Review by Andy Martin for Complete Magician, The by Marvin Kaye

reviews Reviews ,
Review by Andy Martin for Complete Magician, The by Marvin Kaye
Review by Andy Martin for Complete Magician, The by Marvin Kaye
5 out of 5

The Perfect Book for the Beginner

The Complete Magician by Marvin Kaye (or the $link(1886,Stein & Day Handbook of Magic) as it is known in the USA) is a wonderful book for the serious beginner who wants to perform magic as a hobby or as a profession.

What I liked most about this book when I first read it 27 years ago was that it didn’t just focus on tricks and sleights. It did provide some great routines in each of the main areas of magic, including a wonderful section on Children’s magic which I was performing most of at the time, but it also had chapters on patter, style, perparing for the big Stage show, routining and all the other things that make up a real performance. These other aspects of magic are often overlooked by the beginner.

The book also ends many chapters with a brief description of commercially available effects and gives sources of dealers and magical publications. As a budding young magician these of course inspired me to want to save up my paper round money to buy more magic!

I found this book a wonderful entry into performing magic for real audiences and for many many years used ideas and magic directly from it. Soon I will read it again and feel sure it will still provide me with some useful tips and ideas that I have forgotten.

(Notice: Although the printed word is basically the same in both versions of this book, the Complete Magician is a far superior quality book, with a bigger format, better quality paper and numerous black and white photographs. So if you can, get the Complete Magician instead of the Stein and Day Handbook of Magic.)

Click here for more information.

Review by Andy Martin for Stein & Day Handbook of Magic, The by Marvin Kaye

reviews Reviews ,
Review by Andy Martin for Stein & Day Handbook of Magic, The by Marvin Kaye
Review by Andy Martin for Stein & Day Handbook of Magic, The by Marvin Kaye
5 out of 5

The Perfect Book for the Beginner

$link(1900,The Complete Magician) by Marvin Kaye (or the $link(1886,Stein & Day Handbook of Magic) as it was known in the USA) is a wonderful book for the serious beginner who wants to perform magic as a hobby or as a profession.

What I liked most about this book when I first read it 27 years ago was that it didn’t just focus on tricks and sleights. It did provide some great routines in each of the main areas of magic, including a wonderful section on Children’s magic which I was performing most of at the time, but it also had chapters on patter, style, perparing for the big Stage show, routining and all the other things that make up a real performance. These other aspects of magic are often overlooked by the beginner.

The book also ends many chapters with a brief description of commercially available effects and gives sources of dealers and magical publications. As a budding young magician these of course inspired me to want to save up my paper round money to buy more magic!

I found this book a wonderful entry into performing magic for real audiences and for many many years used ideas and magic directly from it. Soon I will read it again and feel sure it will still provide me with some useful tips and ideas that I have forgotten.

(Notice: Although the printed word is basically the same in both versions of this book, the Complete Magician is a far superior quality book, with a bigger format, better quality paper and numerous black and white photographs. So if you can, get the Complete Magician instead of the Stein and Day Handbook of Magic.)

Click here for more information.

Review by Andy Martin for Quicker Than The Eye by John Mulholland

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Review by Andy Martin for Quicker Than The Eye by John Mulholland
Review by Andy Martin for Quicker Than The Eye by John Mulholland
4 out of 5

Eye witness tales about Magicians all around the world

Written in 1932 this book by John Mulholland takes you on a virtual tour of many distant lands as he tells tales of magicians from almost every culture and part of the world.

It is quite amazing to think how much Mr. Mulholland travelled with magic so long ago. It has some great stories and anecdotes that are very entertaining reading. It is not a book of tricks, but rather of cultures and people and the types of magic they have performed.

I’m sure 75 years on much of this is no longer quite the same, but it is still a thrill to read about the old days when you can help thinking there was a bit more "art" to our magic. One quote by Jack Gwynne is worth repeating:
"Mr. Gwynne, I have seen your act and I think it is perfect."
"Thank-you," Gwynne replied, "I’m glad you liked it. I feel that it has many flaws, but after all it should run smoothly, for it takes but twelve minutes to do and I have worked twelve years on that act. Allowing a year’s rehearsal for every minute’s performance it would be astounding if it were not smooth".

Can you imagine a modern magician spending so much time on one act? Maybe this is one of the reasons, that there are so many bad performances out there …

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Review by Andy Martin for Magician's Magic by Paul Curry

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Review by Andy Martin for Magician's Magic by Paul Curry
Review by Andy Martin for Magician's Magic by Paul Curry
5 out of 5

More than just Out of This World!

I read this book initially over 25 years ago, and remembered to this day the story that Mr. Curry relates about the time Winston Churchill was late for a War Cabinet meeting because he was busy watching a magician perform "Out of This World". But this book has so much more than Curry’s most famous card trick, which is does indeed explain.

I guess it was aimed at the layman or beginner in magic, but as a performer and collector of magic for over 30 years I still found it a very interesting and rewarding read. He has chapters on many aspects of our art relating all the way back to the Cups and Balls. He covers stage illusions, close-up, escapes, seances, mentalism, and more.

One of the things I really like about this book is that Mr Curry will detail some historical effect or principle and then describe a more up to date and easy to do version of the effect or principle that can be perfomed. Most of the magic in the book is possible to perform without complex sleight of hand or specialised props.

It is a mix of history, showmanship and magical effects, by one of the true greats in the art of magic. I for one believe this should be on every beginners and advanced magic list!

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