Review: TESSERACT by Mike Powers

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Mike Powers’s long-awaited new book, TESSERACT, is now out! TESSERACT follows on the heels of Mike’s last book, Power Plays, which was voted “Book of the Year” on the Magic Café and runner up “Book of the Year” in the prestigious “Magic Industry Awards.” You may know Mike from his top-selling trick, Diminishing Returns – one of the great visual magic effects. It was recently featured on Masters of Illusion.

TESSERACT is a large format (8.5×11″), hardback book with a full color dustjacket. Inside are 55 gems of mostly close-up magic, although some items are suitable for a larger audience. Mike’s teaching abilities have been honed over the last 40 years as both a professor of physics and a working magician. The book is graced with over 330 photos for ease of understanding. Furthermore, Mike provides free online access to video instruction on the moves needed to accomplish the magic.

There’s plenty of great card magic in TESSERACT. But you’ll also find mind-blowing tricks using coins, paper money, rubber bands and rings, envelopes, a business card and an iPhone. There are a couple of mentalism items and one killer memorized-deck effect that’s stack independent and maintains stack order. And the “Pure Mathematics” section contains some self-workers that will fry magicians and lay persons alike.

The last trick in the book, Heisting Histed Heisted 3.0, is Mike’s latest version of his wildly popular Heisting Histed Heisted series. It was a huge hit in his Penguin lecture. This is as close to real mindreading as you’re going to get.

So, enter the world of TESSERACT. Beef up your repertoire. Share the magic.

 

REVIEW

I have to say, I’m a fan of American magician Michael Powers. If you don’t already know him, please do yourself the favour and get acquainted with his work ASAP… the retired physics professor is a well-loved performer at the Magic Castle and FFFF, has lectured extensively, and is also a columnist for The Linking Ring magazine. Also, his books have won massive awards… one can say he’s quite the over-achiever 😉

This book review took me quite a while to write, as I wanted to slowly enjoy the fifty five magic effects in there. They’re a wonderful mix of close up magic with cards, coins, rubber bands, rings, mathematics, science, and mentalism. Just look at this gorgeous hardcover… So much love went into it!

Tesseract – Magic: The Hidden Dimension is Mike Power’s fourth book. It’s not just a glossy hardcover with lovely pictures (330 in total) but he has also gone to great lengths to film SEVENTY videos thus far, on various moves for cards and coins: Marlo’s The OLRAM Subtlety, DeSouza/ Munoz’s Shapeshifter/ Pirouette Change, Montague/ Tucker’s The Bluff Pass, Hofzinser Cull, Vernon’s Through The Fist Flourish, Zarrow Block Addition are some of the moves taught in the card section. And for coins, there’s Ammar’s Spellbound, Gallo Pitch, Goshman Pinch, Derek Dingle/ Al Schneider’s Dingle/Schneider Pickup, and the Click Pass to name a few… Hosted on Vimeo, they’re all FREE, with the password and URL listed on page 13, in the introduction.

If you’re wondering how easy the instructions are, remember that the man spent forty years of his life teaching. His explanations are clear and easy to follow, and because a picture is worth a thousand words, you’ll definitely appreciate the elbow grease Mike’s put into filming those videos on various moves… maybe moving pictures are worth much more 😉 The material in Tesseract are all practical, solid, well-rounded magic that will inspire you.

Some delightfully deceptive favourites of mine are: Schrodinger’s Dream Revisited (an impromptu card routine that utilises the Tent Vanish, Side Steal, Rub-A-Dub Vanish, and Marlo’s Misdirection Palm), Twilight Zone Monte (a prepared card mystery involving the Hamman Count, Elmsley Count, and Christ-Annemann Alighment Move), A Night at the Stardust (uses the Hofzinser Toss, Vernon Multiple Shift, Hindu Shuffle, Charlier Cut, and Frank Shield’s Four Card Display), UF Coin Across (with the Han Ping Chien move), Ring Bandit (a visual ring and rubber band routine where the classic Crazy Man’s Handcuffs meets the Garcia Position), and there’s also contributions from Mike’s friends like the brilliant Cameron Francis, who shared his entertaining routine, Improbable vs Impossible.

Priced at less than twice the price of a one-off card trick I recently reviewed, which came with basic printed explanations (basically a double sided A4 page) sans photographs or instructional videos, Mike Powers’s Tesseract is a superb investment at just fifty quid! There’s a whole wealth of information in this long-awaited book, and its author’s depth of wisdom and knowledge and passion in our craft is just unmistakeable. This is not a blatant money making project for him but clearly a work of passion and within its 296 thick and glossy pages, there’s gems for everyone.

Highly recommended. A must for your magic library collection!

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ning
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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