Inferno – by Joshua Jay – Review

So the New Year has started, and we’re all excited about what 2014 will being. But for the MagicDirect review team we thought it was actually a good chance to catch up on a couple of the stand out items from last year which we didn’t quite get round to…

First up is Inferno by Joshua Jay. A strong trick can usually be described in a sentence and that is certainly the case here. A freely thought of card is the only card in a matchbox which has been in view for the whole time. Neat.

I’m going to give the game away early here. I really like this. Here are

three of the things I like…

The props – you get everything you need to perform this, it takes up very little pocket space, and the cards are nicely produced by the clever people at CardShark..

The premise – there is a great emotional hook which gives a logic to the decisions which are being made and justifies the props in action.

The patter – ok that is a horribly old fashioned word, but I was going for a third ‘p’. I don’t think I’m giving too much away if I reveal that the choice of card is limited by some clever wording – and I think some great thinking has gone into this which eliminates some of the potential weaknesses of similar effects.

How hard is it?

There is a small amount of ‘handling’ which you will need to practise to get really smooth – but it is not difficult. There is also an alternative ‘easy’ handling which may reassure some – but the ending is less strong and not examinable.

I am very comfortable with what I call ‘sleight of mouth’ – since I’m interested in the whole area of mentalism. Therefore, for me, the scripting/wording is not a challenge – but if you aren’t used to that you will need to practise the wording a bit in order to get that smooth.

Anything else?

Joshuah’s explanation on the DVD is extremely clear – he’s a great teacher – and every subtlety and detail is explained. I found myself particularly jealous of his library (which provides the backdrop) and was playing ‘spot the book’ on occasion. But I’m just odd. Credit is given where due/known for the various elements which make up and inspired the effect.

I’ve used various similar effects in the past but I can see this becoming a regular part of my set. I have also heard of some people doing the effect without the matchbox which does open up some possibilities – but to my mind potentially weakens the ‘coherence’ of the whole routine.

This is a powerful, relatively easy and reasonably priced piece of magic. Inferno is available from MagicDirect.

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