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Magic Inside Out – Robert E. Neale & Lawrence Hass – A Review

Magic Inside Out – Robert E. Neale & Lawrence Hass – A Review

Magic Inside Out by Robert E. Neale & Lawrence Hass – A Review
Theory and Art of Magic Press

This is the Ad Copy:

ROBERT E. NEALE is an international treasure for magicians who enjoy mind-bending magic and powerful presentations.

Magic Inside Out collects fourteen of Bob’s astonishing routines-twelve of which appear here for the first time. In keeping with his trademark style, they employ a range of simple props and provocative themes to delightfully twist the perceptions of audiences.

Magic Inside Out also includes a major interview in which, for the first time, Bob tuns himself inside out, sharing the powerful story of his creative life and inspirations.

EUGENE BURGER: Bob Neale has created so many presentations that point us to life-our real lives with all their joy and sorrow, their confusion and clarity, their doubt and faith. Bob’s work is very powerful.

MARTIN GARDNER: Bob Neale is a wonder. How Neale manages to think of such things is a mystery hard to fathom.

JEFF MCBRIDE: Bob Neale is my hero. He takes on challenging topics like death, racism, religion, and other taboos. It astonishes me how he can transform even some of the darkest situations into light, humor, and inspiration.

BARRIE RICHARDSON: Bob Neale is a softhearted human being and a hardheaded philosopher of life. His brain is wired unlike anyone else I know. Bob’s insights make you shake your head with awe, wonder, and respect.

Hardcover; 176 pages. Release Date: January 15, 2021
Theory and Art of Magic Press

My Thoughts:

There are magicians.. and there are master manipulators. Robert (Bob) Neale, PH.D, is one of the latter. I could go on and on detailing his life and career in both magic and education.. but I don’t know what I could say that would make someone unfamiliar with Robert want to run out and buy this book.. and I don’t have to say anything to make those familiar with Bob instantly buy this book.

This is a gentleman who has co-authored books and DVD’s with Eugene Burger, David Parr, Michael Weber, Jeff McBride and Lawrence Hass. (co-author of this book). He is also the author of a number of extended essays related to magic, creativity, and magic and performance theory. Robert was a monthly columnist for THE LINKING RING, as well as a recipient of a Special Fellowship from The Academy of Magical Arts. Bob is also an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, and taught at Union Theological Seminary in New York as Professor of Psychiatry and Religion. Honestly, I could go on an on.. but I think I’ve made my point.

Lawrence (Larry) Hass, PH.D, aside from being a highly respected artistic magician and writer, is the Dean of the McBride Magic & Mystery School. Larry is a former Professor of Philosophy himself, and had his creative magic featured in or on publications like the New York Times, USAToday, and The Discovery Channel. Larry is one of a tiny few who has taught magic and the magical arts at the college level. In addition to serving as a co-author of MAGIC Inside Out, he is also the publisher of this book.

I think we can actually thank the pandemic for this masterful book. Larry and Bob corresponded throughout 2020, with Bob sending Larry effects.. one by one.. until the two decided it was time to publish. I’m so glad they did…

This is a collection of fourteen very different effects.. each one totally different and unique from the others. There are effects with paper, plastic, currency, cards, a cigarette lighter, a modified magic square, fortune cards, and of course.. a pair of underwear. Seriously…

Bob is not a ‘presenter’ of magic. He is a performer who not only presents magic, but brings it to life with well-crafted patter and intelligent handling. Reading this book, one of the first treats you notice is how he teaches readers to present his magic just as he himself would present it to an audience. He goes into great detail explaining to both the readers and his audience WHY a piece of magic is more than just a moment of amazement. He wants to create a memory his audience will take with them.. and he does exactly that.. with a wonderful combination of aplomb and modesty.

Bob is quite well-known for his Borromean Rings. One of my personal favorites in MAGIC Inside Out is an effect featuring the rings, his script, performance and complete routine. I am easily entranced by items like the Borromean Rings, and it didn’t take much to draw me in. As Bob and Larry write.. it is difficult to relay the mystery of the rings in print. This is one of those effects you need to see. So, they have published a video of the complete five phases of the Baffling Borromean Rings and include the url in the book. This effect is a more compact version of the original, but you get to see/read about both versions.

Another of my favorite is Dream Door.. which is a close up version of Trap Door. The handling of this small miracle is very well taught, along with all the psychological and emotional aspects. You will like this…

The Nun Who Saw Strangely is another personal favorite. This is a nine-square magic square.. that isn’t a magic square. It is a very poignant story of a group of nuns from many years ago.. and tells their tale of great loss and how a small square that isn’t what it seems to be.. is actually something much deeper and complex. The working isn’t complex.. but the story is quite a drama.

Other effects, including Vietnam Zippo and Private Underpants, are just as interesting. I think, I hope, I’ve created enough interest in MAGIC Inside Out you’ll hurry on over and reward yourself with a book you won’t be able to put down until you’ve read every word and every effect. This is magic you won’t find anywhere else…

The last 40 pages are reserved for an in-depth interview with Bob.. by Larry. It’s only fitting. You NEED to understand the mind behind the magic, the mind behind the creativity and presentational matters in Magic Inside Out. This is truly rarefied air.. and I don’t doubt for a moment you will enjoy this as much as I did.

$35.00 .. Available from Murphy’s Magic and their Associates..

Review by Rick Carruth