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Robin Dawes

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Reply with quote  #1 
I love packet tricks - whether using just a few regular cards, or some weird and wonderful special cards that illustrate a story.

Written in an engaging, conversational style, Mr. Hallas's 2005 book "Small But Deadly" explores the packet trick genre from its roots to the state of the art at the time of publishing.

I found this book to be addictive reading.  Mr. Hallas does a scholarly job of tracing various effects back to their earliest forms, but he presents the information in such an entertaining way that I never felt I was being lectured to.  It was fascinating to read the evolution of popular routines such as Wild Card, Re-Set and Twisting the Aces - and to read Mr. Hallas's forthright opinions on which variations are actually improvements and which are not.

After reading the first 20 or so pages, I reached for my Post-It Note bookmarks and started on Page 1 again.  By the time I was finished I had bookmarked at least 80 items for future study, including most of the handful of routines that are fully explained (most of which are Mr. Hallas's own creations).

The book has chapters devoted to different families of packet tricks (twisting tricks, printing tricks, ambitious tricks, etc) and also chapters devoted to the contributions of some of the famous magicians who have created in this genre.  It makes no pretense of being an encyclopedia - it's more of a curated selection.

The greatest delight for me in this book was finding that nearly 60 of the packet tricks of which Mr. Hallas speaks highly are in books that I already own!  This book has motivated me to return to the classics on my shelf to dig out the gems within.  That's a good thing.

There is a sequel titled "Still Small, Still Deadly" which I look forward to reading.
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Rudy Tinoco

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Reply with quote  #2 
Thanks for the great review, Robin! Paul is a very creative thinker!

Rudy

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Robin Dawes

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Would that onetime Genii reviewer have the same initials as "Just Incredibly Smug"?
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Bob Farmer

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Reply with quote  #4 
Paul's books are absolutely indispensable to packet fanatics like me. 
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magicfish

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Small But Deadly is awesome. I am a proud owner.
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Paul Hallas

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Reply with quote  #6 
Thank you Robin for that lovely review, and kind comments from others. 
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