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Topic: Encyclopedia of Impromptu Magic
Message: Posted by: dazzler (Aug 31, 2007 07:02AM)
I was just wondering if the "Encyclopedia of Impromptu Magic" by Martin Gardner will ever come back into print. Also to anyone who has it, is it any good or have you other recomendations for similar books.

Thanks for any advice

Darrell
Message: Posted by: copterchris (Aug 31, 2007 11:11AM)
A great book in my opinion - more a source of small 'magical' ideas than a full-blown set of routines. Contains MANY items incorporated in other effects that would cost much more to accumulate separately.

Reprint with annotations by Michael Weber is coming from the Miracle Factory - I highly recommend any of their books :

http://www.miraclefactory.net/news.htm
Message: Posted by: JamesTong (Aug 31, 2007 03:52PM)
That is great news! Is it already being sold now?
Message: Posted by: copterchris (Aug 31, 2007 08:38PM)
No, it's not available yet. You can email Todd via the website and ask the latest estimate. All Miracle Factory books are worth the wait - no matter what the delay!
Message: Posted by: JamesTong (Sep 2, 2007 09:22AM)
Thanks, copterchris. I'll get in touch with Todd.
Message: Posted by: dazzler (Sep 2, 2007 11:01AM)
Yes, thanks for that, copterchris. I have just emailed them and will post anything that I hear.

Darrell
Message: Posted by: Silly Walter the Polar Bear (Sep 6, 2007 06:11AM)
This is a real handy book. Lots of neat things that can be done at the bar. Nothing earth-shattering, but entertaining stuff that most people haven't seen. I am sure Michael Weber will do a nice job with the annotations.

If you are looking for the latest and greatest magic effects, you won't find them. But there are some cool items in this book.
Message: Posted by: airship (Sep 7, 2007 01:04PM)
Be aware that this new edition will be $300 in a signed, limited edition. No word on whether there will be a cheaper unsigned edition. If so, a $200 price tag wouldn't surprise me. Worth every penny, mind you, and I'd still love to have it. :)

I bought a very clean, tight copy of the original hardcover on eBay for under $70, though they generally go closer to $100. They don't come up often, but if you watch carefully you should be able to buy a good copy from a reputable seller at a relatively reasonable price after 3-6 months of careful looking. At least, that's how long it took me.

Good luck!
Message: Posted by: Jaz (Sep 7, 2007 03:38PM)
I agree with Silly Walter the Polar Bear.
There are ideas, stunts, puzzles, and tricks with a variety of different objects.
Spending even $100 for the book is a bit much, IMO.
Maybe because I bought it the first time around for much less.
Message: Posted by: Leland Stone (Nov 10, 2007 10:43AM)
FWIW, I got Gardner's "Impromptu" for $35 or so, and found it was more "Betcha" or stunt/gag oriented. In my view, there's a lot fun in it but amazement...not so much. Your mileage may vary.
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Nov 11, 2007 05:36PM)
Like the youngsters above I got my orange book in 1978 when it was published. It is here on my desk still after all these years because one day I'm going to have time to read it cover to cover. (I'm still too young!)

Of what I have used of the content, it is practical. I really don't think young magicians will value it. It certainly is not the latest take of old re-named tricks. (About the only change I have seen in magic in the last forty years is more use of color printing and full bleed printing in promotional materials. Content seldom changes.)

It is not about a magic act. It is truly impromptu magic. It does not require the $100 worth of "impromptu props" that starting magicians feel they need. The purpose it serves is a very real purpose if you are indeed sincere about impromptu magic. Those who have become used to the "contrived reality" available on TV today will not be impressed. Many of these items are bits rather than tricks. They were not intended to be linked into a routine.

This is for those who like to entertain others. The other good news is that you can read two pages at a time and have something that you can use. It is a big heavy book. But he did not go for filler.

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: mrunge (Nov 11, 2007 10:03PM)
Bob, I agree. I got mine about 15 years ago and am real glad I've got it.

As mentioned, it's more bits and stunts instead of full blown effects laid out in routine fashion. If you can find one, get it. You'll be glad you did!

Mark. :readingbook:
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Nov 20, 2007 06:33PM)
Most of the hardcover magic books have been very good investments. Some of the money I saved on paperbacks, wasn't that smart.

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: paultepper (Dec 21, 2007 03:41PM)
Anyone want to bet about 2008?
Message: Posted by: mrunge (Dec 24, 2007 10:51AM)
What about 2008?

Mark.
Message: Posted by: Larry Barnowsky (Dec 25, 2007 12:39PM)
I bought it on Ebay and sold it on Ebay. It had a lot of filler in it IMO.

Larry
Message: Posted by: airship (Dec 26, 2007 04:04PM)
In the introduction to this book, Gardner himself admits that the book is a collection of ideas and notes loosely organized by the object required to perform the trick. He laments the fact that he didn't have more time to get it all finished and polished, but if he had tried it would never have been published at all. He specifically says, "The work remains patchy and slovenly."

You have to use this as an idea book, and add your own polish to Gardner's suggestions. For impromptu magic, you can't beat this book - it's a deep mine of ideas. If you're clever with twists and presentation, you could easily build a career on it.
Message: Posted by: mrunge (Dec 27, 2007 08:51AM)
Yep...you're exactly right. That's the idea behind this wonderful book. It let's one think for themselves. This book is fantastic!

Mark.
Message: Posted by: JardiniMagic (Jan 8, 2008 11:42AM)
Yes, if you're just looking to do all the tricks this book is not for you. It is an ideas book and requires you to think about an effect! (Think outside the box.) I'm glad I have mine, athough I still have not read mine cover to cover after all these years! I just pick up the book and open a page every now and then and see where it leads me! -Gary
Message: Posted by: acesover (Jan 8, 2008 12:16PM)
From the comments here it seems that I will not be spending $300 for this.
Message: Posted by: Slim King (Jan 8, 2008 12:38PM)
I have one for sale down under :)
Message: Posted by: paiprest (Jan 14, 2008 10:09PM)
Anyone have anything to say about derrin brown type mind control effects? I personally love them -when they work.
Message: Posted by: airship (Jan 15, 2008 03:16PM)
Brown's 'Tricks of the Mind' is on my to-buy list. I'm always interested in the psychology of magic, and taking advantage of the way the brain/mind functions.
Message: Posted by: jocdoc (Jan 26, 2008 07:27PM)
Just wondering if there are any significant differences between the publication versions? There are some available on e-bay and other sites ranging from 1st to 3rd to 5th edition. Do they all contain the exact same content or have they been expanded upon with each subsequent edition?

Thanks in advance...

jeff in san diego
Message: Posted by: jocdoc (Jan 26, 2008 07:42PM)
I looked at the Miracle Factory website and their new edition will have new things added:

---
To be released later this year, this amazing volume will feature Gardner's additions to his classic Encyclopedia of Impromptu Magic, commentary throughout the book by Michael Weber, Martin's new introduction, and new impromptu effects by some of today's cleverest magicians, including Mac King and John Carney.

Each copy of the deluxe edition of only 125 copies is numbered, housed in a custom wooden case, and personally signed by Martin Gardner and the late Jay Marshall, who made this edition possible. (A few years ago, when we began this project, Jay painstakingly autographed the signature sheets that will be mounted in each book.)
---

jeff in san diego
http://www.medicine-in-motion.com
Message: Posted by: Slim King (Jan 28, 2008 06:21PM)
I talked to Martin this morning about the book. He is really in the dark about its release. It seems to be beyond his control :)
Sounds like the book with be MAMMOTH in size :)
I like my copy. Lots of thought-provoking stuff!
Message: Posted by: jocdoc (Feb 2, 2008 10:11PM)
[quote]
On 2007-09-07 14:04, airship wrote:
Be aware that this new edition will be $300 in a signed, limited edition. No word on whether there will be a cheaper unsigned edition. If so, a $200 price tag wouldn't surprise me. Worth every penny, mind you, and I'd still love to have it. :)
----
Todd Karr (The Miracle Factory)responded to my e-mail indicating that the "regular" edition will cost $150. He did not say when to expect it, though...

jeff in san diego
http://www.medicine-in-motion.com
Message: Posted by: Todd Karr (Feb 6, 2008 05:30PM)
Hi, folks.

We'll be publishing the regular edition of the great Gardner Impromptu book later this year...promise!

The retail price won't be $300...that price range is only for the deluxe signed edition. The regular edition will be $150. High price but incredible material, not just the original contents (minus the huge blank margins!) but with Martin's additions from his decades of files, Michael Weber's commentaries, and material added from current star performers.

Thanks to everyone for your patience. We love this wonderful book and we hope the wait will be worth it.
Message: Posted by: airship (Feb 7, 2008 09:32AM)
I know the intent was for us to scribble elaborations on Martin's ideas in the margins of his book, but I've just never been able to make myself do it. :(

Considering the older version sells for over $100 on eBay on those rare occasions when one comes up for sale, $150 doesn't sound so bad. But since my old copy is pristine, I don't think I can justify buying a new edition. I'd love to have it, though. Would you consider trade-ins? :)
Message: Posted by: seadog93 (Mar 5, 2008 02:29PM)
I found a copy in my local used book store for $80 just the other day!!
This is a LOT less than I have been seeing it online. I (one of the younger magicians) love it. If there was an index it would be better, but I like to just flip through it and see what I come up with, bookmarking what I like.
I think it's got some wonderful stuff, and some silly stuff that would still be fun to pull out at a party.
One more thing, don't underestimate the silly stuff. I get HUGE reactions by "bouncing" bread rolls and fruit at the table.
Message: Posted by: Mark Storms (Mar 20, 2008 08:34PM)
Any updates as to when the release of this is?
Message: Posted by: Slim King (Mar 21, 2008 01:43PM)
[quote]
On 2008-02-07 10:32, airship wrote:
I know the intent was for us to scribble elaborations on Martin's ideas in the margins of his book, but I've just never been able to make myself do it. :(

Considering the older version sells for over $100 on eBay on those rare occasions when one comes up for sale, $150 doesn't sound so bad. But since my old copy is pristine, I don't think I can justify buying a new edition. I'd love to have it, though. Would you consider trade-ins? :)
[/quote]
Half Blood Prince :)
Message: Posted by: paultepper (Jun 27, 2008 01:23PM)
Has anyone heard anything about a release date?
Message: Posted by: CWMoss (Jun 30, 2008 11:59PM)
I prepaid this over a year ago. I have found the Miracle Factory to put out an excellent product with poor and unreliable communication once they have your money.

Eventually, an excellent book will probably arrive but they've had my $300 for over a year now with no email updates. No thank you for your patience. No hang on it'll be here eventually.

Sad.
Message: Posted by: Bob Clayton (Jul 16, 2008 02:23AM)
CWMoss, I'm in the same boat. Took my money but wont respond.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jul 16, 2008 04:42PM)
Send Todd Karr a private message. He's on the forum.
Message: Posted by: Jimeh (Jul 30, 2008 01:00AM)
The reprint seems interesting. Given what prices are today and the scarcity of the original I'm glad I still have my copy on the shelf. Must've bought it like 15yrs ago now. Had no problem finding it then for $35-$40. Man I feel old now...LOL
Message: Posted by: paultepper (Oct 9, 2008 11:03PM)
2009? :goodluck:
Message: Posted by: Donal Chayce (Oct 10, 2008 01:53PM)
This book was included in one of the lots I purchased at the recent Billy McComb auction. I've not yet begun to read it (I've only had time to skim through it) but, based on the handwritten notes inside, it's obvious that Billy found something useful in the contents.
Message: Posted by: Slim King (Oct 10, 2008 02:17PM)
Martin says they are still working on it. :)

David Blaine performed for Martin and his friends a few weeks ago. (For Free)
Martin was impressed. So were the Nurses there :bat:
Message: Posted by: Parson Smith (Oct 19, 2008 11:20PM)
So was I!
My wife and I were visiting with Martin a few days after David was there.
He said, "You know, a lot of magicians don't like Blaine. But he is a very nice young man and quite talented. His patter is not that much, But he does some really nice magic."
After finding out that he did about 90 minutes of work, for free, for a few dozen 80+ year old senior citizens as a tribute to M.G., my opinion of him improved drastically.
Hats off to you, Mr. Blaine. I, for one, wish you great success in all you do.
Sincerely,
Parson
Message: Posted by: The Naked Magician (Oct 20, 2008 01:04PM)
Okay, so for us young, new kids on the block. getting ahold of this bible of impromptu magic is near enough as hard as making your very own devils coke bottle!! are there any decnt substitues?
Message: Posted by: Todd Karr (Oct 21, 2008 01:23PM)
Hey, folks. We're still working on Impromptu. Sometimes our projects come out quickly, others take a lot longer to get right before they're ready to release. Hang on and you'll see something wonderful!
Message: Posted by: Jaz (Oct 21, 2008 03:29PM)
Todd,
How much of the tricks are going to be new, if any.
Message: Posted by: Douglas Lippert (Oct 21, 2008 04:14PM)
Looks like the book will be $350 plus shipping. Wow...I thought my Cardini book was expensive.
Message: Posted by: Sammy J. (Oct 23, 2008 10:23PM)
I just looked at mine. I paid $25.00 in 1980. It was a used copy and the cool thing is that whoever owned it before me indexed it on the top right corner of every right page. You can just thumb through it and see the topics. This may discount it's value to a collector, but makes it super easy to see the catagories! It was published in 1978 by Magic, Inc.
Message: Posted by: Rolyan (Nov 12, 2008 03:24PM)
[quote]
On 2008-10-20 14:04, The Naked Magician wrote:
Okay, so for us young, new kids on the block. getting ahold of this bible of impromptu magic is near enough as hard as making your very own devils coke bottle!! are there any decnt substitues?
[/quote]
Check out http://www.ebay.co.uk, searching for Encyclopedia of Impromptu Magic.

Cheers
Rolyan
Message: Posted by: Slim King (Nov 20, 2008 11:14AM)
[quote]
On 2008-10-20 00:20, Parson Smith wrote:
So was I!
My wife and I were visiting with Martin a few days after David was there.
He said, "You know, a lot of magicians don't like Blaine. But he is a very nice young man and quite talented. His patter is not that much, But he does some really nice magic."
After finding out that he did about 90 minutes of work, for free, for a few dozen 80+ year old senior citizens as a tribute to M.G., my opinion of him improved drastically.
Hats off to you, Mr. Blaine. I, for one, wish you great success in all you do.
Sincerely,
Parson
[/quote]

I have also upgraded him several levels :)
Message: Posted by: Douglas Lippert (Mar 8, 2009 01:12AM)
[quote]
On 2008-10-21 14:23, Todd Karr wrote:
Hey, folks. We're still working on Impromptu. Sometimes our projects come out quickly, others take a lot longer to get right before they're ready to release. Hang on and you'll see something wonderful!
[/quote]

Are you selling a "regular" version? I'd rather buy a cheaper version so I won't care so much if it gets banged up from use.

Best,

Doug L.
Message: Posted by: mormonyoyoman (Mar 8, 2009 07:06PM)
Of course, one could get the complete *Hugard's Magic Magazine* and have all the articles which Martin turned into the book -- AND get a lot more *stuff* to boot!

*jeep!
--Grandpa Chet
Message: Posted by: pjw (Mar 16, 2009 07:30AM)
Hi,
I have this on my shelf it is dated
Copyright 1978
magic inc
chicago

Is this a first edition?
if so anyone any idea of value
cheers for the help
Message: Posted by: tangle (Apr 25, 2009 02:47PM)
Argh!
I'd love to find this. People always refer me to it.
Message: Posted by: hypno_illusionist (Jun 1, 2009 10:55AM)
If anyone is in DYING need of this book, I wouldn't mind giving it 2 you as a token of love for free. :0)


Feel free to contact me. )

Have a magical day.
Message: Posted by: paultepper (Jun 4, 2009 11:41PM)
Which is easier, Magic vs. Lakers or publication date?
Message: Posted by: sieler (Jun 10, 2009 01:00PM)
Todd sent an email on 2009-06-09:

> Martin Gardner's Impromptu should be out by year's end.

And, it's orderable on the Miracle Factory web site:

http://www.miraclefactory.net/gardner.htm
Message: Posted by: cairo (Jun 10, 2009 01:18PM)
This has always been one of my most invaluable reesources.
Message: Posted by: Donal Chayce (Jun 10, 2009 05:45PM)
[quote]
On 2009-06-10 14:18, cairo wrote:
This has always been one of my most invaluable reesources.
[/quote]

Which specific effects have been most valuable to you, and why?
Message: Posted by: cairo (Jun 10, 2009 05:55PM)
Most valuable have been the after dinner tricks. Silverware, particularly like the paddle move application with the stuck on bits of napkin, also the bent spoon, other napkin tricks, I first learned the vanishing salt shaker trick here, matches. Nowadays anything I do impromptu in a restaurant pretty much goes back to that book. I glad this thread reminded me about this, haven't read it in years. It's invaluable, although I'm not sure where it is right now.
Message: Posted by: sieler (Jun 12, 2009 01:27PM)
Todd says that the limited edition of MG'sI is now sold out, but that there
will be a reguar edition too.
Message: Posted by: Mike Webb (Jun 15, 2009 05:49AM)
Still looking for a nice copy.
Message: Posted by: paultepper (Sep 30, 2009 11:35PM)
2010?
Message: Posted by: MichaelOzMagic (Jan 31, 2010 04:31PM)
Hey everyone I was wondering how much these books will sell for now?
Message: Posted by: paultepper (Feb 27, 2010 07:43PM)
They're for sale now at the Miracle Factory, http://www.miraclefactory.net/gardner.htm and are supposed to be shipped sometime this year. The website indicates that the price will be $150 but offers a $125 price now.
Message: Posted by: Phil Tawa (Mar 27, 2010 01:31PM)
Hugard's Magic Monthly is a series of books. I don't know if the whole thing is printed in it but most if not all have exerts from this book. I believe 7 volumes at $49.00 each.
Message: Posted by: charliemartin (Apr 13, 2010 10:48AM)
Any news on this?
Message: Posted by: arizona (Apr 16, 2010 10:43PM)
Someone at the Genii Forum couple months back had one for sale for 200 dollars. If you looked for it you might see if its been sold yet.
Message: Posted by: magicfish (May 30, 2010 12:58AM)
Honestly? This is one of the best magic books ever written. Martin Gardner was passionate about magic. This Encyclopedia is a fascinating read and a goldmine of powerful magic. This is a book that you will keep for a lifetime and always go back to. Gardner credits originators throughout the book and provides bits of business that branch off the main ideas. Hundreds of items which can stand on their own, or can be used as beginnings, or additions to more sophisticated routines limited only by your imagination. Many wonder about the high price of this book. If it was never to be reprinted I would easily pay five hundred dollars for it- its worth more than that. From the time you first open it till the time you last open it you will find something new, something amusing, something that will make onlookers smile. You will be armed with these impromptu gems assembled by the great Martin Gardner for the rest of your life. And the people around you will thank you for it.
Expensive? No. No matter how much it goes for. This book is pure gold.

Rodney
Message: Posted by: paultepper (Dec 10, 2010 10:52PM)
20?? Does anyone have an idea when this might be printed? I ordered it some time ago but have heard nothing and haven't got a response to my email.

Thanks folks.

Paul
Message: Posted by: charliemagic (Dec 13, 2010 04:19PM)
There is one for sale on ebay for $149 right now.
Message: Posted by: Lost in Thought (Dec 17, 2010 09:42AM)
I picked up a copy at a magic convention for 60, which I think is pretty reasonable. It's a wonderful resource, but there's nothing in there that I'm stunned by, other than the sheer length and breadth of the work.

It's absolutely worthwhile to add the odd stunt, bet or principle to another routine - if you're performing magic with, say a matchbox, and you want a choice of a dozen more ideas to use with it, then this is your book.

I've never seen another book quite like it, and I doubt we'll ever see it's like again, but on the other hand I wouldn't say it has ever been a "must have" or something mind blowing. I'm very happy to have my copy, but that's primarily for historical interest, or the occasional principle which is buried within it's covers. One day I expect to stumble across some principle or concept that's been overlooked, but mostly I'll just giggle at the various banana jokes.
Message: Posted by: Obviously (Nov 10, 2011 01:27PM)
What ever happened with the new edition of this book?
Message: Posted by: Intrepid (Jan 5, 2012 05:59AM)
I remember preordering the delux edition for $300 back in February 2007. Waited several years before giving up.
Message: Posted by: SydBeckman (Mar 5, 2012 02:50AM)
The website now promises arrival in 2012.
Message: Posted by: Zap (Mar 6, 2012 08:41PM)
I emailed Todd Karr (publisher) and he said he's "finally laying out the book right now for a release this year." Perhaps someone who knows more about the process of creating and publishing a book would know what "laying out the book" implies with regard to a timeline toward publication.
Message: Posted by: Mowee (Mar 10, 2012 04:38PM)
I just saw an original go for 39 bucks on ebay.
Message: Posted by: Intrepid (May 16, 2012 08:09AM)
[quote]
On 2012-03-05 03:50, SydBeckman wrote:
The website now promises arrival in 2012.
[/quote]
And 7 1/2 months alway from that promise changing to 2013 if the past five years is any indication.
Message: Posted by: Bill Mullins (Nov 12, 2015 10:12AM)
The book is now in print, and has been released:

http://miraclefactory.net/zenstore/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1&products_id=78

Here is a review:

http://forums.geniimagazine.com/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=47380
Message: Posted by: Kyoki_Sanitys_Eclipse (Feb 7, 2016 01:02AM)
Got mine awhile back. Have to say that I own both copies and the new one isn't that much better
Message: Posted by: chiartguy (Mar 17, 2016 11:58AM)
One benefit of the release of the new Miracle Factory version is that the older one will now sell for a more reasonable price. That's good news for younger magicians and anyone on a budget.

No matter which version you get (whether as the collected Hugard's Magic Monthly volumes, the original 1978 release, or "Impromptu") I think it's a must-have in any serious magician's library.
Message: Posted by: Leo H (Oct 17, 2016 09:00PM)
I have an extra copy of Gardner's original Magic Inc. Encyclopedia of Impromptu up for grabs in the classifieds section.
Message: Posted by: John Long (Jan 18, 2019 08:24PM)
Does anyone have a table of contents for this?

John
Message: Posted by: John Long (Jan 19, 2019 09:20PM)
That's what I thought :(
Message: Posted by: Jerry (Aug 15, 2020 10:26PM)
GO HERE:

https://www.martinsmagic.com/allmagic/books/encyclopedia-of-impromptu-magic-the-by-martin-gardner/
Message: Posted by: John Long (Oct 5, 2020 08:32PM)
Thanks
Message: Posted by: Jerry (Oct 5, 2020 10:01PM)
Your welcome sir.