Another Bite of the
Cheetah's Handbook Volume 2
Compiled by Andi Gladwin
Reviewed by Rich Aviles
This is a compilation of several different artists with varying styles. To be fair, I will discuss the book as a whole first, and follow that up with a brief assessment of each effect.
There are sixty-eight pages. Each page is laid-out in a very clean manner with sixty-nine photos accompanying the text (which happens to be in a non-distracting, easy to read font). Everything is explained really well-sometimes in a very comical way. The photos for Tyler Wilson's effect are a little grainy because they were shot with a different camera (as explained in the book) but they still provide enough detail to understand the routine.
Enough about the aesthetics. Onto the meat...
There are some excellent items in here. And a few that I think some people might pass by without trying. My advice is to work through the effects with cards in hand to get a feel for what each item looks and FEELS like before judging it. Well, it worked for me! A large portion of the effects are can be accomplished with average card handling skills (one requires moderate to advanced wing eating skills). A few others will take some work.
To save you from reading everything below I will just say that I highly recommend this book. I honestly could not find a single effect that I was displeased with. It is a favourable review, and may be quite boring to read.
Under Control (Luke Dancy)
Mr. Dancy is always thinking about things from a different angle (quite literally in this move). It is a "Convincing Control" type of move that is unlike any that I have seen in the before it.
I recently had the pleasure of seeing Luke perform this control and it looks wonderful in action. There is a discrepancy involved, so some people may fear that they will get caught. All I can say is try it-it works.
There is one thing that I haven't seen anyone point out. The fourth image for this move seems to be incorrect. The out-jogged card should be angled to the left side of the deck (spectators view) as opposed to the how it is angled to the right in the photo. Other than that, the description is right on target. Great move if you are looking for a direct control to the bottom.
Sweet Cherry Living (Kostya Kimlat)
This is Kostya's beautifully simplistic, and IMPROMPTU method for causing two cherry's to fuse together. Need I say more?
BVA (John Bodine)
This is one of the routines that I think may be overlooked because the effect (not the method) looks very simple. As a matter of fact, I overlooked it at first but then went back and TRIED it. I was rewarded for my bravery (ha!) with a great reaction. Although it appears to just be a simple reversal of a card, don't underestimate this one.
21 Forever (Jamie Badman)
A blackjack routine where a spectator freely chooses four cards. Two for himself and two for you. He can switch the cards as much as he likes yet you always end up with your cards totalling 21-BlackJack! I really dig this routine but I have to admit... I can't do it. However, for anyone that can do the required moves, it will be a killer quickie. I should note that the main move that it uses is a standard move. I have just never worked on it (slightly embarrassed here). Depending on a certain factor, you may have to execute a different move that is even more demanding (Jamie's Underground Change, which is described). That said, as odd as it may sound, there is also a chance for you to complete the same effect without any sleights at all. If you like a challenge, this is for you.
Meester Tweester (Jack Parker)
I have never seen a bad Jack Parker effect. This is no exception, and it isn't just "not bad." It is awesome. Most who are interested in this book have probably seen the online video of Jack performing this effect. I, unfortunately, have not seen it yet!
When I first read the effect I thought I would need extra cards to get started. Luckily, that is not the case. You can perform this gem with a borrowed, shuffled deck. One of the best aspects of the handling is that you get a lot of magic from minimal effort. The video is located at either of the two websites listed at the bottom of this review.
Cherry Bomb (Tyler Wilson)
Tyler delivers a unique effect with an interesting method here. Those who are familiar with any of Tyler's other material will know how creative the man is. It starts with a warning about the nature of the presentation. The effect involves drawing a cherry with stem onto the face of a selected card. You end by magically tying a knot in the stem... with your tongue. Everything works as it should-cool effect, cool method.
Just One Rubber & Get Your Knot Off (John Bodine)
If you do a broken and restored rubber-band this will instantly be added to your repertoire. There is also a great display for making people believe the band is really broken explained early on in the description. Nice quick effect.
Three Card Location Too (Colin Miller)
I really enjoyed Colin's effect (Hollywood or Bust) in the first Cheetah Book. His contribution to this volume is excellent as well. Here he takes a GREAT effect and adds a new element. With the provided presentation, the effect changes a bit from Ehlers' original Three Card Location. If anyone is looking for a powerful memorized deck routine, this is it.
Full Mental Racket (Andi Gladwin)
For some reason I went directly to this effect when I first opened the PDF. I enjoyed it so much that it inspired me to sit down and go through every other effect with cards in hand trying them out. It's just a cool effect. Originally I thought it would be a great effect to show other magicians but not laymen. After a few performances for laymen, I was proven wrong. They dig it just as much as I do.
The effect is a revised handling of Syd Segal and JC Wagner's "A Logical Lesson." It looks exactly like this (copied directly from the PDF): Andi openly removes the four eights and the four twos from the deck. "Pop quiz, genius. What's eight plus two?" They respond with ten: he counts the packet onto the table - it now consists of ten cards. "Wait, I'm pretty sure that's not how many cards we started with. How many did I have earlier? I'll give you a clue - what's ten minus two?" They respond with eight - the cards are now dealt to show the ace through to eight of clubs.
Sounds cool, huh?
Wings (Kostya Kimlat)
I've seen people discussing this one all over the internet. Like his other contribution to this volume, it is a great impromptu situational effect. The odd thing about it is that it makes use of a very messy food-wings! An eaten and restored wing to be more specific. I can imagine the audience of any wing eating magic enthusiast being pretty freaked out by this. The handling description is hilarious, too.
Two Minds Without a Single Thought (Jack Parker)
While reading this I kept thinking about Simon Aronson (no memorized deck here). It just seems like something he would do. Once again, just reading the method made me laugh out loud. Jack doesn't disappoint. I have a feeling someone will read this and create a longer routine using the basic principal. It has loads of potential to branch off into something totally different. It looks simple: A spectator selects a group of cards from the centre of the deck. Those cards are removed and cut in two. The top cards of each packets are then revealed to be mates.
E. J. Sandwich (Rob James)
I wish I could have seen this one performed before reading the method. I bet it would have fooled me bad.
Cheetah's Cellphones (Luke Dancy)
In this section several great ideas are discussed for utilizing your cell phone in various effects. A lot of things are packed into a couple of pages. If the subject interests you, don't hesitate in checking it out.
Ascanio Spread Finesse (Robert Moreland)
Robert is the new cheetah. I'm glad his material is getting out to the world. I was lucky enough to be at the TSD6 convention and saw his lecture. He creates some superb magic and he must spend ALL of his time practicing because everything that I've seen looks extremely polished. Every detail is painstakingly written and photographed to make sure this move is accessible by everyone. I've seen Robert use this, and not only does it look cool but it doesn't seem possible to be hiding any extra cards while doing it.
Nightmare (Robert Moreland)
This is Robbie's masterpiece handling and presentation for the Cannibal Cards effect. A lot of big names in magic are calling this THE presentation. I agree. Everything is here, the patter, the moves, everything. It takes up the most pages (eight) for any single effect in the book. The only thing I wish would have been included is a list of several of the other popular handlings for this effect just to give everyone references to compare.
Whiplash (Andi Gladwin)
Listen to this: Andi has two people each select a card and removes one for himself too. He holds the cards in his hand and asks that the other participants place their hands on top of his, trapping the cards. They all feel something happen and when the participants remove their hands, Andi is left just holding one card: his selection.
The cards are spread along the table to show that the two other selections are face up in different portions of the deck.
This is a very cool idea. I have not tried it out in the real world but it reads practical. Great way to cap off the book.
The Cheetah guys deliver the goods with this release. I believe even more so than in the first volume. It's a limited release so my advice is to get it while it's hot (while you can!). You will be rewarded with an ebook packed from beginning to end with very creative, practical material that not everyone on the block is performing.
© Rich Aviles, April 2006
Available from: www.andigladwin.co.uk and www.underground-collective.com