Asymptotes by Ben Blau
Available from www.benblaumentalism.com/asymptotes.html
Mention the words ‘mentalism’ and ‘playing cards’ in the same sentence and you will be burned at the stake by many mentalists. Asymptotes is a collection of 19 mentalism effects and 12 utility moves with playing cards. What Ben has done within his book’s 339 pages is create a whole host of solid, almost self working mentalism routines to challenge the misconception that playing cards should never be used for mentalism. Ben has the ability to take traditional techniques and given them a facelift bringing them bang up to date.
Every effect in the book is more than achievable but the majority do require a set-up (stack), some more than others.
The instructions are clear and easy to understand. Any sleights/shuffles that Ben uses within the effects are also taught for completeness. The layout of the book is simple with black and white photographs accompanying the text where necessary. I did spot a couple of small typographical errors which did let the book down slightly.
At almost $90 it’s not a cheap book but when you consider the effects work out to approximately $4 each it is actually very good value for money.
I pretty much like all the effects in the book but here’s a quick selection of some of my favourites.
Sophisthree: Coincidence trick where 3 freely chosen cards and their mates are found in the same position in two separate parts of the deck. ESPilon: A 3 phase ESP routine where you know not only the symbol but a merely thought of number. Ishin – Denshin: A baffling thought of card at thought of number effect.
Asymptotes is a book that should not be overlooked. It has lots to offer and if you give the book the time it deserves you will come out the other side with some great routines to add to your arsenal.