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Profile of NYKnicks5
On 2003-01-08 15:36, Bigmagictrout wrote:
The Card College series is a little expensive, but it's a must for beginners. Almost everything is in this book. If you can afford it, go for it Smile

I cannot agree more with that. Without a doubt, a beginner looking to learn the basics of cards sleights MUST buy the Card College Series. Although it is expensive, it is well worth every penny. You will use these books as reference for years. I must say that if you are a beginner looking to learn the art of card manipulation, this is the perfect series for you (even magicians who have been performing for years can benefit from these books). I guess my point is made that these books are good Smile
Magic Clown
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After reading this post I see a lot of great recommendations for those just starting out. I would like to add one more to this great list.

We just started carrying a DVD set that I think is a great addition to everyone's magic library. It's called Complete Card Magic. It's a seven-volume DVD set that covers everything from the basics, to advanced, to expert extreme:

DVD 1 - Beginner
DVD 2 - Intermediate
DVD 3 - Advanced
DVD 4 - Expert
DVD 5 - Expert Extreme
DVD 6 - Techniques (Forces! Shuffles! Flourishes!)
DVD 7 - Techniques (Cuts and Sleights!)

I've been a parlor and stage magician for over 30 years and recently started to learn close-up. We got these DVDs in our store and I reviewed them. They have taught me so much. (A local working professional bought this set and is still raving about them.)

Yes they are not cheap, $149.95, but they are great for those who learn better by watching.
Donald Carpenter
Fuzzy the Magic Clown
Professional Magic Clown

Show Them the Magic and Watch Them Smile
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Profile of HighVolt29
If you are looking for an easy trick, I would go with Aces In Their Faces. Easy to do, self-working. You can see a demo at: http://www.penguinmagic.com
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Profile of cardsharkcarter
While it is not an extremely popular book, I am a big fan of World's Best Card Tricks by Bob Longe. It is easily avaliable, cheap, and in a couple of weeks a beginner can have a workable routine that brings almost instant gratification. Using his tricks I have had all the same reactions professionals get: amazement, people thinking I'm really psychic, people thinking they are really psychic and girls screaming.

I will warn, however, that only one in every four of his tricks should be performed so you must try out many tricks until you find the ones that get the best audience reaction. Do not bother with World's Greatest Card Magic or 101 Easy Card Tricks. Neither is worth the money.
Who wants to live in a world without a little magic?
Brad Hall
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Tulsa, Ok
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Just a heads up on a bargain. You can find "Mark Wilson's Complete Course In Magic" in hardcover for $9.99 at BookCloseouts.com.
magic soul
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I do not agree with flipped who said he don't think there is anything he considers is a Killer or such like on the Michael Ammar video's.I just wonder from whos point of view he is looking at it from a magician or a spectators.Andy
The Magician
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The Art Of Magic And Sleight Of Hand by Nicholas Einhorn

A wide variety of tricks are covered including Card Magic , Dinner Table Magic , Match Magic , String Cord and Rope Magic , Mind Mgaic , Silk Thimble and Paper Magic and Money Magic.

Includes an illustrated history of Magic and magicians from the prigins of the art in Egypt, Through the nineteenth and twentieth centuries to the magic of today featuring magicians sucj as Siegfried and Roy David Copperfield and David Blaine

Over 1,000 colour photographs showing both the audiences and performers perspectives
The Magician

Expect the Unexpected
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Costa Rica
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Profile of Rafa
I think if you're new, you don't have to compare a lot. If you're new you'll think about that once you've mastered the basics.
Go with Lamar or Daryl, they're great teachers, they you'll get what you need from any of them, and you'll be then ready to start comparing.
Hope this helps.
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Profile of nakulshenoy
Here is my list of recommended books (and most of them have already been mentioned):

Abbott's Encyclopedia of Rope Tricks for Magicians - Stewart James
Amateur Magicians Handbook - Henry Hay
Annemann's Card Magic - Ted Annemann
Card Magic for Beginners - Harry Baron
Close-up Magic for Beginners - Harry Baron
Complete Course in Magic - Mark Wilson
Encyclopedia of Card Tricks - Jean Hugard
Learn Magic - Henry Hay
Magic for Beginners - Harry Baron
Making Magic - Edwin A. Dawes & Arthur Setterington
Modern Coin Magic - J B Bobo
Practical Mental Magic - Ted Annemann
Professional Magic for Amateurs - Walter Gibson
Royal Road to Card Magic - Jean Hugard & Frederick Braue
Self-Working Card Tricks - Karl Fulves
Self-Working Coin Magic - Karl Fulves
Self-Working Mental Magic - Karl Fulves
Self-Working Paper Magic - Karl Fulves
Self-Working Rope Magic - Karl Fulves
Self-Working Table Magic - Karl Fulves

I also wish to place my vote (have lost the count of votes) for Henry Hay's Amateur Magician's Handbook too.

It simply has to be one of the most essential books for the performing magician, whether a beginner, amateur, or professional.

Also, Larry Anderson's Jaw Droppers 4-CD series (www.jawdroppers.com) is a great way to start. Anderson not only teaches the magic tricks, but he has a great presentation too... which makes these tricks seem like miracles.
Nakul Shenoy
The Mind Reader
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Charlottesville, VA
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Profile of magiciangirl902
If your looking for anything magic go to magictricks.com. It has almost everything and is for magicians on all levels.
Most magicians do magic tricks, I do magic
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Fairchild AFB
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Profile of DragonMage
Greetings to those more talented than I (i.e. EVERYONE). I am but a humble beginner whom has always dabbled in an effect or two but now is trying to get a routine together for local hospital & senior centers use.

I am currently devouring the "Complete Idiot's" guide and it is absolutely wonderful! Eight chapters of history, background, staging, patter, practicing your "outs" and main routines, etc. Not just a secret teller, and that is what I appreciate most about it. I'll begin learning some new material tomorrow but have been reading it for 2 days already.

Will look into the other books & videos recommended here after that, but for now I'm working my way through this great book.

Have a great week everyone!
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Profile of GavinK
As a new member on this forum I'm learning so much reading posts like this. Such great ideas and sooo much money I'm gonna have to spend to catch up Smile.

Thanks alot for you time and experience.

Gavin K
Gary Barnard
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I would recommend Mark Wilson's Video Course in Magic and Do you wanna learn magic by Rob Stiff. They are both pretty good for beginners.

"It's in the very trickery that it pleases me. But show me how
the trick is done, and I have lost my interest therein."
- Seneca the Younger, In his 45th Epistle to Lucilius
(4 B.C.-A.D. 65)
Paul H
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Profile of Paul H
Hi Everyone,

I am new to this forum and have re-descovered card magic after a 20 year interval. My apprenticeship has literally begun in ernest three weeks ago!! I have viewed Volume One of Mike Ammer's 'Easy Card Magic' series and liked what I saw very much. I also have his 'Introduction to Coin Magic'. However, my main choice for cards has been for the new Complete Card Magic DVD's featuring Gerry Griffen. This set may not be for everyone as Gerry is a rather ponderous old thing, but I find him very likeable, comfortable and reassuringly skilled with the cards without being off-puttingly or intimidatingly slick and seemless. As a beginner, I really am enjoying this nicely paced, graded approach to learning card magic. However, the DVD set is not really for the skilled and experienced card magician or the 'cool' testosterone driven youngster out to emulate David Blane. To put this into context, I would say that the so called 'Expert Extreme' DVD is more like a launch pad into advanced card magic with the first two volumes being pitched at the novice level (fine by me!!) and volumes 3 and 4 at the intermediate stage. In combination with either Card Collage Vols 1 and 2 or the RRTCM, this makes an easy, enjoyable and friendly start for the complete beginner. Hope this helps.


Paul H
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Fairchild AFB
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Profile of DragonMage
Greetings again! Finished the "Complete Idiot's" and moved on to following in this order:
"The complete beginner's guide to Magic" by Walter Gibson
"The Everything Magic Book" by Greg Davidson
"Tricks with your Head" by Mac King & Mark Levy
and "David Blaine Mysterious Stranger"

Tricks with your head is more gags & practical joke type material (but I absolutely LOVE Mac Kings act!!!)and David Blaine is more autobiographical with mixed historical references pointing to his motivation for the effects he performs, etc. Interesting but not what I was looking for.

I have purposefully chosen a wide-ranging & mixed group of books & effects so that I can see a little of what is all out there before I decide which area I want to "specialize" in as I want to perform impromptu and close-up effects (see earlier message reference to wanting to entertain in children's hospitals & senior centers, etc). I'm just finishing my first run through of the books & will begin narrowing down my focus next.

If you have any recommendations or suggestions, please feel free to let me know, I am yet putty waiting to be molded (so to speak).
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Profile of buffalobob
If you have any recommendations or suggestions, please feel free to let me know, I am yet putty waiting to be molded (so to speak).

I'm glad to see you want to do things right from the beginning. I have only performed publicly a couple of times at the request of a friend. Because I fooled them in an informal surrounding such as their home, they thought I should volunteer to perform at a charity event for children. Unforturnately, my ego agreed.

You probably don't need me to tell you this, but performing for friends and family is a TOTALLY different experience than performing for the public. To put it mildly, my act was not appropriate for the audience at hand.

My best advice to you is to know what is appropriate for the venue. For whom are you performing? What is the occassion? Where will you be performing? How much time has been set aside for you performance?

It sometimes might be better to decline an invitation to perform. If you don't feel there is a match between your style and the intended audience, you aren't doing anyone a favor by agreeing to do the show.

If their is one quality that differentiates the bumbling amateur from the successful professional, I believe that quality is patience. You will reach your goals if you do your homework and practice, practice, practice!

Good luck!
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Thanks for the advice Bob! Understand exactly what you are referring to! I've been giving briefings in my mundane job (USAF) for years now & no two groups require the same effort or approach & forgetting that can definitely get you in a tight spot!

Found the IBM ring in my town and will be giving them a look-see here next month (missed this months meeting) to get some help on my palming skills.....so far coin palming is really beating me up but I'm still trying!

Have a great day everyone!
Dan Ezell
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Cocoa, FL
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Profile of Dan Ezell
Thanks to all who have posted to help beginners select quality magic books. We are all coming from our own experiences, but it is nice to see support for the same books over and over again. I agree with the many previous endorsements of

Mark Wilson’s Complete Course in Magic (my #1 choice and the one that got me started).

If you want to preview the book before purchasing it, check it out at your local library. In addition, I recently noticed that Barnes and Noble had it in paperback. Amazon.com is another great place to purchase it (around $13.00).

Dr. Dan The Magic Man
As a univesity professor in special education I advocate the use magic to increase self-esteem of children with disabilities. Also, many magic tricks can easily be tied to academic lessons. More importanly, magic can be used to create friendships with children with and without disabilities. Smile
Tod Todson
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Profile of Tod Todson
Allow me to add my voice to the chorus of others who have recommended Hay's, "Amateur Magician's Handbook."

While equal praise can be given to Wilson's book, AMH has a series of chapters that today would be charged $$ per lecture.

These two books would make an ideal gift to any new person seeking to get a well-rounded intro to magic.

Mystifier, Youth Speaker
Larry Barnowsky
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Profile of Larry Barnowsky
The Mark Wilson Course is a good start and you can find it in most book stores.
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