I am a huge fan of the Datebook/Diary effect -- I have collected a LOT of different methods over the years. Each has its advantages, and for different venues and performing situations, each has its place. BUT, that said...
I think the Gordon version of this plot (Ted Danson/Alex Elmsley's Datebook effect) is perhaps the best I have come across. It does use a deck of cards, and so the admirable goal of doing the effect with no cards whatsoever is not attained. But the impact on the spectator is very powerful.
It was originally released by Chazpro back in the 1990's, and included a paperback printed datebook, and printed instructions. Those old Chazpro ones are no longer available, and Alakazam now has the rights, producing this beautiful version with a hardback (pocket-size) datebook, DVD instructions, plus an extra secret gimmick that some magicians may find helpful (but is not needed -- just in case you want to use it, it is there)
So why is this Gordon Diary trick so great, you ask?
The effect and important points: spectator is given datebook to hold onto in beginning of the effect, before date or card is selected. Deck is shuffled and can be borrowed. Any date is named, magician shows cards well-mixed and different (they are as the deck is ordinary), the spectator cuts the deck, and the cut to card matches the card written in the datebook on the selected date.
It is really good. It incorporates excellent ideas from Bret Harding, Simon Aronson, and others, but puts them into perhaps the most practical and easily performable version of the classic effect. I also love Cassady's Chronolgue solution to this effect, but for sheer ease and practicality, the Gordon Diary gets my vote for best calendar trick ever.
The calendar is nicely printed, and without any identifying year, so it will never look out-of-date.
This effect normally sells for about $40-$45.
NOTE: there is a "Lite" version also for sale, which does not include the beautifully-produced diary, just the DVD instructions. So if you want to save a little money, and make your own datebook, take a look at the LITE version.
Brand new and unused.
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