Thunk by Liam Montier
Reviewed by Elliott Hodges
I've recently become a bit of an ebook junkie.
It's happened by accident and I suspect that increased train travel and the
purchase of an iPad haven't helped at all. We all know that more and more ebooks
are available than ever now and rarely a day goes by without me getting an email
from a company offering new titles.
As I downloaded a few ebooks in the past few months, a couple of authors stood head and shoulders above others. That is to say-I actually wanted to try their effects out. One of the aforementioned authors was Liam Montier. I thoroughly enjoyed his ebook “The Boof” and purchased his newer "Thunk" with little hesitation once it was released.
Thunk contains 12 card effects. Liam has an incredible gift in creating powerful, dynamite card magic that isn't difficult at all. While not necessarily being self-working, his effects are easily within the grasp of anyone who has handled a deck of cards for a while.
Curtis Kam said that John Carey “turns moves you already know into the miracles you've always wanted to do.” Without any doubt, the same quote could also be given to Liam. There are a couple of occasions with slightly less known (but certainly not difficult) sleights but Liam does a great job in explaining them when necessary. There are a great number of photos, something which a previous reviewer of Liam's work said he could do with more of-he's taken the advice on board.
The first six tricks are designed and introduced as being in two sets as the tricks follow nicely on from each other. Each trick could, of course, alternatively be performed on its own.
Here is a breakdown of the tricks:
This is a brilliant card revelation where you successfully manage to "guess" which card a spectator thought of out of the five on offer. Oh and if that's not enough......the other four change to the four aces.
WWBD: having found the four aces, you then proceed to lose them back into the deck before shuffling the deck face up into face down. The four aces are produced in more and more impressive ways with the deck righting itself by the end. A fantastic triumph routine with some great productions in.
Hitchslap Aces: this is Liam's version of Henry Christ's Fabulous Four Ace Trick. One of Liam's great talents is to build on the work of others. This trick contains a bit of Andi Gladwin and Chad Long (both favourites of mine) as well as some of his own ideas.
Four aces are lost in the deck and then found in different ways one by one, before being found again at the end. Whilst not a difficult piece, there is quite a lot of procedure here. It's a great trick but will require you to go through it quite a few times before you're comfortable with all the steps.
Sly Cheese: this is SUCH fun. You'd be mad not to want to have a play with this as you read it. It's based on a Cameron Francis routine. Four queens are set aside, a card is picked and lost in the deck. The spectators nominate a colour (red or black obviously) and the queens of the named colour turn face up in the packet. The two named queens are placed face up into the deck and you promise to trap the spectators card in between them. The deck is spread and in between the two named queens are......the two queens of the opposing colour! So what's in you're hand? The selected card of course! Dead easy to do and a really fun routine.
Hoarders: with the four queens face up in the middle of the deck from the previous trick, you go straight into a collectors routine.
AT LAST, a collectors routine that I want to perform. I've seen various versions of this plot over the years but have never seen one that I engaged with or felt a particular desire to learn. Most routines seem to involve showing the four collector card sixteen or so times while you perform ATFUS. This beautiful piece of magic has no need for any such displays. ATFUS is not performed once during this routine.
Following on from the last trick, you place the four face up queens aside, have three cards selected and signed, put into three different parts of the deck and squared up. The queen packet is slipped into the deck in the middle of a Charlier cut and immediately spread to show that they've trapped the three selected cards.
This is the only explanation that I feel could have benefitted from another photo at one stage so we know how things should look but apart form that this routine is unbelievably good.
Rebound: This is collectors in reverse. Liam says its based on the Interlace Vanish by Paul Harris, a plot that I'm not familiar with so I can't compare. What I can say however, is that this is a lovely quick follow up the Hoarders. The three signed cards are inserted back in between the four queens and immediately vanish to reappear back into the deck face up.
Nothing particular to say with this one, it does what it says on the tin and is a nice, easy bit to add onto the end of the collectors routine. It may take a few trials to become comfortable with some of the subtleties but anyone could have this down in a few minutes.
Above are the two sets and we are now treated six more miscellaneous tricks.
Headshot: This is Liam's variation of Richard Sanders King Thing. I've not seen the original trick but I've read Liam's previous work on this trick in "The Boof."
Essentially four kings are removed, replaced in the deck and found all over the place-under and inside the card case etc. This version is okay but I personally don't see what's so fantastic about the plot in the first case. There have already been many published ways of finding four of a kind. I may be missing the point but for me, this trick left me with a bit of a “so what?” feeling. I enjoyed Liam's version of this effect in "The Boof" more, where you can repeat the effect straight away with no extra work.
Date: Liam's version of the royal marriages plot. This was the first effect that I tried out while reading through. Oh my days it's good. It's really good. This is strong, fresh card magic that is dead easy. Please try this out-just killer card magic.
Cold Case: Liam's take on the Hofsinzer's aces. I've never hugely been into this plot and neither do I keep the cellophane on my card cases (which this trick requires) so I can't effectively comment on this routine. You might love it though!
Repeat Offender: Put simply, a double card reverse. A spectators chosen card is in amongst a face up group of cards which is sandwiched by two face down groups of cards. Suddenly, the face up card right themselves leaving just the selected card the wrong way up. The whole process is then repeated except without you touching the deck-the spectator does the whole thing.
Despite sounding and looking fairly self working, this is a bit more of a fiddly piece. It requires a pass but you can get round that with a bit of thinking. While this trick didn't excite me as much as some of the others, I do like how clean and hands off the second phase is.
Keepers: This is based on Alex Elmsley's Serendipity routine. Two prediction cards, placed in between three queens, transform into two signed selections.
I haven't played with this is as much as some of the other effects as it struck me as being a bit procedural. It's not difficult, rather just a good few “steps” to remember. I think that once you get this down you'll have a really strong piece of card magic. As I type, I feel this is easily a routine I should give more attention to.
Age of Conus: This is a really great routine with cards changing under spectators hands. It's not difficult as such but will require a bit of confidence and spectator management to pull off. There is no way that the spectators will see the end coming. What starts off as a lovely, clever card trick ends with a killer change of four of a kind under a spectators hand.
Well, that's all twelve tricks accounted for. Liam is an absolute genius with his card magic and really works hard to make it accessible to all. There are no bad tricks here, I merely got excited about some more than others.
The best part is that it's only £8 from Liam's website. This is a genuine steal at that price. So much great material that is fun to perform.
Available from www.tricktastic.com/downloads/thunk.html
During my writing of this review, I got through two cups of tea, one cup of coffee and the new Caitlin Rose album twice. I recommend all of those unreservedly too.
© Elliott Hodges, April 2013