Harry Lorayne's Personal Collection has Arrived

Discuss products and their reviews in Genii.

Postby Richard Kaufman » 10/31/01 03:02 PM

I received my copy of Lorayne's new book "Personal Collection" in the mail today (thankfully shipped via UPS as regular mail here in the Washington DC area has been pretty irregular--as you may have heard on TV).
It looks good. Paul Cummins wrote a pretty positive review for the December issue of Genii. I hear the Mike Close review in MAGIC is going to be quite negative.
The four tricks we printed in the November issue of Genii appear to be fairly representative of the contents.
What does everyone else think?
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Postby Guest » 10/31/01 06:19 PM

I am a big Harry Lorayne fan, and was delighted to receive my copy today. I have hardly read the whole thing, yet. But I surely will. (Which is more than i can say for most of the books coming out these days.) I figured Paul would like it. He seems to be a fan of Harry's, and of good books. Mike Close? I'll wait to read his review before casting judgement. And as far as the tricks that were printed in Genii, well no offense, but I hope the book contains better! Harry's "Platinum Discrepancy" does indeed have a nice flowing feel to it, but too much action, not being justified, in my opinion. And I don't think that the poker deal is better than Poker Deal from Close Up Card Magic, or even #2 from Reputation Makers. Having said all that, I've never anticipated a book MORE than Personal Collection. Today is a wonderful day! After absorbing it all, I'd be delighted to be more specific about my likes and dislikes, right here, on the GENII FORUM! P.S. Richard, PLEASE see my post about Chris Kenner, I believe in the "future artciles" section. And please reply. Back to my book!
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Postby Oliver Corpuz » 10/31/01 08:55 PM

Richard, why did you have to post this? You make me sick! (Cough cough).

Now I won't be able to (cough) get any work done (cough) done tomorrow, knowing my copy of Personal Collection (cough) is on its way and will probably arrive tomorrow (cough). I'm definitely coming down with a cold now(sniff, sniff) and its all your fault Richard for posting this sickening news. Because your post has made me so ill, I think it would be best that I stay home tomorrow (cough, cough). Yes, definitely better stay home tomorrow... with pen in hand... close to the door... ready to sign... in case I get a UPS shipment. (cough, cough). ;) ;) And if I don't get a UPS shipment tomorrow, this cold may keep me at home sick on Friday too!

p.s. I hope my boss doesn't see this! :eek:
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 10/31/01 09:57 PM

John, Harry chose the four tricks for Genii--we had no choice in the matter. I actually wanted more than 4, but he originally only wanted to contribute 2, so we met in the middle. Getting to redo the "Invisible Pass Routine" was my big thrill, since it always bugged me that the drawings in Quantum Leaps utterly failed to communicate how the sleight should look.
It sounds like poor Oliver is coming down with "Lorayngitis."
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Postby Guest » 11/02/01 02:20 AM

Coming down with a cold? Hmmmm

Normally I would recommend tea with lemon and lots of honey.

In this case though I fear he might develop Sweet Lorayngitis :eek:

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[ November 06, 2001: Message edited by: Tom Cutts ]
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Postby walkinoats » 11/02/01 06:21 AM

Interesting to find out that "Personal Collection" has recieved a positive review in Genii and a negative review in Magic.

Richard, When your finished reading "Personal Collection" I would like to hear your comments.

Negative review or not, I'm still glad I ordered my copy.
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Postby Bill McFadden » 11/02/01 09:15 AM

As I get "stomach flu-related" problems from waiting for the UPS man, the cynic in me is asking whether the "A" list received priority shipping via UPS, and the rest of us poor slobs who shelled out a-yard-and-a-half-plus will be kept waiting while our dented corner copies of "Personal Collection" are irradiated in some Postal Service bulk mail facility?
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 11/02/01 09:29 AM

Bill, my copy came by UPS, not postal service. If it had come by post office, it wouldn't have come at all! I haven't gotten much mail in weeks!
I believe a customer in Pennsylvania has also received his copy--and he's not the editor of Genii!
Since it appears, from the handwriting on the box, and that fact that the book came wrapped in newspaper (an old habit of Lorayne's), that he is actually packing these things HIMSELF. In which case, he probably isn't packing hundreds of boxes and THEN calling UPS to take all of them away at once. He's probably getting about 25 done a day. So, the book will reach people slowly. That's my guess!
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Postby Joe M. Turner » 11/02/01 11:02 AM

I received my copy on Wednesday here in Atlanta.

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Postby Rene Clement » 11/02/01 01:46 PM

So far, I seem to live the closest to where Harry mails from as I am also in New york. Mine didn't come till Thursday.
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Postby Guest » 11/03/01 09:03 PM

I am curious if anyone knows if HaLo attended Tannen's Jubliee. It would be a good spot for him to unload some of the books. I'm also wondering how many are sold already. Interesting about HaLo's INSISTANCE on dividing the book into "sections" that mean absolutely NOTHING. (Novel Card Mysteries, Incredible Card Stuff, etc) instead of dividing into sections like "Four Ace Effects", "Royal Flush Effects", "Previously Released Effects", etc. I am practicing the MES routine. While I am quite happy that it uses no nail nicks...Richard...I am a little afraid of the potential for failure, and not even knowing it, until much later in the routine! And there aren't that many "outs" at that point. Anyway, I love the book. I think one reason most magi hold Close Up Card Magic in such high regard is because, for a lot of us, it was one of our first "real" books. And we may have not been pros when we read it, and if we were, we might have thought some of the material not as practical for our working enviornment. So what i'm saying is, if this new book was read at the time in our lives when we first read Close Up Card Magic, it might be to us, what Close Up Card Magic IS to us. (Know what I mean Jon?) Harry will have the fourth Apocalypse book coming out. Perhaps Best of Friends 3. And three more videos. But this may very well be the last book of his own card magic we will ever see. That thought hit me the other night as I was working my way through it. And I'm not being overly dramatic by saying, it hit me hard, and made me a bit sad. There just aren't many things that can compare (for me) to getting a brand new Harry Lorayne book. To think that this is probably it, I'm even sad writing it. However, I do have THIS new one to enjoy immensely, which is exactly what I'm doing. The book is great, almost no matter WHAT the material is like! Thankfully a lot of the material is top notch. I love Harry, and I love his new book. I know he's not reading this, but I send him my heartfelt gratitude for all the books, and all the joy he brought to me with his talent. Harry realizes something not everyone does: He has a gift. But the gift doesn't belong to him...It belongs to everyone. Thank you for knowing that, Harry.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 11/03/01 10:44 PM

John, I'm surprised that the trick doesn't use nail nicks. I have seen Lorayne (it's 20 years ago, now) use nail nicks in tough routines to nail other magicians. Maybe he has forgotten those routines.
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Postby Guest » 11/03/01 11:08 PM

I know what you mean, Richard. He DID ever so slightly, hint at the fact that maybe he didn't release EVERYTHING. However, its hard to imagine a more prized poessesion in his repertoire than the MES routine. When he was first putting together PERSONAL COLLECTION he wasn't inteneding to release that one, until his death. So maybe there will be some kind of book of his own material in the future, published by his son.
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Postby Oliver Corpuz » 11/05/01 05:26 PM

I'm still waiting... no Personal Collection book yet. (cough cough). This Lorayngitis would probably have killed me by now, but luckily, I've been self medicating myself with lots of helpings of Curry. Curry is wonderful stuff and I recommend that everyone that is sufering from Lorayngitis to take in huge helpings of Curry. Ummm umm Curry. As a panacea for Lorayngitis, it is is World's Beyond any other remedy. Thank you Stephen Minch and Hermetic Press for this wonderful new book.

Meanwhile, I'm still waiting for that UPS truck (cough, cough).

[ November 05, 2001: Message edited by: Oliver Corpuz ]
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Postby Matthew Field » 11/06/01 07:27 AM

I live 5 miles from HL and as of 11/6, no book.

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Postby walkinoats » 11/06/01 10:27 AM

just recieved my copy of Personal Collection. 11/6/01 new york,new york upper west side

I mailed my letter with my credit card info on the 23rd of October

[ November 06, 2001: Message edited by: walkinoats ]
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Postby walkinoats » 11/06/01 04:30 PM

Besides Michael Close of Magic Magazine, Is there anyone that does not feel that "Personal Collection" was a good investment ?
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Postby Jeffrey Cowan » 11/06/01 10:24 PM

I'd like to ask those of you who already have this book and are pleased with it to explain why you think it's so terrific. Are the effects or techniques so significantly improved or evocative that they'll push aside something already in your repertoire? Would a layman think that these tricks are better than other HL card effects (or any card effect, for that matter) you performed for him/her? After all, there are MANY fabulous card tricks already. What's in the book that contains sufficient "value" so that someone who performs primarily for laymen (as opposed to cardmen who revel in variations for their own sake and for card-istic purposes, which is fine and has its place) would think it's worth $150? Much thanks to those willing to address this issue.
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Postby Matthew Field » 11/07/01 07:08 AM

Originally posted by Jeffrey Cowan:
After all, there are MANY fabulous card tricks already.


Quite correct, Jeffrey. I finally received my copy yesterday and have just begun digging in, so I can't comment (other than to say that the M-E-S trick could be, as HArry says, a "Reputation Maker.")

There are many fabulous card tricks already in print, as there are many good books, good songs, good paintings. But that does not mean that one's interest in new material ceases (I hope).

Worth $150? To whom? Magicians and gambling cheats have paid dearly for a sliver of metal (glim) or container of eye shadow (daub). Was the price worth it? To them, it was.

I paid dearly (for me) for the Lorayne book, for Larry Becker's "Stunners," for "Greater Magic" (prior to the Kaufman reprint being available), and a few other books as well.

Was it worth it? For me, yes.

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Postby Steve Cohen » 11/07/01 07:39 AM

I have just completed my first "read-through" of Personal Collection and I am absolutely thrilled with it. I had the luxury of seeing Harry perform many of his effects prior to the release of this book, so it was exciting to finally learn how he did them! (Particularly "What a M-E-S", which I think is in the miracle class of card tricks -- along the lines of what Lennart Green or Juan Tamariz might do...)

The effect "Special Bonus" item near the end of the book was developed by Harry and close friend Harvey Cohen (no relation!). Harvey showed this effect to me about 6 months ago, and I added it to my professional repertoire immediately. It is a "multiple-ending" kind of effect that really gets a great reaction.

After one read-through of Personal Collection - from beginning to end - I selected 15 effects that I will personally use. Okay, that breaks down to $10 per trick if you are concerned about the cost of this book. Haven't we all paid more (much more!) for individual magic tricks that end up lying on the shelf? For me, this book offers a great value.
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Postby walkinoats » 11/07/01 01:10 PM

Matt,
Can you tell me more about Larry Becker's Stunners?

thanks,
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Postby Matthew Field » 11/07/01 01:59 PM

Originally posted by walkinoats:
Can you tell me more about Larry Becker's Stunners?



Larry Becker's "Stunners" is a big book by one of the premier mentalists of our day. It seems Mr. Becker was diagnosed with a disease which he thought might prove terminal, and he decided to "tip" all of his stuff, including his famous Russian Roulette
effect and items he had marketed for big bucks. It was an expensive book, but I think a great one.

Fortunately, the doctors' prognosis turned out to be not as bad as Mr. Becker had feared and, while he's not back to 100% on the health meter, he is doing well.

I believe he later re-published "Stunners" in a less expensive edition.

I'm not sorry I spent the money I did on the book. It contains, for example, Mr. Becker's Casino triple prediction, which usually sells by itself for $100 or more. He is a very clever fellow.

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Postby Guest » 11/07/01 04:05 PM

Regardless of whether I decide to buy the book, I have been having fun with several of the HaLo items written up in Genii, particularly "It's Not Easy to Lie." I'm wondering whether other magicians like that routine or consider it too self-worky (given that it boils down to a discovery based on a mathematical force and a mathematical location).

I think the triple-lie location is pretty neat, although I can do without the deal-and-duck force. Cleaner and quicker (as suggested in the afterthoughts) just to classic-force (or in my case, attempt to classic-force) a six-spot at the beginning.

The way I'm currently adapting the trick, though, is to do away with forcing a six-spot altogether and just have fun with the triple-lie location. Once the position of the thought-of card is set (sixth from the top), I say, "OK, no more lying," as I turn the packet over, flashing the face card to the spectator. I secure a break two cards down (i.e., over the selected card), as I pretend that I'm expecting the volunteer to acknowledge the face card as the chosen card. "You don't understand," I say, "You don't have to lie anymore." She looks at me; other specs (who don't know the chosen card's identity) look at her. Perfect misdirection, as I turn the packet face-down and execute a turnover pass. The selected card is now at the bottom of the packet. I then finish with the old dodge (who invented it?) where I have the spectator make a vertical fist and grip the cards between the first and second finger. A smart slap, and she's left holding the selected card.

At least that's my plan. Gotta find someone to try it out on...

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Postby Jamie Badman » 11/08/01 01:55 AM

As far as lie-detector style effects go, if you do decide to buy the book, check out the effect that follows that one in the book; it's called "That's the Truth" and it's a real peach!

Jamie.
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Postby David Moore » 11/08/01 06:10 AM

I just received my copy of Personal Collection and have a question. I think the adds said that it would be signed and numbered. Does numbered mean something like "number 87 of 750"? Mine is just signed, nothing else.
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Postby walkinoats » 11/08/01 10:10 AM

Thanks, Matt for your description.
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Postby Rene Clement » 11/08/01 12:20 PM

David Moore asked if the Lorayne book would be signed and numbered. Harry never said in the ads that the books would be numbered. We are to take his word for it that there are only 750 copies out there.
Reminds me of a limited reprint of a book sold by Stevens called The Expositor(or otherwise known as the pig book).
These were numbered and told to be a limited edition of 1,000 copies, numbers one through 100 are deluxe editions. I twice found the book in used book stores in New York. One I paid $5.00 for the other $3.00. Stevens' price was $45.00.
Both of these books, where the numbering should have been, had the words Review Copy written in place of a number.
So, my editions read, " This is number _Review Copy_ of a limited edition of 1,000 copies."
So, if I found 2 review copies, how many other review copies are also out there.
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Postby David Moore » 11/08/01 03:08 PM

I'm home now and it wasn't the ad that said the book would be numbered, it's in the article about HL in the November Genii.
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Postby Guest » 11/08/01 03:44 PM

Harry's "reasoning" behind not numbering the books was that everyone wanted a LOW number. That is why he contends he chose not to number them. Regarding the book in general: I was expecting more. I still stand by my comments in my love letter (above). And if Harry came out with another book today, I'd buy it. Unless it was "Doug Edwards Packs A Wallop 2". As I said, I was expecting more (read: better). Still, I wouldn't sell it at twice the price, and I did recently sell hundreds of my magic books. Another note: I performed the M-E-S routine for my girlfriend last night. It worked BEAUTIFULLY! No mistakes! It confirmed what I knew before I sent Harry my money: I'd have gladly paid the same amount or more, for that routine alone. Richard, we all await YOUR comments.
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Postby Oliver Corpuz » 11/09/01 06:12 AM

Oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy!!! My copy of Personal Collection finally came in the mail today! Although it was sent to me via US Postal Service rather than UPS, it was carefully wrapped in newspaper and packed in a thick padded envelope, so the book safely arrived in perfect condition-- no dented corners or signs of radiation damage ;) My guess is Harry knew the unfortunate folks in the NY/NJ/D.C. areas are having postal problems due to the anthrax scare, so he kindly used UPS for them.

Of course the first routine I read was the last, What a M-E-S! And it is long and complicated, something that I won't be able to do without a lot of practice, especially on one certain move that needs to be done perfectly twice in the routine. But if I can perform this, I know it will be a reputation maker. I love working on a new routine, it gives me a goal to work towards.

So is the book worth $150? If you could see the big ear to ear grin on my face, you'd know. Magic keeps me happy, and it certainly is a lot cheaper than seeing a head shrink. Magic is my form of therapy—a few hours in my "fortress of solitude' with a deck of cards and a good magic book relieves a lot of stress. And I'll have plenty of therapy working through this book. Thank-you Harry!
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Postby walkinoats » 11/09/01 07:07 AM

John, you didn't like Doug Edwards packs a wallop? Can you explain why?
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Postby Guest » 11/09/01 08:28 AM

Could somebody here describe the effect of "What a M-E-S"?
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Postby Guest » 11/09/01 12:24 PM

See? Oliver is HAPPY. HaLo has a fan base like that. Not many can claim that these days. We may enjoy a new book by someone else. But that much? Probably not. Go Harry. By the way, I live in PA and my copy was sent ups. I prefer to go along with Bill's inference that I am on the A list! Walkinoats, the Edwards book was just not my cup of tea. I'm sure Doug does the magic well, but again, I've been pruning my book collection. So having sold it, I certainly wouldn't want #2. Ralph, perhaps a better typist can outline for you the effect of M-E-S, it would take a few pages to go into detail. Anyway, lets gew thte rest of the forum in on this one! Be specific about your likes and dislikes about this book.
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Postby Bill McFadden » 11/09/01 06:12 PM

I have been on the road (conference in Las Vegas) since Tuesday. The wife tells me that the book arrived on Wednesday, 11/07 - but don't know whether by UPS or USPS. Whatever, it's waiting for me back home, and it'll be one of those deals where my dear Mrs. gets a brief greeting, and I head straight for my newest addition to the library. (Sometimes she understands.)

Vegas is another story. Went to Darwin's Magic Club the other night for a Steve Draun lecture: superb!
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 11/10/01 01:41 AM

This is in answer to Rene's question about how many books actually get printed, and about the ones he bought which were marked "review" copies.
First, in the case of Lorayne's new book, frankly I don't see how he'll be able to sell more than 750 copies at $150 each. So, he probably didn't print many more. All book printers have a clause in their contracts that they are allowed to print over or under by 10 percent. That means Harry may have 75 more or less books than the actual stated number. Is he going to throw them away if he has more? Send him a letter and ask him! He could also have ended up with only 675 books, and those missing 75 copies could add up to a lot of money! So, it's hard to say.
In the case of limited editions like The Expositor, I think we can all agree that Rene is a lucky bastard! I paid full price. One way of getting rid of that overprinting of books (the 10 percent more) is to give them away unnumbered, or make them review copies, or publisher's presenation copies. Either way, it's perfectly legit as long as you don't NUMBER or SELL more copies than the amount you've advertised.
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Postby walkinoats » 11/12/01 06:09 AM

For those who have already gone through "Personal Collection", can you talk about your favorate effects from the book?
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Postby Guest » 11/12/01 07:51 PM

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Jeffrey Cowan:
I'd like to ask those of you who already have this book and are pleased with it to explain why you think it's so terrific.

Hello Jeffrey,
I received my copy on Saturday, 11/9 here in Orlando. I've spent most of the last 48 hours looking over the book and do find it to be valuable to me. (As do I value my Fox cups I look at once every few months!) Anyway, beauty is in the eye of the beholder for sure. There are many great items in the book and I find the binding of the book to be of high quality as well. There may be more bang for the buck in "Dingle's Complete Works" or any other great book we're all familiar with. Personally, I purchased the book looking for some nice effects the guys at the roundtable hadn't seen and for it's potential value as a collector's item. I think I've found both. I was hoping the Collection would have been individually numbered instead of "one of 750 in print". Other than that, I am happy with the book.....and should I decide to liquidate my investment in the future, I'm sure you'll buy it from me on Ebay! Happy Reading to all.
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Postby Guest » 11/14/01 10:44 AM

I've been really anxious to hear more people discuss this book, after they've had the chance to read it. As it seems no one IS, I think that may say a LOT about it! At first glance the book seems wonderful: so many pages, interesting titles, no Robert E. Lorayne illustrations, etc. However, I may be repetitive here, but the book doesn't live up to the hype that Harry gave to me personally. He said it was to contain all of his best stuff that he never wanted to give away, etc. I don't see it. I know Harry is sincrely fond of the routines, but I think they are best suited for magical hobbyists. Most of them anyway. Richard, You've always "told it like it was", but I suspect, now that you and Harry have started to "make up", that you may not want to give the book a negative review here. but we are all curious to know what you think! Everyone knows I love Harry. I think this book though, aside from the MES routine, is one of his worst books. I'm very disappointed. Don't get me wrong, there are SOME good items, but not nearly as good as the good items in his other books! For $150 think about the HaLo books you could buy! You can get one Apocalypse book AND Best of Friends vol 1! Great material there! Or you could get Close Up Card Magic AND Personal Secrets AND Reputation Makers AND Quantum Leaps AND Best of Friends Vol 1! Think about that! So I'm trying to be more detailed here, hopefully others will do the same. No offense to HaLo, of course, I think I made that clear. But I just feel like I "fell for" his hype about this book. I would have bought it no matter what he said, but the way he went on! I was expecting, what he led me to believe the book was. Aside form the MES routine (which I love performing), what's here that he's been "holding back for 40 years, since Close Up Card Magic." ?
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Postby walkinoats » 11/14/01 12:37 PM

Interesting comments John. I also purchased "personal collection" but have not yet gotten the chance to go through it. I have all of HL eariler books but maybe I should have puchased best of friends vol 1insteed. But in any case I'll go through it and let the forum know. I can't wait for the reviews by P. Cummins and M.Close

[ November 15, 2001: Message edited by: walkinoats ]
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 11/14/01 09:02 PM

Here is Paul Cummins' review of Lorayne's new book from the December issue of Genii. Since there has been so much discussion and interest in the title here on the forum, I've decided to post the review.
As a side note, a fellow named Todd posted a review of "Personal Collection" in a new thread here on the forum, but I felt the approach he took was a bit less erudite than I'd like to see here, so I deleted the post and asked him to rewrite the review in a way that wouldn't alienate some of our readers, then repost it in this thread (as suggested by Dave Prouty--let's try to keep all the Lorayne stuff in THIS thread). Todd also made a comment about the size of the slipcase in which "Personal Collection" comes. The slipcase was made by Dominion Carton Corporation, the same company which has made many of the slipcases in which the L&L deluxe editions have come. If any of you out there have the deluxe editions of the two Elmsley volumes, it's easy to see that one slipcase fits and the other doesn't. My point in bringing this up is that Dominion has in the past made slipcases that did not fit. The slipcases on "Personal Collection," however, fit perfectly. I know this because it was related to me that the first batch they made for "Personal Collection" did NOT fit, and all 750 slipcases had to be made a second time. You can bet they fit the second time!
There has also been some question about whether or not Lorayne actually signed them himself. I own every book he's written, and all are signed, and the signature on my copy of "Personal Collection" is identical to all the other signatures in my books. There is no doubt in my mind that Lorayne would sign all 750 copies himself--he is packing, addressing, and mailing all 750 copies himself, so why would he get someone else to sign them? Makes no sense.
Okay, those questions aside, here is the Paul Cummins review:

Personal Collection
by Harry Lorayne
644 pages, hardcover, 6 x 9", signed, in slipcase, limited to 750
62 Jane Street
New York, NY 10014
$150.00 plus $6.00 domestic shipping

Harry Lorayne is an icon, a living magic legend. Thirty-nine years ago he gave the magic world the now classic book, Close-Up Card Magic. In the intervening years he has offered no less than 24 other books on magic-most of them on close-up, sleight-of-hand with the pasteboards. From the pamphlet-sized Personal Secrets and My Favorite Card Tricks, to the massive Best of Friends volumes-and not to mention the 20-year run of his monthly magazine, Apocalypse-Mr. Lorayne has offered an almost non-stop variety of card material to our community. Having written and marketed just two books myself in the past couple of years, Lorayne's output over the decades is staggering to me.
Not only has this output been massive, but I also believe that it contains a huge amount of quality material. Not every routine, trick, or sleight will cater to each individual's tastes; few would laud over every single one of Lorayne's books. I'd bet a case of red-backed Bicycles, however, that almost every hobbyist, amateur, and professional magician who does some card magic has been taught or influenced by Lorayne's writings at some point.
This book, which he, as usual, threatens to be his last, is massive. One hundred and thirty five items ("close to 200 different effects") delivered across 644 pages. The design and composition by Andrew J. Pinard is well done, making the book comfortable to read. Shaun Robison's illustrations are very well done and wisely chosen. Unfortunately I had a very limited amount of time to absorb the content of the book in order to get this review to press for this issue of Genii, but I can say that it was time pleasantly spent, as this is a terrific book.
There are (no surprise when it comes to Lorayne) a bunch of Ace or Full House productions. There are gambling demonstrations and impossible locations. There are a few spelling effects and the Lie Detector genre is represented. There are a bunch of false cuts and a great take on the venerable Braue Addition. All of the magic is card magic and almost all of it, I'd say more than 80%, is quite easy to do, requiring minimal basic sleights like Double Lifts, Jog and Hindu Shuffles, and, as always, Lorayne's self-popularized takes on the bottom slip cut, his HaLo Cut, and, of course, The Ultra-Move. He also discusses routines involving Bob Hummer's CATO principle, and the, again, self-titled processes: The Great Divide and The Epitome Location.
In just the first half of the book you'll find "An Impossible Location," with which you are sure to fool your brethren at the 3:00 a.m. lobby session during the next convention you attend. You'll find "Doublocation," which is an extremely easy fooler for the casual performer to perform for friends and family. Some of the presentational applications of Marlo's Incomplete Faro Control, found here in a section on the "Unique Peek," are just terrific tricks and, again, not difficult to do. I'm almost certain to start using "Take Five" and "Mental Vibrations" in my own work. In the latter routine a spectator merely thinks of one of five cards that are then hopelessly shuffled back into the deck. The performer not only divines the thought-card, but also shocks the spectator when she finds that very card sitting on the palm of her hand. In the former routine the spectator freely indicates five cards, which she then narrows down to one card, which matches a previously placed open (or, face-up) prediction. These are strong and simple layman-friendly effects that are easy to do.
I must mention one caveat. Presentationally, Harry Lorayne can sell a trick to a lay audience like nobody's business. Until a few weeks ago when I saw Lorayne at a Daytona Beach convention, I hadn't witnessed him perform in about 25 years. I can tell you that he hasn't changed one bit over those years. He goes fast, he talks a lot, and he sells every single trick or routine that he performs so well that you come away thinking you just saw the most amazing card manipulator in the history of the world. So while you may read a routine like "Take Five," just mentioned, and think it simple in construction and method, you should see it as more than black type on white paper and remember that if Lorayne can sell it, so can you.
Mr. Lorayne is known for his personal, almost conversational writing style. This book is no different from his others in that regard. Nothing is left out of any of the explanations which are chock full of presentational direction as well as methodological direction; and his well-known "Afterthoughts" frequently deliver additional tips and helpful ideas or other avenues to follow with respect to the routine under discussion, or even an entire additional methodology. The book is easy to read and the tricks are easy to follow and understand.
Unfortunately I do have one grave misgiving about Personal Collection. Given his years in the business, his vast knowledge, and his access to people with comprehensive understanding of the literature of card magic, I was very disappointed with Mr. Lorayne's lack of acknowledgement for some of the sleights and routines in this book. In his Foreword, Lorayne states: "Credit is given where I know it's due. If I don't know the exact source, I do mention the fact that the idea or concept Is not new, it's been around. I apologize, of course, for any credit omissions; it is or they are unintentional." This blanket statement, in my opinion, does not acquit Mr. Lorayne of the lack of acknowledgment that I perceived in this otherwise excellent book. It suggests that he cares sort of deeply about crediting. However, the item, "Swivel, Kick, Push-Up" clearly describes Bruce Elliott's Spin Cut production from The Best in Magic (1956) and there is no mention of Mr. Elliot whatsoever. In "The Magical Gambler," again, a great routine, Lorayne merely credits (along with an unnamed Paul Gordon variant) "a variation of an Ed Marlo (I believe) cutting-to-the-aces routine". The clear precursor here is Ed Marlo's "Estimation Aces"-an extremely popular and well known routine. In the "Special Bonus" routine (again-outstanding) Mr. Lorayne completely describes Daryl's "Diamond Bar" (which originally appeared in Richard's Almanac) process for apparently distributing Aces among packets-with no mention of Daryl's name or the title of Daryl's process. Also, vague, seeming lazy efforts like, "I haven't found this in print but I'm told that it's based on a Larry Jennings effect" (p. 609), or "I believe a credit nod should go to Allan Ackerman" (p. 567), or, for the item "The Unique Peek," which is virtually Ed Marlo's Incomplete Faro Control (from The New Tops), "I think some credit goes to Ed Marlo and John Miller" (p. 170). The use of terms like, "I believe," "I'm told," and "I think" suggest to me that no appreciable effort was expended to determine some specific crediting-no care was taken. When I read "The Unique Peek" I recognized the technique immediately, but I could not remember whose technique it was. Within four minutes and with one phone call I knew exactly who the technique was invented by and where in the literature to find it. So, while Mr. Lorayne is quick to mention his own routines and books by name and title (as is his due-he is a salesman), or to specify exactly which issue of Apocalypse a given precursor routine appeared in, he should, in my opinion, make more of an effort than he has displayed here to properly acknowledge those artists who have inspired his routines or sleights, or whose routines or sleights he is describing.
Personal Collection, aside from what I perceived to be a lack of effort with regard to crediting, is a great book with wonderful variety of fun, workable material. Card guys will love going through it again and again and again. One final note: the book is available only from Mr. Lorayne and it is a limited print run of 750 copies, each one signed and in a slipcase. You will not find Personal Collection on magic store bookshelves or on Internet sites-you must contact Mr. Lorayne at the above address to get the book.
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Richard Kaufman
 
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