Sunday, 14 November 2010

Review : Pack Up Your Cards volume II

Pack Up Your Cards volume II - paul gordon

Available for free in the skip at the end of my road.

Come child, let us quaff in a hearty manner as we break open the creaking bulbous spines of our well-thumbed Racherbaumer approved thesaurus’s with a veritable 'shantytown' of prose and drawn out lyricism! Let us wax pretentious over a vat of luscious dark blood red vino, as we delve into the mysterious markings tapped out by one mister paul gordon; inner sphincter member of the magic circle.

I do apologise kind sirs, it appears the reading of this thin slice of bilge has turned my sense quite, quite irregular. Ahem.. Onward!

This, the second volume of the 'pack up your cards' series plums new depths hitherto unknown and uncharted in the dank, murky underworld of sub standard, miss-credited, poorly written, unoriginal and ill conceived magic books. paul is a master of misinformation and pseudo crediting; having learned the basics from his hero, Harry Lorayne. This book is filled to bursting with his masterful grasp of these two dark arts.

As with the first volume, this one is an A4 stapled booklet with photo illustrations throughout. but enough of this preliminary nonsense, we must push aside these walls of entrapment and stride out into the grassy fields, stretched out before us in a veritable vista of magical mystery! Let us run through the heather and see what we can find! Or for the less moronic amongst you, let's have a gander at the tricks!

Seca Alabbak

This is a great trick, Peter Kane was really on top form when he came up with this one. I don't know why paul has felt the need to include Peter Kane's 'Kabbala Aces' in his book, still he has changed the title and put his name at the top so I guess that makes it ok. However he does say 'This is not meant to be an improvement on Peter's routine, but it is different in many ways.' Yes, changing the title to 'Seca Alabbak' makes the world of difference! Fair play to you old man, now where did I leave my bullshit-o-meter?

Hofzinser on His Feet

This is a weak and illogical version of the Hofzinser ace problem using jumbo cards and a regular deck. paul tries to give credence to the routine by saying that the 'Inspiration comes from a Roy Walton effect I saw someone do a long time ago.' Of course he doesn't tell us which Walton effect or where we can find it. Much better versions have appeared in print, this is not worth your time.

Elevate The Tree

This is an unoriginal four card ambitious sequence similar to Roy Walton's 'Ambitious Ghost'. It ends on an Ed Marlo gag by revealing the 'tree of hearts'. The gag is totally out of place here, not to mention totally un-funny!

The Gypsy Curse Plus!

This is another excellent Peter Kane effect, still available for purchase from his son, Tim Kane. paul removes an important phase of the routine, adds an extra card with credit cards on the back as a 'kicker' and calls it a new effect. Why he sticks some pictures of credit cards on the back is beyond me, I mean, why credit cards? It doesn't fit the 'gypsy curse' theme and it doesn't make ANY sense as a kicker ending. It's illogical and anticlimactic, the effect is brilliant as it stands without adding this bit of nonsense onto the end of it. This is without a doubt one of the most shameful examples of blatant you know what I've ever seen.

Phantom of the Wallet 2

This routine was originally included as part of Peter Duffie’s marketed ‘Phantom of the Wallet’. It’s a good routine, but it’s not as good as Peter’s ‘Phantom of the Wallet’. So if you already have that, then this is going to be pretty redundant to you.

Paul Gordon IBM(2004) Lecture Notes

This is a reprinting of paul’s notes giving you hints and tips on performance and what to carry. It’s all pretty common sense stuff, like remembering what you have in what pocket, practicing, etc. It ends on a load of plugs for his other books. Apparently the best place to learn the cover pass is ‘cause and effect’ and ‘card magic companion’ (a move paul can't even do). Who knew? This is mostly filler fluff in my opinion.


This is an unoriginal trick that’s already been done to death by the likes of Alex Elmsley, Ted Lesley, Gavin Ross, David Regal and James Swain. The effect is that someone selects a card and you show that you have a miniature duplicate of the card in your wallet. This handling is basically the same as one used by Ted Lesley, it even uses the Lesley card marking system (which is actually as old as the hills, but anyway) for Christ sakes. Interestingly paul says ‘James Swain also informed me of a Ted Lesley routine which, although not impromptu, is similar’. paul seems to have a very strange interpretation of the word ‘impromptu’. He’s using marked cards and a wallet loaded with mini dupes, how is that in anyway impromptu?

Charlie The Mind-Reading Chicken – Plus Selection!

This is an old old gag, so corny it’s used on a regular basis by Simon Lovell. paul adds fuck all to it, but it’s in his book so I guess it must be his right?

Easy Card to Cardcase

If you toy with Stephen Tucker’s ‘Two Faced Force” for longer than three seconds, this is the effect you will come up with. Apparently paul uses Stephen’s idea ‘not as a force, but as a subtlety’. Yes, he subtly uses the force, to, get this. Force a card! Genius! Card can’t be signed by the way, I wonder what the method could be then?

Basically Quite Good

‘[T-sic]his is an interesting transposition of two cards using the four Queens to assist in the methodology’. Or so we are told. The Queens might assist in the methodology of getting the two cards to switch places, but they play absolutely no part whatsoever in the logic of the routine or as part of the effect. You just place some queens down and cause two cards to switch places. Leaving the spectators wondering what the queens were there for.

This is a worse collection than the first effort, and that was awful so I don’t know what that makes this one, reprehensibly appalling? Perhaps… If you feel like buying a copy of this ‘book’, don’t. Just stab yourself in the eyes with a rusty fork and hope you contract tetanus, it’ll be a much more pleasurable experience than wading through this steaming stream of dung donuts.


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