[censored] eBook - A Review

Discussions of new films, books, television shows, and media indirectly related to magic and magicians. For example, there may be a book on mnemonics or theatrical technique we should know or at least know about.

Postby Guest » 03/23/07 06:42 PM

T. Nelson Downs (or Hilliard) wrote in The Art of Magic, there would be no such thing as magic if mendacity were a penal offense. I agree and, so it seems, does [censored].

The Wit and Wisdom of [censored] is chock full of insight, information and routines. It is the type of publication (assuming e-Books qualify as publications), that the late Bob Lund would have treasured: the story of and by a small town showman of his life in and around magic. Imagine Augustus Rapp (The Life and Times of Augustus Rapp) meets C.R.D. Sharper (Road Hustler) a lifelong showman providing commentary on the people and places he has performed told with the same style and flair as the hustlers who relayed their experiences to Robert Prus in his enthographic inquiry into grifting, magic and thief subculture.

While some may regard his commentary on modern magic icons as harsh, particularly when he discuss his theory of dropped details and the work of Billy McComb and Jay Marshall, there is no doubt in my mind that both Billy and Jay would have agreed with Mark as both Billy and Jay were aware of their own shortcomings as performers in the late stages of their careers.

Mark, of course, takes great pride in being banned from various forums. I now understand why. He writes in this book, I brag to cause trouble and amusement for the purpose of irritating magicians as a hobby. So, for Mark, being banned from a forum must be the equivalent of taking first prize in model airplane building at an arts and crafts show. None of that, of course, is relevant to the value of the information that he discloses in this work. For example, those of you who are aware of his ability as a pitchman and who were disappointed that he did not tip the real work in his pitch books, that is the work in capturing a crowd and separating them from their money, will be pleased to learn that it is presented here in great detail. That information alone, be it for a flea market salesman or trade show magician, is worth many times the price one pays for downloading this manuscript. There are many other gems scattered throughout its pages.

Although the organization of the material and the physical production are weak a skilled editor and publisher could certainly improve both without sacrificing the voice of the author the range, candor, theory and practical applications should make it a required read for anyone who wants to improve the understanding of their craft and their ability to perform.

You can download it for $15 at http://www.marklewisentertainment.com/h ... cians.html

Seriously.
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Postby Guest » 03/23/07 06:51 PM

I have to agree. This is probably the best $15 I've spent in years. Legally, that is.

John R
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Postby Guest » 03/23/07 07:07 PM

Yes, Mark has my full endorsement. There is one word for it..."Brilliant!" Jolly Roger
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Postby Guest » 03/23/07 08:16 PM

This was an excellent read, full of interesting info and often amusing too. I agree with dben's point regarding editing there is some anecdotal repetition for instance, but the pitching section and crowd building techniques were of particular value for me, as was the final chapter on Cold Reading. Recommended!
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Postby Guest » 03/23/07 10:01 PM

Mr. Ben,

Thank you! I was beginning to think I was the only one who liked this book. I found a ton of very useful, practical stuff, with a fairly low B.S. quotient. The book is written with a great sense of humor and the price makes it a true bargain. :)

Best,

Dan-
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Postby Guest » 03/23/07 10:05 PM

I would pay four times as much for a transcription of the collected repartee between Mr. Lewis and Ford Kross.
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Postby Guest » 03/24/07 10:06 PM

Do I smell a cover for [censored] on an upcoming Genii?
Steve V
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Postby Guest » 03/25/07 07:42 AM

A [censored]/Derek Vernon cover.

What a collectible.
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Postby Guest » 03/26/07 10:13 AM

If you are a kids performer I only say BONGO HAT & THE LETTER.
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Postby Guest » 03/29/07 09:38 PM

When I first posted, I had only skimmed through the book. As many of you will know, I am one of the top children's entertainers in the world(I say with great humility!) Last year I flew from my home in Arizona to lecture at the Blackpool Convention in England. I actually met Richard Kauffman on the station in Blackpool, and I was booked to lecture at The Magic Circle on the monday night following, where I also met Richard. He was with his good friend Matthew Field. I wrote a column in The Magic Circlar when Pete McCahon was editor. Matt was his successor.

Anyhow, I am only telling you this because I know about children's entertainment. After reading Mark's book, the letter and the Bongo hat go right into my show.....along with another great bit of business in the book ideal for kids entertainers.

The message here.........buy this book. You will not regret it! JR

PS: A message for Richard. I have read some of the comments here that you and others have written about Mark. I have known Mark for 40 years, and he is one of the best. Yes, he has a wicked sense of humor! He is also extremely talented, and when you get to know him, he is a gem in a sea of boring, incompetant, magicians. I find him quite refreshing!!
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Postby Guest » 03/29/07 11:51 PM

Mark's e-book contains plenty of information and is not too expensive. The best thing about the book is that it is quite impossible to get a painful paper-cut from it.
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Postby Guest » 03/30/07 07:08 PM

"Mark's e-book contains plenty of information and is not too expensive. The best thing about the book is that it is quite impossible to get a painful paper-cut from it."

I truthfully think that the one line critique written by "The Barefoot Boy" does somewhat diminish this masterpiece. While "The Paper-Cut" comment may be vaguely amusing to those with a rather "shallow" kind of Letterman humor, I believe it does this masterpiece a dis-service. As I said in my earlier post, this is a great book, for entertainers of children, adults, or even those who aspire to be "Kreskin" type mentalists. Buy it! JR
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Postby Guest » 03/31/07 10:00 AM

Mark's book, as my initial review indicated, is quite good, and certainly worth more than the $15.00 he asks for it. It is NOT, however, a masterpiece.
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Postby Guest » 03/31/07 10:56 AM

Fair enough, David. We all have our opinions. Just so you know, I am quite a fan of yours. However, did you know on page 244 of the Vernon Biography, the word "Sheer" is spelt incorrectly, as in "Shear love of it."

Just an observation. Now let me try and find a spelling mistake in Mark's book! JR
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Postby Guest » 03/31/07 11:57 AM

Honestly, your response is one of the most inane comments that I have read. Unfortunately, I can assure you that there are a lot more typos in the Vernon biography than the one you have indicated. Yes, I suppose we are each entitled to our opinion.
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Postby Guest » 03/31/07 04:48 PM

I havent read the eBook under discussion, but IMHO David Bens Vernon biography sets the bar for how a biography should be written imminently entertaining but backed up by solid and meticulous research, not a lot of supposition and half baked myth as in the Kalush/Slomon Houdini offering and to subject that work to the niggling criticism that theres a spelling error on page 224 is asinine in the extreme. Maybe Mr. Bens opinion of the [censored] work doesnt exactly match up with your own, Jolly Roger, but your comment was really uncalled for. Just my two cents.
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Postby Guest » 03/31/07 06:12 PM

Fair enough, David. We all have our opinions. Just so you know, I am quite a fan of yours. However, did you know on page 244 of the Vernon Biography, the word "Sheer" is spelt incorrectly, as in "Shear love of it."

Just an observation. Now let me try and find a spelling mistake in Mark's book! JR
Wow, great point buddy! And I bet [censored]' dad could beat David Ben's dad in an arm wrestle, too!

:rolleyes:
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Postby Guest » 03/31/07 07:12 PM

Gentlemen...........I love you all! I am as much I fan of DB as ML! I think it is very noble of you to admit that there are errors in your book. It means that I can now consider you human and not divine!!!

By the way, David my friend, might I ask what you think of Mark's card work? I will have to admit that his svengali pitch is a little better than mine. However, I can out do him on the Pop-up tie any time!!! JR
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Postby Guest » 03/31/07 10:46 PM

Kudos to Mark for a great little number.

It amazes me however that those on the other thread (with such hostility to Mark) refuse to "express their opinions" as freely as they did regarding this book here.

Hmmm.... I wonder why

Mysterion
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Postby Guest » 03/31/07 11:40 PM

I really believe the book is a steal at $15. It contains nuggets of information that the astute reader will be sure to benefit from! I have always said that in an informal, close-up stuation Mark is totally in his element and anyone would have a tough time following him!
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Postby Guest » 04/01/07 12:14 AM

marks svengali routine is also in the book as video footage. great to see
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Postby Guest » 04/01/07 06:49 PM

I wonder how long Mark will survive on this forum under his new alias ;)
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Postby Guest » 04/01/07 06:57 PM

Mysterion

The reason I, and perhaps others, have not expressed our negative opinions of Mark is because this thread is about a direct review of his ebook.
Having not read to ebook, I have nothing to say about it.

Simple, Hmmmmmmm?

Gord
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Postby Guest » 04/01/07 08:26 PM

"I wonder how long Mark will survive on this forum under his new alias"

I am new on this forum, so this statement is a little confusing. Can you please expand, so I understand? Thanks. JR
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Postby Guest » 04/01/07 08:42 PM

Believe me

I am not [censored]!! Im about 30 years younger have a way nicer mug and a rather large pompadour!!

No offence of course to Mark, but I am right LOL

M
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Postby Guest » 04/02/07 06:03 PM

Hello Chris ;) How is the phd of ESP doing? I rather enjoyed your presentation of Add-a-No the other night. It seemed oddly familiar to me ;) I will admit you do have more hair than our esteemed [censored]. It appears some people believe Mark is here but under a different alias. I will be the first to stand up and say, "I am not [censored]!"

I am Paul Pacific and I'm not sure whether people here knew that or not.

What do you think of Mark's book? Mark has been bragging about his book like crazy. You'd think it was "War and Peace" for Heaven's sakes the way he's going on about it! ;)

How does it compare to, say, "Greater Magic"? ;)
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Postby Guest » 04/02/07 09:25 PM

I would suggest the main difference between Greater Magic, and The [censored] book, is that Greater Magic is longer. And it is not an E.Book. Well, you did ask Mr. Pacific? But, I imagine you knew that......after all, I understand that you are a mentalist! JR
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Postby Guest » 04/02/07 09:54 PM

Lol Roger, I got a nasty paper-cut while reading "Greater Magic" one time! ;)
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Postby Guest » 04/03/07 01:24 PM

Canadian Humour Paul! Best in the world!!! JR
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Postby Guest » 04/04/07 12:42 PM

Add a Number....hmmmm.....Familiar LOL
Imagine Mark with my hair though that'd be awesome!!! LOL

BTW= Watch the HOUR next week on CBC- Doing a sprit seance and having a chat with Houdini! A fun bit!

M
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Postby Guest » 04/07/07 12:30 AM

Do I smell a cover for [censored] on an upcoming Genii?
Steve V

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With all joking aside..why not? I would have great respect for staff of the magazine to unbiasedly feature Mr. Lewis in some capacity. Love him or hate him, he has been connected on some level to the who's who of magic and at least deserves it.

Buying Genii and Magic magazine is my excuse to go the local magic store and buy something so I can hang out. If Mark was on the cover, I would commit to a 3 year subscription.

-A
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Postby Guest » 04/07/07 10:52 PM

I think a Genii front cover of Mark would be great. Another possiblity would be to have all the grafters who used to pitch svengalis many years ago for Ron MacMillan and are now famous or semi-famous such as [censored], Jolly Roger(yours truly) Walt Lees(Abra Editor), Jimmy Cricket(British Comedy Star). David Lait(former Young Magician of the Year winner), Michael Vine(Derren Brown's manager), Bobby Bernard and others. You could have the Ghost of Ron overlooking us all! Just a thought! JR
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Postby Guest » 04/17/07 08:01 AM

I have purchased this book. It is not mentioned here that there is a massive amount of information contained in it about cold reading and psychic matters.

As a professional psychic reader who does nothing else for a living I find this particularly interesting although I personally do not resort to trickery of any kind in a reading.
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Postby Jeff Haas » 04/17/07 03:03 PM

Barton, I knew you were going to say that.
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Postby Guest » 04/17/07 03:13 PM

I am glad to hear you have psychic powers too. However mine have been diluted lately because of an exchange with an irritable woman from New York on another thread.

Since this is the case I wonder if you could assist me by answering a question using your own no doubt remarkable gifts.

There was a post here by Barefoot Boy lauding this remarkable book. It seems to have been deleted yet I don't remember anything particularly offensive about it.

I wonder why.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 04/17/07 07:36 PM

Barton has been outed (and booted) as being yet another sock puppet for [censored].
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine
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