Magic Books

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by medic91w, Jul 20, 2011.

  1. I was curious what books you guys have or what you would recommend. I will be investing in a lot of books this fall. I'm interested in great books that you really have to know about in order to find them. Mainly I'm interested in card magic, but other suggestions are very welcome. Thanks in advance!

    Some books I'm planning on buying:

    Books recommended by Jason England on the download here at T11.
    Tarbell Course
    Card Fictions
  2. Personally,

    I wouldn't buy 'Card Fictions' by Pit Harling. I've bought it (mainly for Finger Flicker) and enjoyed it, but there are better books out there.

    What books do you own/have read already?

  3. Well my collection isn't very large but it includes the following:

    Expert at the Card Table
    Royal Road to Card Magic
    Expert Card Technique
    13 Steps to Mentalism
    Strong Magic
    Designing Miracles
    Complete Course in Magic (I met Mark Wilson at a lecture and had to buy a signed copy from him)

    I'm planning on spending $300-500 this fall. Card Fictions isn't really full of worker effects?
  4. i have well over 300 book on magic and i would say harry loraynes apocalypse vol 1-10
    and paul harris's art of astonishment vol 1-3 are something everyone should have
  5. There are indeed many good books out there, but that is no reason to avoid purchasing "Card Fictions". Pit Hartling is a genius at what he does. He has a very unique approach to his work and his insight into various subtleties and straight up theory is amazing. The book has invaluable information that can be used outside of the presented routines and if you do table work, or enjoy doing private performances for friends or family, in which you have time to sit around and get deep into the conversation, the book provides great routines that do not need much or any tweaking at all.

    In addition, reading the list of books he already has, Pit Hartling's book would be a great addition, as it would give him something a bit different from what his other books provide.

    For a new recommendation, I suggest Carneycopia by John Carney. The book is not entirely cards, but the card content is great and learning a few other things will take you a long way.
  6. Are all Lorayne's books just memorizing routines or do they encompas a lot more? Paul Harris' books are definitely on my list. Would you kind sharing what some of your other books are and what you would highly recommend out of those?
  7. I know of Carneycopia and will most likely include that on my list. Do you have, say, a top ten list from what you own? I think I will end up getting Card Fictions because I do close up and private performances. My problem is I have invested more in effects than in books, so I have way too many of those.
  8. what is in apocalypse is all kinds of effects that were once in his magazine, effects from people like jeff mcbride, paul harris, david roth,
    ken krenzel,dai vernon, slydini and the list goes on you are getting over 1400 pages of cards, coins, rubber bands, mental effects and again the list goes on and on. some other books i recommend are tommy wonders books of wonder not so much for the effects
    but for the theory,Award Winning Magic of John Cornelius is a great book also david williamson's book is another really good book.
  9. Apocalypse might be difficult to find. I just bought the full set and had to track down the volumes from different shops.

    An inexpensive addition would be Menzler's Cuts Counts and Subtleties its around $8.

    If you are serious about cards, get the Card College series.

    Tarbell is amazing but if you are only interested in cards, there are better books.

    What types of effects are you looking for? Gambling routines, pure sleight of hand, effects with strong discrepancies, effects using gimmicks or effects that combine cards with other props? What effects that you perform do you like the best? The answers you give will help us direct you to books that you would like.
  10. That is also the list I've referred to many times when purchasing books.

    My recommendation would be: The Magic of Michael Ammar, Totally Out of Control, and Close-Up Card Magic by Harry Lorayne.

    The only reason I (personally) would pass up Card Fictions for right now is it's a lot of table work. For me, as I like to do walk-around/stand up, it wasn't as practical.

    If you're a card worker, and you like very visual magic with cards jumping around, flying through the air, and are willing to put in actual work. Then I recommend 'Card Stunts' by Gregory Wilson. It's not a book, it's a DVD, but the teaching is superb and the material is meaty.

    But, a lot of what everyone will suggest is on that page Rick linked.
  11. Also, so you know, 'Card Fictions' has 7 Effects, and it is 90 pages long.

    Like I said before, I enjoyed the book and seeing Pit's thinking behind the effects and psychology. As for the effects, they just didn't fit my style (other than Finger Flicker which I tweaked).

  12. I can't help but see this as a contradiction in terms. . . wanting those rare titles about magic but wanting to focus mainly on Card Tricks.

    My comment is partly humor but there is a truth to it and not just my personal bias against playing cards (they are over-used and responsible for a tremendous lack of education when it comes to being a more rounded magical performer). Card tricks are an addiction for the most part because you have an inexpensive vehicle through which you can present thousands of neat manifestations. . . the Thump Tip & Swami do the same thing but you'd be hard-pressed to find much more than a dozen books focusing on either, same going for a very long list of other magical skills & resources that our internet age has cost the whole of magic in that we no longer have those crusty old codgers in the physical magic shops pushing us along a path that will actually make us MAGICIANS vs. tricksters -- individuals that can do magic with just about anything they are handed vs. asking for a deck of cards or worse, constantly carrying a deck on their person.

    Please don't get me wrong, when in the right hands I've seen card magic that is absolutely mind blowing; Max Maven and Martin Nash both have destroyed my mind using my deck under "impromptu" scenarios. They are however, the exception to the general rule; exceptions I believe, because they both studied other aspects of magic or more specifically, slight of hand. So my prescription for you (anyone) would be to spend a few months vested into Bobo, the older "encyclopedic" collections such as the Rice Silk & Dove Magic Series, the Encyc. of Rope Magic and so on.

    The other area you probably should put some time and effort towards includes the Stein & Dey Magic & Showmanship as well as the Henry Hay Handbook of Magic, two unsung heroes of the distant past (used to be required reading when I was a kid). But follow this up with an in-depth study of the Tarbell Course in Magic.

    No, none of these titles are all so secret or exclusive and yet I can lay money on the table that people who own those books, young & old alike, haven't an inkling as to how many wonderful gems they contain that any serious student of the legerdemain, can up-date and melt minds with. Bob Jardine did just that about 25 years ago, when he started making Rubber Bands pass through one another while tending bar at the Magic Castle. . . a basic effect everyone ignored, yet it's in Tarbell.

    Challenge yourself to become a Magician and then you can focus on one area of specialty. But give yourself the grace of learning about the greater whole of the craft vs. a myopic sense of vision.
  13. Favorites that I own:
    "Drawing Room Deceptions", "By Forces Unseen", Dai Vernon's "Inner Card Trilogy", "The Complete Works of Derek Dingle", "Williamson's Wonders"

    I say these are my favorites because I keep coming back to them over and over not just for their routines and tricks but for their concepts and the inspiration I get from them. I also recommend Daniel Madison's "Anthology"

  14. Thank you for the recommendations; I will definitely be checking all of those out.
  15. The Vernon Chronicles are fabulous books. I suggest that you check them out.
  16. Well cards are my bread and butter, but I want to branch out into coins and many other areas. However, I want a much greater sophistication and understanding of card magic which is why I emphasize that type of book. I do not currently do any gambling effects, but that is one area I want to become proficient at. Well I typically like performing effects with simple gimmicks such as a duplicate card, double back or double face card. I definitely am looking for effects that would include these types of gimmicks as I do not want to have my pockets bulging because of the gimmicks; I am open to other small gimmicks as well. The best way I can explain as to what books I am looking for is that I want to have the equialent of a PhD in my knowledge of card magic. If this includes having books that include types of effects I wouldn't perform, that's fine because I would like to be knowledgable of many important aspects of card magic. I tend to do very direct effects. I do walk around style mostly, but I want to work on formal close up shows as well as stage shows. I hope I have been clear enough, but please let me know if I'm too ambiguous!
  17. I recently read Devious Standards by Jamy Ian Swiss, and it is one of the best books I have read in a while. It is all on magic theory, which is essential in magic. It can apply to any type of magic. There is a big section about the double lift that I enjoyed.

    There is an excerpt of it in Genii July 2011. And another excerpt here:
  18. You MUST get The Paper Engine by Aaron Fisher. Incredible book.

    Also, The Card Magic if LePaul is a classic. Stars of Magic is another one that you need to get. PM me if you want more info.

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