A Christmas Carol Book Test potentially solves one of the major problems with any book test – what’s the justification for the use of a particular book for this routine? Read on in our review to find out more…

What is it?

You really should be able to answer that question yourself! This is essentially a specially printed copy of Dickens’ classic – A Christmas Carol – which enables you to perform a book test. There are many different methods which have been developed over the years for this kind of effect which have different strengths and weaknesses. This one uses (with permission) a variation on a well-known principle used in another commercially book test.

The result of this is an incredibly streamlined and efficient method. The ad-copy is entirely accurate – you simply riffle through the book and at any time the spectator can say stop (no force) and look at the first word on the page, at which point you already know what it is – without any memory work or any need to ask questions etc.

What do we think?

The method is so straightforward that you can concentrate entirely on the presentation. And you can hand out the book which can be examined with very little risk of anyone noticing anything untoward.

As I hinted in the introduction, another significant strength is that the title of the book means it can easily be justified – in a seasonal show. And even at other times of the year it is such a well-known title that it shouldn’t arouse suspicion.

josh zandman - christmas carol book test - reviewThe Christmas Carol Book Test book is nicely printed and although not a standard size for paperback novels, these days books come in all shapes and sizes, so again problem there. And the size actually means you could use this easily in a walkaround context.

Scrooge’s point of view

If I had two minor negatives they would be the following. It is quite expensive – but an enormous amount of work has gone into producing this specially printed book. But a quality effect is worth paying for – especially if you’re performing for a living – so I don’t think this is too much.

Secondly, the instructions felt a little bit sparse to me. They certainly cover everything you need to know from a ‘mechanics’ point of view – but there is not much help in terms of presentation. Perhaps this is a sign that it is aimed at people who are experienced performers and would have no difficulty on that side of things?

But with those two minor quibbles, this comes highly recommended. I can see this going straight into my working set. The Christmas Carol Book Test is available from MagicShop.co.uk for £46.50 (at the time of writing).

Review copy kindly provided by Murphys Magic to whom dealer enquiries should be directed.

Josh Zandman – Christmas Carol Book Test – review
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