Updated: Oct 11
A couple of weeks prior to BMC 23, artists started advertising their products and pre-orders.
Jamie Allan, who is most respected in the field of stage and digital tech illusions, announced the release of a new book. A book that immediately grabbed my attention. I knew I had to buy it as I had followed Jamies's career is recent years and have much respect for his accomplishments.
The book is Jamie sharing "Everything" about his career to date. Highs, lows, learnings and secrets of his effects. A limited edition first edition run, so I did not want to miss out and I pre-ordered, securing the 28th edition of the book (book signed by Jamie with certificate of ownership as first edition).
The title "Everything" being most appropriate as this book is massive. Presented in an auto-biographical fashion, starting from Jamie's initial interest in magic as a boy, working through career accomplishments while working on cruise ships, designing effects for shows and corporate work as well as organising large scale magic events (Illusionarium and Magic Immersive) and even a magic based musical about Houdini. A tale of how Jamie became the iMagician using technology.
The book shares many secrets and for those particularly interested in stage magic illusions, Jamie reveals the workings and know how with excellent illustrations, to not only perform but build many stage illusions - some 13 in total with illustrations.
While the book may be considered expensive (£199), it really is worth the cost as it imparts so much information. While many magic books are published, not many reveal so much about large scale magic illusions and the use of technology.
Once I collected the book from Jamie and his team in person, I immediately got the book to safety, knowing that this will be a real collectable that I would treasure. I knew that I was in good company purchasing when you see a famed magician and all round talented author also collecting/purchasing at the same time.
Prior to reading, you can tell much thought has gone into the presentation of the book. Beautifully presented, and well made. The book already having its own special space on my book shelf. Being a little particular, I always handle it carefully and place it on my magic pad when reading.
My hope was to complete reading and reviewing the book much sooner. A bout of Covid pretty much slowed me down in March. The book is also some 450 plus pages and the size of it does of course restrict to reading on a desk/table, but that only adds to the experience. Not many books feel special to read and this particular volume makes you feel entrusted with rarely known magic secrets and knowledge.
Reading the book becomes quite absorbing, particularly when stage effects are shared with excellent and detailed diagrams/illustrations. You can end up studying certain sections for extended times thinking through the requirements to pull off certain effects.
Reading about Jamie's journey over the years, how he got into magic, his parents' support and progression was of huge interest. I could not help but feel jealous when he tells the story of acquiring a large haul of magic related items that his mum purchased on his behalf from an antique shop when young. Many valuable items by the sound of it that of course helped Jamie on his journey into magic.
The writing style is very honest throughout the book. If something didn't work or he experienced difficulties and learnings, Jamie conveys that.
An advantage of preordering the book and collecting from BMC was that Jamie was lecturing. An insightful talk which was most enjoyable and supported the book.
If the book sounds of interest, I would totally recommend buying. It is really worth the money. I would also expect the book in future years to perhaps be quite hard to find.
A highly recommended book and I do understand that the first edition is quite limited. To learn more and order, visit https://jamieallanbook.com/ which details the many sections and information available in the book.
Well worth reading and buying. Already my favourite and most treasured magic book!
Thanks to Jamie for preparing such a special book and sharing the valuable secrets. A history of Jamie's career and a new Golden Age of magic using technology.
"My journey has been diverse and had its fair share of ups and downs.I promise to tell you the good and the bad, and hope this reflection of the last forty years of magic since I first picked up a Fisher Price magic set at the age of five." - Jamie Allan