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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » Recommended books for beginners (45 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Harry Lorayne
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"While we're on cards, Close Up Card Magic is another great starter. I personally didn't start with this book when it came to cards, but the tricks are farely easy to do and the tricks are some of the best out there in my opinion. Wether you start with the other card books I mentioned or not, definitely read this book. You can't get it in it's original form, but it's one of the four books included in one by the same author (Harry Lorayne) entitled Lorayne: The Classic Collection volume 1."

None of my books were available in the 40s - I don't think!
[email]harrylorayne@earthlink.net[/email]

http://www.harrylorayne.com
http://www.harryloraynemagic.com
Italia16
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Great topic! Being new here, I appreciate all the recommendations.
bobflyer
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Great ideas...thanks!
magicnium0772
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After reading through this thread I have just ordered Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic, the Amateur Magician's Handbook and Modern Coin Magic. I'm also thinking of getting Strong Magic by Darwin Ortiz as my performance and audience management could do with some serious improvement! Smile
magic_rice55
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Thanks for all of the suggestions. I have a copy of Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic and I love it. I use it all the time. I will definitely pick up these other reads and check them out. I also have been reading both of Joshua Jay's Magic books. I think they are very helpful in all aspects of magic. Thanks to all the veteran magicians out there who support beginner and upcoming magicians!
Sanderr
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Netherlands
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So which of the many recommendations in this topic is the best to get first? I already own RRTCM, Modern Coin Magic and 13 Steps to Mentalism and want to expand my collection with a general knowledge book like Wilson's Complete Course or the Tarbell Course (starting with the first volume). The problem is I don't know which one to get first. Any suggestions?
ThePhoenix
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Bécancour
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I am back in magic after 35 years and I started with Joshua Jay's excellent Magic The Complete Course. A very good starting point.

Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic is another great classic. It was my second books.

After these 2 great books I bought the classic Roberto Giobbi's Card College (5 books). A must if you want to learn card magic and sleight-of-hand. Royal Road to Card Magic is also a good one but I recommand starting with Card College.

Have fun...
Do your best and forget the rest
Magic-Scott
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For cards, I would certainly recommend Roberto Giobbi's Card College series and The Royal Road to Card Magic by Jean Hugard and Fredrick Braue.
Harry Lorayne
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Nobody has suggested it, so I will - although I doubt if you can find a copy currently. If you're pretty much a beginner, I'm referring to my book, THE MAGIC BOOK. (I'm in the throes of re-writing and updating it as we speak - for The Classic Collection, Vol. 4, the last of the series.)
[email]harrylorayne@earthlink.net[/email]

http://www.harrylorayne.com
http://www.harryloraynemagic.com
Magic MarkR
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The various of books and resources suggested in this thread are excellent. I can see how a new person in magic can feel overwhelmed and swimming with books, DVD's and props. I would like to offer a little bit of guidance. Learning the tricks is only one part of magic. How the trick works is the trick. WHY the trick works is the magic, the performance. Read the trick and see if the effect and the methods work for you. If so, great. If not move on. I would suggest reading the comments by the various authors very carefully. These are the keys to making the tricks come alive and shaping you as a performer. One of my favorite chapters written to the magician comes from John Mulholland's first chapter in his book, "Magic for Entertaining".

I saw some comments about what tricks and books were "outdated". Other than patter, tricks are really never outdated. Most old tricks can be updated. The audience will not know if you learned the card trick from a book dated 1914 or a current DVD. Also NEVER discount a trick because the secret is simple. A miracle is a miracle from the audience's point of view. They are not judging if you made a difficult pass or a difficult sleight - as a matter of fact they don't even know what you are really doing.

The most important advice I have to offer is to have fun.
Mark Randolph
JeremyHall
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I have to agree with Mark on this one rather strongly. While many of the books listed deal with tricks, few deal with matters of performance.

It is pretty downright daunting to get up in front of a group of complete strangers (or worse: the ever critical friends and family!) with a handful of simple illusions you are eager to try. Some can do it, some of us can't - at least not the first try =) The first time I was up on stage and I froze up solid. (Fortunately I wasn't the only one up there!)

I believe the following books would be a great help to the new magician, especially if they are new to performing:

* An Actor Prepares, by Stanislovski. - A really solid book on creating a character and understanding your motivations as an actor. Yes we are actors up there, even if we are just being ourselves. It gives good tips, even if it can be a bit of a rough read from time to time.

* Magic and Showmanship, by Henning Nelms. - Makes you seriously rethink magic and how you do it. Probably the best book I've read on presentation, with a number of fantastic reworkings of old illusions. I ended up taking his idea with the modified wizard routine with a cell-phone so you can literally do it anywhere. Its all about the meaning.


Also a word of caution to many new magicians: A LOT of books of magic will repeat themselves, especially card magic. Don't let that worry you though, sometimes a different take can make all the difference between learning something new.

Cheers to you all,

Jeremy
JayB80
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As a beginner card man (been at this for just over a year now)I have to say Mark wilson's complete course in magic is excellent as it covers most kinds of magic such as Cards,rope,sponges,coins,Stage illusions etc. As I am mainly a card guy I would have to say that the Royal Road to card magic book and Paul Wilsons royal Road To Card Magic Dvd course are excellent teaching the very fundamentals of card magic and splendid tricks that with time and practice are easy to learn and to perform. Roberto Giobbi's Card College is stunning. Volume 1 is an excellent guide for beginners starting out in card magic. Volume 1 is similar to the Royal Road but teaches you more variations I guess of the same moves/techniques etc.Vol 2,3,4,5 are crammed with more advanced techniques and info on performance(I have just started number 3).I found Daryl's encyclopedia of card sleights dvds to be fantastic teaching you something like 350 moves over 7 dvd volumes. It is a little fast paced going from move to move quickly.I have gotten through 3 volumes thus far and love Daryl's style. A great book when starting out with cards is Scarne on Card Tricks. Loads of self working card tricks that are easy to perform after practice and will give a beginner confidence as you can work on presentation without worrying about complicated sleights. If you like mentalism as I do I have found anything by Richard Osterlind fascinating. His Dvd series mind mysteries and No camera tricks,Mental Miracles etc are brilliant. For beginner coin magic Bobos's book on coin magic seems to be the best bet. Easy to follow but much practice is needed with those fiddly little coin things lol. There is so much material out there many I have yet to discover and after a year of practice I still feel overwhelmed at times. My advice from a beginner to a beginner is to decide which area of magic you have most interest in then buy one or two items then learn/practice the material you have thoroughly, taking your time. I mean Mark Wilsons complete course in magic alone has material that could last a lifetime inside.

Jay
AlexVegas
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All of this info has been great I think I will be purchasing some new literature soon.
Brad Sheppard
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Thank you to everyone for your thoughtful and very helpful suggestions! New magicians can easily feel overwhelmed by the literally thousands of books and DVD's on the subject. I started with Mark Wilson's course and I am still referencing it today. It is a wonderful resource. I was lucky to inherit many Genii and Linking Ring magazines from the 1940-1970's. It has been a joy reading the effects in the older magazines and thinking of creative ways to make them up to date. Before running out and purchasing the latest and hottest effects, revisit the books you own and try something new. Never underestimate the power of classic magic. Most of our audiences do not care if the effect was created in 1930 or 2012. Make it yours!

- note: Try an online book seller for used books. I found the Mark Wilson Course for $3.00!
Theodore Lawton
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Inner circle
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I started with Mark Wilson's course a couple years ago and only yesterday purchased Amateur Magician's Handbook (Hay) and the Stein and Day Handbook of Magic through Amazon. Both books including postage only cost me 15 bucks!

I'm looking forward to all the performance information listed in the contents of Stein and Day. What we say, when we say it, why we say it- sound like great chapters.

Thanks to you guys for pointing me in the direction of these books.
Magic is the bacon in the breakfast of life.

............................................

God bless you and have a magical day
Harry Lorayne
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Be sure to stay away from any Harry Lorayne book!
[email]harrylorayne@earthlink.net[/email]

http://www.harrylorayne.com
http://www.harryloraynemagic.com
Atom3339
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^ Yes. They tend to turn you into a fantastic magician, especially with cards. Your memory will improve too!
TH

Occupy Your Dream
robsn
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So many great tips! Wow.

As I have noticed that there are some Germans here, I would like to recommend a German book that has helped me starting up quick:

Jochen Zmeck, Handbuch der Magie

This one comes from coins to cards and first TT tricks and invites you to the most cummon techniques. It is quite old but that does not disturb the quality. Great book.
0likv
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As a bit of a newbie to magic myself I would reccomend the royal road to card magic as it has made my card magic amazing !!!!
glut
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Hi all,

I bought two books of Derren Brown: "tricks of the mind" and "pure effect"

Do you know this books, and, if so, what do you think about them ?
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