That Paul Harris has changed the face of close-up magic is undisputed. That Paul Harris continues to be relevant in 2009 is also undisputed. But there’s a lot going on here, so let’s be candid.
Paul Harris burst onto the scene in the mid 70s with a totally new brand of close-up magic. Unlike anyone who came before him, Paul’s material was playful, topological, and way, way outside the box. For the first time, playing cards weren’t suits and numbers—they were pieces of paper that could be torn, linked, peeled, and split. They took on personalities and became vacuum cleaners or damsels in distress. They were inspiring.
Today Paul Harris is a different guy. He’s dropped this playfulness in favor of a much more minimalistic style. His work is focused completely on the effect and the moment and, unfortunately, not at all on the magician. It’s the David Blaine/street magic approach, and we get that, but we prefer vintage Paul Harris.
So while Paul continues to be relevant, know that his line of products today is very different than the Paul Harris who made his mark in the annals of close-up magic.
Which brings us to The Art of Astonishment. These books are a TREMENDOUS value, and represent the complete canon his early books and booklets. These books are SO MUCH FUN to read, and the tricks are really cool. They are unlike anything you’ve read, we’re sure, and the style he uses is fun and easy to follow. The trilogy also features what was, at the time, “new” material that represents a sea change in Paul’s outfit. Some of this stuff is great too, and some of it is more indicative of his current output. You’re getting a good range.
These books are modern classics that are on the shelves of all serious magic students. But what you’re buying here is a neat, remastered set of all the old Paul Harris books. If you were to collect them all one by one, it would cost hundreds of dollars. Here, you’re saving money, getting all his best tricks in three volumes, and getting 73 new pieces to boot.
In the age of DVDs, we can’t emphasize enough that books are a MUCH BETTER VALUE. For substantially less than Paul’s new DVD series, you’re getting over 200 classic effects. TWO HUNDRED EFFECTS. Compared to the new DVD series, where it’s far less than 50? This series is a fantastic value, and one that you’ll enjoy forever.
Volume 1 Highlights
The Light & Heavy Dime - A re-make of Robert Houdin's famous Light and Heavy Chest using a common dime which ends up permanently stuck in the most uncommon place. This will become the "Card-on-the- Ceiling" of Coin Magic.
Lip Balm - An organic, "naturally-gimmicked" coin box (a special brand of Lip Balm) that climaxes with a container full of Lip Balm.
Ultimate Rip Off or Dancing with the Last Piece - The ultimate bluff ending for Paul's Torn 'n' Restored Card twenty years later, a way to restore the last piece.
Creation - Patrick Martin's practical "workers" approach of producing a live moth to create maximum astonishment.
Shell Shock - Gregory Wilson's practical technique for blowing a hardboiled egg right out of its shell then finding a marked coin inside its yolk.
Tunnel Vision - A just-barely-possible way to make yourself disappear using a rolled-up paper tube and more nerve than most of us possess.
Volume 2 Highlights
Counterfeit Spectator - On a borrowed dollar bill, the printed signature of the treasurer of the United States transforms into the spectator's name.
Swiss Movement - An ingenious P.H. discovery enables you to mysteriously animate an ungimmicked Swiss Army Knife. Completely impromptu, works with any Swiss Army Knife ... anytime.
Cincinnati Two-Faced Blues - Two of those pesky advertising cards that clutter up your deck are accidentally selected ... and then transformed into an impossible object that was secretly already there.
Fizz-Master - Cause the carbonation to travel magically from one soda to another. Absolutely killer ... completely impromptu.
McGimmick - You levitate a milkshake using only your finger ... then you completely vanish the milkshake leaving only its crumpled container. Osmosis - European genius, Sylvain Miroug's four-phase Linking Card masterpiece using just two single cards! An incredible new principle. Is it better that Immaculate Connection or Cardboard Connection?
Volume 3 Highlights
The Shape of Astonishment - The imprint of a quarter in a piece of foil instantly changes from heads to tails. Awesome and totally impromptu.
Hot Chocolate - You bring out a flat, folded Hershey wrapper out of your wallet and inflate it into the real thing.
The Anything Deck - Place a small packet of cards under the case ... any word or name is called out ... you spread the packet to reveal the exact same word, written in thick black marker across the backs of the cards. A completely new principle for releasing deep astonishment.
Peanut Butter & Jellyfish - An anytime levitation of your favorite snack. Works just as well with burgers and fish fillets.
Bat Fishing - A spectator brings out any dollar and fairly selects eight cards. The number on the eight cards astonishingly match all eight serial numbers on the dollar ... and you never touched the bill or the cards!
Leaf - You tear a leaf off of someone's houseplant ... then press the torn stem back against the branch ... where it takes root and restores itself back into a healthy, growing leaf.
The Shuffling Lesson - You sit back and enjoy the show while you induce a spectator to unknowingly stack, false shuffle, then false cut a deck all by herself ... so that she can deal herself the winning hand.
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This product was added to our catalog on Saturday 13 April, 2013