Yuki Kadoya, one of Japan's leading translators of magic, has done a review of The Bammo Tarodiction Toolbox. With his kind permission, it follows.
Few weeks ago, I received Canada’s unique and innovative magic creator, Mr. Bob Farmer’s latest work “The Bammo Tarodiction Tool Box” (Every Trick in the Book, Inc, 2017). He is the man who no needs an introduction in magic world. Even he is a lawyer by profession, he created many good effects last 3 decades like “The Bammo Monte Monster” “The Bammo Card Walloper” “Alice’s Revenge” “Cyclops” “Hand O’Doom” “Headhunter” “Deja-VooDoo” “Nothing to lose”……too many to count.His last book, 400+ pages Encyclopedia of “10 Card Poker Deal” named “The Bammo Ten Card Deal Dossier”(Magicana, 2015) became a topic of conversation in magician’s world.
His 27-year-old booklet on cheating “Beat 'Em, Cheat 'Em, Leave 'Em Bleedin’ " (Every Trick in the Book, Inc., Distributed by Magic City, 1994) also really good. (He published this booklet under a pseudonym as “Mr. Big ’N’ Fast Bobby Knuckles”. This contents-rich booklet is a steal - just $5).
In first place, I really like his advertisement for this book. Whenever he releases his works, he created really strange and hilarious advertisement as Mr. Doc Dixon once wrote like this “I feel Bob Farmer is the J.Peterman of magic”. This book is no exception, too.This book’s ad. (he uses this ad. for front cover of this book, too) that designed by Liz Kaufman (Art Director of Genii magazine) looks so cool, but we can’t understand what is effect from his ad!
In this 131 pages book, he fully explains brand-new and ingenious system for secret card sorting process with some mathematical principle right in front of the spectator’s noses really quickly and devilishly, even spectator shuffled cards really well. (When I read the introduction, one question pops in my mind - “Whoever realize that now-trendy Rubic cube magic can turn into card magic?”).
He explains this mathematical principle fully in Part 2 of this book (really interesting reading, even you don’t like math like me), but actually no need to understand this principle for performance. You just have to follow super easy card dealing / assembling maneuver, then miracle automatically happens. Period. No mental acrobatics, No sleight of hands, No calculations. You just concentrate on presentation and good audience management.
Once you try “A Simple Demonstration”, you’ll be amazed. Well-mixed face-down 5 cards (Ace to 5 of Diamonds) can sort into numerical order with quick card dealing process without looking face of cards. This demo looks like magic. Yes, I know that you feel really bored from this writing, but this is unbelievably fascinating practice session.
He (and contributors like Mr. Pate McCabe) created original 14 effects (and many interesting tips and ideas) with playing cards, ESP cards and tarot cards and explains everything clearly with his own fun and entertaining writing style.
He offers a broad range of effects - from Mock Gambling Demo, The Sympathetic Cards, Triumph to Bizarre-taste prediction. All effects are fun, amazing and really deceptive.
We are required to put secret “mark” on these cards for performance, but his clever and new marking method is really subtle. He offers all essential information about card marking that you can use for other purposes.
Yes, you need to do hustle for card marking, but you have to do this only once. He also offers treatment method for these cards fully so I believe you can use your prepared cards for a long time with his treatment method.
As you are aware, we need some space on the performance table for dealing cards, but he also offers “in-the-hands” mishmash style “shuffle” instead of “dealing cards” (this is a variation of Harry Lorayne and Lennart Green’s idea), so actually you don’t need for any table space for many effects.
All effects use not more than 15 cards, so dealing process is very quick. And presentation and clever construction of effect erase some fishy “mathematical” smell clearly. Apparently, possibility of this system is unlimited.
Maybe these effects are not suited for a restaurant gig or walk-around, but suited for formal performance and casual session with your magician friends.
I believe he and some clever minds in magic will create new amazing effects and applications with this unique principle in a very near future. All purchasers will receive future discoveries directly from Mr. Farmer as “Addendum” via email (Latest edition of this book has 131 pages included “Addendum 1 to 8” as I wrote this review in September 10, 2017).
If you are memorized deck user, he offers an amazing method for quick stacking from a shuffled full deck into any your favorite memorized deck or system deck order with this method in quite short record time - approx.2 mins.
When I start to read this section, I just remembered Brother John Hamman’s “The Chinese Shuffle” in “The Secrets of Brother John Hamman” by Richard Kaufman (Kaufman & Greenberg, 1989) and Darwin Ortiz’s “The Si Stebbins Secret” in “Darwin Ortiz At The Card Table” by Darwin Ortiz (Kaufman and Greenberg, 1988), but I think this method is much better than these methods because this method is quick, can use any stacks and no need to any setup (except card marking).
For a person who think this method still takes too much time, he also offers much more rapid men-deck stacking system in addendum 2 - just deal whole deck twice in approx.1.5 mins or less. Once you try these methods, you’ll be amazed again because these methods work like real magic! All we need is the good reason / justification for at least 2 mins card dealings.
I really enjoy all effects in this book, but I especially love “Macau Casino Shuffle #2” “Tarodiction 2” “Messcal Lite” “Pate’s Casinodiction” and “Tarodiction Tantalizer”.
“Tarodiction 1” and “2” are worthy of attention. These effects with tarot cards are really beautifully constructed and presentation that related to occultist Aleister Crowley works really well (and he offers really good advice for this performance, too)!.
I always feel not so many good trick with tarot appeared in magic - notable works come from T.A.Water, Max Maven, Stephen Minch, Eugene Burger, John Riggs, Jörg Alexander Weber, Pit Hartling, Jose Carroll, Alain Nu, Michihiro Matsuda….Not so many. So these effects are pleasing addition to magic with tarot cards category.
Through this book, one thing I can say is that we need to create good justification for card dealing process to fit our own personality. Even process itself can be done in short time. And for performance, we have to do nice and natural audience management. Once spectator miss dealing a card, you’ll screw up.
Yes, he just gives us this clever “tool box”. As for the rest, we have to figure out how to utilize these tools effectively. I believe some magicians will now begin to use this system cleverly and fool everyone so badly soon.
I’m sure $35 is a worthwhile investment for you at this point……But, hey wait, there’s more!
As a bonus, his first manuscript “Tsunami” reprinted in this book. This manuscript was long out-of-print and this is enlarged edition, so this is really good bonus for all reader.
When this manuscript released in 1987, one of my good friends showed me Tsunami and he fooled me so badly. Thanks goodness, he really kindly tip this manuscript to me, then I send International Money Order to him immediately.
Even I couldn’t understood what is the effect from ad. that printed on front cover of this manuscript as I told you before (Yes, you can read this funny and hilarious ad. in this book), but I already know this is devilishly clever and strong gambling themed mind reading effect. It feels like it was a great buy.
Unfortunately, I rarely seen that magician actually performed this effect. When lookers-on give this manuscript a once-over, it will be bored and feel illogical about performance situation. To tell the truth, It is not until you perform this that you realize this trick fool everyone included knowledgeable magicians and everything works so well.
Imagine this. I believe everyone passes through this path at least once or twice. - After your friend fool you so badly with some trick and kindly tip “The fact” to you, you rush back to home and dig the same trick that you just fooled from your dusty shelf. Then you feel bad about yourself and ask yourself like “why I don’t have good taste in choosing trick?”. I think this trick is a good example of that kind of scene.
Mr. Farmer himself fooled so many knowledgeable magicians last 30 years. He tip some funny stories to me. If you meet him in person, you have to ask this. You'll be surprised.
In this manuscript, he explains just one effect with several variations. Sorry, I’m not revealing the full effect because I always want to write a spoiler-free review, but I recommended you to study ALL methods and finesses, then you can choose suitable variation for your performance situation (even you can perform this effect impromptu). Actually, you can perform this trick twice with different methods at the same venue. Even you do so, your spectator will be no way to reconstruct this effect. This is just the way my friend fooled me so badly and author himself recommended. All I can say is “Try it, you’ll like it”.
Just so you know, some variation has really tiny risks attached - just 7.75%. However, he also offers clever fail-safe system for covering this 7.75% situation.
In fact, this variation actually saved me well several time when I faced to challenge situation at the performance venue.
Of course, this trick requires no sleight of hands (but still is not mechanical).
In this edition, he added 2 new variations and both are a very good thing. One variation appeared on his own widely spread email in all over the world dated November 14th 2003 and later appeared on Genii Magazine February 2004 as a one installment of his well-known “Film-Flam” article. This variation is mostly for English speaker, but really clever.
Other variations named “A card that lies, A deck that tells the truth” is recent my favorite. I really enjoy this presentation and this one can fool everybody.
This manuscript is worth reading, too.
I highly recommended this book for any magicians, especially serious cardmen, mathe-magicians and mentalists.You can spend fun time with this new toolbox and old strong mentalism with playing cards.
If you already enjoyed his works, this book also must-buy. If you don’t know any his works, it doesn’t hurt to buy it because you can learn some devilishly clever tricks.
If you want to get this manuscript, contact him directly (BammoMagic@cogeco.ca
) because this book available exclusively from him.