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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Books, Pamphlets & Lecture Notes » » I'll now rate my book collection for you all. (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Eddini_81976
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Hopefully a lot of you have these books too, and maybe we could swap ideas and what we like and don't like in the books. I have to admit upfront I'm not terribly good at reading instructional books and therefore I have trouble understanding what I read. I DO MUCH BETTER learning off videos. Some of these books I've tried to learn from or at least skim in some detail. Some books I've actually learned routines from surprisingly. I rate 1-10, with ten being perfect, and one being horrible. I judge on how easy it is to understand (from my point of view). I judge on the illustrations. I judge on the effects themselves. I judge how many good tricks get put into a book at what price. For instance I would judge higher a $45.00 book with 90 tricks than I would a $35.00 book with 25 tricks. But again it depends on the tricks themselves too. I also judge the paper and stock and how well the book was put together (durability). Like I said this is just my own humble opinion, and remember some of these books I haven't even read completely. Like I said I have trouble understanding what I read sometimes. I hope this can be informative to at least a few of you anyways, Ed, (Eddini)

1. The Commercial Magic of J.C. Wagner:8
2. Tarbell Volumes 4&6 :8
3. Basic Skills With Cards (Jerry Mentzer):7
4. You Too Can Read Minds (George Anderson):4
5. Book of Magic (John Muholland) :7
6. The Secrets of Houdini (J.C. Cannel):8.5
7. The Card Magic Of LePaul:8
8. Scarne on Card Tricks:7
9. 101 Amazing Card Tricks (Sterling):5-6
10. Various Houdini Biographies :8.5
11. Houdini's Escapes & Magic (Walter Gibson):9
12. The Craig Karges Connection :8
13. Abbott's Escape Book (older book):7.5
14. Mickey Hades New Encyclopedia of Escapes :8.5
15. Card Colleges 1-4 :9
16. Expert Card Technique (Hugard & Brau):9
17. Dai Vernon's Inner Card Trilogy :8.5
18. Vernon's More Lost Inner Secrets :8.5
19. 13 Steps to Mentalism (Corinda) :8.5
20. Anneman's Practical Mental Effects :8
21. Close-Up Card Magic (Lorayne) :8
22. The Amateur Magician's Handbook :8
23. Secrets of Brother John Hamman :8.5
24. Steve Beam's Semi-Automatic Card Triicks :8
25. Professor Hoffman's Modern Magic :8
26. Miracles With Cards (Swain) :9
27. World of Super Mentalism (Becker) :7.5
28. Paramiracle (Lesley) :9
29. Theatre of The Mind (Richardson) :8
30. Mind Myth & Magick (Waters) :9.5
31. The Art of Astonishment Volume One (Harris) :9
32. Magic Card Tricks (A Stipper Card Deck Mini-Book) :7

Smile Smile Smile
"Treat Others As You'd Want To Be Treated" - Jesus Christ
lostpoet
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That’s a good collection you have. Is the T.A. Waters book “Mind, Myth and Magick” one that you have read all of? I see you have given it a great rating and this is a book I have been curious about purchasing. Any comments on this book you would like to make?
Eddini_81976
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No its a very, very thick book, and I haven't read all of it. From what I have read, maybe a 3rd of the book has been very, VERY informative. I would GET IT if I were you. No/No, Kystic, Inzition, Keyknow, and Automanticard, seem to be the best, as far as what I've read. Ed, (Eddini).
"Treat Others As You'd Want To Be Treated" - Jesus Christ
hkwiles
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Howard Wiles
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So, with the exception of the Anderson book and 101 Card tricks, they all score 7 or above.

That would make them all more than OK in my book
(excuse the pun)
I'm not sure whether you were implying that some were poor.

Howard
Eddini_81976
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To me poor is like 1-3. 4-7 is okay. 8-9 is great. Awesome pun...lol.
"Treat Others As You'd Want To Be Treated" - Jesus Christ
mwolfire
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Eddini
Which volume of Steve Beam's books are you
rating? I have heard that vol 1 is best, but
they go downhill from there.
Mark
snilsson
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> You Too Can Read Minds (George Anderson):4
> Paramiracle (Lesley) :9

Just for fun, here's a second, and very different, opinion.

Most of the presentations offered by Ted Lesley bore me to tears. For example, having a spectator on stage counting 51 cards while the magician is standing in the audience watching. Also, some of the techniques seem very weak. For example, you give someone an "empty" envelope to hold. A litte bit later they open the envelope by themselves and now there is a piece of paper inside. I'm afraid anyone can figure out an obvious solution. And yes, this is how it is done. To me this is a book by a magician trying to fool other magicians.

George Anderson's book, however, offers an interesting premise (the spectator's do the mind reading) and has some very engaging presentations. In fact, my rating would be exactly the opposite of yours.
Euan
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Sorry to be a ***** but offering a rating of a book by plonking a number next to the name without any explanation as to your thoughts on the actual contents is a bit useless really. Especially seeing as you haven't actually read all the books you're rating Smile

--Euan Smile
Eddini_81976
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That's true, but I'd be here typing all day (I'm a slow one-finger typer), and the post would be extremely long. Thanks for your input though, Ed, (Eddini).

Quote:
On 2003-10-12 16:02, snilsson wrote:
> You Too Can Read Minds (George Anderson):4
> Paramiracle (Lesley) :9

Just for fun, here's a second, and very different, opinion.

Most of the presentations offered by Ted Lesley bore me to tears. For example, having a spectator on stage counting 51 cards while the magician is standing in the audience watching. Also, some of the techniques seem very weak. For example, you give someone an "empty" envelope to hold. A litte bit later they open the envelope by themselves and now there is a piece of paper inside. I'm afraid anyone can figure out an obvious solution. And yes, this is how it is done. To me this is a book by a magician trying to fool other magicians.

George Anderson's book, however, offers an interesting premise (the spectator's do the mind reading) and has some very engaging presentations. In fact, my rating would be exactly the opposite of yours.


The thing I don't like about Anderson's book is the use of stooges. I don't care or really agree with the use of stooges. I think using a stooge is okay (if it is perhaps another magician that they don't know is a magician), that way a secret isn't given out to a lay person, or perhaps a very best friend of your you know you could trust. I just don't like the "on the spot" or "instant" stooge concepr especially if its a laymen. Thanks for sharing your opinion, Ed, (Eddini).

P.S. The only trick that seemed okay really was the last trick of the book the one with the chalkboard (I think).
"Treat Others As You'd Want To Be Treated" - Jesus Christ
Uli Weigel
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Quote:
On 2003-10-12 16:02, snilsson wrote:
Most of the presentations offered by Ted Lesley bore me to tears. For example, having a spectator on stage counting 51 cards while the magician is standing in the audience watching. Also, some of the techniques seem very weak. For example, you give someone an "empty" envelope to hold. A litte bit later they open the envelope by themselves and now there is a piece of paper inside. I'm afraid anyone can figure out an obvious solution. And yes, this is how it is done. To me this is a book by a magician trying to fool other magicians.


Also just for fun, I would say: You have no idea what you're talking about. Smile
Xiqual
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Quote:
On 2003-10-12 18:53, Uli Weigel wrote:
Quote:
On 2003-10-12 16:02, snilsson wrote:
Most of the presentations offered by Ted Lesley bore me to tears. For example, having a spectator on stage counting 51 cards while the magician is standing in the audience watching. Also, some of the techniques seem very weak. For example, you give someone an "empty" envelope to hold. A litte bit later they open the envelope by themselves and now there is a piece of paper inside. I'm afraid anyone can figure out an obvious solution. And yes, this is how it is done. To me this is a book by a magician trying to fool other magicians.


Also just for fun, I would say: You have no idea what you're talking about. Smile



I second that Smile

Teleport envelope is one of the best effects around. It is NOT obvious at all.

Kills laymen. I love it.
James
Still with the Chinese circus Smile
snilsson
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> Kills laymen.

I've seen it performed and everyone survived. Smile

Seriously, in magic it is so much easier to fool yourself than your audience. It happens often and only rarely does the performer understand what's going on. This is what Stanley Collins wrote in Conjuring Mélange in 1947:

Quote:
I remember once seeing an amateur in London use the double-lift three times in succession to change Kings into Aces. One must suppose that he imagined he had mystified his audience; but in fact, only one person was deceived.


This could equally well have been written today. By the way, Conjuring Mélange is another nice book. Probably a 9 of out 10.
andre combrinck
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I'd give Paul Harris a better score than M,M&M(But that's my opinion).
Decomposed
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George Anderson's "It Must be Mind Reading," description states it doesn't use stooges. Perhaps this would be a better read than the "You Too Can Read Minds" Ed. Ive been reading some good recommends for this one.

My nickel:) Smile
Eddini_81976
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Yes, I love Mind, Myth & Magic. It is a "Bible" of effects, and I recommend it highly to anyone SERIOUSLY into Mentalism.

Ed,
(Eddini).
"Treat Others As You'd Want To Be Treated" - Jesus Christ
eryanic
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How do you manage to find time to read all those books?
Andini
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If "Secrets of Brother John Hamman" is the booklet by LePaul, I completely agree. It's worth buying the booklet just for the Million-to-One chance. I love that routine so much. Very much impromptu if you have a deck on you (better if you remove the needed cards beforehand, though). The other stuff is OK, though.

Highly recommended.
magicjack1977
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Nice collection. Mine currently sits at:

The Classic Magic of Larry Jennings
Jennings '67
The Commercial Magic of J.C. Wagner
The Art of Astonishment (1-3)
Try The Impossible
Bound To Please
The Card Clasics of Ken Krenzel
Drawing Room Deceptions
Impossibillia
Smoke And Mirrors
Dear Mr. Fantasy
Card College Vol. 1 & 2
Audience Tested - The Magic of Dan Fleshman
The Royal Road to Card Magic
Expert Card Technique
Randy Wakeman Presents
Formula One Close-Up
Effortless Card Magic
The Card Magic of Nick Trost
Designing Miracles
Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic
Clown Magic
The Great Illusions of Magic 1 & 2
The Magic Castle - Party Magic
Approaching Magic
Totally Impromptu Vol. 2
WiseGuy
Abbotts Encyclopedia of Rope Magic
Tricks With Your Head
magicfish
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Quote:
On 2003-10-12 16:02, snilsson wrote:
> You Too Can Read Minds (George Anderson):4
> Paramiracle (Lesley) :9

Just for fun, here's a second, and very different, opinion.

Most of the presentations offered by Ted Lesley bore me to tears. For example, having a spectator on stage counting 51 cards while the magician is standing in the audience watching. Also, some of the techniques seem very weak. For example, you give someone an "empty" envelope to hold. A litte bit later they open the envelope by themselves and now there is a piece of paper inside. I'm afraid anyone can figure out an obvious solution. And yes, this is how it is done. To me this is a book by a magician trying to fool other magicians.

George Anderson's book, however, offers an interesting premise (the spectator's do the mind reading) and has some very engaging presentations. In fact, my rating would be exactly the opposite of yours.

Ask Ted Lesley's audiences what they thought of the material and weather the solutions were obvious.
Ted Lesley was a miracle worker and the material in Paramiracles is absolutely first class.
Vlad_77
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Quote:
On 2014-02-04 23:42, magicfish wrote:
Quote:
On 2003-10-12 16:02, snilsson wrote:
> You Too Can Read Minds (George Anderson):4
> Paramiracle (Lesley) :9

Just for fun, here's a second, and very different, opinion.

Most of the presentations offered by Ted Lesley bore me to tears. For example, having a spectator on stage counting 51 cards while the magician is standing in the audience watching. Also, some of the techniques seem very weak. For example, you give someone an "empty" envelope to hold. A litte bit later they open the envelope by themselves and now there is a piece of paper inside. I'm afraid anyone can figure out an obvious solution. And yes, this is how it is done. To me this is a book by a magician trying to fool other magicians.

George Anderson's book, however, offers an interesting premise (the spectator's do the mind reading) and has some very engaging presentations. In fact, my rating would be exactly the opposite of yours.

Ask Ted Lesley's audiences what they thought of the material and weather the solutions were obvious.
Ted Lesley was a miracle worker and the material in Paramiracles is absolutely first class.


Man oh man are you spot on - as usual!

Ted Lesley's material goes for the throat and many of his methodologies were were absolutely devious. Moreover, much of this great worker's material can cross over from magic to mentalism. That being said, there are a very few effects I wouldn't perform now like the bending wine glass because the method is technology outdated - and not in terms of magic.

Paramiracles is worth getting for a number of reasons but listing them is pointless. If you have the book, you know its value; if you are bored to tears, then nothing I or anyone could say can change your mind.

Sometime ago in this thread someone asked about Mind, Myth, and Magick by T.A. Waters. I'll offer a few thoughts on it.

I really love this massive book. But, it should kept in mind that this book is really a compilation of lessons that were previously released to a private paying clientele - for a rather considerable sum I might add from the research I've done. There are many magic and mentalism books in which you have to treasure hunt, and Mind, Myth, and Magick is an especially good example of this. If you are just starting out in mentalism, I would not recommend this book. Start with Annemann, then Corinda, then you are ready for Waters, along with Busch and others. For magicians, there is a lot of material but again, you have to dig and also be prepared to take a little different approach as the magic in this book is what many might term "mental magic." That being said, some of these effects are profoundly strong while many others offer what Harry Lorayne would label as "pathway" ideas, that is to say, ideas that can be developed beyond their original intent into new territory.

But, don't look for assemblies, flashy manipulative stuff, or gambling demos; they are not in this book.

It's a great book but I would only recommend it to a reader if she/he has a pretty firm grounding in magic and mentalism theory. There are effects that beginners COULD perform, but, again, I would offer caution as every effect requires pretty sophisticated audience management techniques which, in my experience at least, beginners do not yet possess because they have not enough performance experience.

I don't think I can list my collection as it is rather large and fairly eclectic. But, I want to address a few things Eddini wrote way back in 2003 when he started this thread. I hasten to add that I respect Eddini's opinions and this is merely a bit of counterpoint.

Eddini wrote "I judge how many good tricks get put into a book at what price. For instance I would judge higher a $45.00 book with 90 tricks than I would a $35.00 book with 25 tricks. But again it depends on the tricks themselves too."

While Eddini adds the qualifier "But again it depends on the effects too", I don't get the primary criterion of quantity. Of course the days of 90 effects in a 45 USD book are long past, but, one of the prized books in my collection is John Bannon's Smoke and Mirrors. This book has 31 effects and was priced at publication at 35 USD. I would wager that this book would fall under Eddini's qualification of depending on the tricks themselves. The point is that these 31 effects are all real world workers and there is no need for 59 more that may be filler - although I haven't seen anything from Mr. Bannon that I would consider filler.

I guess what I am trying to figure out is what defines usefulness and ultimately I would offer that value is subjective. Many have stated and I wholeheartedly agree that many of the smaller booklets are packed with great magic. These unassuming little paperbacks can rival more expensively produced hardcover books - again, just my opinion. A few that immediately jump to mind are the booklets by Rufus Steele, Jean Hugard, Harry Lorayne, David Britland, and Ed Marlo. A classic that has been rocketing in price is the Jeff Busby produced Larry Jennings on Coin and Card Handling. I bought this some years ago when it was still relatively available for 15 USD. It's selling for 75 USD and upwards. I would hold this book as important as Harry Lorayne's Best of Friends volumes, The Defitinitive Sankey, The Stewart James books and many more.

There is one book however in my collection I really never connected with - nope, still not going to mention it, but, I think again it's a subjective matter as many people simply love this book. (Oh, was that a hint)?

Slainte,
Vlad
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