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The Magic Cafe Forum Index Ľ Ľ New to magic? Ľ Ľ Recommended books for beginners (47 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Steve Brooks
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Northern California - United States
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Mark Wilsonís Complete Course In Magic:

For those of you just starting out, this decent sized hardback has been called the magic bible by some.

Though it doesnít cover everything (what book does), it has enough to keep you busy for some time! Smile

The Tarbell Course In Magic:

Though a little out-dated patter wise, this eight volume set of books is a must for any magic library.

This course was originally released through the mail in monographs, a chapter at a time!

Arenít you glad you can get the whole set at once? Smile

_________________

Life is not a problem to be solved...

but a mystery to be lived.
"Always be you because nobody else can" - Steve Brooks
Doug Byrd
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VA
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Steve,

I'd like to 2nd the Mark Wilson Complete Course in Magic Book. I have had my copy for 14 years and still reference it to this very day. Top of the list. If you decide you want to be a card man then I'd go with the 4 Roberto Giobbi Card College Volumes. If it's Coin Work your looking to perfect then J.B. Bobo's Mordern Coin Magic Book.

Just my 2 drakma worth,

Doug Smile
"Sic gorgiamus allos subjectatos nunc"
Mike Giusti
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371 Posts

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I would have to add the Amateur Magician's Handbook by Henry Hay. One of the best for both beginners and advanced magicians. Smile
Tom Cutts
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Northern CA
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Bill Tarr's Now You See It, Now You Don't is what got me going with the real stuff.



Tom Cutts
kristel
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Quebec, Canada
87 Posts

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The Karl Fulves series of books on magic are affordable and a good reference on many aspect of magic.



Andre Le Magicien

From Quebec, Canada





Smile
Andre Le Magicien
Quebec Canada
Excuse my French...
Seanamon
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Victoria, Texas
65 Posts

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I'd like to suggest "The Magic Book" by Harry Lorayne as a great guide for beginners and intermediates. He teaches sleights down to the minutest detail, and it will give you a great foundation to build from.



Best,



Sean
Scott F. Guinn
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"Great Scott!" aka "Palms of Putty" & "Poof Daddy G"
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My list of required books for the budding magician:

Amateur Magician's Handbook-Hay

Royal Road to Card Magic-Hugard & Braue

New Modern Coin Magic-Bobo

The Magic Book-Lorayne

Close up Card Magic-Lorayne

Stars of Magic

Mark Wilson's Complete Course



After these, get Tarbell, Greater Magic, and Card College. Follow with Ortiz' Strong Magic and the Tamariz Trilogy, and you'll have all you need to make a living in magic!
"Love God, laugh more, spend more time with the ones you love, play with children, do good to those in need, and eat more ice cream. There is more to life than magic tricks." - Scott F. Guinn
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Magicman0323
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Just outside parts unknown.
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I'm going to go with Mike on the Amateur magician's handbook, but also the Mark Wilson book is EXCELLENT.
You'll wonder when I'm coming, you'll wonder even more when I'm gone. - Max Malini
MagicMan
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United States
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If someone needs visuals to learn, Michael Ammar's Easy to Master Card Magic and Paul Harris' stuff are great beginner videos. Max Maven also just came out with some good beginner mentalist videos.
Magically yours,
Harrison Greenbaum (http://www.harrisonmagic.com)

"The art of astonishment, when pushed into the wildest edge of edges, is the art of doing real magic...Tricks are tools. Astonishment is real." - Paul Harris
Seanamon
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Victoria, Texas
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Iím going to second that on Ammarís Videos for visuals. He also goes a little into the routining and psychology behind a move or effect, which is an often overlooked aspect to magic. In addition, the effects themselves are very strong and I use plenty of them. Itís also nice to learn from a real pro in all aspects of the art.

While I am at it, I wholeheartedly recommend a beginner wanting to go into card magic, make one of their first purchases (if they are serious) Card College by Roberto Giobbi. Easily one of the best investments I have ever made in magic books. Smile

Sean
Jack
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Well, I was going to post my thoughts for magic young'uns, but you guys have covered it quite well. If you're a magic young'un, heed the above posts and you'll be well on your way. This artform can be very addictive and consuming of thought, time, and money. But there are rewards along the way.



Magically, Jack Smile
Brad Burt
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I would like to second Mike Giusti's pick:

Amateur Magician's Handbook by Henry Hay. Put in the time and find this even if you have to haunt the used book stores. The beginning two chapters on theory are worth their weight in gold. Truly wonderful material.



On top of that the book has a wealth of superb magic sleights and effects. Get this if you can. Best,
Brad Burt
CardTrix
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Springfield, IL
52 Posts

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Can I add my 2 cents here. Every book you all have listed is excellent, great for beginner card magicians, but I also feel every magician should dabble in a little bit of everything...Thats why Iím recommending Boboís book "Modern Coin Magic" also excellent for every new magi.



_________________

itís all in the reflexes
Bernard Sim
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Singapore
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Boboís bookís a must for all coin workers. I donít think Iíll finish learning all the tricks in that book.

:goof: Smile Smile
Bernard Sim
Steve Brooks
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Northern California - United States
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I have to agree with you guys on this, BOBO is THE bible on coin magic... good stuff!

Smile
"Always be you because nobody else can" - Steve Brooks
Burt Yaroch
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Dallas,TX
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All of these suggestions are fantastic. After you have read everything posted here and you feel magic is something you really enjoy and wish to master on any level, you have to read the Fitzkee Trilogy: Magic and Misdirection, Showmanship for Magicians and The Trick Brain. I donít think thatís the right order, but they donít need to be read sequentially. I often get criticized for recommending this series to beginners but you canít learn to fish swinging a baseball bat.
Yakworld.
J R Thomas
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Champaign Illinois
138 Posts

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The Amateur Magicianís handbook by Henry Hay

Hands down the best buy for the money. Thereís a great list of books in the back of it. After devouring Hay check out your public library and then your local magic store. Once you get your feet wet I would recommend buying a compilation of a magazine like Magic Menu, Collected Alamanac or Apocalypse. Each of these has variety though most material is close up.



JR
Those who hear not the music

Think the dancers mad
Dennis Michael
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Southern, NJ
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Before you can recommend any books, the beginner must determine who the audience is he wants to entertain. A lot of time can be saved in learning by knowing this.

For instance, if a beginner wants to do birthday parties, etc. (the kids show crowd) then he should read about how to entertain them. Striving to be a Card Manipulator is not the direction to go related to entertaining kids.

If skill is required for the hobbyist, then focus on an area of study, and master that area before going on into another area.

Excellent Books for Kids Entertaining

  • Mark Wilsonís Complete Course in Magic
  • Doing Magic for Younsters by Easley and Wilson
  • Professional Magic for Children by David Ginn
  • Kid Biz by David Ginn
  • Safety Magic for Children. Ginn and Wagner
  • Kid Stuff Five by Francis Marshall
  • Seriously Silly by David Kaye (added to list 6/07)


Excellent Books for General Entertaining

  • Tarbell Course in Magic Vol. 1-8
  • Mark Wilsonís Complete Course in Magic


Excellent Books for The Birthday Party Business


Excellent Books and Videos for Adult Entertaining

  • Specific category related books to the area of study, such as cards, sponges, cups and balls, etc.
  • Videos and DVDs by the pros such as McBride, and Ammar.
  • The comedy of Mullica on Video


Remember, Magic is only one aspect of three areas of study related to this art. To be a pro or be "successful" in magic one must understand the Business aspect and the Theatrical (Fitzkke Trilogy) aspect. No one book does this all.

Smile
Dennis Michael
Tom Cutts
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Northern CA
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Dennis makes a good point. If your desire is to step in front of an audience, then you will best be served by directing your study toward the audience you want.



A great way to do that is to ask in a place such as this. Go to the forum you think is closest to your objective and start a topic describing what, if any, background you have and ask for some resource suggestions.



Often, however, people donít know, or donít want to perform before an audience. They want to enter magic as an entertainment and skill for themselves. Sort of like my nephews playing video games.



You play for yourself but once you get good enough, you play with others or even display your skill to others... who may not much care nor understand. Smile Sounds a lot like some magic I have seen. Smile



In this way some "hobbyists" evolve into performers to a certain degree.



This very topic lists many great resources for someone wishing to explore in general without a knowledge for his or her audience or direction.



To anyone doing this I would recommend finding a mentor, someone you wish to emulate, and follow their advice.



There are many secrets in magic... not all of them are how to.



Smile Happy Learning Smile



_________________

Tom Cutts

Publisher, AM/PM

About Magic...Performing Magic
Bengi
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Georgia
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Well put, Tom!!!

I totally agree. Not all magic is for all people. You will eventually find the type of magic you enjoy best. In my opinion, that is what I would suggest.

I began reading EVERYTHING related to magic. I dabbled a bit with all of it.... then I knew what interested me the most.

I then pursued it with all I had!!!

And keep in mind, it isnít how MUCH magic you know that is important...

it is how WELL you do it!





Bengi
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