John didn’t release these books as a trilogy but everything gets more press when it comes in threes. Everything from The Lord of the Rings to the Father, Son and Holy Ghost come in threes so I thought I’d captitalize on that while I could.

This trilogy relates to three booklets that he’s released the last couple of years. First was “Six. Impossible. Things.” in 2009. As hard as I try I just don’t get the literary choice for all those extra periods. I’m sure there’s something witty going on in the text there but I’ll be damned if I can see it. In short, a good book but I would not call it one of Bannon’s best. The highlight is the reprint of Play-It-Straight Triumph.

Second is Mega’Wave released in 2010. This book contains 7 fractal packet effect. Bannon uses the term fractal to apply to any packet trick where all the cards are examinable after the effect. This is an excellent book with some excellent thinking. One point I neglected to make in the video review is that there are a couple of general handling ideas that extend beyond the effects presented which can be used in a variety of packet and full deck effects. These ideas are the most valuable part of this book, at least to me. Since the title effect Mega’Wave is demonstrated by Bannon himself elsewhere on the grid, I thought I’d just put up a link to his performance and I ended up choosing a couple of different effects. To see Cameron Francis’ hermetically sealed and approved version of Mega’Wave, click here.

Finally, there is Triabolical released in 2011. This booklet only contains 3 effects but they are devious, well thought out, and keeping to form these effects are fractal as well. An excellent set of ideas from Bannon. There are some special cards needed for 2 of the 3 effects, but thankfully they are provided.

On to the demos:

This is B’rainiac from Triabolical. The important point to make here is that in actual performance the spectator does get to choose which Ace they want. For purposes of the demo I had to pick one of the Aces… so sue me.

This effect is one for which Bannon is particularly well-known. I think the effect is so popular because it takes the classic Triumph plot and shifts the focus of the “magician in trouble” ploy away from the fact that all the cards are mixed up to realizing that the selected card hasn’t yet been put back into the deck when the face up/face down shuffle occurs. It also doesn’t hurt that this is technically very simple to do.

Absolutely one of my favorite tricks to do. Normally, I do this with the 4 Jacks instead of 4 Jokers which means it uses cards from a borrowed pack and additionally, is very difficult to reconstruct. This is true for two reasons. First, the methodology is very deceptive. More important, though, the spectator is led to believe something that isn’t true–namely, that all the cards are the same. Once they have “figured it out” they are mentally drop-kicked when the sets of cards are finally shown to be different.

The next pair of demos utilize the same modus operandi. The first one randomly pulls cards out of full deck. The second is a bit more streamlined and uses a packet from the beginning. For these effects to reaach their full potential you really need a strong presentation to pull it off. These two demos do not contain the aforementioned strong presentation. At least you know how NOT to present these tricks to a real audience.

Last up is a streamlined handling of Bannons “Royal Scam” which is available on his web site as a single trick DVD. This is a more casual handling with fewer convincers. I really should work both of these to figure out which version I prefer. But I probably won’t. Great effects, though.

Purchase these John Bannon books from H & R Magic Books.