Essential Books?

Sep 14, 2009
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0
I hear there is this dude who has a book called expert at the card table..

Has anyone here read it?

I heard it was worth picking up.

I havent been able to obtain a copy yet though..

I prefer DVDs though since i can copy them and then sell them on ebay.
 

wZEnigma

Elite Member
Jun 17, 2009
1,512
153
NE Ohio.
ianchandlerwriting.com
I hear there is this dude who has a book called expert at the card table..

Has anyone here read it?

I heard it was worth picking up.

I havent been able to obtain a copy yet though..

I prefer DVDs though since i can copy them and then sell them on ebay.

Haha.

In all seriousness...

And tally, I'm getting all the stuff on that list. I'm asking for additional books

Ian
 
Nov 20, 2007
4,434
6
Sydney, Australia
Ok, I'll give you a list of some of the ones I think are essential - just as a side note, I haven't read your list (I know, I know, I'm just lazy and about to go to bed).

Tarbell's Complete Course in Magic
Art of Astonishment
Inner Card Trilogy
Strong Magic
Maximum Entertainment
Expert at the Card Table
Close Up Card Magic
Apocalypse
The Amateur Magician's Handbook

There have been a lot of good books listed, things like Paper Engine, TOoC... But at the end of the day, I'd have to call them "great books" but not "essential books". They are a great addition to every library, but to narrow things down, I don't think they reach the quality of essentiality.
 

RealityOne

Moderator
Nov 1, 2009
3,577
3,848
New Jersey
So far my list is as follows:

Expert Card Technique
Expert at the Card Table
Royal Road to Card Magic
Modern Coin Magic
Card Magic for Amateurs and Professionals
Card Control

Any more would be great.

Ian


Good list. I've got all of them except Card Magic for Amateurs and Professionals. Royal Road and Modern Coin Magic are classics. Expert Card Technique is one of the best books I have. Erdnase is, well... Erdnase. Not the easiest read but worth it. Card Control also is good.

If you want to give your knuckles a rest:

  • Jean Hugard's Encyclopedia of Card Tricks ($12) - Tricks using regular cards, key cards, double back cards, double faced cards, short cards, reversed cards, Svengali decks, Stripper Decks, prearranged decks and 24 variations of Do as I Do.
  • Scarne on Card Tricks ($10) - 150 self-working card tricks
  • Kirck Charles - Hidden in Plain Sight ($11) - You will never think the same about using marked cards after reading this book.

Now, I learned from the "classics" and then I got Card College. I wished I did it in reverse. The teaching in Card College is much better. Think about getting a couple volumes of Card College instead of the library of the classics.

Also, if you are just starting out in magic, consider getting Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic. It is a great introduction the the basics in all areas of magic (cards, coins, bills, rope, cups & balls, sponge balls, mentalism, stage). There is nothing in there that will leave people screaming, but it will give you a good foundation to build on.
 

wZEnigma

Elite Member
Jun 17, 2009
1,512
153
NE Ohio.
ianchandlerwriting.com
Good list. I've got all of them except Card Magic for Amateurs and Professionals. Royal Road and Modern Coin Magic are classics. Expert Card Technique is one of the best books I have. Erdnase is, well... Erdnase. Not the easiest read but worth it. Card Control also is good.

If you want to give your knuckles a rest:

  • Jean Hugard's Encyclopedia of Card Tricks ($12) - Tricks using regular cards, key cards, double back cards, double faced cards, short cards, reversed cards, Svengali decks, Stripper Decks, prearranged decks and 24 variations of Do as I Do.
  • Scarne on Card Tricks ($10) - 150 self-working card tricks
  • Kirck Charles - Hidden in Plain Sight ($11) - You will never think the same about using marked cards after reading this book.

Now, I learned from the "classics" and then I got Card College. I wished I did it in reverse. The teaching in Card College is much better. Think about getting a couple volumes of Card College instead of the library of the classics.

Also, if you are just starting out in magic, consider getting Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic. It is a great introduction the the basics in all areas of magic (cards, coins, bills, rope, cups & balls, sponge balls, mentalism, stage). There is nothing in there that will leave people screaming, but it will give you a good foundation to build on.

Oh, I have Wilson's book. I'm past that. Good resource though.

The only problem with Card College is the expense. I'm on a rather tight budget.

Close Up Card Magic might get on my list...I'll have to research for a price though.

Thanks so far guys!

Ian
 
Sep 6, 2009
286
0
Cincinnati
The ones listed so far have been good. AoA is a favorite of mine.

But honestly, don't get Bobo's. The coin routines in it are outdated, involving ties and hankerchiefs and such. If you want to learn more modern, practical coin magic, get David Roth's 3 DVD set on Coin Magic. it teaches you the basics, the harder stuff, and the advanced routines!

Then, you can move on to stuff like Sankey's Revolutionary Coin Magic, and Roth's Expert Coin Magic.
 

wZEnigma

Elite Member
Jun 17, 2009
1,512
153
NE Ohio.
ianchandlerwriting.com
I like Bobo's, and I'm not primarily a coin magician, so it won't be an issue.

Close Up Card Magic anyone? And should I stop there or get something else? The Amateur Magician's Handbook, Card College and AoA top the list, however, as before, I'm on a budget.

Thanks!

Ian
 
Sep 6, 2009
286
0
Cincinnati
Not investing in coin magic will hurt you in the long run... just sayin'.

It's essential as a magician to have a good 5 min routine with some borrowed change. After all, when someone asks you to show them something, you can't say "I don't have my cards with me" because that's kind of weak.
 

wZEnigma

Elite Member
Jun 17, 2009
1,512
153
NE Ohio.
ianchandlerwriting.com
Not investing in coin magic will hurt you in the long run... just sayin'.

It's essential as a magician to have a good 5 min routine with some borrowed change. After all, when someone asks you to show them something, you can't say "I don't have my cards with me" because that's kind of weak.

Very valid point. That being said, maybe an AoA volume is best. I'm on a budget though and would love to get some DVDs and cards. Anyone on Close Up Card Magic?

Ian
 
Apr 1, 2009
1,077
1
30
California
Get AOA, you will have everything you need, from inspiring essays to incredible effects, some gimmicked, some impromptu, most are practical, some dares, some games. You will also have an arsenal of effect that could very well get you jobs if you mastered them and used them.
 

wZEnigma

Elite Member
Jun 17, 2009
1,512
153
NE Ohio.
ianchandlerwriting.com
Get AOA, you will have everything you need, from inspiring essays to incredible effects, some gimmicked, some impromptu, most are practical, some dares, some games. You will also have an arsenal of effect that could very well get you jobs if you mastered them and used them.

Which volume has the most high impact stuff? I want to eventually get all of them though. But which one would you recommend first? I thought you might've said 1 but I forgot.

Ian
 
Apr 1, 2009
1,077
1
30
California
Personally that'd be hard to choose, but I will do a quick run through of each book and my favorite effects and ideas from them, and you can choose from there.

Volume 1.

First off, there's an essay by Paul Harris about astonishment that I think everyone should read. Very inspiring.

Improv Nightshades - Draw sunglasses on your dollar bill, with a gentle rub, move them onto the president's forehead.

Bizarre Twist - two face down red aces are used to sandwich the ace of spades which is positioned at a right angle (crosswise) to the red aces. The cards are twisted ala Twisting the aces and the spade visibly turns from face down to face up. This is repeated and on the third turn the back visibly changes from blue to red.

Re-set - Perhaps the most imitated and 'improved' of Paul Harris' effects. Two packets, aces and jacks are shown. Jacks are placed on the table and aces are held in the hands. One at a time the aces change places with the jacks. For a kicker ending the four jacks "reset" and become aces once again. All without going anywhere near the jacks on the table.

Las Vegas Leaper (as well as a variation by Bill Malone) - A great cards across routine.

Twisted Collectors - An effect that I'm working on right now, basically mixes Twisting The Aces with Collectors into one hybrid trick of amazing.

Creation - Patrick Martin's method for creating a live moth from a paper cocoon.

Buck Naked - The 'bent corner' principle used in Seductive Switch is used with currency to provide a bill switch gimmick.

and many many many more...

Volume 2.

Lysdexia - Another oddity: A word in an ungimmicked book moves from one part of the page to another. Uses the same principle as 'Buck Naked' and 'Seductive Switch' applied to a page in a book rather than a dollar bill or playing card. A nice insight into how Paul's mind grows.

Counterfeit Spectator - A spectator's name appears on a dollar bill in the place usually occupied by the Secretary of the Treasury

Fizz-Master - Two cans of soda are shown. One is shaken vigorously so that it will spray when opened. The magician then magically removes the fizz and transfers it to the other can which sprays when opened.

Immaculate Connection - An immaculate linking card effect

Osmosis - Paul's original linking card rings plus the version David Copperfield did on television (different method): and a third handling by Sylnain Mirouf which uses yet a third method.

Twilight - Paul's classic coin routine. A single coin is place in front of a small mirror so it appears two coins are on the table. The coin and it's reflection are then dragged to the side and the reflection becomes a real coin. Further sequences are performed ending with the production of two more coins. (one of the most beautiful effects I have ever seen)

Tensegrity - An oddity you can construct and display in your home. An apparent levitation.

Cellophane Surprise - A pack of cigarettes is borrowed to demonstrate 'bloodless surgery'. The cellophane is broken open at the bottom, a hole is torn in the bottom of the pack and a cigarette is removed. The hole and cellophane are restored.

and many many many more...


Volume 3.

Shape of Astonishment - The image of the head side of a coin is embossed on a scrap of foil. When the coin is turned over the image changes to the tail side.

Hot Chocolate - The principle from The Dehydrated Deck is used to produce a full bar of chocolate from the folded wrapper you carry in your wallet.

Tic-Tac - Coin in the bottle done with a dime and a box of Tic-Tacs.

Leaf - A leaf is removed from a plant, marked and reattached. (um... magic.)

Simple Switch - A 'both directions at once version' of Instant Replay. A great gag explanation of how cards transpose. (This is the trick you see David Blaine performing quite often... if you want some reference.)

Headache - A King of Hearts stabs himself in the head with a sword.

Limo Service - A great Aces and Jacks routine that fits well with Las Vegas Split or Reset. The jacks are magically transported into the card case while the audience is "distracted" by the aces.

Seductive Switch - The principle used in Buck Naked and Lysdexia is put to use in a Blackjack themed transposition. An ace is folded up into a small packet so that it can be concealed in the hand. A blackjack hand of sixteen is shown. The folded card becomes the six and the magician has a winning and crease-free blackjack.

Tap Dancing Aces (revised) - Aces vanish from your hands and appear in and one the deck.

The Invisible Palm - (Probably my favorite card trick of all time.)

Galaxy - Paul takes on Out Of This World. From Paul's "Secrets Of The Astonishing Executive" come some old standard easy to do tricks themed for the business person.

Perfect Ten Paper Clip Paradox. he old mathematical puzzle done with office supplies. (This is actually quite astonishing for you and your spectator.)

Shuffling Lesson - Chad Long's wonderful handling for the spectator finds the aces. Under the guise of a shuffling lesson a spectator manages not only to find four of a kind but to beat the magician's four of a kind.

Hot-Shot Cut (Astonishing Friends) Paul's handling of Daryl's flourish.
__________________

So, it's pretty hard to choose... but if you're to get one at a time. I would probably go with Volume 3 first, then when money provides, get the rest as soon as you can.
 
Apr 1, 2009
1,077
1
30
California
I'm not quite sure what you mean by your question. Would you mind rephrasing for me?

I personally really enjoyed Book 3. It's the thickest. I wouldn't go out and say it's the best. You will find a gold-mine of material in each volume, that you will use. If it's not the effect, it's a sleight, it's an idea. I've been known to mix and match as well. What you get here that you don't get in most dvds is not only the effect. You get Paul Harris' thoughts on the effect, what led him to creating the effect. Ideas as far as what you can do with the effect other than the effect itself. This is knowledge that you shouldn't hesitate invest in. The effects are often much better than how they are described. Paul Harris' effects are also very versatile. Some might get turned off by an effect due to how he presents it, (Yes, he does go into detail on his presentation, patter and all, sometimes), if they don't share his presentational style. But you'll learn, hopefully, to dissect the effect into something different.
 

wZEnigma

Elite Member
Jun 17, 2009
1,512
153
NE Ohio.
ianchandlerwriting.com
I'm not quite sure what you mean by your question. Would you mind rephrasing for me?

I personally really enjoyed Book 3. It's the thickest. I wouldn't go out and say it's the best. You will find a gold-mine of material in each volume, that you will use. If it's not the effect, it's a sleight, it's an idea. I've been known to mix and match as well. What you get here that you don't get in most dvds is not only the effect. You get Paul Harris' thoughts on the effect, what led him to creating the effect. Ideas as far as what you can do with the effect other than the effect itself. This is knowledge that you shouldn't hesitate invest in. The effects are often much better than how they are described. Paul Harris' effects are also very versatile. Some might get turned off by an effect due to how he presents it, (Yes, he does go into detail on his presentation, patter and all, sometimes), if they don't share his presentational style. But you'll learn, hopefully, to dissect the effect into something different.

What I meant was, which one would last the longest, have the best ideas, and basically the most overall equal book.

Ian
 
Apr 1, 2009
1,077
1
30
California
Well, book 3, physically, is the biggest of the 3, if you want to judge by quantity. And I've also been known to use the effects from this book the most. But the whole series will last you a life time if used properly. They're probably all near equal in originality, it's Paul Harris we're talking about here. I got these books at a local magic shop. They only had books 2 and 3 in stock. After research, I chose 3 first. I would vote book 3 if you're getting one. but a warning, you'll soon be sucked in to get them all. and next thing you know, you'll be missing 135 dollars from your account. Paul Harris' classic effect :p.
 
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