Monday Mail Call #19

It's Monday and you know what that means... Monday Mail Call!

Each Monday (give or take), I use this feature to highlight a few of the things that have made their way in over the past week or so. Packages, purchases, and emails -- oh my!

Today's only item on the docket is the book Beyond Fantasy, by Sean Devine. Full disclosure, I received this book a while ago. It came in at a time when, for some reason it felt like every delivery possible was arriving on my doorstep. I put this one to the side (of my desk) and it sat there for at least a month. Each week or so, another book made its way on top creating a pile. Well, I finally organized a bit and it's like opening the package all over again!

The first impression I get from the book isn't about the content of the book at all. It's the photos. Flipping through, the book features black and white photos throughout -- and they're some of the crispest, cleanest photos I've seen. If you were to practice Black Art, this is how you'd want it to look. Well, except with color.

Smack dab on page 5 is the Foreword, by Adam Borderline (@borderlineadam). The words are quite nice, but the length isn't suited for the space it occupies. I don't think that the size of the book, which is of the tall variety, was thought of when writing it -- and in full honesty, it shouldn't have been. But seeing a small block of text in the upper left-hand corner of a page, then the rest of the page and the entire next are empty kind of leaves a desire for more.

The good news is that the rest of the book delivers that extra "more"! In just over 140 pages, Beyond Fantasy brings us the card magic of Sean Devine. There are 10 sleights taught at the beginning which cover things from card forces to reverses and general controls. After that block we have 30 routines that make up the rest of the book. Not all the routines have photos to accompany them, but it's really not necessary. Reading through, my first impression is that there are some solid worker routines included here. They're quick, don't require a lot of preparation, pack a punch, and reset quickly. Nice!

What I really enjoy is the inclusion of inspiration and credits right at the get-go. Almost every sleight and routine start off with where it was adapted from or what inspired it. It's little references like these that make it possible to find the next resource if that trick or sleight is appealing. It's also a great way to make me not have any money because I don't have half of the books referenced =P

I haven't practiced any of the routines outlined in the book yet, but many have made their way onto my practice list so it's only a matter of time!

It was a quick one today folks, only getting a quick peek at Beyond Fantasy. It feels good to sit down and go through a book from beginning to end. It feels even better when the book's a good read too =]

Stay tuned for the next iteration of Monday Mail Call, there's a lot more to come!

Oh also, if you'd like to offer suggestions for books, tricks, decks or if you have questions about magic (performing, routines, sleights, etc.), just reach out here.

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