Mike Close

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Postby Guest » 02/05/02 10:25 PM

Who does this guy think he is??
He may be a good magician, but I often wonder about his reviews. I think he gets "paid off" for glowing reviews, and bad reviews are out of spite.
For example, his review of the Peek Performance book was out of line. Did he even read the book?? Maybe Busch didn't offer to pay him??
Just my thoughts....
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Postby Pete McCabe » 02/06/02 12:08 AM

One thing Mike Close does is put his name to his reviews.

This is just one of the great many differences between his reviews of magic products, and your review of his reviews.
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Postby Guest » 02/06/02 04:50 AM

First of all I think it is very very hard to be a reviewer. If you review everything well then you are getting paid off by the author. If you burn everything you are a jerk. I will say that I have used Marketplace as my source of reviews for quite a while and so far almost everything he has given a good review has been awsome. Cut the guy some slack. Just some thoughts

Noah Levine
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Postby Guest » 02/06/02 04:58 AM

I like Mike Close's reviews. For the most part, I agree with his bad reviews and he does site why he doesn't like stuff.

I am sure that Mike Close would concede that others are allowed to like stuff he didn't.
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Postby Robert Kane » 02/06/02 05:39 AM

I respectfully disagree with Glorpy's assessment of the reviews written by Mike Close for Magic.

I have read many of Mike Closes reviews over the past 5 years and have found them consistently fair and accurate. Mike Close routinely points out the positive and negative aspects of any item. In addition, he is often critical of items that have been produced by his own friends. That is hard to do and about as fair as you can get.

While I dont always agree with Mike Closes reviews, I do know that he is a knowledgeable magician that has studied, practiced, educated and written on the art of magic for many years. Having also seen him lecture and met him personally several times, I also know that he is a fair and descent person who has a deep love of magic and who would likely not write a bad review of any item simply to hurt the maker.

I also feel that it is unfair to blithely suggest that another person participates in fraudulent activities without presenting evidence.

Just my thoughts :)
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Postby Guest » 02/06/02 05:49 AM

See my post "Peek Performances", for opinions on reviewers. I agree about Close and his bashing of this book. Kept me away from it for over a year!!!!

I believe that was his mission.
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Postby Guest » 02/06/02 07:06 AM

Chris,
As you well know, Peek Performances is a brilliant book that requires much more than a quick glance through it. It is for a serious student of mentalism and unless one is willing to put in the time required to study and learn the material properly, it is useless.

Mike Close quite obviously glanced through the book and failed to comprehend the vast amount of material within the book by merely skimming through it without putting in the required amount of time required to properly absorb what is written within those pages.
That said, he has missed many a good book because of his haste and possible biased towards some items over others towards certain topics and authors many a bad review has been attached to excellent pieces of work within our world. Jamy Ian Swiss has a worse biased against mentalism than Close does but the simple truth that if you do not purchase something strictly because of what the critic said - you are as bad as the critic.

PSIncerely Yours,
Paul Alberstat http://www.bigfoot.com/~thoughtreader
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Postby Matthew Field » 02/06/02 07:22 AM

Being in the position of reviewing anything (in my case magic videos) is very difficult. One tries, hopefully, to approach the product under review with at least an open mind, maybe even leaning toward the positive.

But opinions will always differ. I also felt "Peek Performances" was a second-rate product. I bought it second-hand from another magician who also did not appreciate the book. I felt "Jennings '67" was one of the best magic books ever written. Many disagreed.

Hopefully a reviewer tells you why he feels the way he does, gives you a description of the product and also entertains you along the way. The reader comes away, in the best circumstances, knowing more about the product from someone who is not a dealer, someone he has come to know over time. That hopefully helps the consumer decide whether the product is a wise purchase for that particular person. But even if you never would consider purchasing the product under review, you should come away with some increased knowledge and having enjoyed the "read."

I think Mike Close does all that in a supurb manner, and I have written to him on occasion to tell him so.

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Postby Guest » 02/06/02 07:39 AM

You're right Paul.
Matthew, didn't Mike Close say something to effect that the book was laid out like a ransom note, in terms of font and writing style?

This is just a plain lie. Unless the publishers went back and re-worked the layout, the version I own is clearly written, and most professional in appearance.

Couldn't the same be said of the Tamariz book, Five Point of Magic! I mean, geez! the illustrations in that book look like five year old doodles! Yet the book is a monument to misdirection and psychology.

Even a cursory glance through PP, should yeild some insight that is a serious work.

Someone even complained of the overuse of French words.

I counted six!!

This is a book, like the Tamariz books, written by a man who loves the field so much, that this love comes through in the writing as something warm and friendly. The style of writing is genuine prose.

Jamy performs an entire mental act (45 min. or so) with cards only? He is no stranger to mentalism.
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Postby Pete Biro » 02/06/02 09:01 AM

Glorpy:

Is this your first or last name?

:confused:
Stay tooned.
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Postby steve » 02/06/02 07:30 PM

strange, I JUST bought a Glorpy this weekend. Not sure why I bought it or what I'm going to do with it, perhaps Mike Close can do a review of the good old Glorpy?

[ February 07, 2002: Message edited by: Steve S. ]
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 02/06/02 09:14 PM

I just sent "Glorpy" an e-mail and asked him to identify himself. It's the least he can do given the ridiculous nature of his remarks. I think we can all assume that Mike Close is not being bribed to write good reviews. He writes what is his own opinion of a product. He didn't like Peek Performance. Neither did Jamy, though I can't recall if I ever published his review or not.
Compared to most other books in our field, Peek Performance is extremely overpriced for the amount of material it contains. What you think of the material is another story. To some it may be worth many times that, to others not even $5.
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Postby Pete Biro » 02/06/02 10:39 PM

Richard, I know it is difficult to enforce, but the motorsports bbs I belong to does not allow anontmous names... it would be nice to know who'as writing some of these messages. As you know it is easy to blast when HIDING your identity. :(
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Postby Guest » 02/07/02 12:01 AM

Just my HO on Mike Close. . .I believe he really is fair and balanced in his reviews.

However, I also think he is less than critical when he deals with items by dudes he is close too (no pun intended). . .Caveny, Gary Plants, G. Bloom, Dean Dill, Bob Kohler.

I would love to post alternate reviews to the above but unfortunately most magic boards want you to toe the line and get in line. Too bad.
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Postby Bill Duncan » 02/07/02 12:24 AM

Not having met Mr. Close I can only say that it seems unlikely that someone would risk his reputation to slam a publication without a belief in the validity of his opinion.

Perhaps the problem of perceived value has to do with the fact that in mentalism, much more so than in card magic, the effect takes place in the spectators mind and is dependant on not knowing the method. In card magic it's possible to know exactly how an effect is done and still see the effect (Bizarre Twist for example). In descriptions of mentalism that's rare. If you read an effect and can't see yourself doing it then you may not be able to see the value.

The Complet Invocation costs quite a bit but it includes one small item that were I a working mentalist I would certainly pay $150.00 to know had I seen it and not known the method:
A candle is lit and the performer steps away to a distance that precludes a puff of breath reaching the flame. After a brief moment of focused concentration the candle sputters and goes out.

Uri Geller and John Edwards make comfortable livings with less...

[ February 07, 2002: Message edited by: Bill Duncan ]
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Postby Pete McCabe » 02/07/02 02:10 AM

While we're on the subject of anonymous postings, I wouldn't mind knowing the real name of the person posting as "Hugh Jarce".
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Postby Guest » 02/07/02 02:25 PM

Hugh Jarce - I knew a Hugh Jarce, he was from Sunova Beach... he worked with a guy named Dongh for several years. The act went nowhere, being billed Hugh Jarce and Won Lon Dongh...

...sorry... Asrah
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Postby Pete Biro » 02/07/02 04:29 PM

Asrah, lesse, Thurston I believe said, "and there she hangs..." or was it Milbourne Christopher? :D
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Postby Robert Kane » 02/07/02 05:32 PM

Thank you Asrah...you brought a smile to my face...and believe me I needed it. All the best and regards, Robert Kane :D
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Postby Steve Bryant » 02/07/02 07:07 PM

I bought the book on Paul's recommendation -- he felt it ranked with P. Mental Effects and 13 Steps. Perhaps it was that overpraise that made me detest it so much, along with the price. I did read it through, despite the horrendous typography. I thought both the material on billet reading and the presentation sucked. Mike Close was too generous. But -- if any reader felt otherwise, and learned something from it or just plain enjoyed it, then he wins, and I am happy for him. He can probably fool me sometime with something from the book. As to anyone else -- you can see the range of opinions here. I suggest flipping through it at a magic shop before plunking down that much money. I HATE panning a book, as I realize the author put a lot of effort into it. But I also hate getting ripped off, and that's how I felt with this one. (Also sorry I used my real name. Next time I'll sign on as Bra Trick, my usual alias.)
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Postby Guest » 02/07/02 10:01 PM

Steve,
I truly am sorry that you felt that my review was over-ratedhowever, as a working psychic entertainer, I can attest to the quality of the material contained within the pages of Peek Performances. There are also numerous other professionals that have added both techniques and routines to their own working repertoire from the book and feel as strongly about the material as I do.

The point being I guess is that unless you have a strong interest in mentalism (not mental magic, but mentalism) you will love this book. If however you are looking for the newest variation of an old Vernon/Marlo concept, then forget about the book.

If you still have the copy, I know several people that would be more than willing to buy it from you.
As always I remain,
PSIncerely Yours,
Paul Alberstat http://www.bigfoot.com/~thoughtreader
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Postby Guest » 02/08/02 07:10 AM

I'll ask again:
Do you own an earlier version of PP? The typography is mine is perfect!!!

Even if the typography "sucked", who cares a bloody hell about typography!! It's the material that counts. Do the diagrams in "Five Points of Magic" bother you too?

The publishers must have gone back and re-set the book...any info on this? anyone!

Steve,

you say the material on billets and their presentation "sucked"! Why did the material "suck"? What are you comparing it to and what is your experience in this area?
Do this for me, and I'll explain to you why it's just the opposite on a future post.

Personally, please don't use any of it, in fact, forget you even own the book, that leaves one less performer in the world with knockout material I need to worry about.

PS
Let's not round this discussion off neatly by adding that it all comes down to
opinion.

[ February 08, 2002: Message edited by: ChrisDavid ]
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Postby Steve Bryant » 02/08/02 10:14 AM

I don't own any copy of PP, as I couln't wait to get rid of it. The ransom note typography refers to huge variations in font size, underlining, and so forth. If it's been improved, that's great. I cared about it in this case because it was so distracting that it made it difficult for me to read the book. Another book(s) on billet reading that I consider vastly superior to this one is the set that Gary Kurtz put out. Gary's production values were quite poor, and there were numerous misspellings, but I would still recommend the book for its methods, which I think would not only fool the lay folks but also well-posted mentalists and magicians. Re the PP book, I didn't like the necessity of using cardboard billets and especially the odd cartoonish drawings to force the writing into an off-center position. This struck me as both aesthetically displeasing and suspicious, even to a layman. But -- all this is merely my opinion. If you enjoyed the book, that's great. Too bad you weren't around to buy it from me for face value. Then we would both be happy.
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Postby Guest » 02/08/02 10:39 AM

What did Mike Close say about Derren Brown's book "Pure Effect"? That's a book I really didn't get anything out of.
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Postby Guest » 02/08/02 10:15 PM

" I never read a book before reviewing it - it prejudices a man so." - sydney smith

" Pay no attention to what critics say. No statue has ever been put up to a critic." - jean sibelius

I think I know who Hugh Jarse is but I would never reveal his secret identity.
;)
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Postby Guest » 02/09/02 03:46 PM

It's Jarce, Nicholas...with a 'c' sheessh :mad:
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Postby Guest » 02/09/02 04:11 PM

What are we talking about?!!!!
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Postby Guest » 02/09/02 11:49 PM

Please stop making Hugh the butt of your jokes. :rolleyes: Poor guy.
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