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Sir T
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There has been some really good information, in this thread! Smile Wish I knew about this group years ago!

I am going to add my 2 pennies worth on the subject of kid show magic, as I seem to have more than my share of books on the subject.

If you are even thinking about doing Pre-K, run don't walk to Sammy Smith's book, Kiddi Patter and little feats. This is a great book!

Professional magic for childern and Kidbiz by David Ginn, gets better and better everytime I read it!

I also like The comedy magic text book, lots of good information.

Just me,

Geoff Williams
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Actually, you can find some real gems in the series of Bob Longe paperback books found in most well-stocked bookstores (such as Barnes & Noble).

I've fooled many a layperson, and magician, with some of those tricks. They continue to be some of my favorite browsing material.

And they're reasonably priced, too.
"Saját légpárnás tele van angolnák."

(Hungarian for "My hovercraft is full of eels")
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For German users I suggest:

Handbuch der Magie from Joachim Zmeck

Let´s become international Smile Smile
Peter Marucci
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The Magic Book, by Harry Lorayne, is probably the best -- and most underrated -- book for beginners and old hands, alike.
He literally begins with "this is a deck of cards".

While that may seem a bit too obvious for some performers, these are usually the very ones who need this sort of thing.
Remember, Harry originally wrote the book for the lay public and wrote it from the premise that the reader knew nothing about magic.
So it's step-by-step instructions are invaluable.

The next recommended book would be Bobo's Modern Coin Magic, and not just for the coin work, but for the routining.
And, when you've mastered -- completely mastered -- both these books, you can stop; in fact, you'd better stop because, by then, you'll probably be about 200 years old! Smile

Peter Marucci
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Hi there, I want to include my suggestions on the subject.

In fact most of the best books are listed but my favourites that I recommend to my students are:

-Henry Hay's "Amateur Magician's Handbook"
-Henry Hay's "Learn Magic"
-Annneman's "Parctical Mental Magic" (Dover
edition is OK and at a very reasonable price around 10 dollars.)
-Willane's "Complete Methods of Miracle" available in Davenports in London and invaluable for the beginning artist of sleight of hand
-Gibson's "Professional Magic for Amateurs"
- All the Dover publications of Karl Fulves books at a very reasonable price and reasonable printing quality.

I hope it may make some sense for the beginners. These are not so expensive but sooo effective. Smile Smile Smile
Magically Yours,


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I mainly do cards, so I reckon I can give some pointers to people who wanna start with cards as their main area.

If you want to get seriously into cards then you will need to have either Card College Volume 1-4. these are great because you can go in one side knowing next to nothing (not even how to hold a deck) and come out the other side as an accomplished card worker.

Also a thing to go along side these (I know they are videos) are the Easy to Master Card Miracles Series.

But, if you want a video to teach card work then you need the Daryl Encyclopedia or the Ackerman vids, these aren't set out as a course, but it's more of a reference type of thing.

David Fogel
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Lots of excellent suggestions here. Let me add one more that I don't believe anybody mentioned: "Magic and Showmanship," by Hennings Nelms (Dover is the publisher).

The title says it all. It won't teach you tricks (but you've already got 25 suggestions above to do that). It'll teach you something, perhaps, even more valuable. How to turn a trick into a piece of entertainment.

I was lucky to stumble across this book when I was about 11 years old and starting to get serious about magic.

Good luck!

"I'm not a praying man, but if you're up there, Please save me Superman!"

Homer J. Simpson
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OOOPs, I want to add also the series:
Novak's "Art of Escape" for the escapology. Each volume covers a different subject and they are easy to read.
I remain. Smile Smile
Magically Yours,


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Ok, it's not books but I'd absolutely recommend the Encyclopedia of Card Sleights video series by Daryl.

These videos are packed with fantastic information, ideas and moves! Smile
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My choices to get you going;

Bobos Modern Coin Magic
Restaurant Workers Handbook, by Jim Pace
Royal Road to Card Magic
and maybe a few videos;
25 Tricks with Svengali Decks
25 Tricks with Sspongeballs

........trevor Smile
Alan Wheeler
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Does anybody look at "Dunninger's Complete Encyclopedia of Magic" anymore? I suppose it's more of a collector's item. It has a lot of pictures!!!

The views and comments expressed on this post may be mere speculation and are not necessarily the opinions, values, or beliefs of Alan Wheeler.
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The Magic book by Harry Lorayne is a must for any beginner in magic. His writing is crystal clear and all the effects are brilliant.

And if you don't own it, then shame on you.

There is one other book you should definitely own and that is 'Magic & Showmanship' by Henning Nelms. This will teach you about the real secret of the art of magic, presentation.

Take it easy


'Original details are very ordinary, except to the mind that sees their extraordinariness' - Natalie Goldberg Smile
Steven Leung
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I have post such question some time before, it seems to me that for a beginner, it is really hard to choose which book(s) or video(s) come first.

My first video is Daryl Ambitious Card since I love this effect too much (my nickname show that already!) then plenty of Ammar videos like icebreaker, exciting world of magic, amazing secrets of card magic, easy to master card miracles 4 & 5...

I believe that Ammar is a good magic teacher and his presentation type enable beginners to perform magic in a smooth and calm manner.

Other videos I love is Lee Asher Well Done and 5 Card Stud, Lee is an expert cardician and well known for years. I heard that his new card video 'Pulp fiction' is coming out at the end of this year with plenty nice and new moves. Hope this helps.
Most memorable moment - with Maestro Juan Tamariz & Consuelo Lorgia in FISM Busan 2018.

"Being fooled by a trick doesn't always mean they are having a good time" - Homer Liwag
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I also love Henry Hay's "Amateur Magician's Handbook" as a general book on magic. He covers pretty much the basics for every branch of magic. For cards and coins, I'm forced to repeat "The Royal Road" and "Modern Coin Magic".
Hugard's "Modern Magic Manual" is also one of my favorite books. I don't like everything in it, but the sections on cigarettes, thimbles and silks are pretty informative.
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I have to second the opinion that geting too much too soon can be overwhelming. My personal preference for a first book is Mark Wilsons Complete course. It is easy to browse and find something that you would like to master.
Magic is fun!!!
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For true beginners:


Roth's Expert Coin Magic Made Easy 1,2,3

Ammar's Easy to Master Card Miracles


Magic for Dummies has some REALLY good stuff in it. Too bad it's letting really good stuff out. The Complete Idiot's guide also has some good work in it. Again - too bad. I don't like to see some of that stuff going to people who will look once and drop it.

The Klutz books are also very good for beginners.. there's a coin magic one and a more varied magic one.

I will not criticize, but agree with Burt (page 1) that the Fitzke trilogy is excellent. For a beginner - Showmanship for Magician's is a MUST. I don't care if you learn how to do a double lift better than Darryl, a retention pass better than Roth, or master the entire set of McClintock's "Knucklebusters". If you aren't entertaining, people aren't going to care about your so called "magic"!

Just my humble opinion!

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For any beginners reading this thread, you have been given the "keys to the kingdom" in the books and videos suggested here. However, a book or video sitting on the shelf is meaningless; you must set up a daily practice ritual. Educational research has shown that short (under an hour) practice times daily, preferably at the same time of day, are the most effective tool for learning. Or, to put it another way, books and videos show you what to do, but you must teach it to yourself by doing it, over and over, until it becomes natural.

It is also important that you do not tackle too much at once. Better to learn 3 tricks perfectly in a month or two than to tackle a dozen and known none of them to performance standards.

For more information on how to practice and improve, as well as my suggestions for beginner books and follow-up books, go to:

Happy learning!

Spider Smile
Matt Graves
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Stevos apprentice, you asked how good you would have to be to achieve such books as the Art of Astonishment. Here's my advice:

The Art of Astonishment books aren't beginners books, like you say. But I have to repeat the advice of several others on this thread and recommend _The Amateur Magician's Handbook_ by Henry Hay as your starting point. Once you've worked through the book and learned even a third of the material, you'll have a very solid foundation in magic. From there, you should have no trouble starting on the Art of Astonishment series. In fact, I'd strongly recommend them. By the time you've got the Henry Hay book and these three Paul Harris masterpieces, you'll own four of the best magic books ever written, and as Peter Marucci said, by the time you completely master everything in there, you might be 200 years old . . .

The material in those books is inexpensive, portable, and it _works_.
stephen secret
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Let's bring this back to some one who has little money to throw at books and would like to see if they enjoy magic...go down and get yourself a FREE library card and check out books their.

My short list
'The Magic Book by Harry Lorayne
-Cutting the Aces is very good
'The Magic Show: a Guide for Young (any age) Magicians' by Bob Friedhoffer

Also, sign up for the learned pig project online.

Sincerely secret

P.S. If your library has few magic books ask about the interlibrary loan program. You can order any book and they will send it to your local library.
sincerely, secret
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I saw Bill Tarr's "Now You See It, Now You Don't" mentioned, but he has another book that I found equally good: "101 Easy Magic Tricks." The beauty of this book is almost every trick in the book comes with instructions for building the props yourself (The only exception is linking rings).

It saved me a lot of money, because I built the props and learned the effects...then only bought the professional-looking props for the ones I found to my style and taste. There's nothing worse than spending money on something that will just sit in a box and do you no good.
I need a stage name.

Joe Berkley
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