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Profile of MikeJRogers
Hi everyone,

There seems to have been a lot of conversation about various book relating to theory and performing better magic etc. Some of the books dicussed have been 'Absolute Magic' 'Strong Magic' etc. However the books discussed seem to either, have been written focusing on one branch of magic ie: Mentalism OR are out of print and difficult to come by.

Could anyone kindly reccomend a book that explores how to better perform magic that is more focused on card, coin and general closeup magic? Does a book even exist such as this? What about one that's focused on performing better magic in general. Can anyone reccomend any titles? If so which one do you think is the best?

Thanks for your help,

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers Illusion Design - Australia -
"Nothings impossible, the impossible just takes longer" - Dan Brown novel
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Profile of truthteller
Performance of Close up Magic - Burger (see also Experience of Magic)

Books of Wonder - Tommy Wonder

Five Points of Magic/Magic Way - Tamariz

And Absolute magic is more on general closeup magic than it is on mentalism.
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Profile of david_a_whitehead
Actually Strong Magic is specifically written for the close up magician and magic in general. like you said the only problem is getting a copy.
Mark Rough
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Profile of Mark Rough
I always recommend Eugene Burger's books first. However there's a great new book out that people interested in theory might want to check out.

It's called "The Secret Art of Magic" and its by Eric Evans and Nowlin Craver. It actually consists of two books. The first is called "Street Magic and the Art of War" and is written by Eric Evans particularly for those interested in street magic (not really Blains stuff, but real busking). He uses Sun Tzu's "Art of War" as his model. I haven't done a lot of busking but have always been interested in it and was very impressed with the thinking put into this. The second section is called "The Secret Art of Dispersion" and is written predominately by Nowlin Craver. It is much broader in scope and would therefore be of interest to most magicians. He uses an anonymous Chinese text called the "Secret Art of War" as his model. It goes into a lot of detail about 36 strategies, adapted from the Chinese text, with which magicians can better their use of misdirection.

It's an excellent book. Very well written and thought out. On top of that the physical book is just beautiful- very well produced and put together. At first I was a bit taken aback by the premise, using ancient texts on how to conduct a war, and how the strategies therein can be used in magic. However, I was convinced by Evan's introduction. Sun Tzu said that "all warfare is based on deception." Obviously so is magic. There are a lot of parallels between what we do and how Sun Tzu said a war should be conducted. It's an interesting premise and well worth checking out. It will really make you think about every little action you do while performing and how it contributes or takes away from the magic.

Just my two cents.

What would Wavy do?
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Profile of shomemagic
Leading With Your Head by Gary Kurtz

Mike King - Sho-Me Magic

You can e-mail me at:
andre combrinck
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Profile of andre combrinck
Truthteller is doing exactly what his name inplies.The Books of Wonder are brilliant.The contents (both theory and effects) is amazing.
Even if you don't use the effects,just understanding the theory behind each effect is invaluable.
Strong Magic also deserves a mention.
Craig Krisulevicz
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Profile of Craig Krisulevicz
Another great book to study is "Magic and Showmanship" by Henning Nelms. I'm not too sure about it's availability, but I picked mine up at a used book store on South Street in Philadelphia for about five dollars.
Who is John Galt?
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Profile of matinex
In David Regal's Constant Fooling books, he devotes several pages to performing theory, philosophy, and tips. I got a lot of those pages. Plus you get a bunch of killer tricks.
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Profile of academy
My favourites are:

Magic & Showmanship (Henning Nelms)
Showmanship for magicians (Sharpe)
Five points in magic (Tamariz)
Magic & Meaning (Burger, Neal)
Brain Food (Parr)
Books of Wonder (Wonder)
Essays from "The Art of Astonishment" (Harris) and "The magic of Michael Ammar"


P.S. Thanks lastnitesfun for your useful information about Evan's new book. It sounds very intriguing...
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Profile of Agathon
Two words "Our Magic." Though not specific to cards and coins, very specific to treating magic as an art form. I found a used copy of the second printing for $20.

Charles Spector
P.S. Of course you can't go wrong with the books mentioned above, but I am surprised nobody mentioned "Our Magic." Smile
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Profile of themaestro
On 2004-01-10 08:52, academy wrote:

P.S. Thanks lastnitesfun for your useful information about Evan's new book. It sounds very intriguing...

The introduction Mark referred to, as well as other info about "Evan's new book" can be found at


ps Thanks for the kind words, Mark
Nowlin Craver
Andy H
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Profile of Andy H
Mystery School, oh and I'm selling it.
Paul Harris: My Astonishing Hero
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Profile of jeline
1. John Carney's Book of Secrets
2. Absolute Magic by Darren Brown
3. Strong Magic Darwin Ortiz
4. Making Magic Real by Richard Osterlind (booklet available on his website)
5. S.H. Sharpe Art and Magic (available to Denny & Lees)
6. Shattering Illusions by Jamy Ian Swiss
7. Assorted essays in the Card College series

Jay Sankey has a new book coming out. Haven't read it yet, but I appreciate his thoughts on performing and assume it will be good.

These are a few books that I've enjoyed and actually learned something.
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Profile of lewis
Sankeys book (from the demo) sounds like a load of management speak to me (focus, expand the essence etc.)

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Profile of submagi
Jay Sankey's new book "Beyond Secrets" is a GREAT book on how to perform magic. I reccomend it..
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Profile of gbavli
Hi All,
I would reccomend you to have a look at "Maximum Entertainment" By: Ken Weber. As to my personal opinion, after reading the book, knowing the autor and seeing him in action - I would say that this if not THE then one of THE MOST IMPORTANT BOOKS IN SHOWBIZ for magicians and mentalists! This book has no tricks but it has many secrets of the trade - and points that make YOU better then what you are as a performer. Ken Weber is one of the most profesional performers in our trade that I ever met - not only that - he has the right eye and feeling in directing performers to become better then what they are. This book can be bought trough or at your closer dealer - this will be the best 40$ you will invest in your last decade of buying magic.
Guy Bavli
Geoff Weber
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Profile of Geoff Weber
Hi Guy. welcome to the Café!
John Kokot
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Profile of John Kokot
No one has mentioned "Close-Up Presentation" by John Mendoza.
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Profile of jlevey
Another top vote for Shattering Illusions, by Jamy Ian Swiss.

You make not agree with everything he says, but it's all very thought provoking and very motivating towards honing an approach of excellence in magic and more importantly, in presentation.
Max & Maxine Entertainment
Magicians with a touch of comedy!
Joshua Quinn
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Profile of Joshua Quinn
On 2004-01-09 11:02, shomemagic wrote:
Leading With Your Head by Gary Kurtz

Seconded. It's a cheaply produced, poorly edited, typo-ridden booklet weighing in at a scant thirty-nine comb-bound pages... and it's one of the best investments I ever made in magic. If you can find a copy for sale (it won't be mine!), get it.

Every problem contains the seeds of its own solution. Unfortunately every problem also contains the seeds of an infinite number of non-solutions, so that first part really isn't super helpful.
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