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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Magic...at a moment's notice! » » Encyclopedia of Impromptu Magic (2 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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dazzler
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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
copterchris
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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
JamesTong
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That is great news! Is it already being sold now?
copterchris
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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!
JamesTong
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Thanks, copterchris. I'll get in touch with Todd.
dazzler
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Yes, thanks for that, copterchris. I have just emailed them and will post anything that I hear.

Darrell
Silly Walter the Polar Bear
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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.
airship
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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. Smile

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!
'The central secret of conjuring is a manipulation of interest.' - Henry Hay
Jaz
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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.
Leland Stone
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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.
Bob Sanders
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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
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mrunge
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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. Smile
Bob Sanders
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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
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paultepper
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Anyone want to bet about 2008?
mrunge
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What about 2008?

Mark.
Larry Barnowsky
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I bought it on Ebay and sold it on Ebay. It had a lot of filler in it IMO.

Larry
airship
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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.
'The central secret of conjuring is a manipulation of interest.' - Henry Hay
mrunge
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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.
JardiniMagic
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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
The Magical World of Jardini
acesover
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From the comments here it seems that I will not be spending $300 for this.
If I were to agree with you. Then we would both be wrong. As of Apr 5, 2015 10:26 pm I have 880 posts. Used to have over 1,000
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