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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » Amateur Magicians Handbook (14 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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cuchullain
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Oklahoma City
62 Posts

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Based on this thread I just bought a second hand copy very cheap! - Not a beginner, but very much an amateur - It is a wonderful book to just browse through.
NEKKODDD
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102 Posts

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Agreed, one of the must have
socalguy
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Los Angeles
51 Posts

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Somewhere in my attic, I have an original copy given to me when I was 13 which was 55 years ago. My first book of magic ( like a few on this thread) A real classic. Strongly suggest a second hand purchase if you do not already own one.
Merodach
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North Carolina
81 Posts

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I also have a copy of this small tome with quite a following. It's one of those book that I think provides some interesting material, not that most of the effects are revolutionary, but that there's quite a bit of the material that could be re-worked or tranformed into new effects with modern twists. If nothing else it can help inspire younger magicians or other amateurs in taking up the magicial arts or enahnce their appreciation for the art.
Angela P
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Baden Baden, Germany
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This book is still often read in Germany. Mr, Mussey lived much time here. The effects taught in his book are often very difficult skilled. The title is somehow deceptive. A very fine book. Very much detailed in his teaching. His teaching with coins is very deep.
DanTheMagicMan
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Edgewater, Maryland USA
139 Posts

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Just discovered this thread. You can buy the PDF version at Lybrary.com, which I am contemplating doing even though I own both the hard and soft cover versions.
Dan The Magic Man
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Kanawati
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Loyal user
Australia
298 Posts

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I wonder if I was going to the same library as Brent McLeod? In my early teens I was borrowing the Amateur Magicians Handbook. The other one I remember at that library was the Illustrated History of Magic by Milbourne Christopher. Reading about T Nelson Downs and Cardini, how his steals were invisible, and imagining how great their performances were. A few years ago I finally saw footage on YouTube of Cardini’s act and it was even better than I had ever imagined! At that age going through the pages of those books was such a magical experience. Great memories:)
TeddyBoy
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New York, NY
559 Posts

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Quote:
On Sep 24, 2021, Kanawati wrote:
I wonder if I was going to the same library as Brent McLeod? In my early teens I was borrowing the Amateur Magicians Handbook. The other one I remember at that library was the Illustrated History of Magic by Milbourne Christopher. Reading about T Nelson Downs and Cardini, how his steals were invisible, and imagining how great their performances were. A few years ago I finally saw footage on YouTube of Cardini’s act and it was even better than I had ever imagined! At that age going through the pages of those books was such a magical experience. Great memories:)


Very nice memories. Good for you...mate!
So many sleights...so little time.
"Slow...deliberate...natural." Bill Tarr

Cheers,
Teddy
epoptika
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Florida
473 Posts

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My first magic book, over 50 years ago. And of the many hundreds now on my shelves, if I could save only one magic book from a disaster - it would be this book.
A true foundational classic.
Russo
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Inner circle
So.California / Centl.Florida / retired Florida
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My first Book was "Fun For Boys". 1943, It had Magic, Ventriloquism, Cartooning, Train a Dog, Boxing, etc. Have 30+ now.
magic4545
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Jimmy Fingers
1201 Posts

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Imagine the 1970's. No YouTube, no VCR here, no money to be spent on anything that I liked as a kid. There was a deck of cards in the house. School library had Tricks with Cards by Schindler and Walter Gibson's Big Book. Maybe some self working card trick books.

My aunt was nice to me, and she let me buy a green and yellow paperback magic book at Globe department store. I was probably 9 years old.

No internet to research magic. No interest in taking me to a magic show, shop, club meeting, or lessons of any kind.

So, I'm watching TV, very late at night, and I see Derek Dingle doing Twisting the Aces. Hmm. I liked it. Could I find out how to do it? So, I scoured the book that my aunt bought for me, and I found the information to make me able to replicate what I saw on TV.

It was all in the Amateur Magician's Handbook. Over the years, just about every move, almost every premise, every motivation.

It had it all. Not too much, like Tarbell. Not too little building blocks for having all of the foundation, like Mark Wilson's Course. It was inspired work, based on the classic masters, and a lot of the best from the other great, genre specific books from the Vaudeville and post-Vaudeville era of live magic.

An updated volume of the most influential sleights and gimmicks since AMH would be really interesting and valuable. ITR, Sanada, sponge balls, basic electronics for mentalism, and on and on.

Or, maybe we're on that source right now...

I can always tell when I see a great magician. When I ask that magician if they started out with AMH, they think that I'm psychic. Yes, it was that obvious.

Effects, methods, secrets, and descriptions of gimmicks are in there. But, I actually go back and look through it for inspiration. The stories, the accounts, the history... a lot of that in there, too.

The greatest trick was AMH inadvertently training me to read and comprehend at a college level when my age wasn't even in the double digits.

It's not just a reference. It's a bible for me.
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