7 Wonders by John Guastaferro

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Tom Frame
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7 Wonders by John Guastaferro

Postby Tom Frame » January 31st, 2014, 12:13 pm

7 Wonders (PDF) by John Guastaferro $15.00
27 pages, 4 photographs
Available at: http://www.magicjohng.com/products/seven-wonders/


The prolific card conjuror John Guastaferro is back with not seven, but eight effects from his repertoire. The author writes well and does a good job of teaching the material. He includes his patter. He dutifully cites his recent inspirational sources, but he doesn’t provide primary attribution.

The photographs are clear and helpful.

The layout of the PDF is not aesthetically pleasing. The bloated paragraphs should have been broken down into tastier, bite-sized nuggets. He also commingles italicized patter with instructional text. Ick.

On a happier note, Mr. Guastaferro includes links to performance videos of each effect. This is a very nice feature.


GPS: The performer displays a red-backed card with the image of a compass drawn on its back. He tables it face down. A participant selects a card from a blue-backed deck and signs its face. Let’s say it’s the Ten of Hearts. The performer loses her card in the deck and then hands the deck to her.

The participant deals cards into a face-down pile and stops dealing whenever she wishes. She places the compass card on top of the dealt pile and deposits the remainder of the deck on top.

The performer spreads through the face-down deck and outjogs the compass card. He removes it, along with the cards directly above and below it.

He turns the uppermost card face up. It has a value of Ten. He turns the lowermost card face up. It is a Heart. The performer concludes that the participant’s card is the Ten of Hearts. He turns the compass card face up. It is the participant’s signed Ten of Hearts.


Mr. Guastaferro states that this effect was inspired by John Carey’s “Tracker.” The plot is actually Brother John Hamman’s “The Signed Card” that appeared in Richard's Almanac (October, 1984).

The compass card is novel and the author’s method allows the participant to execute much of the work.

I like it.


Numerology: A participant removes any four-of-a-kind from the deck and shuffles the cards face down. She places the packet under the table and remembers the bottom card, which will be her selection.

The performer and the participant each think of a number between one and ten. To avoid thinking of the same number, the participant tells the performer if her card is odd or even. If it is even, the performer will think of an odd card, and vice versa.

The participant announces that her number is even. The performer says that he is thinking of the number three.

The participant transfers her secret number of cards, one at a time, from the top of her packet to the bottom. She then transfers cards equal to the performer’s number from the top to the bottom. Finally, she again transfers her secret number of cards from the top of her packet to the bottom.

Without looking, the participant turns the top card of her packet face up and inserts it between the other face-down cards. She spreads the cards on the table and discovers her face-up selection.


This is Mr. Guastaferro’s extension of Jim Steinmeyer's “Three Card Monte” that appeared in Impuzzibilities. The author includes two other elaborate applications of the principle.

I like it.


Fusion Box: The performer ends an “Ambitious Card” effect with Frederick Braue’s Pop-up Move that leaves the participant’s bent selection on top of the deck. He places the face-down selection on the table. He cuts the deck and holds it face-down in his left hand.

The performer picks up the selection with his right hand, brings his hands together and then tables the selection face down again. He riffles the deck and turns it face-up.

He spreads the face-up deck and a second participant freely touches a card. The performer removes the card, turns it face down and places it on the bottom of the face-up deck. He turns the deck face down, bringing the face-up selection to the top. He turns the selection face down on top of the deck.

The second participant writes her initials and an important year on the card’s back. The performer removes the card and places it in the card case. He turns over the card case.

The performer picks up the bent, first selection card and strokes it against the deck to takes the bend out of it. He sidejogs the card off the right side of the deck. His palm-down right hand covers the selection and sweeps it to the table.

He lifts his right hand to reveal that the first selection has vanished. He opens the card case and pours out the face-up, first selection. He turns the card face down to reveal the second participant’s initials and year written on the back.


There is no presentation justification for picking up the first, bent selection, bringing it near the deck and then tabling it again.

I abhor the practice of turning a card face down, placing it on the bottom of the deck, turning the deck face up and then turning selection face down on top. Real people don’t engage in such odd behavior.

I don’t like it.


Flip Side: The performer spreads the deck and a participant freely touches a card. He displays the card and squares the deck, leaving the face-down selection outjogged. He removes the selection and places on the participant’s palm. He places the deck on top of the selection.

The participant freely names a number between 10 and 20. Let’s say she chooses 16. The performer removes the deck from the participant’s palm and turns it face up, revealing that her selection has vanished. He spreads the deck to show that her card isn’t near the top or the bottom of the deck. In the process, he displaces several cards.

The performer places the face-down deck onto the participant’s palm again. The participant turns the deck face up and counts 16 cards onto the performer’s palm. The 16th card is face down. The participant turns it face up and discovers her selection.


I like it.


All Four One: A participant freely names any four-of-a-kind, say the Queens. The performer spreads the face-up deck and outjogs the four Queens. He removes them, turns them face down and places them on the bottom of the deck. He turns the deck face down, bringing the Queens to the top. He turns them face down onto the deck. He deals the top three cards to the table and then he cuts the deck.

The performer hands the deck to the participant and guides her through the following elimination procedure. She cuts off half of the deck, turns it face up and replaces it on top of the deck. She turns over the entire deck. She spreads through the face-up cards, removes them and tables them.

She repeats this procedure.

The participant deals about a half dozen cards to the table. The performer takes the remaining cards, turns them face up and deposits them on the face-up discard pile.

He spreads the face-down tabled cards and instructs the participant to touch any card in the middle. He squares the remaining cards, turns them face up and places them on the face-up discard pile. He spreads the face-up discards to show that the remaining Queen is not among them.

He turns over the lone face-down card to reveal that it is the fourth Queen.

He places the face-up Queen on top of the three face-down, tabled Queens. He picks up the packet and holds it in his left hand. He removes the uppermost face-up Queen, twirls it and it transforms into an Ace. He places the face-up Ace o top of the packet.

The performer turns over the packet and counts the cards, revealing three face-up Aces and one face-down card, that he outjogs. He removes the face-down card and turns it face up. It is the final Ace.

Once again, Mr. Guastaferro engages in the despicable practice of turning cards face down, placing them on the bottom of the deck, turning the deck face up and then turning the cards face down on top.

I’m also repelled by Balducci’s Cut Deeper procedure.


I don’t like it.


Love Me Not: The performer holds a packet of five face-down cards in his left hand. He thumbs the top two cards off the right side of the packet and flips them face up on top. He pushes over the top card to display two face-up Jokers. One has “Loves Me” written on its face. The other Joker has “Loves Me Not” written on its face. He turns the Jokers face down onto the packet. He removes the top two cards and tables them face down.

The performer repeats this procedure, displaying two more “Loves Me”, “Loves Me Not” Jokers. He turns them face down onto the packet before removing them and placing on top of the pair of previously tabled Jokers.

The performer displays the final inscribed Joker, turns it face down and uses it to scoop up the tabled Jokers. He turns the Joker packet face up and holds it in his left hand.

He reads aloud the top “Loves Me” card. He removes it, turns it face down and places it on the bottom of the packet.

He reads aloud the new top “Loves Me Not” card. He turns it face down onto the packet, removes it and tables it face down. He turns the entire packet face up.

The performer repeats this procedure three times. There are now four face-down Jokers on the table and one Joker remaining in his hand. He turns it face up to display a “Loves Me” Joker. He places the face-up Joker in his pocket, leaving half of it visible.

The performer turns over the four tabled Jokers to reveal that they have transformed into the four Queens.


If you don’t mind executing eight Block Turnovers, you may enjoy this effect. I mind.

I don’t like it.


Gemini Squared: The performer places a five-card packet of his business cards face up on the table. After shuffling the deck, he gives the bottom half to the first participant and the top half to a second participant. He places a pair of business cards in front of each participant.

Each participant deals cards into a face-down pile until they wish to stop. They place the uppermost business card on top of their dealt piles, and deposit their remaining cards on top.

The participants pick up their packets and repeat the procedure to bury their remaining business cards.

The performer spreads the packets in front of the participants. He slides each business card and the card on top of it out of the spread toward the participants. He assembles the deck and tables it near the fifth business card.

Moving from left to right, the performer turns each playing card face up, displaying the Ace of Clubs, Five of Diamonds, Four of Spades and the King of Hearts. He turns over the corresponding business cards, revealing that he wrote predictions on their backs. His predictions match the participants’ selected cards.

The performer turns over the fifth business. Its back is blank. He spreads the deck face up on the table, revealing that all of the cards are blank.


This is Mr. Guastaferro’s version of Karl Fulves’ “Stopped Twice” that appeared in Impromptu Openers (1979). It would later appear with the familiar moniker "Gemini Twins" in More Self-Working Card Tricks (1984).

I really like it.


Mix and Match: The performer executes a number of different shuffles that correspond to particular personalities, including Introvert, Extrovert, Showoff, Procrastinator and Perfectionist. For the Crazy personality, he turns half of the deck face up and shuffles it into the face-down portion.

To illustrate the Hero, the performer causes the top, face-up card of the deck to flip face down. He spreads the deck and reveals that all of the cards are now face down.

A participant shuffles the deck and returns it to the performer. Averting his gaze, he riffles the outer corner of the deck and stops when instructed by the participant. She remembers the face card of the upper portion of the deck. The performer squares the deck.

Still looking away, the performer cuts off a quarter of the deck and hands it to the first participant. He cuts off another quarter and hands it to a second participant. He shuffles the remaining portion of the deck. He cuts off another quarter of the deck and hands it to a third participant. He turns and faces the crowd as he hands the remaining cards to a fourth participant.

The participants shuffle their portions of the deck. The performer collects the packets and reassembles the deck.

The performer removes a small group cards from the top of the deck and displays their faces, saying that the selection may be somewhere near the top.

He removes another group of cards, taking them onto the face of the previously displayed portion, displays them and states that the selection may be somewhere near the middle of the deck.

Finally, he removes a group of cards from the bottom of the deck, displays them and suggests that the selection may be near the bottom of the deck. He squares the deck.

The performer now knows the identity and the location of the selection. Mr. Guastaferro offers a number of effective methods for revealing the selection.


I like it.


John Guastaferro’s 7 Wonders contains a clutch of cool card curios that command your careful consideration.


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"There is more to consciousness than meets the mind's eye." - Frame

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erdnasephile
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Re: 7 Wonders by John Guastaferro

Postby erdnasephile » January 31st, 2014, 3:13 pm

Tom:

Really appreciate your reviews--they tell me what I need to know when considering a purchase.

The "Fusion Box" routine seems to owe a bit to a James Lewis sequence from Daryl's ambitious card book. IMHO, just about anything that follows the Braue sequence often runs the risk of gilding the lily.

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Alex de Cova
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Re: 7 Wonders by John Guastaferro

Postby Alex de Cova » February 2nd, 2014, 4:08 am

@Tom: That is a very detailed "review". But then - it is almost possible to reconstruct the tricks from you description alone. And that is not in favour of John, because he wants to sell his ebooks. I think detailed descriptions like yours are going a little bit too far.
Of course I am aware of the fact that reviews ARE based on the individual's subjective opinion. But then - there are ways to make it more objective and without all the actual trick details. That would be much fairer for the originator. Otherwise sales drop. Alexander

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mrgoat
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Re: 7 Wonders by John Guastaferro

Postby mrgoat » February 2nd, 2014, 7:37 am

Sales drop if something is bad.

Detailed reviews like Mr Frame produces are wonderful and should be cherished.

If a magician cannot sell something because someone points out the details of an effect (not method I hasten to add), then the effect is not worth selling and he should rethink things.

Your audacious maligning of an esteemed reviewer for, well, reviewing something is ridiculous and creating excuses for poor sales.

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erdnasephile
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Re: 7 Wonders by John Guastaferro

Postby erdnasephile » February 2nd, 2014, 4:54 pm

FWIW, the review made me purchase a copy from JohnG.

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Marty Jacobs
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Re: 7 Wonders by John Guastaferro

Postby Marty Jacobs » March 10th, 2014, 8:24 am

I've also reviewed these notes on my blog:

http://wp.me/p3aDns-oX

Marty


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