Creator: Ben Harris
MSRP: $ 30
Skill Level: All
Book length: 31 pages
Type of effect: A Thought Well Stolen combines two of magic's great card effects - Any Card At Any Number, and Paul Curry's Out Of This World - into a wicked hybrid; morphing them into a mind-blowing frenzy
Manufacturer's Write Up: As in Any Card At Any Number, the performer reveals the identity of a freely thought-of card - and its position in a deck - without asking a single question. Seriously, this is solid and gripping mentalism; there is no force, the card is a free MENTAL SELECTION and NO questions are asked. Having read his spectator's mind, discerning his card and its position in the deck, the performer follows with a visual display rivaling the wonderful separation of colors in Out Of This World. Your audience is left reeling by:
1. Your amazing ability to read minds.
2. Your insane skill with a deck of cards.
The combination of effects is mind-boggling and capable of closing any show - be it one-on-one, at a party, on T.V., or in a theatre of hundreds. U.K. card expert Michael Vincent has chosen to perform A Thought Well Stolen during his "Champions Of Magic" season at the Jersey Opera House. That's how strong A Thought Well Stolen is. Here's what Michael has to say:
"As someone who has built a reputation on hard core sleight of hand, I am always ready to welcome an effect into my program at the opposite end of the technical spectrum. A Thought Well Stolen is that sort of effect, it fits perfectly into my modus operandi of mixing up my methods - an effect like this can steal your show.",
In the book's introduction, the author sets out his goal clearly:
"A quest of mine - lasting decades - has been the search for a perfectly rendered illusion of mind-reading with a deck of cards. As a close-up performer - who loves cards and mentalism - this effect would be something where the performer identifies a freely thought-of card without any questions; without the spectator uttering a single word. Achieving this, or even getting close to it, creates a profound effect on the spectator. It's also one that ripples through your entire audience, no matter what its size.
"A Thought Well Stolen is 100% pure as regards its intention: the identification of any freely thought-of card without any questions; without any prodding, probing, dual reality or ambiguity. And, without any limiting procedures. None at all. The result is a selection process about as fair as it can get:
'Do you have a favorite playing card?' the performer asks.
'Yes, yes I do,' the spectator replies.
'Okay, that's great,' the performer confirms. 'Don't tell me. Keep the identity of your card secret, okay?'"
Is there an approach any more fair? I don't think so.
The author fully explores the effect(s) in a detailed and friendly manner. Even a beginner can master A Thought Well Stolen because it requires nothing more than "basic card skills." Advanced versions are discussed in the various appendices, but if you can do a single False Cut, or a False Shuffle, then you are in business; ready to astound audiences of any size.
How accurate is the ad copy? There are only 31 pages, not 40 and the trick makes it sound more mental, or astonishing than it is. You don’t ask the spectator questions? Hmm…. It's not like you say (out loud) "You're card is the Queen of Hearts and it's at the 31st position." You still have to count down to their card with them in unison.
What's in the box? 31 page softback booklet
Key points: A Thought Well Stolen requires the use of no gaffs or gimmicks of any kind, just regular playing cards. The book runs 40 pages of detailed text covering the simple and beautiful series of almost self-working procedures that bring about the amazing results.
How are the production values: Ben Harris uses a great printer, glossy cover, nice pages and clear crisp black and white photographs.
Is it well taught: Remember it is a single effect, so in 31 pages he has plenty of time to cover the routine and give you all that you need to know.
Storage? Does it "pack flat?" You do have to carry 2 decks with you for this – both in a deck order.
Does it "play big?" Very powerful magic trick – best used as an opener, but then it will be a tough trick to follow.
Difficulty / Skill level required: Easy, but best of you know some convincing false shuffles.
How much arts and crafts are involved? You will need all of your own cards.
How practical is this in the real world? (can it really be done?) Yes.
Overall score: let's toss out the traditional score of 1-10 and make this something that we all can appreciate and understand.
_____ Very Satisfied
_____ Somewhat Satisfied
_____ Neither Satisfied or Dissatisfied
___X__ Somewhat Dissatisfied
_____ Very Dissatisfied
_____ No Opinion
My thoughts I was sucked in by the ad copy and I was really hoping for something MORE than it was – especially for $30. I’ve got way more for my money in the past – especially when there are so many self-working DVDs now on the market. Do I think the effect is good? Sure, it’s strong – but value wise – you can get material just as strong but with way more content for the same price tag.
+ Hey do you want to see my full review with even more of my opinions and ideas? Visit this link for my video review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s9f9vMuZr5E