Draven Reviews: The Jekyll & Hyde Test by Scott Olgard & Luke Jonas

not approved Title: The Jekyll & Hyde Test

Author: Scott Olgard & Luke Jonas

Publicist: Olnas Magic

Retail Price: $110.00 USD

Effect Difficulty: Medium to Difficult

Number of Pages: 46 pages (Instructional) 130 (Book Test)

Notes:  Both the instruction book and the book test are paper back

Notes: Limited Edition.  Only 500 Copies have been released to the public.

Features:

  • Paper Back Instructional Book
  • Paper Back Book Test Book

The spectator is asked to flip through a book with over 26,000 words in it and settle on a page unknown to the performer.  Without fishing the performer is at first able to recite an entire line from that page.  Then the spectator writes down three or four different page numbers, unseen by the performer.  The performer is able to give small details from one of those pages before reciting the entire first paragraph.  Lastly, turning to another page, the spectator selects a random word that the performer can reveal through any method they like such as drawing duplication.

This is the Jekyll & Hyde book test.  It’s a very nice, very versatile prop that can allow you to truly capture some impossible moments with your audiences, and undoubtedly it’s over priced for what it is.  The book does look and feel like a real book.  Your spectator can flip through it, and read from it without worry of exposing the method.  However the book is a very short book.  The marketing angle they give you is that it has over twenty-six thousand words, but really there’s only a hundred and thirty pages.  Since one of the presented premise for performance is that you’re able to memorize the entire book, at a 130 pages this doesn’t seem really all that much of a challenge.

The advertisement says that there’s no need for complicated memory work, and that I feel is a bold faced lie.  You can’t sell a product saying “No complicated memory work” and then turn right around and put this in the instructions under the Memory Techniques heading: “As authors and performers, we realize that the idea of remembering all the information required within this effect does, at first, seem like a gargantuan task.”  It doesn’t just seem like folks… it is. Also what the hell is up with the cover of the book anyways?  The cover art is strait up RIPPED off of the Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter movie poster.  They didn’t even do anything to clean it up or hide the fact that they have the creative originality of a dead sloth that’s been baking in the sun for a week.  They just cropped off the left side of the photo and called it good.  I heard of magicians stealing intellectual property from other magicians but apparently we’re now stealing shit from sources outside of magic too!

And that’s where I put down this book test as a product and promptly went back to using my other tests that I already know and love.  There may be some versatility with this test but I’m not going to use something that steals cover art from another source and then is so bold to not even credit it.  There’s a lot of memory work that goes into this test too and I’m just not going to devote my time to learning it.  If you’re going to run classic horror as a subject for a book test then you’re setting yourself up for failure for someone in the audience to call out the cover art for what it is, and while I can explain it away why should I?  That’s more work than necessary.  Also I feel like only printing 500 copies was just an excuse to jack the price up over a Benjamin.  Overall I think I’ve already found better, and more creatively moral options on the market than wasting my time with this crap.

When I give my product scores below I am measuring them on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 Being absolute the worst score possible, and 10 being the absolute best, making a score of five average. The four points that I grade upon is Product Quality, Teaching Quality, Readability and Overall Quality.

Product Quality: 1

This is the one time I can judge a book by its cover, and because of that this product fails.

Teaching Quality: 3

Complicated memory system.  Not easy.

Readability: 5

It is readable.

Over All Quality: 2

This doesn’t really add anything to the field of book tests which can’t be achieved with other products.

Have a product you want reviewed?  Want to see if it will stand up to the Draven Seal of Approval?  Contact me directly at draven@williamdraven.com to find out how your product could be on the next Draven Reviews!  Don’t forget to like my blog where all my reviews are posted at www.williamdraven.wordpress.com.

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About William Draven

William Draven is a professional magician and sideshow performer living in Los Angeles, California. Follow him on Twitter at WilliamDraven or on facebook at www.facebook.com/thewilliamdraven
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