I love it when intelligent, gifted magicians take time out to really analyze our industry and art. Jamy Ian Swiss, like the greatly respected $link(2120,Trilogy of Dariel Fitzkee), holds no punches and makes some very thought provoking observations on magic, magicians, and mentalism.
In my book anything that makes magicians think twice about what they do and say is a winner. We don’t need more mediocrity in magic; this goes for performers, inventors, dealers, and manufacturers. By reading authors like Mr Swiss maybe our industry can get over its love of itself and actually start to produce great magic and entertainment that was abundant forty or more years ago.
"Magic, as exhibited by the majority, is the indulgence in a hobby which rarely instructs, seldom amuses and almost never entertains."Dariel Fitzkee, Showmanship for Magicians, 1944.
If you want to take the warm fuzzy feeling away from what many magicians, both professional and amateur, have with regards to their performance and their magic, then Fitzkee is your man. The first book of this trilogy changed my life, well at least that aspect that is devoted to magic. He makes you really think about the entertainment value of a typical magic performance.
I think everyone wanting to be a "Magician" should read Fitzkee’s words. Highly recommended!
This 2002 Facsimile version of Expert at the Card Table by the, still mysterious, S.W. Erdnase is an incredibly faithful reproduction of the original book. It was published in 1902 and has had a profound impact on card magic ever since (after some prodding from ($link(2151,Dai Vernon)). With the exception of using better quality archival-grade materials and a modern binding technique it is as close to the original as possible – the anonymous publishers even found what is to believed to be the same cloth.
This seminal work on card and gambling moves is a must have for all serious card workers, and now it is available as it was first delivered by Erdnase over 100 years ago. This book is small enough and cheap enough to be carried around with you wherever you go. Unlike the original which can fetch $2000 and is likely to fall apart in your hands.
Of course you might find reading something like $link(1682,The Annotated Erdnase) easier going and more practical today. So get both.
There are only 750 of this 2002 version so I suggest you $link(http://www.canick.com/erdnase.html target=_blank,order one now) – it is a truly amazing how authentic this book looks and how much you will gain from reading it in its original form. Thanks to $link(http://www.canick.com target=_blank,Michael Canick) for distributing this amazing book.
I first became aware of this journal because it was often referenced with Ed Marlo’s material. As a dedicated Marlophile, I obviously didn’t hesitated when this series was released in this convenient hard cover format. I decided on the Deluxe Editions, thinking they could prove more collectible, but also because the slip covers and leather binding made these books lovely to look at. The first volume was published by Richard Kaufman with the subsequent volumes released by Hermetic Press. Great contents and interesting historical notes on the magical scene of the time abound. IBIDEM was originally published in the 50′, 60’s , and early 70’s, I believe.
I often find it difficult to spend long periods of time reading magic books and this is where The Jinx fits perfectly. It is filled with incredible gems in bite sized pieces. Apart from a wealth of incredible effects, I love the commentaries by Annemann.
The historical impact that The Jinx appears to have had is quite amazing. So much seems to have come from this publication.
You can pick up all three volumes incredibly cheaply. Get these and the Phoenix and you will be one hap, hap, happy camper! Highly recommended!
These 4 volumes(now 5 and likely 6) need no reviews. Their status and reputation in the realm of Card Magic is well known. Anyone seriously contemplating card magic MUST have these books. For decades, the quintessential authority on card sleights have been the Hugard and Braue classic two texts, Royal Road to Card Magic and Expert Card Technique, but now the Giobbi has taken the crown with his series. I still recommend Royal Road for the beginner, though. Giobbi has done a fantastic job in describing the sleights and the illustrartions are great. Great teacher. Most Highly Recommended.
Apocalypse has been referenced many times for its outstanding contents. Years ago, I realized that its contents held a treasure trove of great magic from the big names in the art, but realized that I had "missed the boat" in not having subscribed to it early when it came out..couldn’t afford it at the time with a student budget. Was I excited when the news came out of its publication in such 4 convenient hard cover textbooks. I went for the Deluxe Editions and they are the pride of my library. It will take years to go through the entire 20 years of this publication but what wonders lie in those pages to be discovered. Truly a fantastic undertaking by Harry Lorayne and well written/illustrated as is the norm with Harry’s books.
I grew up in the UK dreaming of owning some Jack Hughes effects. It was clear that the House of Hughes was producing some of the best magic around. I was able to buy a few of his items, but for the most part his effects were too expensive for my pocket.
Thirty years on, it is a wonderful pleasure to look through these impressive volumes to relive so much of Jack’s magic. These books are beautifully produced and give very detailed instructions on how to build nearly all of the House of Hughes magic.
I was even lucky enough to get a signed copy of the first volume.
Wow – what a treasure trove of magic in these volumes!
As I buy more books I realise how much magic is out there, and how few truly new ideas have occurred in the last 10, 20, 30, or more years!
These are a wonderful historical document of 100’s of the marvellous items that came from Thayer. When you read through the effects with their accompaning instruction sheets you recognise so many effects that are still being pushed today as new ideas!
The first time I saw Shakespeare’s Hamlet I remember thinking how many cliches were used, forgetting of course that when the Bard wrote the play the phrases were new. These Thayer volumes are reminiscent of that – so many of these effects were new with Thayer, but today we consider them public domain.
If you have any abilities to construct magic you could be building your own magic for years to come!