Friday, September 30, 2011

Book review: "Rune's World" by Rune Klan


The first time I heard of the Danish magician Rune Klan was in Rick Merrill's lecture DVD. Rick Merrill has a hilarious routine with a pen and a coin that he credits Rune Klan for inspiring/coming up with the basic trick. I love Rick Merrill's performance and decided to look up Rune Klan too.

Rune Klan has apparently done a DVD on coin magic quite some time ago, and recently the book "Rune's World". The book was said to contain both coin magic and stage magic mixed with stand up comedy. I am not particularly interested in coins, and wanted mainly the funny stuff, so I bought the book. And it is hysterically funny. A great buy.

The book has two parts. The first part contains close up magic with coins, a pen, and cards. Some of the stuff is quite challenging (difficult). Some of the stuff is really funny, like the "hitting a pen on your knee turns it into a coin" and the hiding a coin in the middle of your face, under your lower lip parts. Everything is explained in detail, with drawings and text. There are "moves" explained that can be used for many different things, and there are full routines using for example three coins to do a series of tricks with an overall story that makes sense. I liked this part of the book, especially the "funny" tricks.

The second part concerns stage magic and gags. It is done in the form of a comic book, with series of pictures showing Rune Klan doing some magic trick on stage. The explanations are mainly a cartoon Rune Klan with speech balloons where he tells you his thoughts on the trick and some details on how it is done. Many things are explained only very loosely ("I hide [something] by holding it behind [something else] from the start, then do ... , and then I pull out [first thing]"). Most people with basic knowledge of magic will know some method to accomplish the details left out or can figure it out without much work. The focus is not on teaching difficult moves or sleights, it is on showing interesting presentation ideas.

Some parts are magical routines (like the stage version of cups & balls with soccer balls and waste baskets, or the signed piece of sliced ham that ended up in bread insta-baked in a shoe despite being returned to the stack of ham), some are general presentation ideas ("I will do this trick to music." Puts on headphones and does trick to music no one else can hear"), some are quick gags (a disappearing pizza comes to mind). I loved this part of the book.

According to the background information in the book Rune Klan is mainly known for coin techniques by magicians but known for stand-up comedy using magic (with comedy being main) among "normal" people in Denmark. The book contains both, and I liked the comedy parts best.

The book says you should be over 18 to read it. It contains tricks with pictures of mostly naked women, disappearing tampons, sex dolls, etc. so I guess that is why. The contents of the book are not that risque though, so in Sweden I would not expect anyone to worry about young people getting their hands on this material.

I bought the book from Vahishing Inc and paid 60 dollars for it. This is a fair price I think. The book quality is not the best I have seen (the printing etc. is fine, but the binding feels cheap), but it is good enough. There is also a DVD included, showing Rune Klan performing some of the tricks in the book.

Language: English
Price: 60 US dollars
Pages: 180
Type of magic: close up magic (mostly coins but also cards) and stage magic (heavy on comedy)
Clarity of explanations: the close up tricks are very clearly explained and easy to follow; the stage magic tricks are not explained in detail (the point often being a funny presentation idea) but the explanations were good enough for me
Difficulty: a lot of the material is very easy, some is really hard
Amount of material: there is quite a lot of material despite being a fairly thin book, and half of it being comics
Overall impression: a great book, very very funny
Recommendation: if you like funny presentation ideas, definately buy this book

初めてデンマーク人のRune Klanさんのことを聞いたのがRick MerrillさんのレクチャーDVDだった。Rick Merrillさんがペンとコインで凄く面白いルーティンをやって、もともとのアイデアはRune Klanさんのアイデアだと言っている。Rick Merrillさんのそのルーティンが大好きなので、Rune Klanさんのことも調べてみた。

だいぶ前にコインのDVDを出したみたい。最近「Rune's World」という本も出した。本にコインマジックもお笑いと混ぜたステージマジックも入っていると書いてあった。僕がコインにそこまで興味ないし、ふざけてて面白いマジックが好きだし、本を買った。超面白い。買って良かった。


後半はステージマジックとお笑い的なギャグネタになる。テキストではなく、漫画になっている。Rune Klanさんの漫画キャラクターが色々なマジックやギャグをしている。説明は横にあるキャラクターの言うことだけ、割と大雑把な感じだ。例えば:「最初から○○を××の後ろで持っている…何かして…そして、○○を出す」。マジックの基本の知識があれば、その説明でもやろうとすれば多分出来ると思うから、いいんだけど。テクニックとかではなく、教えたいことは面白い見せ方のアイデアなんだ。



本のイントロダクションによれば、Rune Klanさんがマジック世界でコインの難しいマジックで有名なんだがデンマークの一般人から見たら、お笑いの人でちょっとマジックも使っているイメージだそうだ。本にコインマジックもお笑い系マジックも入っている。僕はコメディのところが一番好きだ。


僕が「Vahishing Inc」 から本を買った。60ドルでいい値段だと思う。本の質がまあまあだ。イラストとかが良いんだが背表紙のところとかがちょっと安物っぽい。DVDも付いている。Rune Klanさんが本に入っているマジックを見せている映像。


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