TA vs. The Art of Astonishment

Discussion in 'Product Questions and Reviews' started by BenTCM, Oct 31, 2010.

  1. Hi! I have been looking into True Astonishments and Art of Astonishments for quite some time. They both look really cool! Would i be better off getting TA, AoA, or both? And what is good and bad about them?
  2. Get AOA for sure. SO much more great stuff in those books. The dvds seem to barely scratch the surface of Paul's thinking. Plus AOA gives you so much more value for the money.
  3. But is TA worth getting? I mean it comes with so many gimmicks...
  4. Honestly, when I was stoked when I got TA, but now that I look back on it, I feel that there could have been more. For as much money as I dropped on it, I think TA is just "eh."

    It isn't bad, but it isn't great either.
  5. AOA are modern classics with lots of ideas you can keep coming back to over the years. TA is a really interesting experiment in presenting and teaching one particular style of magic through the medium of DVD. You can buy AOA one at a time and each volume is just over 10% of the cost of TA and has a lot more material. That said, I'm glad I have both. Much of what I got out of TA are not the effects but rather the vibe of how the material was presented. That may seem kind of like damning with faint praise, but there is something unique about the set. It's not about just the effects but the interviews with people like Eric Mead and David Blaine, unexpected little things from people like Jason England, and the performances of Bro Gilbert, who does the effects in a style I really like.

    That said, there's no question that the books are better value. As for the gimmicks, I'll say that the bag-o-gimmicks was a little bit of a disappointment. I don't like the TA pen at all; I expected something a more advanced than what I got and I never bothered to make it. There are a few gaffed cards, the coffee cards needed for the "Weirdling" effect, and then Twilight Angels cards and Reality Twister. These latter two I love. (And I certainly understand the irony of buying a $300 box set only to discover that two of my favorites are low-cost marketed effects that have been out for years.) You only get four Twilight Angel cards, though, and if you like the trick you'll want more. Reality Twister can be bought individually. So, I guess what I'm saying is that the value of the gimmicks isn't as much as you are led to expect.

    I noticed that someone has uploaded just about all the performances from TA on YouTube, so you can check them out and see if you like the tricks. That might help your decision. Of the tricks that are on both, frankly, for the most part I liked the original versions from the books better. However, there are things that in the books seem kind of "meh," like Tensegrity, which are amazing when you actually see them made and performed on the DVD. And, two of the linking card routines from the books are on the DVD and they are much easier to learn visually.

    Hope this helps.
  6. You can not go wrong with either. If you had to get one, get AOA. It changed how I looked at magic. I bought these books years ago and still refer back to them.

    TA is an amazing set of ideas and effects. I use several ideas off the discs.

    Anything from Paul Harris is worth looking into, he is the greatest mind i magic in my opinion. you will have fun with what ever you choose.
  7. Do you guys think I should only start off with volume 1, or get all 3?
  8. Get all 3 if you can If not one will be fine
  9. I would start off with volume 1. There is so much good material in these books it can be overwhelming. You don't want to skip over any awesome material by going through all three books too fast.
    Hope this helps.
  10. Which book is the best?
  11. There's no reason to get them all at once. I'd probably just start with the first, but you might also want to check the tables of contents here -- http://magicref.tripod.com/books.htm -- and start with a volume that contains some stuff you especially want to learn. There are a lot of performances from the series on YouTube and elsewhere. Volume 1 has Color Stunner, Reset, Vacuum Cleaner Cards, Las Vegas Leaper Bizarre Twist and Recap. Volume Two has the three linking card routines and Overkill. Volume Three has Anything Deck, Shape of Astonishment, Leaf, Limo Service, Seductive Switch, Whack your Pack, Invisible Palm, Tap Dancing Aces, Galaxy and Voodoo Card. Those are some of the hits, so see which ones appeal to you and buy that volume first.
  12. I think TA compliments AOA very well. I would start with AOA. Just because you'll get a good groundwork for how Paul thinks. And then I think you'll appreciate TA much more. You'll be pleased either way you go I'm sure. worth the investment.
  13. Oh, are the tricks on TA and AoA the same, or do they all have different effects?
  14. As far as which book is the best the only thing most people agree on is that book two is the worst yet it is still amazing. I would start with volume one however as it has Pauls essay on astonishment which is a very interesting read and sets up the feel for the books amazingly.
  15. The tricks are different. A couple are variations to tricks on AoA. But overall, most are completely new effects. In the Easter Eggs, you will find teaching of effects from AoA.

    As far as books, I agree that the second is the "worst". But that's if you have to order from worst to best. I think the second is also some of the more creative ideas.
  16. Is book 3 good?
  17. They're all amazing and life changing. So, yes.

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