The Plot Thickens

by Oliver Meech

87 large format pages. 86 photos. Perfect bound with a glossy cover.

Reviewed by Rob James

In the introduction to "The Plot Thickens" the author quotes Michael Close as saying that it would be useful for us all if we had a temporary ban on releasing new methods for overexposed plots. It is a sad truth that the magic market is flooded on an almost daily basis with new tricks and DVDs, many of which are just recycling the same ideas. Worse still is the recent phenomenon of the overhyped one trick DVD presented by a trendy looking 20something and devoid of anything remotely creative or particularly useful, sold for £10-20. All these new products arrive with a huge fanfare and fireworks display only to be crushed and land filled a couple of months later when they are no longer flavour of the month.

While all this has been going on, Oliver Meech has been quietly working away on this, his first book (yes, I said book) of tricks and ideas. I don't know a lot about Oliver. A web search doesn't reveal much at all and the biography contained in the book tells me even less. The main piece of info I was able to glean is that he is young. However, not that this matters as through reading the book I was pleased to learn through his writing and ideas that he is clearly a student of magic with a very creative mind. He is also a stickler for detail as the book is excellently written in a playful style and very well produced and laid out.

"The Plot Thickens" has more than twenty different items. There are card and coin tricks as well as a mentalism section and a collection of tricks with a variety of random objects including jellybeans and photographs. It's a bit clichéd to say there is something for everyone but that describes the book almost perfectly.

A couple of my favorite things include "correctional facility" which allows you to fix an apparent mistake and in the process permanently change an object which someone is able to keep. Oh, and that object just happens to be your business card! Also I like the "Fish bowl coin illusion" which seems so simple it should have been done before. Actually, I have flicked through the book a few times and each time I find something, which becomes my new favourite item and I make a note that I must try it out soon. For £12.49 (less than the price of a one trick DVD) this really is an excellent purchase. Highly recommended!


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© Rob James, November 2008