Review: Bits and Bytes

Published on Thursday, January 11, 2007 in , , , , , , ,

Bits and BytesMany magic books that come out these days are an attempt to show the author's swiftness with their hands. Bits and Bytes by Dale Hildebrandt, however, showcases a deft mind and a great ability at lateral thinking!

To get an idea of Dale's mind, beyond just the Lybrary.com Author Info page, check out his main site, mirrorname.com, as well as his various blogs, Dale's Den, The Devil Still Deals and Ultimate Nerd.

Bits and Bytes itself is an 84-page e-book filled with wonderfully whimsical routines. Much of the work originated as variations of the work of magician Liam Montier. The book kicks the mood right off with D. D. Home, in which you can prove the spirit of a Victorian medium is invading your friend's Windows XP computer. This is a rarity in magic, as you don't need to ever touch the computer to achieve the effect.

While there are a good number of effects involving high-tech gadgetry, including cell phones and computers, don't let the name of the e-book fool you into thinking that this is the only type of magic that is included.

Among my favorites in the book are the Tossed Out Wallet Ploy (a combination of the Tossed Out Deck and Bank Night, with 4 bills of different denominations), The Perfume Test (a spectator finds the 1 bottle filled with perfume among 3 others containing water), The Card and the Crane (a card prediction using a crane game) and the Fortune Telling Card Fish (finally, a deceptive effect involving the old Fortune Telling Fish!).

Special attention should be paid to the Forcing Board and Other Ploys section towards the back. It involves a board that has the numbers 1 through 53 on one side, and all the playing cards on the other. Basically, someone thinks of a card and a number, and you are able to reveal them. Several wonderful subtleties go together to make the use of this board a seeming miracle! This basic idea is also the introduction to a discussion between Liam and Dale discussing various directions in which to take the basic idea. Even if you never use the effect, the back-and-forth nature of the discussion is an excellent lesson in how new ideas can be inspired.

There are also some wonderful gags and bits throughout the book, as well. As with anything else, these will work great if they suit your performing persona.

If outside of the box plots and thinking appeals to you, head over to Lybrary.com and plunk down the money for Bits and Bytes!

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