Review: A Thought Well Stolen by Ben Harris

[vc_row][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_custom_heading text=”Reviewer: John Teo” font_container=”tag:h3|text_align:left”][vc_column_text]Ben Harris’ mind works overtime – perhaps, it never stop working at all!  All of Ben’s magical creations are a result of his “out-of-the-box” thinking.  This effect is no different.

Ben has been searching for a long time to find a way to perform ACAAN (Any Card Ay Any Number) without asking for any clue from the spectator, and without the chosen card being forced.  Not only did he find the “ultimate” method, this method does not require any sleight-of-hand with cards!  But his mind did not stop working there – it went “out-of-the-box” and connected with another effect known as “Matching The Cards”.

In effect, it looks like this:  A spectator decides (free choice) which of 2 decks of cards to use.  The cards are mixed up.  The spectator merely thinks of her favourite card and determines its position in the deck.  The performer takes his cards out of its case, mixes them, takes out one card and places it in a certain position in the deck.  It turns out that this card is the spectator’s thought-of card, and it indeed occupies the same position in the deck as in her deck.  The spectator does not utter a single word on her card.  Just to show that he can control more than one card, the performer now causes the cards in both decks to match exactly!  A strong effect with no sleight-of-hand at all!

You receive a 40–page manuscript.  It is well written and reads like a whodunit story.  First, the effect (“murder”) is described.  You then feel like diving straight into the “explanation” section at the back of the book to find out how such an impossible effect can be accomplished without any sleight-of-hand with cards (“how the detective solves this almost impossible case”).  Even the title of the trick “A Thought Well Stolen” sounds like the title of a detective tale.

Ben includes three Appendices in the manuscript.  In Appendix One, Ben discusses a concept from his good friend Steve Shufton, which can raise the effect several notches higher.  In Appendix Two, Ben explains 2 possible precursors and some nice variations.  In Appendix Three, Ben teaches a couple of moves with cards that can enhance the overall effect.

Whether you are a sleight-of-hand card performer, or one who prefers non sleight-of-hand card tricks, you will want to add “A Thought Well Stolen” in your card repertoire.  The effect is so strong the audience can only attribute it to your clever card handling skills!  Highly recommended with two big thumbs up!

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Magic is our passion but we are not a magic shop ? You can purchase this here![/vc_column_text][vc_separator][vc_custom_heading text=”Reviewer: Madame Curator”][vc_column_text]Magic-Is-impossible-without-special-equipment_o_114891

Magic: impossible without special equipment? Not when it comes to A Thought Well Stolen by Ben Harris, who has successfully merged two magic classics into one very clever routine!

Combining the audience favourite ACAAN (Any Card at Any Number) plot with the solid OOTW (Out of This World) routine where red cards are separated from black ones, Harris’s latest brainchild is a very commercial card effect that requires only two regular decks of cards.

The self-working card trick is well taught in the 44 page manuscript, which has detailed instructions along with clear photos. You do not need to be a sleight-of-hand artist but when performed and presented well, A Thought Well Stolen (ATWS) will convince your adoring crowd that you possess the gambling skills of a professional card shark and the dexterity of a mind-reading magic ninja.

I received my copy of ATWS online as a PDF eBook but it is also available in hard copy at the same price. It’s an easy read, which I recently finished on my 4-hour flight from Australia to Singapore (thank you Singapore Airlines for the two packs of cards so I could try it all out for myself).

Personally, I really enjoyed ATWS. With different “layers”, it appeals to magicians of all skill levels and would work as an excellent show closer. The secret method is clever and diabolically simple… plus, as you know, Leonardo da Vinci famously once said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”

If you’re a magic geek like me who appreciates creative concepts that makes you smack your head and wonder why didn’t you think of that, I’m confident you’ll enjoy ATWS and will actually perform it. The bonus section at the end is pretty awesome too; even more beneficial for the new magician and card stack newbie.


At USD$30 I think ATWS is priced very decently. Well done Benny, you have a winner.

Please support intellectual property. Only buy original. Available direct from Ben Harris at

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Ning Cai is a Singapore Literature Prize nominated author, who was also long listed for the Epigram Books Fiction Prize in 2016. A bestselling writer, she is also recognised for her illusionist/ escapologist stage character Magic Babe Ning, and recognised by Channel News Asia as South East Asia's first professional female magician.

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