Whoa, it's December already! I feel like November just didn't exist this year. All of the stores had Christmas decorations up since August, Halloween was a flash in the pan, and Thanksgiving is a few years away from no longer being a holiday. What's going on in this country?!
But hey, truth be told, I'm already feeling the magic of Christmas spirit so I'm not complaining.
Normally, given it's Monday, I'd do a Monday Mail Call to highlight things I've gotten in... except, nothing really got delivered last week. Well, okay, that's not true. I did get in my Kings Wild Project Table Players decks, and my Art of Play Mystery Decks package arrived! Other than that, I'm just kind of waiting for the onslaught of Black Friday deliveries to finally show up.
Speaking of the decks above though, I'm really excited about them -- both KWP and AoP -- because I have big plans for both! For the mystery decks, well, I'm just doing an unboxing. However, depending on the specific decks that I receive I may be doing some other photo shoots and deck reviews too. There's such a huge assortment available, I'm bound to get at least one new deck.
For the KWP decks, heh. So, I'm currently looking to the side of my desk on the floor. I have 14 unopened boxes from them. Those are monthly subscription boxes. Next to those, on the floor, are 3 decks that I took out of their monthly deliver box, but have yet to open. Next to those, a large box from KWP's Lord of the Rings Kickstarter campaign.
Earlier this year when I was visiting New York City, around February, I stopped by Tannen's like usual and finally caved and bought Repertoire by Asi Wind. It's not that I didn't want the book, I really really wanted it. For a long time... but, it's $100. And it's not really that "big". I have several books that have a price tag of 3-digits, but they're huge. Talk About Tricks, GSOH (Vol 1 and Vol 2), Secret Language, and several others all meet that criteria, but they have noticeably more content. Hence the hesitation.
But I did cave and I bought the book. I immediately, on my flight home, read the foreword and preface and was even more elated that I finally bought it! When I got home, I put the book my my desk to read more and a day or two passed without touching it. Another week passed and another book was placed on top of it. After a month, it was moved to a shelf with a stack of books. And last weekend, at the end of November, I moved my office to a new room in my house and had to move hundreds of books (and thousands of decks) and Repertoire ended up on the top of a stack, right in front of me.
Last night, I sat down with the book, a notebook, pen, deck of cards, and a tea. Not coffee, only because I was in a tea mood.
I read through the first two tricks, Time is Money and a.w.a.c.a.a.n. and took zero notes. The cards stayed in their case. The tea was drunk.
The reason I provided all of the backstory before getting into this is because I wanted you to understand the skepticism I went into starting this book with. I approached it with the mindset that it was overpriced and initially didn't hold my attention enough to fully dive into it. And that is where I was wrong.
Look, I'll do a full review of the book once I'm through it, but let me just say that so far, this book is beautiful. I have seen some books that do credits well, but holy crap... Asi has taken credits and footnotes to the next level. His verboseness is not just word-vomit on a page, it's all useful and precise. Just as there's justification for every move in his routines, there's exactness for the backstory he provides and how things are done, should be done, could be done, and where you can take it from there.
Time is Money, for example, is a trick with bills. Except, it's also an "object under spectator's watch" trick. But it doesn't have to be. It could be something else too. There are so many layers packed into the routine, and the same with his ACAAN, that you're not getting just one magic routine, you're getting a full masterclass.
Thinking on it now, the one thing I can think of is the proverb "teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." Repertoire isn't just giving us a routine, it's teaching us how to create our own while providing structure and guidance along the way. Well, that, and giving us a routine.
So far, and mind you I'm only two tricks (out of 21) into the book, I would gladly pay the price of this book again. Without hesitation.