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Topic: Magic For Dummies
Message: Posted by: The Magician (Mar 24, 2004 04:09PM)
Hi all, Does anyone have a review on this book Magic For Dummies. If you do is it worth a purchase
Message: Posted by: Martin Reinertz (Mar 24, 2004 04:32PM)
Well, depends on what you want to use it for... how long have you been into magic?
Message: Posted by: The Magician (Mar 24, 2004 04:45PM)
Hi Martin, I am basically just starting out
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (Mar 24, 2004 05:41PM)
Yes itís a great book for the beginner. Also you may want to check out:
Mark Wilsonís Complete Course In Magic, by Mark Wilson.
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Magic Tricks, by Tom Ogden

Tom Boleware
Message: Posted by: Jordan Piper (Mar 25, 2004 12:19AM)
I own "Magic for Dummies" and was a little disappointed with it. The meat and potatoes information on becoming a magician ("Ten basics of good magic," "Ten things to say when things go wrong," and "Ten ways to get more into magic.") is good, but the tricks that it teaches are mediocre, at best.
Message: Posted by: rcad (Mar 25, 2004 12:24AM)
I started with several books including "Mark Wilsonís Complete Course In Magic" which I can't recommend enough. It really gives the reader the basics of magic, not just tricks. It doesn't say much about presentation, character creation or audience management though. You'll have to turn to other books for that.

But I had read so many good things about "Magic for dummies" that I finaly got it. I must say I was a bit disappointed... Now, don't get me wrong, there are very good tricks in this book and they are well explained but if you're serious about learning magic, Wilson's book is a lot more complete, as the title implies. I also found "Magic for dummies" painful to read. The book is filled with what should be considered jokes but rarely did they make me smile. It also perpetuates ideas about presentation that I personaly feel are degrading the art of magic. Magic will never make bad jokes funnier and treating your adult audience like children will never elevate magic to its rightful height.

But many might disagree with me so consider this as just another opinion...


Message: Posted by: Axio (Mar 25, 2004 06:52AM)
I have heard a lot of good things about Magic for Dummies, but personally I don't like it at all. I totally agree with Richard's post. If you are a total beginner I recommend The Complete Idiot's Guide to Magic Tricks, by Tom Ogden, even though you won't find lots of good tricks in it, it will familiarize you with the art of magic, some definitions, etc. If you are more interested in learing more tricks in different fields of magic, go with Mark Wilson's book: Complete Course in Magic.
Message: Posted by: dgcuff (Mar 25, 2004 07:53AM)
I rather enjoyed Magic for Dummies. I think it will mean more to the beginning magician who gets stage fright just buying a book about magic, never mind performing it. Magic for Dummies does a good job of being encouraging. I have found "advice to beginners" often has a lecturing or strict tone that is quite off-putting.

(I've been involved in acting and never had stage fright interfere with my performance. With magic, I get nervous all the time.)

I think I'll continue to recommend Magic for Dummies over Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic or Henry Hay's Amateur Magician's Handbook. I've only flipped through Odgen's Complete Idiot's Guide to Magic Tricks, so I can't compare those two.
Message: Posted by: amshake (Mar 25, 2004 08:49AM)
I will totally have to agree with dgcuff,
I own Magic for Dummies, and I even use some
of the effects in my shows. Its a great book
for a beginner, or even slightly more advanced
magician to take a look at. It can help you to
remember that we are entertaining, and that humor
and magic are not different things. I completely
dissagree about the jokes in the book, I laughed,
and enjoyed them. But then again, I like the one
liner's and clasic magician jokes. I would recomend
this book to anyone!!
Message: Posted by: Skeptic (Mar 25, 2004 02:04PM)
I would recommend Mark Wilson's book and Bill Tarr's "Now You See It, Now You Don't" as a good(very good) 1st book. Tarr's book in particular is excellent foe seeing what is happening. the illustrations are the best I have seen in any book.
Message: Posted by: jaxonlee (Apr 2, 2004 10:15AM)
I've a copy of Magic for Dummies and, though not destined to become a classic, I wouldn't completely dismiss it either. There are a few decent effects mentioned and the Part of Tens is also worth the read. One of the effects I use from it is the $100 dollar bill in the lifesavers pack. Alright, so I use a $5 dollar bill but hey, at least my audience generally enjoys the way I do it!
Message: Posted by: Liam Jones (Apr 2, 2004 10:26AM)
Hey if you are a begginer searching for card tricks etc I created a post with all the good for begginers stuff search books, videos and dvds for begginers under cards
Message: Posted by: gocall911 (Apr 2, 2004 02:38PM)
I loved magic for dummies and used alot of the stuff for many years and I even still you some of it today. I looked back on it just the other day when looking for tricks to teach for a 4H thing I was doing. I think its a great book with lots of usefull info in it. Also though as every one else has said Mark Wilson's book is a great buy. So if you have the money buy both!

Message: Posted by: redstreak (Apr 2, 2004 09:37PM)
It is a great book for beginners, unfotunatly, I didn't come across it until I was fairly advanced, but I still laerned a thing or two.
Message: Posted by: Will Gordon (May 16, 2005 05:54PM)
A friend of mine just checked this out at his local library. For a beginner it's a very good book. The advisers read like a who's who's in the magic world.
Message: Posted by: irossall (May 17, 2005 06:22AM)
I am a huge fan of the "Dummies" books and own several but I was not impressed with the "Magic For Dummies" book and the fact that it had a who's who in the Magic world for advisers did not make the book any better.
In my opinion the book did not go into any real detail and the very few sleights that it taught can be found in many other available books and were not taught as thoroughly as in the three books listed below.
I have read many good and great books on Magic that were designed for the beginner and for my money the three books on Magic that I highly recommend is:
1. The Amateur Magician's Handbook (Henry Hay)
2. Tarbell Course
3. Mark Wilsonís Complete Course In Magic
Of the above three books the one that I learned the most out of was the Amateur Magician's Handbook.
As always this is just my personal opinion and preference.
Iven :patty:
Message: Posted by: Frank Tougas (May 17, 2005 12:12PM)
Magic for Dummies is an excellent first book in magic and then after you've been in the field for over thirty years (like me) a re-read will open up an all new appreciation for it. There are professional grade tricks buried in there and with some experience and good presentation I would venture to say you could get an entire fifteen to twenty minute close-up act for its contents.

Don't ever get hoodwinked into thinking a book on magic is somehow beneath your ability. It is your ability that takes a simple trick and places it into the miracle class. Or you can simply wait until some dealer has an exclusive on a trick based upon a principle in the Dummies book and sells it over the internet for a mere $300.00.

Frank Tougas
Message: Posted by: tbaer (May 17, 2005 04:46PM)
I thought there was also a video of magic for dummies.
Message: Posted by: DanielTyler (May 17, 2005 04:55PM)
THis is, surprisingly, an awesome book for beginners to buy. Not only are the tricks half-decent, on par with tricks in other publically distributed magic books, but the information within these pages really give you insight to the magic community and open the door for you to continue the journey. Things like lines of patter, history of magicians, presentational pointers, and levels of performance give you a very complete introduction that most magic books and videos miss. So I'd highly recommend this book to any beginner to the craft.
Message: Posted by: Tabasco (May 17, 2005 05:25PM)
I liked the book, but I was also more advanced when I found it, for a beginner it's deffinately worth buying
Message: Posted by: lane99 (May 20, 2005 05:46PM)
You can't go wrong with either Magic for Dummies or Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic. In fact, buy those two books, and you'd not need any other for the next few years (though, if you're like me, you'll already be looking for something else long before you've perfected what's in front of you now, so you probably WOULD soon enough be looking for something else).

Both of these books are highly entertaining to read, and provide reams of valuable information. The reason why I suggest buying both, is because DUMMIES goes into much more detail on providing patter scripts for the tricks; and MARK WILSON goes into a little bit more precision on sleights, techniques, etc. So if you've got BOTH of these books, you've got all your bases covered.

Whatever you do, please don't get into Tarbell if you're a beginner. It seems to be common for people around here to suggest this as a beginners book. But, having now glanced through it, I can see that using this book as a foundation for learning magic, these days, is going to set you up for being the kind of magician that people will cross the street to avoid.

Also, though not as much of a serious danger as Tarbell, I wouldn't recommend "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Magic". Bad enough it fails to realize "The 21 Card" trick has become one of the most tedious tricks in history. But, what's worse, is that one of the really GREAT tricks in the book ("Nein") is explained incorrectly and you'll be be screwed up eventually if you follow the instructions as written therein.