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Topic: Amateur Magicians Handbook
Message: Posted by: sirbrad (Feb 7, 2020 07:20AM)
A review I did back in 2004.

The Amateur Magician's Handbook.


This is the book that started it all for me. An invaluable resource! Too bad it was not still in print, as it has a plethora of information, and has an unbelievable amount of info on all types of magic. This book gave me the solid foundation I needed to progress to the next level in magic. This needs to go back in print! It is very well illustrated for its time, and very precise in its details. Out of all the magic I have, this is probably my most cherished item, being it was my first real book that taught me most of what I first learned. The tarbell course is a very close second, only because I could not afford this back then, and for the price, this was an amazing deal.

Mine is still in mint shape thankfully, as I kept all my childhood magic books in plastic bags since then. I have always taken care of everything I have had since a young age. Especially my collectibles that are worth a lot of money. Also mark wilson's course is a close 3rd. I still refer back to all these books today, and over two decades later. good books truly are priceless, and you come to appreciate them even more as time goes by. Here is some more info on what is inside....

"Hay, Henry: The Amateur Magician's Handbook, Third Edition
1950, 1972 Henry Hay
382pg, Trade Paperback

Comments: Some B&W photographs. The Amateur Magician's Handbook is a classic text and is recommend for all beginning/amateur magicians. That said, the handbook will certainly not be the last book you will ever need to buy. By reading it, you will have a good overview of the magic arts, and your head will be filled with many of the principles of the trickery. However, many of the descriptions are brief and do little more than "expose" the method. The lack of illustrations (photos are relatively few) make some of the descriptions unclear to the unfamiliar. Many references to more detailed books are provided, however.


vii Introduction by Milbourne Christopher
ix A Few Words Before Curtain Time
1 Chapter One: What is Magic? The Magic State of Mind: essay
10 Chapter Two: Hard Easy Tricks and Easy Hard Tricks: essay on practice, learning magic, presentation
19 Part One Hand Magic
19 Chapter Three: Hand Magic With Cards: introduction
20 Hand Magic: Requirements
21 Hand Magic with Cards: cards to use and so forth
22 1a. Breaks: little finger
24 1b. The Glimpse
25 As Easy As Spelling Your Name: Spectator peeks at a card, shuffles the deck, and spells his name to the selected card. Uses glimpse.
27 1c. Permanent Breaks: the crimp or bridge
28 Paul Rosini's Location
29 2. Shifts or Passes
30 2a. The Conventional Two Handed Shift
32 The Stabbed Pack: effect
34 2b. The side Steal or Side Slip
35 You Must be Wrong: effect
36 2c. The Herrmann Pass
37 2d. One Handed Shifts "New-Method" Robert Houdin
30 2e. One Handed Shifts Old Method
40 2f. One Handed Shifts: The Charlier Pass
41 3. Forcing
41 3a. The Fan Force: the Classic Force
42 3b. Thought Forces: similar to classic force
43 3c. Sure-Fire Force: The slip: my personal favorite
44 3d. Sure Fire Force: Stanley Collins Method (knife)
45 Everbody's Card: Four spectators each pick the same card, but end up holding a different card. The selection ends up in performer's pocket
46 3e. The Shift
47 4. Palming
48 4a. The Top Palm
48 Charles Bertram's Four Ace Trick
51 4b. The Bottom Palm (right hand)
51 4c. The Bottom Palm (left hand)
53 5. False Shuffles
53 5a. Overhand: provides definitions fromk Erdnase for Stock, Run, Jogs, etc.
56 Luis Zingone's Table Spread: Cards selected from table spread end up in performer's pocket
58 5b. Dovetail: extensive coverage
64 5c. Hindu Shuffle
64 6. Changes
65 6a. The Double Lift
65 6b. The Top Change
67 Step on It! Magician and spectator cards change places
68 6c. The Bottom Change
69 6d. Palm Change
70 6e. Double Palm Change
71 The Phoney Aces: Three's passed off as Aces turn into the real Aces, then Three's again
72 7. Color Changes
72 7a. The Clip (Felicien Trewey)
73 Wiping Out the Spot and a Production Flourish
74 7b. Sidesteal Color Change
75 Correcting a Mistake: effect
76 7c. Far End Steal Color Change
76 7d. Snap Change
77 8. Trick Deals
77 8a. Second Deal
78 Five Hands: effect
79 8b. Bottom Deal
80 Flourishes
81 9a. The Riffle
81 9b. Springing the Cards
82 9c. Fanning
84 9d. The Back Palm
88 Vanish and Recovery Using the Back Palm
89 9e. Scaling or Throwing Cards
90 Chapter Four: Give Them A Rest (Tricks where no cards are chosen)
90 1. The Four Aces: Aces assemble to one packet; variations
93 Nate Leipzig's Slap Aces: Effect
94 Cardini's Ace Trick: effect
95 2. The Cards Up the Sleeve: includes false count, variations
98 3. The Diminishing Cards
101 4. The Thirty Card Trick: cards pass from spectator to spectator
103 5. Fourishes: Cards from the mouth and Fan Away
104 6. The Ambitious Card: The whole deck becomes Jokers
105 7. The Three Card Trick: Basic Monte explanation with pointers to references and the Mexican Turnover
108 8. Reading the Cards: various methods mentioned
110 Chapter Five: Please Take a Card - Standard Card Tricks
111 1. Locations
111 1a. The Tap (in-jog)
111 1b. The Side Crimp
111 1c. Approximation, with the Optical Fan Location
115 2. Card at Any Number
116 3. Stop Me
117 4. Spelling Trick with Spell Charts
120 4a. The Automatic Speller (chancy!)
121 4b. Mental Selection Speller
122 5. Reversed Cards
123 6. The Card in the Pocket
124 7. The Rising Cards: sleight versions, IT, etc.
129 Chapter Six: Hand Magic with Coins (covers coins to use)
130 1. The Tourniquet or French Drop
131 2. The Finger Palm
131 3. The Flat Thumb Palm
132 4. The Regular Thumb Palm
132 5. The Regular Palm
133 6. The Edge, Oblique, or Downs' Palm
134 7. The Change Over Palm
136 8. The Back Palm
139 9. The Crotch Palm
140 10. Sleeving (Brief Coverage)
140 11. The Downs' Click Pass
142 12. The Downs' Fan Pass
142 13. The Squeeze Pass
143 14. The DeManche Change
144 15. The Handkerchief Fold: for vanish or penetration through handkerchief
145 16. Flourish: Coin Roll or Steeplechase
147 Chapter 7: The Miser's Dream and Other Great Coin Tricks
147 1. Miser's Dream: lengthy discussion of approaches
150 2. Catching Five Coins (Downs' Eureka Pass)
152 3. Manuel's Thumb Gag
153 4. Nate Leipzig's Slow Motion Vanish
156 5. Leipzig's Coin from Hand to Hand
156 6. Coin From Hand to Hand: 3 methods
158 7. Silver and Gold: Three silver join 3 gold coins. Version of Dai Vernon's Winged Silver
160 8. The Sympathetic Coins: Coin Assembly/Matrix. Downs' Version
163 9. Coins Dissolving in a Handkerchief (click pass)
164 10. The Shake Penetration (Senor Mardo)
164 11. Coins to Handkerchief
166 12. Coin from Handkerchief to Handkerchief
167 13. Trouser Leg Vanish
167 14. The Dissolving Coin (no disk version)
168 15. Finding the Chosen Coin: Spectator 2 finds Spectator 1's coin
169 16. Date Detection (Eddie Joseph): similar to above, uses one ahead principle
170 17. Coins Up The Sleeve: Coins travel from left hand to right trouser pocket
172 Heartbreakers: lots of practice, but little reward
173 18. Heads or Tails: always predict coin flip
174 20. Coin Star (One handed)
175 21. Coin Star (Two handed)
178 Chapter 8: Hand Magic With Billiard Balls: Introduction
179 1. The Palm
180 2. The Finger Palm
180 3. Simulation (acting as though the ball is in the palm)
180 4. Standard Passes
181 5. The Trip Pass
182 6. The Kick Pass
182 7. The Change Over Palm
183 8. Color Changes
184 9. Flourish: Cardini's Climbing Billiard Balls
186 Chapter 9: The Multiplying Billiard Balls: Hay's routine, basic
190 Chapter 10: Other Hand Magic With Balls
190 1. Cups and Balls: small ball palm, Bosco little finger palm, loading, tips on routining
194 2. Sponge Balls: basic ideas only
196 Chapter 11: Hand Magic with Thimbles
196 1. The Thumb Palm
196 2. The Steal Pass
197 3. Thimble Changes
197 4. The Multiplying Thimbles
199 Chapter 12: Hand Magic With Cigarettes
199 1. The Thumb Palm
200 2. Tip Tilt Pass
200 3. Poke Through Pass
201 4. King Size Pass
202 5. Tonguing
204 6. Lighted Cigarette Through Handkerchief
205 7. Card in Cigarette
207 Part Two: Applied Art: Head Magic
208 Chapter 13: Head Magic With Cards
208 1. Locations
208 1a. Unprepared Key Cards: With applications. One Way decks, pointer cards, divided deck
212 1b. Prepared Key Cards: Thick, long, short, cornered, rough & Smooth, pop-eyed popper deck
214 2. Mechanical Decks: stripper, Svengali (Mirage), Mene-Tekel, With brief application.
215 3. Setups
215 3a. Systems: Si Stebbins, 8 Kings, Nikola and some brief effects (Behind your back, The Shuffled Setup, The Foolproof Card in Pocket)
220 3b. Special Setups: Sound of the Voice, Spoet Location, Got any Good Phone Numbers? The Royal Marriages (Dai Vernon), The 10 Card Trick
224 4. Card Reading
224 4a. By the One Ahead Method
225 4b. The Whispering Queen: Perfect self working
227 Chapter 14: Varied Head Magic
227 1. Find the Dime (Al Baker): find dime under one of 3 cards
227 2. Who Has Which? Mathematical coin find
228 3. Money Sense: As above, but different method
229 4. Date Reading: 2 methods, read the dates of coins
230 5. Coin Telepathy: cards match the coin date
230 6. Torn and Restored Paper: various methods (brief)
232 7. Pellet Paper Repeat: One is thrown away but comes back
232 8. Rubber Pencil: illusion
233 9. Rising Cigarette from Pack
233 10. Restored Matches: impromptu with pack of matches
233 11. Linking Matches: held between thumb and ring finger
234 12. Ring On Stick (Major Branson, Indian Army)
236 13. The Potsherd Trick: Image transfers from sugar cube to palm
239 Part Three: Apparatus Magic. An essay on logical apparatus
239 Chapter 15 - Silks. Describes what type to use
242 1. Productions: Stillwell ball, Roterberg vanisher, false finger, drumhead tube, Phantom tube described.
245 2. Vanishes: pass, poke through vanish, pulls, lamp chimney pull and its use
247 3. Color Changing: color changing handkerchief, dye tube
250 4. Knots: dissolving knot, appearing knot, Fake square knots, knot that unties itself, sympathetic silks
258 Chapter 16: Small Gimmicks and Fakes
258 Thumb Tips, finger tips, thumb writer, card index, card box, card frame, pulls, hooks, tumblers, mirror glass (described)
265 Chapter 17: Standard Stuff
265 1. Cut and Restored Rope: 3 methods, no graphics though
267 2. The Egg Bag: skeleton routine only
269 3. The Passe Passe Bottle and Glass: description and basic routine
270 4. Liquid Tricks
270 4a. The Lota: inexhuastible vase of water
271 4b. The Rice Bowls: old style
272 4c. The Funnel: comedy water funnel
273 4d. The Ching Ling Foo Water Can
273 5. Productions: what to produce
274 5a. Hat Productions
274 5b. The Tambourine
275 5c. Carpet of Bagdad: servante load
276 5d. The Jap Box: False flip bottom
277 5e. The Organ Pipes: nesting tube production
277 6. The Chinese Wands: strings seem to be connected
278 7. The Linking Rings: Parts of a routine provided with some photos. Link, Crash Link, Crach unlink, simple count, slow unlink, some routine basics. Okay as an intro.
285 Part Four: Mental Magic
285 Chapter 18: Mental Magic - Theo Annemann
285 1. Magician or Mind Reader? Spelling Master from Chapter 5
286 2. Psychic Slate Test: setup deck
287 3. Extrasensory Perception: setup picture cards
287 4. The Stolen Center Ruse: center tear
288 5. Question and Answer: billet switch
289 6. Stuart Robson's Newspaper Test: uses classified ad
290 7. Sid Lorraine's Forty Thousand Words: book test
292 8. One Ahead Reading
293 9. A Day of Your Life: Performer divines items about person's day after he has written them down. One ahead principle.
295 10. More Alive Than Dead: Performer determines "dead" note among 4 papers. Also, Dead or Alive variation.
297 11. A Mentalist With Money: serial number identification
298 12. The Lyons Bill Switch: no TT
298 13. Dr. Daley's Slates: flap style
300 14. The Myster of the Blackboard: blindfold
301 15. Taps: steel ball raps answer (TT)
303 Part Five: Intimate Magic
303 Chapter 19: Close Up Performance. Essay on music, picking your audience, carrying your props.
307 1. Matches
307 1a. The Fire Proof Hand
307 1b. The Extinguisher
307 1c. The Balanced Match
307 1d. The Leaping Flame
307 1e. The X-Ray Cross
308 2. Coin in Roll
308 3. The Torn Cigarette
309 4. Tumblers
309 4a. Balanced Liquid Diet
309 4b. Glass Levitation
310 4c. Coin Through Blass (Bertram)
310 4d. Vanishing Tumbler (glass through table)
311 4e. The Ghost Echo (tuning fork)
311 4f. Singing Glass, Peculiar Pellet
312 5. Stringing 'Em Along:
312 5a. The Spiral: Endless Chain, Chain of Chance move
313 5b. The Snare
313 5c. The Triple Circle Routine (Jack Salvin and Fred Lowe)
315 5d. Jumping Rubber Band on Fingers
315 5e. Wild West: throw knots in a rope equal to numbers thrown on bottom of dice
317 6. Knocking the Spots Off: paddle dice trick
318 7. Coin Boxes
318 7a. German Box: Ganson routine (summarized)
319 7b. The Okito Box: Tea for Okito from Lewis Ganson's Close Up Vol II
320 7c. Boston Box: Fred Lowe's Boston Three Step from Ganson's Close Up Vol 1
323 Part Six: Platform Magic
323 Chapter 20: Platform Magic. Essay on routining, being prepared, etc.
328 The Servante
329 Black Art Wells
332 Chapter 21: How to Stage a Magic Show: Some Professional Advice
332 1. Comedy
334 2. Pantomime (Louise Gifford)
338 3. Music (Henry Blanchard, Boyd C. Roche)
339 4. Children's Shows (Doris E. Robbins)
342 5. Night Club Shows
343 6. Business Methods
345 7. Publicity
347 Appendix: Further Tricks and Illusions Glossary: defines and describes many effects and terms from Afghan Bands to Change Bag to Jumping Peg to Shell Game to You Do As I Do.
361 Biography and Bibliography: Index of magicians and publications
371 Index"

As I stated, this book is a treasure. It is a must have for anyone interested in starting magic, or even as a reference for a veteran performer. I never grow tired of it. I just recently bought "Learn Magic" from the same author, and it has a lot of the same material. I knew that though, but I wanted something fresh to go through again, and go through the whole reinvention process again, as well as continue to work on perfecting the required sleights of any serious magi. The book comes in small paper back, as well as a big hard back edition. The paper back is much easier to come across I think. Even though this book was first written so long ago, all its contents are completely applicable, and even considered must know material for all magicians today.

This book will get you started correctly working on learning sleights, and in the proper order. The card sleights, and effects alone are worth the price of the book! A great read, and is a definite must have for any magic enthusiast. I give it a 10/10
Message: Posted by: wulfiesmith (Feb 7, 2020 10:51AM)
Sirbrad ...
you have put a lot of time and effort into this review.
I, for one, appreciate your post.
Message: Posted by: sirbrad (Feb 7, 2020 03:40PM)
Thanks glad you like it. This book was a pivotal starting point in my magic 40 years ago as a little kid, and I still refer to it and still do magic from it today. I have the same original paperback and hardcover from back then also still in great condition as I always took great care of my books and still do today, especially considering how important they became and still are today.
Message: Posted by: Signet (Feb 7, 2020 05:42PM)
I agree. This book is excellent. I got my hardcover copy used. It was in almost perfect condition and only cost $20. A friend had the paperback. It was small, like a novel and it made it harder to read and see the illustrations. I would recommend getting a used hardcover. This review tells you why you need to be have it in your library.
Message: Posted by: sirbrad (Feb 7, 2020 06:01PM)
Yeah the hardcover is bigger which is great, I can still read the paperback well myself but it is definitely smaller and small print, which is harder to see when you get older. But back when I was in school that made it easier to sneak inside of my text books while acting like I was reading them, but was reading this book instead while practicing with cards and coins under the desk with my other hand.

A pretty good "illusion" in itself lol. But I already knew back then I was going to be a professional magician and nothing else really interested me anyway, and still going strong now almost 40 years later and about 31 years as a professional.

The hardcover stays open easier as well, whereas thick, small, paperbacks tend to want to keep closing. But I kept them in great condition and the pages are just a lot more yellow now on the paperback which I believe I got in 1981. Would be nice if they re-released it as a larger book like the AOA size, and an eBook as well for easy zooming and seeing, especially on my 32 inch LED or 55 inch HDTV lol.

I view all my periodicals on the my 32 inch mostly and it is great to zoom in the really tiny print, especially on some photos like in Stanyons which is very hard to see without a magnify glass, even with 20/20 vision. But that is why I got a great magnifier with a built in light also. I also have the ebooks as well though which is great.
Message: Posted by: sirbrad (Feb 7, 2020 06:25PM)
But the magnifier does come in handy for really tiny print. I think they wrote with needles back then lol.
Message: Posted by: BCS (Feb 7, 2020 08:41PM)
Sirbrad... thanks for the great review on a great book. You brought back some good memories from my younger years. I purchased my first copy from Barnes and Noble in paperback form back in the early 70s... I think I paid around $4.00 for it. What I liked about the book was that I could comprehend the content compared to other magic books I purchased around that time. Many, many years later I found the hardback edition at a used book store for around $10.

For those starting out in magic, I too recommend that you find a copy.

Thanks and take care,
Message: Posted by: sirbrad (Feb 7, 2020 09:39PM)
Nice Bruce! I also still have "Learn Magic" and "Cyclopedia of Magic" also by Henry Hay which are great. But TAMHB is what helped me build my foundation in all the genres of magic to get a taste of everything before moving on to other books focusing solely on cards, coins, ropes, balls, paper, mental magic, mentalism, close-up, stage, illusions, etc as well as many other books teaching all of those as well.

I finally saved up back then for the Tarbell Course which was also a godsend, and "the bible of magic" being the most complete and comprehensive set on magic as a whole ever made until even this day. Back then it was $400 at a magic shop, which was a lot of money back then, probably about $4,000 today. But it was well worth it and still is today. Many magicians made their living from that course solely, including myself for many years and I still use a lot of stuff from those books.

TAMHB and "Greater Magic" were the best single books on magic as a whole, followed by "Mark Wilson's Complete Course" all kinda like "Tarbell Light" versions, and "The Little Giant Cyclopedia of Magic" by Bob Longe was great as well. I still get a lot of mileage from those first several books, including "The Magic Book" by Harry Lorayne, "Scarne on Card Tricks", "Scarne on Magic Tricks", and so many others which followed that I listed in my other posts.

But I love them all and still use tricks in them all even today among many others, and these first books were what started me on my lifelong magic journey that is still going strong today 40 years and many thousands of books later. And I still have the 1962 Adam's Magic Set that started it all, after I was floored when my friend showed me the ball vase and then sold me the magic set for $3.00.

I also remember fondly my first experience with a magician as a kid at age 6 when he fried me with the sponge balls, cups and balls, and several other great effects which I talked about in older posts; and is what lead me to the public library to begin my lifelong journey shortly after I got my first magic set.
Message: Posted by: todsky (Feb 9, 2020 08:15AM)
The Amateur Magician’s Handbook started it all for me when I was a young teen, particularly the card and coin sleights. Fantastic book and highly recommended!
Message: Posted by: Russo (Feb 9, 2020 09:37AM)
If your on a budget - the library is pretty good to get/review Magic Books - not just the children section - worked p/t at a library for 16 years*. My Library had a few - but if your Library is County Connected - you can get 100's of different books - I remember one Library had separate books for Holiday Magic - Halloween Magic, Christmas Magic, Easter Magic, Birthday Magic, ETC>>> (*as many of you know - I left the Library to care for my Wonderful Wife 24/7 -she passed away 10-04-19, married 63 Wonderful years - A great partner.).
Message: Posted by: sirbrad (Feb 9, 2020 04:05PM)
Yeah my library had about 20 books on magic back when I was a kid, and even back then I was the mostly the only one who checked them out looking at the dates. Today my library has maybe 5 magic books all the other were discarded, and they seem to never be checked out. It is definitely a very niche interest, and most people today can't get off their phones long enough to be bothered to read an actual book. But I guess that is good for me as I am still the only magician in my local area that I know of, but not good for magic in itself to keep going on to the next generation.

Even the hardcover version I got has a "discarded" stamp in it which as I said for me is a great thing as that book is very special to me, but not a god for others who will never have a chance to read it. So it went to a very good home with me. But luckily today we have the internet so people can actually find the book much easier now and order it if they seek it out. It also makes my job much easier today as hardly anyone is seeking magic out around here, and even back in the day when magic was at its peak I was still the only magician in my area.

So it seems to be fading back into secrecy which is good for current magicians like myself but bad the continuance of magic in the future. But I know that enough to seek out magic worldwide ti keep it alive for a very long time. But I do miss the golden age of magic from the 70's-90's when it was very popular. My library also had the option to take out books from other libraries around the world which I also used back then a lot, and I would constantly renew them.

So I am very grateful for the internet to be able to actually buy them all now, as I have since the 90's as they seem to be getting scarce at libraries now, at least around here. I also go to a lot of flea-markets, yard sales, and thrift shops and only very rarely do I see a magic book or magic set.
Message: Posted by: judagar (Feb 14, 2020 06:33PM)
This book really hooked me at the tender young age of 16. I think the incredible thing to me was the secrets that were revealed of some pretty classic effects (ie, linking rings) still have my original copy. it's falling apart.
Message: Posted by: fcchief1 (Feb 18, 2020 03:35PM)
I use to check this book out at the local library all the time. Great resource, although I will admit at the time I did not understand the term phlanges, digits etc when trying to learn card magic (I was only 8 or 9). It does have a wealth of information, need to find a hardcover edition. Thanks Brad for putting up the review again!! Too bad you couldn't have put one up on the old Penguin forums, back in the day!!
Message: Posted by: sirbrad (Feb 18, 2020 05:39PM)
[quote]On Feb 18, 2020, fcchief1 wrote:
I use to check this book out at the local library all the time. Great resource, although I will admit at the time I did not understand the term phlanges, digits etc when trying to learn card magic (I was only 8 or 9). It does have a wealth of information, need to find a hardcover edition. Thanks Brad for putting up the review again!! Too bad you couldn't have put one up on the old Penguin forums, back in the day!! [/quote]

Thanks, and yeah I miss the old Penguin forums still as that was my first forum in 2003. It sucks that they disabled it and came out with that new horrible format. I wish they would bring the forums back so I could go back and read all those posts from back then. I remember talking about the book and recommend though a lot, but I think you could only review Penguin products.

But I was glad that they made an essays forum because of my posts that way they would not get buried in regular topics. But I miss the old Penguin days as that was my first magic forum, and I posted there the most followed by the Café, and other forums like the Spookclub by "Wayno" Wayne Stevenson which no longer exist. So I don't see why they don't just still have them up as Acar even said be would "bring them back soon" years ago and has not.

A lot of great posts and memories on there and discussions with you and Frijid_Pink, (which I still wonder whatever happened to him officially but know he had heart issues) that I would love to be able to read again as that was a fun and special time, and I remember tons of people being online after Blaine's specials all making threads on where to get his latest tricks.

Then Penguin coming out with them as ID's, even though all could be found in old books, where Blaine also found them. Great times lol.
Message: Posted by: Anatole (Feb 27, 2020 07:11PM)
_The Amateur Magician's Handbook_ helped me immensely in my development as a magician.

I had the pleasure of visiting Henry Hay in Germany in 1972 and again in 1974. Although he was American, he had become an advertising copywriter in Germany.

With luck, this link will take you to a collage of images of Henry Hay's books along with a photo I took of him performing coin magic at a cookout in Germany:

The book _Zaubern müßte man können_ seen in that jpeg is the German translation of his book _Learn Magic_.

You can also find a nice book about Henry Hay at lybrary.com

----- Amado "Sonny" Narvaez
Message: Posted by: Brent McLeod (Dec 27, 2020 03:39PM)
As a young kid getting into magic, I checked this out of the Library numerous times, great book,great memories
Message: Posted by: MGordonB (Dec 31, 2020 01:00PM)
This is a book that is way past due for a reprint

I have the paperback version, but the font is so tiny I can no longer read it
Message: Posted by: MrLogan (Jan 1, 2021 09:45PM)
[quote]On Dec 31, 2020, MGordonB wrote:
This is a book that is way past due for a reprint

I have the paperback version, but the font is so tiny I can no longer read it [/quote]

You can get a PDF of the 4th edition from Lybrary.com for $25

Alternatively, used hardback copies of the 3rd and 4th edition can usually be found on AbeBooks.com beginning at about $10 (plus shipping)
Message: Posted by: funsway (Jan 2, 2021 08:04AM)
"the font is so tiny I can no longer read it"

I find this one of the most amusing lines I have read this week - a reason for being involved in magic.

Things considered normal in yesteryear are now impossible or difficult. The problem can be solved by the magic
of a Fresnel Lens shoot or electronic magnifier such a CCTV or Smartphone app - or reading glasses for $1.00.

Yet, the (joking I am sure) suggestion is that the book is at fault and some mysterious others are responsible for making the text more readable.

I always figured the print a tiny to insure that only dedicated magicians would delve into the many secrets. My objection is the poor glue
that holds the pages in place from many readings. Whom do I sue?

Seriously, the modern tendency to apportion blame or cause can be critical to scripting a magic routine, especially
in considering what an audience today considers to be impossible, unusual, awe inspiring, puzzling, etc.

I can now entertain kids with a slide rule as readily as a Chop Cup. Perhaps soon, demonstrating the ability to read from a paperback book will
be unusual and entertaining. Reading hand written script is already an arcane art along with doing math in one's head.
Message: Posted by: 3sdb (Jan 3, 2021 11:08AM)
I actually came to The Amateur Magician's Handbook after reading in Bob Cassidy's works about how it was one of his favourites and in his view foundational, even as a working mentalist (as I recall it was included as an entry in his 39-Steps to Mentalism). Classic.

I own the pdf version of the 4th but for the record can still read small print :-) - small blessings!
Message: Posted by: cuchullain (May 31, 2021 01:52PM)
Based on this thread I just bought a second hand copy very cheap! - Not a beginner, but very much an amateur - It is a wonderful book to just browse through.
Message: Posted by: NEKKODDD (Jul 3, 2021 04:48PM)
Agreed, one of the must have
Message: Posted by: socalguy (Jul 12, 2021 12:42AM)
Somewhere in my attic, I have an original copy given to me when I was 13 which was 55 years ago. My first book of magic ( like a few on this thread) A real classic. Strongly suggest a second hand purchase if you do not already own one.
Message: Posted by: Merodach (Aug 3, 2021 07:13AM)
I also have a copy of this small tome with quite a following. It's one of those book that I think provides some interesting material, not that most of the effects are revolutionary, but that there's quite a bit of the material that could be re-worked or tranformed into new effects with modern twists. If nothing else it can help inspire younger magicians or other amateurs in taking up the magicial arts or enahnce their appreciation for the art.
Message: Posted by: Angela P (Aug 8, 2021 04:10PM)
This book is still often read in Germany. Mr, Mussey lived much time here. The effects taught in his book are often very difficult skilled. The title is somehow deceptive. A very fine book. Very much detailed in his teaching. His teaching with coins is very deep.
Message: Posted by: DanTheMagicMan (Sep 22, 2021 08:49AM)
Just discovered this thread. You can buy the PDF version at Lybrary.com, which I am contemplating doing even though I own both the hard and soft cover versions.
Message: Posted by: Kanawati (Sep 24, 2021 04:05AM)
I wonder if I was going to the same library as Brent McLeod? In my early teens I was borrowing the Amateur Magicians Handbook. The other one I remember at that library was the Illustrated History of Magic by Milbourne Christopher. Reading about T Nelson Downs and Cardini, how his steals were invisible, and imagining how great their performances were. A few years ago I finally saw footage on YouTube of Cardini’s act and it was even better than I had ever imagined! At that age going through the pages of those books was such a magical experience. Great memories:)
Message: Posted by: TeddyBoy (Sep 24, 2021 12:33PM)
[quote]On Sep 24, 2021, Kanawati wrote:
I wonder if I was going to the same library as Brent McLeod? In my early teens I was borrowing the Amateur Magicians Handbook. The other one I remember at that library was the Illustrated History of Magic by Milbourne Christopher. Reading about T Nelson Downs and Cardini, how his steals were invisible, and imagining how great their performances were. A few years ago I finally saw footage on YouTube of Cardini’s act and it was even better than I had ever imagined! At that age going through the pages of those books was such a magical experience. Great memories:) [/quote]

Very nice memories. Good for you...mate!