Just after Christmas, I was in Roy Walton’s shop Tam Shepherd’s in Queen Street in Glasgow and whilst buying my usual magazines saw a copy of Eric Mead’s book “Twisted Web” sitting in one of the cases. I thought about buying it for a few moments, then thought “nah, I’ll leave it for now – I’ll maybe get it at Blackpool.” The train journey home had me constantly thinking “why didn’t I just buy it?” so, the following day, I went back to the shop and bought it.
I’m glad I did! It is one of the most fascinating, interesting, educating and enjoyable magic books I have read in quite some time. The great thing about this book is that it is not cover-to-cover tricks – there are quite a number of theoretical essays scattered throughout the book. Each one made me wish I could put my theoretical thoughts about magic down on paper as articulately as Mr Mead does.
Magic-wise, my favourites included:-
Mr Mead’s handling of the classic Copper-Silver Coin Transposition – an education in clear routining and direct magic
A bottle production that does not require a jacket
Mr Mead’s work on the ever-lasting “Trick That Cannot Be Explained”. A lot of reviewers had been talking about the section on Mem Deck work, but as I am not a practitioner of this subject, I found that I got the most out of the TTCBE section. If you have ever played with this plot then you should read this. It will open your eyes to a whole world of new possibilities. Admittedly, for me, it has been a long time since I explored this plot, but I may re-start thanks to this one section alone.
As for the afore mentioned essays, my personal stand-outs were:-
An essay about being introduced prior to your performance. Simple but excellent advice.
Mr Mead’s excellent response to an ‘intellectual’ (a person who had obviously long lost their sense of wonder) generalised all magic as “childish”. I wonder if this ‘intellectual’ could ever come up with something as brilliant.
In another, Mr Mead asks if we, as magicians, have something to “say” about ourselves as we perform?
This is a great book and one that I feel should be in the library of any magician who wants to think about their magic. It really does have me thinking “what is the desired effect?”
Go get the book, you’ll see what I’m on about! You can get it either directly from the publishers, Hermetic Press, or just get in touch with your local (bricks and mortar) magic dealer.
The Cardman 🙂