This is a tough review to write – at least it is for me. In every magician’s development there are certain seminal moments, events or happenings that exert a strong influence throughout his magical development. The Book of John was one such point for me.
This book, like Lorayne’s Close Up Card Magic, created an excitement in the reader. It made you want to learn the tricks and both have continued to be major influences years later. When Mendoza wrote his second book, it was apparent, even to him, that he had spilled his guts on the 1st one and had nothing left to say, but the first one was apparently a good seller and he struck while the iron was hot. Not that unusual.
Over 2 years ago John recorded a session for L&L and it has now been released in a 3 volume set simply titled – John Mendoza – My Best.
I don’t understand why it takes so long to bring these DVDs to market after the shoot, but it does. Unless Falanga is using the criminally stupid for editing, that can’t be the problem. It just may be the timing he chooses. Anyway, they’re out now.
We’ve heard little from John over the years since The Book Of John. A pamphlet or 2 and I recall a forgettable book on someone else’s magic. He’s a regular seller on eBay and participant on Brooks’ site also, but that’s about it.
I’ve watched the videos a couple of times and I must say, I’m underwhelmed. I’ve seen worse, but I expected more. For one thing, I guess, I’m not a fan of lap work. I think it is grotesquely obvious to even the layman – the simpletons apparently most perform for. John stared into his lap over and over, apparently checking to see if his wang was still attached. It was disconcerting.
His approach was less than low key – he seemed bored shitless and, frankly, his chops were less than I expected. The explanations were more than adequate without being tedious.
I get tired of people excusing crap under the layman love it banner. John keeps beating us over the head with how this is his living and magic isn’t a hobby or blah blah blah. OK, John, that’s fine, but I’ll bet you have no problem taking money from the hobbyists you so publicly disdain!
Check out his post on the Cafe. If you read his stuff for long – including his auction descriptions, I believe you’ll come to the conclusion this guy is a Dick. I’ve seen worse, but a Dick, nonetheless. I’ve never understood guys jumping on the Cafe to defend their products, but they do. Admittedly, none are in Lorayne’s class – He’s on the Mount Rushmore of Dicks – right next to Rumsfeld.
Conclusion – I’m glad I bought them. Surprise! I think there is a lot to be learned from a Mendoza. His choice of material has made him a living for a lot of years and I was glad to see how some of these tricks, that I read about so many years ago, really looked. There was no real flow to the show – this may have been the fault of the editor. Much of it looked like a disjointed dealer demo. I’m disappointed on many levels, but don’t feel screwed.