The Tarbell Course in Magic

Discussion in 'Product Questions and Reviews' started by industrialchild, Dec 22, 2009.

  1. Hey guys, I'm sure many of you have at least heard of The Tarbell Course, but I was just curious as to how many of you actually own it.
    It is an old set of books, and many consider this to be outdated. I'm here to say that the only thing that is outdated in these tomes are the presentations and patter. The effects are solid!
    Every time I crack one of the volumes open, I get something new and usable. The stuff these old creators came up with is just nuts! Just yesterday I was looking through one of the volumes and came across this effect: The performer displays a deck of cards, and has one selected. The deck is shuffled and magic paper (flash paper) is tightly wrapped around the cards. The blade of a knife is pushed through the paper and the cards, in much the same fashion as in a Card Stab routine. However, the spectator is invited to hold onto the handle of the knife. The performer pulls out a match and ignites the paper. In a flash of fire, cards fall to the floor leaving only their selected card skewered on the blade!

    The effect plays out just like the description, and it is also practical! (Besides the fact that your deck is screwed, but I mean c'mon! This is a closer for sure!)

    How many people here own these books?

  2. I do....I have the Tarbell Course...complete and it was a gift...whenever I need an effect or some advice I check it out
  3. I am 98.5 % I will be unwrappimg these books on Christmas Day.
  4. I've been hesitant to post this up, mainly out of greed (trying to score the best deal possible, and didn't want competition)

    I picked up each volume (used, of course) on e-bay for no more than $15 each (shipping included). Some I bought separately, some I bought in groups, but I now have all except volume 8. I even have a duplicate of Vol 1.

    It's actually really easy to set up a watch list for that sort of thing.

    and the cool thing is, you get really old editions. Kind of cool having the original 1944 version instead of a reprint.

    I think I'm just going to keep buying them if I can keep getting them that cheap and donating them or opening a little library....
  5. Yep, got them here too. Actually, not all of them, I'm working on completing the set by buying used.

    The books are fantastic, I've read 3 in their entirety so far, and it's amazing to me how much I see the 'new hot trick' coming right off these pages. I think these are a must buy/read for any serious magician, regardless of their skill level. These are the books that teach the theory. The patter and style is definitely dated, but the effects in these are beyond solid. I seriously think it's a matter of you can either buy and read these books, or you can buy the effects created by the people who bought and read these books.

    phrozunsun, I've got one of the 40's prints (Vol 4, I think) that I don't want. I prefer reading from the newer editions. If you're interested in it (or anyone else) PM me and maybe we can work something out.
  6. Hello

    Excellent ! I like it very much
  7. Tarbell

    I have had mine four 30 years,awesome reading and mine r signed by the man him self.
  8. I got em too...lost my first set in Iraq. Bought em again just to keep and pop open every now and then.

    FYI, most of Lance Burton's show comes right out of Tarbell :)

  9. Nice thread - some good stuff to consider.
  10. Tarbell

    Great set of books. I have owned them since the early 1980's. those and Mark Wilson's course in magic were my foundations in magic.
  11. The Tarbell course is an amazing set. Unfortunately, I've lost a couple of books recently, and I believe volumes 2 and 4 were lost among others.
  12. I'm gonna get these with Christmas money! Ha! :D
  13. I opened this series this morning. Any tips/ favorite routines?
  14. Well that is a sweet Christmas present! Spades, you now have a series of books in your possession that cover ALL facets of magic. There is cards, coins, cigarette magic, mentalism, rope, even big stage illusions in there.
    My advice to you would be to read the stuff in there concerning theory, showmanship, and audience management. As far as the tricks go, that is really up to you. Like I said, I think that all facets of magic are covered in these series, so whatever you were into before you got these series should be in the book. The books may give you new ideas on tricks that you already do.
    Chances are if you randomly flip through the books you will discover something that catches your eye.
    Before I purchased these books, I was already into card magic. So naturally the first facet of magic that I studied in these books was cards. The first card trick that caught my attention in the book was called "A Psychological Test" from Vol. 1 I believe.
    As time passed, I branched out in my magical knowledge and became interested in learning some coin work, some rope, and some mentalism. I would come back to these books for insight and inspiration, and more times than not I would find tricks in these books that I would almost immediately put in my always developing repertoire.
    So in short, I guess what i'm trying to say to you is to just let your mind and your eyes roam around the pages of these volumes for a little while. I guarantee you will find more than enough that captivates you.

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