Maybe I'm getting old or perhaps I'm simply "mellowing" (which precedes, as Woody Allen puts it, "rotting"), but I enjoy Jamy Swiss's reviews because they simultaneously reveal his measured and useful "spin" on what is being reviewed, but his reviews also reveals Jamy's own tastes, aesthetics, and thought process.
I also think that the mathematical principles that underlie many semi-automatic tricks are intrinsically interesting...interesting enough to warrant a booklet and that is what engaged me about Paul Gordon's foray into Elmsley's 7-16 Principle. There are many booklets of this kind.
Personally, I cannot resist anything regarding principles. (I just finished a large e-book on the 21-Card Trick, which I'm sure Jamy would consider a momentous waste of time...although I did not foist this on the public nor did I sell it as a big booklet. Only about 75 people had access to it and who knows how many read it or found it useful?)
Sometimes these math ideas lead to better things. Bill Simon's "Four Queens" (from his 1954 book), for example, eventually resulted in the brilliant "Power of Poker" routine recently explained in John Bannon's latest book. (Elmsley BTW had a hand in its evolution, as well). Even Elmsley monkeyed around with weird principles such as one involving a mathematical thingy from the philosopher, Pierce. Marlo even played with the Monge and Klondike shuffles. Dai Vernon played around with principles and tricks like this. (Check out "Affinities" in the second volume of THE VERNON CHRONICLES - p. 131).The Down-and-Under procedure is not one of my favorites, but it is fascinating what can be done with it. Ask Harry Lorayne. Lots of the stuff Karl Fulves published in his magazines is math-based...and the principles and procedures are usually more interesting than the effects they produce. So what? Perhaps Jamy protests too much?
Gordon's book OBVIOUSLY consists of puzzles and I accepted it in this spirit.
Jamy ended his piece on a curious note. He said that he would rather be dead than do one of those tricks where an entire deck is dealt into four piles. Goshman (and others) used to call these "hemorrhoid tricks." I partially sympathize with this grouse. However, I also know several outstanding entertainers who might say with great impunity: "If you want to perform REAL, SOUL-SATISFYING magic, I wouldn't be caught dead with a deck of cards in my hands."
I suspect that there are "places" where playing cards, Monge shuffles, Reverse Faros, and mathematical puzzlers have a special, if not honored, place. Gordon's book was written for habitues of this place. In the meantime, I wonder what Jamy thinks of "The Rendezvous Force" that uses the Klondyke procedure?
Just a thought...