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TRUMPETMAN
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Naples, FL
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Good morning !

Since I have an young, aspiring wizard and avid reader in my house, I was wondering if anyone could recommend some good biographies/autobiographies of famous magicians that might be suitable for someone who is not an adult ?

Mark Pettey
Naples, FL
Mark Pettey
Naples, FL
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what
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Lehi, UT, USA
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I havn't read many magician biographies, but I will list a couple of books that I very much enjoyed and that a young magic enthusiasst would probably enjoy.
"Hiding the Elephant" by Jim Steinmeyer
"Magic: A Picture History" by Milbourne Christopher
Magic is fun!!!
The Magician
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Liverpool
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Carter beats the devil by Glen david gold
52 Ways to magic America by James Flint
David Blaine Mysterious Stranger
Under no illusions by English magician Paul Daniels
The War Magician by David Fisher

These are all very good reads.
The Magician

Expect the Unexpected
alson
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Here is 3 real good books .
The Master Magicians by Walter Gibson
Houdini ,The Untold Story by Milbourne Chistopher
The Glorious Deception,Double life of William Robinson , Chung Ling Soo
By Jim Steinmeyer , this is a great book ,well told story. The first two you may have to get used but they are worth it.
Alson
TRUMPETMAN
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Naples, FL
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Thanks for all the suggestions guys !

I guess I should have clarifed that my son is pretty young, (although reading about two grades ahead of his class) and not quite ready for some of the subject matter in books like the new Chung Ling Soo book.

I just got back from a trip to the local library, and was able to find a few books for younger readers on Houdini. Judging from the card catalog, it must be a requirement for all college journalism and english majors to write a book on Houdini (LOL!). It was rather disappointing that there are not more stories about the lives and adventures of some of the other great magicians that would be suitable for younger readers. After all, new magaicians have to come from somehwere, they don't just appear at age 21 ! Seems like there would be plenty of "clean" stories to be told about performers like Blackstone, Thurston, Kellar, and others.

I guess some would say the sales would be to small to justify the creation of such works, but after seeing the plethora of cheesy "You too can do Magic !!!!" books that clutter most bookstore and libratry shelves, I would argue that the market is there, it just hasn't been explored.

It would be espcecially inspiring to young magicians if some of the current stars could publish some books about their rise to fame, and make them readable by those who, although quite a bit younger, dream of following the same path.

Lance Burton, Jeff McBride, David Copperfield, and others....are you listening ?

Always trying to help my young wizard,

MArk Pettey
Naples,FL
Mark Pettey
Naples, FL
facebook.com/robbietheringmaster
Hideo Kato
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You can find so many stories about great magicians in MAGIC and GENII. Today, I have read the interview with Daryl in September issue of Genii. After reading it, I started to like him more. MAGIC and GENII are doing wonderful things with such wonderful materials.

Hideo Kato
alson
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I,am sure how old your son is??? But I read the book The Master Magicians by Walter Gibson in the 5 grade and gave a book report on it.Good book for any age and easy reading ,you can find use copies.
Alson
evolve629
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I highly recommend The Magician's Study : A Guided Tour of the Life, Times, and Memorabilia of Robert "The Great" Rouncival.
One hundred percent of the shots you don't take don't go in - Wayne Gretzky
My favorite part is putting the gaffs in the spectators hands...it gives you that warm fuzzy feeling inside! - Bob Kohler
eddieloughran
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Definitely " phantoms of the card table"
It's cheap and easy to buy, and a wonderful story of card cheats, liers, double crossing, and how the hero was found, even though he had never been lost.
You'll never gamble again.

Fechter by Jerry Mentzer is half half biography and half card tricks.
The story of bar magic and a magic bar.
Its also on a style of magic and the personal style of Fechter hinself.
A thinking magicians magic book.

And the tricks, mostly cards, are tricks you will use.
And it explains the background and development of the tricks too.

I'm a fan of both books !!
Jaz
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Dai Vernon
"The Vernon Chronicles"-Vol.4

You say, "my son is pretty young."
The book "Fechter" is a great read but there are a few things that are adult in content and may not be suitable for one too young.
eddieloughran
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Sorry !
I asumed that he would be old enough to read "grown up" stuff.
I don't think that its too bad in context, but maybe not.
It shows a different world. Not P.C. that is for sure.
How old is your son ?

The English site - Magic books by post has section on Magicians lives.
Ronin
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Martinez,CA
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I heartily second "The Master Magicians" by Walter Gibson--I first read it in fourth grade, and it was one of those books that'll stay with me forever. Great stories, lots of intriguing photos.

Some other magic histories and biographies I read as a kid:

"Magic and Magicians" by Bill Severn. It had some short biographies of magicians, and some good tricks at the end. I'm sure it's out of print, but maybe you can find a copy online.

Walter Gibson's "Secrets of Magic". You could call this a list of exposures, detailing the secrets of sawing a woman in two, the floating lady, sands of Egypt, etc. But they're all explained in an historical context which I really liked. Probably also out of print, but I've recently seen copies on used bookstore shelves.

"Mr. Mysterious and Company" by Sid Fleishman. This is a kids fiction book, about a magician and his family in the days of the Old West, traveling from town to town in a covered wagon.

Fleishman also recently wrote an autobiography, "The Abracadabra Kid", about his early days in magic, starting when he was a kid. This one should still be in print, I know my library has a copy in the children's section.

"The World's Greatest Magic" by Hyla M. Clark. This one is great! LOTS of photos accompanying short bios of late 20th Century magicians--Dai Vernon, Tony Slydini, Albert Goshman, Derek Dingle, Doug Henning, David Copperfield, Richard Ross and others. It was published in the late '70's, as I recall, so don't be too shocked by the section on the pre-MTV David Copperfield. I loved this one as a kid, and still turn to it.

"Conjure Times: Black Magicians in America" by Jim Haskins and Kathleen Benson. I just read this one a few years ago (it was published in 2001). I found it a fascinating read, about a part of magic history about which I was completely ignorant.

Good luck!
David Hirata
www.thingsimpossible.com


"Life is a combination of magic and pasta."
--Federico Fellini
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