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Topic: Tarbel course of magic value
Message: Posted by: Habu (Jan 29, 2007 04:00PM)
Hello coffee drinkers,

I was planning to buy the complete set of the Tarbel Course of Magic.

But first I want to ask a couple of opinions...

First, why is it $185 at one site, $199 at another and well over $300 at still another (reputable) online magic site? Is there a difference in binding maybe? I understand different distributors having different prices but this seems like quite a large difference in pricing.

Second, I want to buy it partly for myself to get information on the business end of being a magician, stage performance considerations etc...Is this material still viable for a modern magic business?

Third, I want to buy it also for my two daughters one of which (14 yr old) has a very strong interest in going into business with me. The second daughter (11 yr old) is very interested in magic, but I have to see how dedicated she will be. My question pertaining to them is; is the Tarbel course written in a "child friendly" way that will keep their interest, or are there better books written for children interested in pursuing magic?

1. Cost differential = better quality books?
2. Business section = still pertinent to today’s magician?
3. For children / teens = written so kids will find it interesting?

Thanks in advance for your comments,
Rick Jackson
Message: Posted by: Batty (Jan 29, 2007 04:21PM)
I'm thirteen, and I think that if she is genuinely interested in magic, it doesn't need to be that entertaining to read. As long as it has good material, you shouldn't worry about that.
Message: Posted by: Thoughtreader (Jan 29, 2007 06:52PM)
If you purchase the entire Tarbell set (there are a couple of study guides that are floating around that might help too), and if you and your daughters study it lesson by lesson, and work through the entire series rather than skimming through it looking for tricks of interest (Learn it all no matter what, like having to learn calculous in school) you will find that when you are done digesting and mastering it all you will not need to purchase another book on magic and will have one of the most well rounded magical educations you will ever find.

PSIncerely Yours,
Paul Alberstat
Message: Posted by: Josh the Superfluous (Jan 29, 2007 06:56PM)
I have a mix and match set from several different printings. I have never noticed a difference.

The business section doesn't even mention the internet :). I seriously don't recall anything particularly helpful. I don't think the small town publicity stunts would get the attention they once did.

Your kids would have to be very insightful to get any value out of them. The presentations, props and settings are very outdated. (I read Paul's comment after typing this one. He may be right, but as a child I wouldn't have read it the way he recommends. Look at the way each of us dress, and decide which way your daughters lean.) If they don't have Mark Wilson's book, I would highly recommend it.

All and all I think its a tremendous set, but not for the reasons you sited. The bare bones methods offered cover 90% of any effects ever sold. With a knowledge of presentation and effect design, the material could last a lifetime. Some of the best effects I have learned from DVDs, I've later come across in Tarbel.
Message: Posted by: Father Photius (Jan 29, 2007 07:24PM)
The 150 to 190 dollar range is about right. Variations in price depend on individual dealers pricing. Might be a big difference between the two with shipping and handling charges, be sure to verify that before choosing one over the other. The 300 set, way out in left field, unless it is some sort of "first edition" or something in mint condition. People can charge what they want. It is a good set. Some say a bit dated, but then it was written based on how magic was performed in the earlier part of the 20th century. Effects and methods are all still used, presentation has changed. As said above, you learn all that is in it and you will have a considerable education in magic.
Message: Posted by: MagiClyde (Jan 29, 2007 08:54PM)
Josh is right. The Mark Wilson book would be better for your children, and even you perhaps. The Tarbell books are dated in many ways, but still a good reference source.

As for the business end, you would be better with a book written recently that addresses that issue seperately. It, alone, is a subject unto itself.
Message: Posted by: Justin R (Jan 29, 2007 09:11PM)
On 2007-01-29 19:52, Thoughtreader wrote:(Learn it all no matter what, like having to learn calculous in school)[/quote]Is it really fair to compare the learning and study of magic to calculous?
Message: Posted by: Habu (Jan 29, 2007 09:23PM)
Thank you for your thoughts and comments,

Well I will get the set but check the shipping costs etc first as recommended, good point.

As for myself I will read it and study it all the way through. I have read two encyclopedia's of magic from the local library (both quite dated) and enjoyed doing so.

I guess in magic, effects my be dated by clothing, props used etc, but the concept and principle is never out-dated...cups n balls has seen some changes, but the pricipals have been around from the beginning.

As for the kids, we did get a Mark Wilson Cyclopedia of Magic as part of a $30 magic kit I purchased them to see if they would show any interest. It is good but focuses primarily on card tricks and some coin magic...maybe it is just an abbreviated version though.

As far as the business portion of doing magic, I think Tarbel probably is out of date...

Are there any reccommendations for books that address current marketing and business considerations for magicians?
Message: Posted by: Josh the Superfluous (Jan 30, 2007 08:11AM)
Cyclopedia is an abbreviated version of "Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic". Which is a [b]very[/b] well rounded course.
Message: Posted by: Mark Wilden (Jan 30, 2007 02:48PM)
I bought the Tarbell set as a reference work because other sources refer to it. However, from what I've seen so far, there are better sources for learning magic (RRTCM, Mark Wilson, and miscellaneous works for single tricks).

Message: Posted by: Jaz (Jan 30, 2007 05:34PM)
[quote]Are there any reccommendations for books that address current marketing and business considerations for magicians?[/quote]

Check out "Tricky business" in the Special Interests section of the Café.
The section is about what you're looking for.
Message: Posted by: montemagic (Jan 30, 2007 06:42PM)

Message: Posted by: Habu (Jan 30, 2007 11:24PM)
Thanks for the comments, I will look at Tricky Business, thanks for the direct.

The auction site listed looks really interesting too!

I ordered the Tarbell Course @ $168, I am sure there are other courses out there that may be as good or even better in some ways, but I like the idea of reading from such a comprehensive and classic collection...besides it'll look nice on the shelf.

I read about a CD version of the set (original lessons, not the book set) that has a search-able engine, may get that too for quick reference. But I also wanted to be able to sit and read in bed.

Thanks again, I ordered the set with confidence based on your comments.
Message: Posted by: The Magician (Jan 31, 2007 03:24PM)
Also try here http://www.themagicwarehouse.com this is were I got my set from
Message: Posted by: sirbrad (Feb 1, 2007 12:09AM)
This is a great set regardless of skill level. Did you get the set new for $168? Where at? Another great deal would be to order from some shops who hold buy one get 50% off deals. Then buy enough items to total about $200.00, and get the Tarbell set for about $98.00!
Message: Posted by: gaddy (Feb 1, 2007 02:25AM)
You really cannot beat tarbell for the breadth of material. Most everything is in there somewhere or another. I think sirbrad has the right idea about shopping around.
Message: Posted by: Brad Burt (Feb 1, 2007 08:52AM)
As a dealer I can tell you:

The list retail for a full set is $200.00. Anything OVER that amount is not a good deal. Anything under can be considered a good deal depending on shipping cost, etc.

As far as the general information on the business end of magic in the books...well, it probably is not really that valuable. The valuable part of Tarbell are the tricks, techniques and routines. Even with the patter being 'dated' it takes little creative force to change and update it.

All around they are simply great books. Marketing wise there is good material out there in the Jay Conrad Levinson "Guerilla Marketing" books, etc.

Message: Posted by: Habu (Feb 1, 2007 11:02PM)
I'll take a look at Guerilla Marketing book line Mr. Burt, thanks for the suggestion,

Sirbrad, I got the set at elmagic.com (Earth's Largest Magic Supply is the site name I believe) Malek Enterprises. The set was $168, it was not listed as used, the shipping (via UPS)for the books and 300 feet of rope was $26, so I don't feel gouged on the shipping either. I've purchased several other items through them in the past weeks and delivery was very prompt.

Brad, I clicked on your links in your sig to visit your shop (being that I still have a lot of shopping to do to build up my children's party business), but the links did not work for me...will try again later.
Message: Posted by: Shaner316 (Feb 1, 2007 11:19PM)
Although some of the stuff in Tarbell may be "outdated", there is really an enormous amount of information in them.

The Tarbell books alone should give you a lifetime full of magic.
Message: Posted by: Rennie (Feb 2, 2007 09:11AM)
I have seen many tricks performed that fooled many people including magicians, when asked where did you get that trick, the answer would be " IN TARBELL".
If you are into magic at all, you should own the complete set..There are many classic books that are a must have for magicians and they include:
Greater Magic, The Tarbell Course, Rice's Encyclopedia of Silk Magic, Modern Magic, Bobo's Modern Coin Magic, The Mark Wilson Course in Magic..To name a few. I am sure some of you out there can add to the MUST HAVE list...
Message: Posted by: Brad Burt (Feb 2, 2007 11:12AM)
There is a very funny, but very true quote about magic literature. It goes something like this: "If you want to hide a trick put it in print."

Many, MANY years ago now a friend of mine came to the local I.B.M. meeting. He proceeded to just BLOW us away with 5-6 new tricks that he had just learned. I mean they were GREAT! He wouldn't tell us where they were from until the end of the meeting. The upshot? He had taken the very latest issue of Genii Magazine and simply learned the tricks in it!!! "Don't you guys have the latest Genii?", he asked?

Entire acts and careers to go with them could easily be put together just using one years worth of almost any magic magazine published. Made me think! Best,