"Secret Language" by Helder Guimarães

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Jon Elion
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"Secret Language" by Helder Guimarães

Postby Jon Elion » February 16th, 2020, 1:15 pm

OMG! My long-awaited copy of Helder's "Secret Language" has arrived, and it is a stunning masterpiece. I can't possibly present a credible review, as this is not a tome to skip over lightly or quickly. I am barely 100 pages into it and have tumbled completely an thoroughly into a whole new world.

If I were to say "Helder starts by describing some clever variations on sleights with exceptional narrative and outstanding photographs" it would be true but totally miss the point. There is great detail about the motivation for the version of the sleight, what did not feel right for him before, and how his version solves that. I am especially taken by various handlings that are intended for (and immune to) being "burned" by overly attentive spectators. Action at which one can directly stare yet miss the "funny business." I am struck not by what has been added, but the small actions that have been taken away, thereby improving the flow and making the entire ballet slow, smooth and totally deceptive.

For a while I was thinking how it would have been helpful to have a roadmap of the journey for this new mysterious realm. But when I came up for a breather I came to realize that the unguided discovery is far more fun and will be far more effective. I suspect I am not the only one who looks for an amazing and entertaining routine right at the start of a book. Or who has trouble slogging through dry descriptions of sleights that are out-of-context and seem pointless until one finally gets to the sought-after routines. But (so far, at least), "Secret Language" has had a totally different impact. The early teaching of some sleights is a laudable end unto itself, teaching motivation, analysis, simplicity, flexibility, and a bunch more "-ilities" I haven't thought up yet.

The book itself is thick, heavy, and beautifully produced. The layout and photography approach that of a book about visual arts. Subtle placement of fingers is key for some of the work, and in every case the photographs lay this out perfectly. I can only imagine the amount of work that went into the layout, design, printing, etc. Actually, I can't imagine.

Okay, coffee break is over, back to my book...


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Joe Naud
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Favorite Magician: Vernon, Tamariz, Carney, DaOrtiz, Mac King
Location: Southern California

Re: "Secret Language" by Helder Guimarães

Postby Joe Naud » February 16th, 2020, 1:41 pm

This could be handy:

Peace, Joe

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Zig Zagger
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Joined: March 20th, 2008, 6:59 pm
Favorite Magician: Aldo Colombini
Location: Germany

Re: "Secret Language" by Helder Guimarães

Postby Zig Zagger » February 16th, 2020, 4:20 pm

Thank you, Joe!

That looks like a mighty fine book! I couldn't find any info on the number of pages, but with 40 chapters and 700 photos this sounds like another eminent tome. The price is 150$ plus shipping. (Side note: 150+$ seems to become the new standard...)

But you may want to make sure to read the Terms & Conditions before ordering. You need to be a CLIENT to be granted some free live performance rights, and you may need to negotiate a price for extra video rights. But I'm also glad about Article II, 2.6 (no kidding!):

"Nothing herein obligates the CLIENT to present the creations in SECRET LANGUAGE." Phew! :lol:
Tricks, tips, news, interviews, musings and fun stuff: Have a look at our English-German magic blog! http://www.zzzauber.com
Advancing the art in magic one post at a time (yeah, right!)

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Re: "Secret Language" by Helder Guimarães

Postby erdnasephile » February 16th, 2020, 5:02 pm

Wow---if past material is any indication, this'll be great! Will put it on the list (Thank goodness I couldn't spot the word "limited" anywhere on the website. ;) )

That said, every book I want these days hurts to the tune of $150 or more. The entry barrier to the good stuff seems to get higher and higher every year.

With one ginormous exception....

David Regal's Interpreting Magic has gotta' be the bargain of the century!

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