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Topic: Books not to buy
Message: Posted by: danielchua (Dec 15, 2003 06:38PM)
Hi all,

I have seen many comments on many books. What are the books you will warn others not to buy and why not?
Message: Posted by: shomemagic (Dec 15, 2003 07:13PM)
Books are the best investment you can make in magic. I have yet to find one that I didn't find something useful. Now there are books that have more useful material than others but if you really look you can find something in any book.
Message: Posted by: KC (Dec 15, 2003 09:23PM)
I don't know from actual experience, but I have heard some negative feedback for David Harkey's book. I guess that that is kind of hearsay, as I haven't read them myself. Maybe others in the Café might want to shed their thoughts about his book(s).

Maybe the magicians just said that to me so I'd stay away from his work.

K.C.
Message: Posted by: therntier (Dec 15, 2003 10:03PM)
I really liked Simply Harkey. Ah-Ha was ok as well, but not as good as Simply Harkey. There are a lot of good ideas and really visual magic. It is one of the best books I own, definately in the top five. His version of Reset is one of the best I have seen and transpasm is the best transposition effect I have seen. A card visually unfolds and another folds up in its place. Great stuff
Message: Posted by: Magicmike1949 (Dec 16, 2003 12:17AM)
I'd shy away from Paul Gordon's books. The reasons have been amply discussed elsewhere on the Café.
Message: Posted by: truthteller (Dec 16, 2003 12:22AM)
Andrew Balcom's Modern Illusion COncepts is totally devoid of merit. Take such sage advice as "The music you use should fit your illusion." Gee, thanks for that one.

Also anything with the name Ravina on it should be avoided.
Message: Posted by: catbertek (Dec 16, 2003 02:32AM)
Hmmmm. I think cards as weapons is written with a , uh, ...style all
its own but I don't think I would discount it as "not
a serious text."
There was plenty of good/useful information in there
for me and I enjoyed it quite a bit. The scaling
and boomerang info is very solid material for
performance.

That being said, I agree that the going rate for this
book is a bit over the top. I don't think that I could
bring myself to spend $350 for this book.

:-)
Message: Posted by: Uli Weigel (Dec 17, 2003 02:58PM)
One simple rule of thumb is: Never buy a magic book by an author who is 30 years old or younger. There are exceptions but they are few and far between. Pit Hartling's "Card Fictions" is such an exception.
Message: Posted by: S.Segal (Dec 17, 2003 04:22PM)
[quote]
On 2003-12-17 15:58, Uli Weigel wrote:
One simple rule of thumb is: Never buy a magic book by an author who is 30 years old or younger.
[/quote]

Do to their poor writing abilities or poor effects offered?

S.Segal
Message: Posted by: Sybilmagic (Dec 17, 2003 06:06PM)
[quote]
On 2003-12-17 15:58, Uli Weigel wrote:
One simple rule of thumb is: Never buy a magic book by an author who is 30 years old or younger. There are exceptions but they are few and far between. Pit Hartling's "Card Fantasies" is such an exception.
[/quote]
I agree experience is necessary in order to make an impact on the magical world, however Guy Hollingworth as to be an exception mind you older than his years anyway!
Message: Posted by: landmark (Dec 17, 2003 10:44PM)
I think Derren Brown was under 30 when Pure Effect came out, but again he is probably the exception rather than the rule.

That said, there are also a lot of older, experienced magicians who don't have very good writing skills--so I don't think we can generalize according to age.

But it is a pleasure when the writing skills and the performing, teaching and technical skills all come together in one package.
It's rare though.

Jack Shalom
Message: Posted by: Scott F. Guinn (Dec 18, 2003 01:31AM)
Regarding the Harkey book: I think it's very good, and I have adapted a number of items from it and use one directly as it is written. I think Ah-Ha is good, too, although I agree that Simply harkey is better.

I agree with the statements above about the Paul Gordon books. While I'm sure that the effects play well for him and some of the routines are probably decent, he is so busy constantly blowing his own horn that it is difficult to stomach it and read through the whole routine.