Make your own free website on



Best Magic Tricks


This section contains, in my humble opinion, the best magic/mental/hypnotic stuff commercially available for professional performers. Alas, you will find very few items here…



Featuring (most recent on top):

HN Magic Review 117: SGM Vol 19: The Magic of Tom Mullica – Tom Mullica

HN Magic Review 114: Close-up Hypnosis Vol.1: Stop-Smoking Mentalism – Fabio Tabbo’

HN Magic Review 14: Real Mind Reading DVD / videotape – Docc Hilford

HN Magic Review 6: Wonder Words Volume 1, 2 and 3 – Kenton Knepper

HN Magic Review 2: Psychological Subtleties – Banachek






HN Magic Review 117: SGM Vol 19: The Magic of Tom Mullica – Tom Mullica





Sorry I couldn’t find the ad. Basically it is a show with explanation by Tom Mullica, filmed at Stevens Magic Emporium in the early nineties.




 Freaking hilarious... Yes I know, the “magic” is very basic (don’t expect some new techniques, moves or gimmick here!), and you’ll probably never perform it: but who cares about the methods, the show is just FREAKING HILARIOUS and that’s what it is all about.

 As opposed to the video “An Evening at the Tom Foolery”, Mullica sits down with Mark Stevens at the end of the show and explains some of the tricks (no, not the cigarette-eating stuff). There is one thing you will (re-)learn for sure: humor is a fantastic form of misdirection. For example the first card trick in the show went wrong (the spectator forgot his card!), but nobody cared. And nobody cared about the modus operandi, the moves, the “how he did that” question… spectators are just too busy laughing.




Read/post comments:





HN Magic Review 114: Close-up Hypnosis Vol.1: Stop-Smoking Mentalism – Fabio Tabbo’



"I was amazed by the depth and the quality of his thinking... I can't recall the last time I saw something explained so well, and backed up by such clarity of thought." - Michael Ammar

"I am fascinated with it... I pick it up often and just dive into wherever I open the book, and there is some fascinating reading here. Fabulous." - Doc Eason

"The work is not only a complete act, but a unique perspective in audience control, pacing, and staging. I was riveted." - Marc Salem

"I was fascinated by the intriguing and well thought-out writing style. Wonderful stuff. Can't wait for your future endeavors." - Banachek

"This wonderful book not only explains 'how' to present a very strong impromptu-looking demonstration, it also explains 'why' each specific movement or sentence is critical to the overall effect... Many wonderful ideas." - Chuck Hickok

"A very detailed and informative thesis on the combined presentations of magic and hypnosis." - David Berglas

"In a nutshell, this effect can be done on stage, up close, informally, anytime, anywhere and is simply a miracle." - Geoffrey Ronning

"A new level of thinking. Great stuff." - Lior Manor

"It is magic in a performance/motivational sense, yet magic also in the ancient idea of using 'illusion to create truth' - one of our mottos. The cover of the book is a powerful spell..." - Kenton Knepper

"Actual wit and intelligence wrapped up in a lovingly and artfully prepared book... A wonderfully structured and thought-through routine, described with humor and style. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!" -
Bruce Bernstein

"A unique concept, also helpful to people who are trying to change harmful habits." - John Riggs

"What a great thinking! Definitely a different book, recommended to the real worker." - Guy Bavli

"A very thorough, well thought-out approach. Absolutely nothing has been left out. Well done!!" - Bill Palmer

"I find it both fascinating and wonderful." - TC Tahoe

"Stop Smoking Mentalism is certainly a unique book, where you can't fail to be stunned, beyond the presented effects, by the author's preparation and care in the research and study of the elected topic. A volume that will surely be cherished by mentalism fans, but that should also be read by everyone else to understand, learn and personalize the method of analysis and the creative process." - Tony Binarelli


“There seems little doubt that, once mastered, this piece will provide a convincing ‘YES!’ in response to the question ‘Can you hypnotize?’”  - Genii Magazine


“The sheer depth of thought that has gone into this presentation sets a new standard in magical writing.”  - The Magician Magazine


“A phenomenal work… More than just an incredibly effective trick and a staggeringly good effect, this a doctoral thesis on performing. Stop-Smoking Mentalism isn't just a keeper for anyone wanting a powerful demonstration of hypnotic ability; it's a requirement for anyone performing in front of living, breathing people.” - Visions


“This is a book every magician should read. I’m sure you’ve all heard that you should be prepared for all possibilities in every trick you perform, but how many of you have actually done it? I really mean ALL possibilities. If you want to really understand what this means, and you want an example of this amount of preparation, you really need to read this book. This is truly a case where every move, every word, every gesture, every movement, is well-thought out, analyzed, and fully described. If you’ve ever wondered how to improve what you already do, or how to improve your stage presence and performance, this book is a must reading.” - The Linking Ring


Effect: A spectator is asked to participate in an experiment of stop-smoking hypnosis. She pretends to smoke an imaginary cigarette, and feels as if a real one was being used: she vividly visualizes its gray smoke, smells and tastes the tobacco, feels like coughing, etc... She then brings this invisible cigarette closer to her hand, causing a noticeable warming sensation; and when she finally decides to stub it out on her hand, she feels a sharp burn!  You can present the effect under any conditions: it seems completely impromptu and gimmickless, with the performer away at all times.  



For once I have to agree with the hypes: wonderful, extreme, controversial, brilliant book from Underwords: I have never seen anything like it in more than 20 years in magic and mentalism.

 The book is the first volume of a collection called “Close-up Hypnosis”, and (as the name implies) consists in a unique blend of hypnosis and magic: you’ll never find those gimmicks and physical manipulations in hypnosis books, and such attention to wording/scripts and psychological subtleties in magic or mentalism publications. The work is also very entertaining, and easy to understand.

 Now, as usual, let’s focus on the negative sides:

1.   the therapists (i.e. medical hypnotists) will complain about the sacrilegious mix of “real” hypnosis and magic;

2.   the book is expensive;

3.   you may have to pay a few more $$$ for the gimmick(s).

 In any case, the effect is an impromptu killer, the book is wonderfully written and has a lot to teach (and I do mean it, A LOT to teach!!!!) apart from the described effects.

 Certainly one of my best purchases in recent years.






Read/post comments:



HN Magic Review 14: Real Mind Reading video/ DVD – Docc Hilford



The mindreading demonstrations that Doc Hillford teaches you on this new video are so real that you'll be believing them yourself. This is an incredible suite of three effects, designed to be presented in an intimate close-up environment, such as a living room or after a good meal. This is Real Mind Reading.

With no phony psychobabble or mentalistic posing, Doc Hilford reads a person's mind not once but three times. He ascertains a playing card that is merely thought of (no deck used, not the AS). He receives a word projected from the person's mind. Last, he psychically duplicates a picture drawn by the person. Yes, there are other methods for these effects, but not that can be used close-up, surrounded, and in close succession with the same person.

This is not just a set of effects. This is a carefully orchestrated suite of killer demonstrations that will make the reputations of those who use them. Want to impress a client or prospect? Want to seal that new trade show deal? Want to never be at a loss again when someone wants a demonstration of what you can do? This tape is the answer.

It's astounding that material of this caliber can be made available so inexpensively, but it is. This is a limited edition tape, but you can have your own copy of Real Mind Reading for just $55.00.




Great and expensive video from the late Brian Flora, one of the best I own. The tape includes a verbal card effect (also described in Kenton Knepper’s Killer Konceptions) – the introductory patter is definitely worth your consideration and can be applied to any of your psy-forces: I suggest you transcribe it and pay close attention to every single gesture and pause, because there is much more than what is actually explained.


The second effect is a Flashback-type booktest, performed with your own dictionary, while the last one (a DR design duplication) should definitely not be used as a closer…






Read/post comments:





HN Magic Review 6: Wonder Words 1, 2, 3 – Kenton Knepper




This is the classic set of audio and booklets that changed the face of

magic and mentalism forever. Discover the true power of words and

how words can change what people see, think, hear, and feel. Learn

how words alone may be used as your only gimmick in a trick. Create

miracles and do nothing – but use these "magic words" to produce



Wonder Words, Volume 1

Imagine being able to take control of the very thoughts, perceptions, and responses of your audience. Picture your audiences' amazement when they really can not explain the trick because the magic is done with words, not sleights or props. This is what Wonder Words will teach you. It is prestidigitation of the mind.

It's finally here, the audio book everyone has been waiting for - now on CD! After lots of prodding from Larry Becker, Jeff Mc Bride, Docc Hilford, Dr. Juris, Lee Earle and many other pros, Kenton has agreed to part with the information that he has kept under tight wraps to all but a very select few.

Whether you're a magician or mentalist, Kentons' secrets will radically alter your work and the reaction to it. Revealed are the verbal tools used by top psychologists to influence and control clients' actions and attitudes. This is not a dissertation on hypnosis, this is Wonder Words -- The Art of Linguistic Deception.

Perhaps even more telling was the response at Docc Hilfords' Weerd Weekend. Wonder Words was a complete sell-out less than an hour after Kenton introduced it. Docc himself said "This is the new Fitzkee." Others said "One of the most significant works ever produced in magic," "This is going into the library at the Castle."

Even before it's official release, Jeff McBride praised Wonder Words saying, "You're a spell-weaver of words that can even make mimes speak...I'm living proof. Your material has dramatically transformed the way I'm doing my spell weaving these days!"

As important as this material is to your work, you're probably anxious to get a copy of your own. Finally you's how. Just fill out the order form on the back of this sheet, mail it in and very soon you will know what few others know... The Art of Linguistic Deception.


Wonder Words, Volume 2

Yes, it's finally here! NOW on CD...AND at a LOWER PRICE too! If you didn't purchase Volume One and somehow missed all the reviews, you may not know what all the excitement is about. You wouldn't know that Kenton's work has been compared to Fitzkee; you would be unaware that Jeff McBride, Michael Close, Doc Eason, Larry Becker, Lee Earle and lots more say that this is ground breaking material... a must for everyone's library.

Wonder Words Volume Two is subtitled "The Real Work" because it is exactly that. In Wonder Words Volume One Kenton began the journey....Volume Two turns that journey into a performance altering adventure. So what's the big deal?

For starters: Wouldn't it be great if people constantly talked about a trick they saw you perform when in fact you NEVER EVER did that trick at all? Just think of it! There is a secret way to simply tell a story and cause people to believe they actually SAW YOU PERFORM the trick, when all you did was TALK ABOUT IT! (No, it isn't "hypnosis").

In Volume One, you were (As Michael Close said) "Totally Blown Away" by how easy it was to greatly improve your performance by changing a few simple words. Volume Two -- The Real Work offers equally simple techniques that achieve even more startling results.

Still want more? Well of course there are killer effects as part of the package. Like how to cause a spectator to TRAVEL THROUGH TIME and come back with PHYSICAL PROOF. This is directly from Kenton's act. Yes all the little touches Kenton uses are there as always.

What else? How about an "Invisible Deck" routine with no deck at all? No stooges or other sneaky set ups either. The spectator just MIMES taking a card from thin air, and you can TELL them what they chose (No it isn't some silly mathematical thing either).

Another diabolical effect is a never before published telephone trick. Already several performers are using this bit to book thousands of dollars in extra performances.... You can too!

Perhaps you'd like to be able to point into the sky and cause a cloud, any cloud a spectator chooses, to vanish from the sky. No kidding. It's easy once you know the right WORDS. Kenton gives you the WHOLE story on how to do this with words alone.

Imagine you have a spectator just THINK of any letter in any word they choose. Now imagine that you not only tell the spectator the letter they are thinking about, but you also describe the EXACT THOUGHTS they had while deciding on that particular letter! Isn't that what a REAL "mindreader" would be able to do? Now you can!

Did we mention the ability to look at a spectator and KNOW if they would "play along" or be overly skeptical? You will learn this too. Wouldn't it be great if you could determine how a spectator felt about money, people, their play time, their work time, etc. just by a spectator uttering a few simple words? You can, and Kenton will tell you how.

Of course there is still so much more! So just consider this: If you have ever wanted to be a rousing success in your work; If you have ever wanted to honestly MOVE an audience; If you have ever wanted to be considered "legendary"; If you have ever wanted people to remember your shows for YEARS even DECADES to come; If you have ever wanted to learn the REAL WORK that only the most successful acts in entertainment use, THEN THESE TAPES ARE FOR YOU.

If you don't care about ANY of these things, then maybe all the effects above have got your attention. There's even more of those too!

Whatever your reason for purchasing Wonder Words Volume Two, you're bound to be blown away by the material it contains. If you have Volume One you already know how important this series is to your performances. Many of you have applied the principles in the first volume to your "other" work.

Find Out Why Movie Studio Heads, Theatrical Directors, Lawyers, Publishers and Performers The World Over Have Been Anxiously Awaiting!

Wonder Words, Volume 3

Yes, the time has come... The very last volume of the Wonder Words Series is almost at your doorstep. Now on CD...and NOW at a FAR LOWER price too! This is the end of it all, friends - and what an ending it is...

Kenton ends the series with a BANG including contributions from Jeff McBride, Dan Harlan, Joel Bauer, Docc Hilford, and MORE. This final volume will leave you breathless! The book alone is over 50 pages in length, with detailed effects direct from the acts of working pros. There is also a complete and precise index to BOTH Volumes Two AND Three, for easy reference (Volume One has its own index). And Volume Three is JAM-PACKED, the biggest volume ever!

So what else is in here? Imagine being able to get a spectator to scream, just by saying a few seemingly harmless words. Just think of an entire audience believing in you INSTANTLY, because you speak a single phrase. Learn to stop unwanted annoyances dead in their tracks. Discover the one secret word that causes people to do what you want them to - it's proven scientifically! Uncover the "code" used throughout the series. This alone can expand the series into the equivalent of another several volumes. Hear how your tone of voice can become a "gimmick" in any effect or routine. Uncover the secret about ALL words! And that's just for starters...

What about the "tricks?" A spectator holds his watch and merely THINKS of a special moment in time. You not only begin to describe this event, you reveal the time - which now shows on his watch! Or how about this: You not only talk about "subliminal programming" - you prove it. In fact, this might be how the trick really works! There are more than a half-dozen other incredible effects. You won't believe all that Kenton has given up THIS time - the final time!




All those glitters and hypes… they are hard to swallow, but this pricey NLP trilogy is a must have. The amount of information provided on linguistics, suggestions and psychological subtleties is HUGE.


The indexes are poorly made (sorry Marelli), but I guess this was planned to leave most of the information on the tapes, and to avoid photocopies? Also, a digital format would have been appreciated, since accessing specific information on a tape can be very time consuming. The WW series have been recently converted to CD format, but the old-timers like your humble reviewer are stuck with the audiotapes.


For reference purposes only, fillers such as “Oh I have so much to tell you, and so little time to do it, so we’re going to move right along, blasting through all those new concepts very quickly, you can always stop the tape and rewind it, and listen to it several times, and you should be doing that anyway blah blah blah“ are somewhat disturbing. The “marking” tape, on the other hand, is simply COMICAL….


In any case, a valuable investment for the serious performer.






Read/post comments:





HN Magic Review 2: Psychological Subtleties – Banachek




In this long-awaited new book, Banachek reveals the true secrets of his success: psychological subtleties that transform "mental magic" into "psychic entertainment." Most of the effects require no advance preparation and may be performed at a moment’s notice. Those who have Steve Shaw’s earlier monographs will not hesitate to add this to their



From the introduction by Teller: "BANACHEK IS BRILLIANT at subtle deceptions. My partner Penn and I have repeatedly called upon his vast knowledge, diabolical ingenuity, and remarkable imagination, and have never been disappointed. This man has the goods, and now you do, too. But be careful. THIS IS A VERY DANGEROUS BOOK. In the wrong hands, these subtle, deeply devious methods could be used to convince audiences that the performer is not an artist, but a supernatural being..."





The name says it all – a book full of “psychological convincers” and forces to be integrated in your mental routines. Each chapter is dedicated to a specific issue, i.e. cards, coins, postcards, dreams, handwriting, metal bending (not a surprise!), drawings, hands etc.


Most of the chapters are unfortunately very short (each of them could have taken a full book…) and only skim the surface of the issue.


My personal favorite is a letter divination (also published in Knepper’s Wonder Words and Busch’s Peek Performances), used in conjunction with a booktest.






Read/post comments:


Back to Magic Reviews Homepage   Go down

HN Magic Reviews, © 2002-2007 Harvey Nerzof