card at any number routine. Or is it?
Cardinal Sin. I really like this one, but it’s going to be hard to describe. No cards involved, just a sheet of paper, a pen, and a pair scissors.
As I said, this book isn’t for everyone. Fans of Ben’s thinking and previous releases will love it. Anyone interested in mentalism with cards will find it fascinating. Those who love sleights for sleight’s sake will not enjoy the routines since nothing any more demanding than a Top Change – perfectly covered by the script and blocking, I might add – is required. Anyone preferring quick tricks, eye candy, and minimal audience interaction will also find the material lacking. Everyone else? I think you will easily find at least two or three of the sixteen total items to your liking, but probably more, especially over time.
Disclaimer: This review is presented as a service to The Magician’s Forum. I do not know Ben, nor he me. I purchased my copy directly from him and am receiving no compensation or consideration for this review. Bottom line, I like it and believe that many of you will as well.