John Luka’s newest masterwork, Uncovered is a true magic book.
It feels and looks like a true magic book as well. The hardback cover contains the art and title information — just like the old days before publishers moved to the less-expensive dusk-jacket wrap around nondescript pressboard.
The images in the book are plentiful, clear, instructive, and are perfect for reading with one hand while the other hand learns the moves depicted.
Mr. Luka’s reliance on the images to teach his very special effects reminds one of Buckley’s approaches to teaching card and coin magic in his Principles and Deceptions.
Mr. Luka takes the teaching one step further, however. The text, the descriptions, the annotations, and meticulous crediting, evidence Mr. Luka’s devotion of time and energy. Uncovered is a finished product.
This is not an indictment of other magic authors, but recognition of the special care Mr. Luka devoted to Uncovered.
There are magic authors able to produce DVDs, books, lectures, and tricks constantly but their commitment to quality takes a backseat to their desire to stay in the dealer catalogs or on the lecture circuit.
There are seventeen effects in Uncovered and each of the effects are practical, commercial effects you will be able to use.
Mr. Luka wanted Uncovered to be a collection of unique effects, worthy of inclusion in the working professional’s act, and within the skill set of the amateur or semi-professional magician.
The effects are less knuckle-busting and magician-fooling; and more proven, well-considered routines designed to showcase proven commercial magic.
Mr. Luka takes the reader into his confidence as he describes the effect and the method.
The style is conversational, friendly, and at times self-effacing.
For instance, he admits he did not create the routines in a vacuum. He confesses he sought help from the masters of our craft. He did not want to present a series of tricks, but full routines and he enlisted the aid of magic legends.
Ed Marlo helped Mr. Luka develop the necessary ending for his brilliant The Ambitious Card routine. Mr. Marlo did not change the sleights involved, but adjusted the presentation; ensuring the finale followed naturally from the prior phases.
Mr. Luka’s multi-phase presentation of The Ambitious Card is a perfect combination of the right patter, pacing, and most efficient (and not necessarily the most difficult) sleights.
His method to obtain a break for a double lift was a welcome revelation. You perform a double (or triple lift) with the same hand movements a lay person would use to turn over a card. If this description is vague, that is intentional.
We do not want to reveal the purpose or method behind a double or triple lift to non-magicians.
Trust us, you will switch to the method Mr. Luka describes.
The only drawback is that you will no longer look to be doing "something tricky" with the cards. If you are willing to give up that unnecessary affectation, you are ready for Mr. Luka’s book.
Recently we heaped praise on the publishers of and contributors to the quarterly magic journal Antinomy.
One of the methods by which we determined Antinomy‘s special status among all magic publications was the quality of the tricks contributed. The effects were not throw-away sleights with the bare essence of a routine stretched to fit. We specifically noted Mr. Luka’s willingness to publish his incredible The Card to Wallet.
Mr. Luka’s handling and method make this trick a signature piece. He shared it with Antinomy readers and now will also teach readers of Uncovered.
Mr. Luka has produced a true magic book.
While it may have been a few years since his last work, L.I.N.T., the wait was worthwhile; the fruits of Mr. Luka’s labor are sweet.