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Profile of dsalley13
There's too many multi-book sets to narrow it down to just one, at least for me and there are so many I haven't discovered yet.

#1: "Rice's Encyclopedia of Silk Magic", 1-3 and 4. Overall, a real nice set. I wish more Magic books were done with the same quality of illustration and easy to read hand-drawn font(s). It's a pleasure just to sit and read them.

#2: Tommy Wonder's "Books of Wonder". These books go way beyond just laying out tricks for you to learn. Tommy strives to make you think and act like a magician.

#3: "The Fitzkee Trilogy" is great too, if you can make it through the first 3 pages and not quit magic to become a plumber or car-wash worker. Fitzkee makes you really examine your motives. Tough read, but necessary I think, for everybody.

I don't think any set of DVDs will ever approach the level of learning provided by good books. My next purchases will be the Stewart James set and Simon Lovell's "Simon Says" books (and new reading glasses!).

Adam Wood
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Some great sets have been metioned so far many of which I own still working on a set of 1st edt. Fitzkee books; have The Trick Brain. Rice's always seems to get passed over by me even though I have wanted it for over a 15 years! Keep posting the results are quite interesting. Smile
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Greater Magic
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Profile of Vlad_77
On 2009-05-01 12:38, msmaster wrote:
Greater Magic

I am assuming here that you mean the set that was published before a lot of us were born that broke down Greater Magic into smaller books? There is also the Greater Magic video series by Stevens Magic Emporium.

But, other than those two instances, Greater Magic by Hilliard and Hugard is a SINGLE volume.

Andi Peters
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Paul Gordon's The Second 16th Card Books Vol 1 & 2
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Profile of mormonyoyoman
Tarbell, followed by Tarbell. And then there's Tarbell.

Though Harry Lorayne's Apocalypse is certainly a strong contender, even against Tarbell. But Harry is well-represented there too, having written my favorite volume.

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Profile of MaxfieldsMagic
On 2009-04-22 14:19, sethb wrote:
What MagicSanta said.

In my experience, a set of the Tarbell Course is the best investment anyone could ever make, and a real bargain to boot. Some of the patter is dated, and some of it is also a bit corny. But the effects are timeless, and you should be creating your own patter anyway. SETH

Tarbell's patter is one of the best things about the series - it's always entertaining, although probably not as intended. But yeah, this set of books is the best and cheapest investment you can make, and the books themselves are of high production quality, with their embossed covers, sturdy binding and heavy, glossy dust jackets. If, like many of us, you get around to reading the series later in the learning process, you'll find yourself constantly saying, "so that's where that [effect, method, etc] came from!" Although Tarbell is careful to credit earlier creators to the extent that was possible before we could Google everything.

BTW - for some truly horrendous historical patter, check out "Pithy Patter" at Sure, it's dated, but it's interesting to read just to see how much the world has changed (assuming that the author is correct that the gags were actually considered witty when published).

Another vote for Card College as well.
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Profile of chrusa
There is this great effect in tarbell with a king of clubs card and a pop up papaer figure of Al Jolson pops up. I really love that effect in tarbell check it out I think its in Volume one.
<BR>Chris Hrusa
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Profile of Kimura
Haha that trick is great. "King of the night-Clubs!". It's in Vol. 5.
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Greater Magic / Tarbell Course
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Books of Wonder Vols. I & II by Tommy Wonder
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Profile of VcosNJ
The AOA set opened up my eyes to Paul Harris. Smile
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Profile of acchessor
AoA is awesome in my opinion. Smile
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Profile of stanalger
Steve Beam's Semi-Automatic Card Trick series.
Andi Peters
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Paul Gordon's card magic books.
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Profile of rjthomp
Card college for me, followed by AOA and Tarbell
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Books of Wonder
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Profile of Nedim
Tarbell, Books of Wonder(Tommy Wonder), Card College(Giobbi), Art of astonishment(Paul Harris)

Nedim Guzel
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Profile of GeorgeG
This a tough choice. My choice would among the following I have:

Marlo's Magazine Vol. 1-6
Cervon's Castle Notebooks Vol. 1-4
Apocalypse Volumes
Ibidem Volumes
Pallbearer Volumes

Forced to choose one only, I would go for the Castle Notebooks
Scott F. Guinn
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Tarbell, running away. For the sheer amount of material, the great variety of material, and the amount of "new, never before seen" single items that are currently for sale on the market (that came straight out of Tarbell). One could make a good living as a close up, parlor, stage, illusion, or manipulation act with nothing else but this series. Along with the study guide, you can go through the course just like it was mailed out. I only wish I had been around back when it came to you in monthly installments, complete with a lockbox and some props.
"Love God, laugh more, spend more time with the ones you love, play with children, do good to those in need, and eat more ice cream. There is more to life than magic tricks." - Scott F. Guinn
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