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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Grand illusion » » Jim Steinmeyer's Books (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

majical
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I am looking into buying one of Jim Steinmeyer's books. I have heard good things about all his products. The books I am considering are:

The Mind and Magic of David Berglas
The Magic of Alan Wakeling
The Complete Jarrett
Modern Art and Other Mysteries
Device and Illusion

I do not have a great deal of experience in the area of grand illusion but am interesting in starting. I suspect that I will not be building any grand illusions in the near future, however. What are your thoughts on these products?
Allan Given
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I could not recommend Jim Steinmeyer's books any higher! They are all fabulous books and I would suggest picking up all of them! Smile

Allan
majical
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Smile

I had a feeling I'd get that response Allan!

If you were to recommend ONE (...or maybe two) of these books for someone starting out, which would you choose?

Now that I think about it, I don't think I will get 'The Mind and Magic of David Berglas' as my first Steinmeyer product simply because of the high price tag. Maybe I'll come back to it later.

More thoughts?
hugmagic
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Berglas's book is good but probably no much there you would use right away.

Get Alan Wakeling's book as there is a lot of stage, closeup and illusion material. He was one of the main R&D guys behind Mark Wilson.

All of the books are great. "Hiding the Elephant" is a very good read.
Richard E. Hughes, Hughes Magic Inc., 352 N. Prospect St., Ravenna, OH 44266 (330)296-4023
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revlovejoy
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I can't speak to all of them, nor am I an experienced illusionist. Just getting started. I just got my hands on Device and Illusion, as well as Modern Art and Other Mysteries.

MA&OM is only 3 effects. I specifically wanted Hospitality, and was willing to buy the whole book for it. Otherwise, $65 for a 3 effect book for a beginner, not a great opening investment for the sake of getting into illusion.

On the other hand, I am finding that Device and Illusion is a perfect book for someone like myself, just getting into the stage illusion world. This may be a fit for you as well.

Also another vote for Hiding the Elephant, BTW. Not an instructional book, but I'm in the middle of it, and it's getting me to think like an illusionist.
majical
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Thanks for the help!

I did some more research on "The Magic of Alan Wakeling" and it sounds great!

"Device and Illusion" was the book I was leaning towards originally, and its nice to get feedback from someone in a similar position as I am.

Although I am interested in both the illusions Modern Art and Hospitality; if I'm not going to actually build them I don't think it will be worth it right now.

Also, is the Complete Jarrett more on the history of magic and the life of Mr. Jarrett, or does it describe the workings of illusions?

Thank you for the advice, it looks like I'll be getting "The Magic of Alan Wakeling" or "Device and Illusion"...or both!
Farrell
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Honestly Jarret and wakeling get those two and get device and illusion. all 3 Rock and The Magic of Alan Wakeling and Jarret are fun reads also which to me is awesome I have a hard time keeping focused on a magic book but I read the magic of Alan wakeling and Jarret from cover to cover in 3 days
Dennis Michael
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If you're getting into illlusions, then the cheapest way is to learn as much as you can by buying all the books you can afford. They are all great and each has something to offer the illuionist.

I've learned a lot from every book that Paul Osborne has written. An yes, I have the above books too! Four illuions is all that is necessary to be an illuionist, because illuions are not what sells the show, it is the audience enjoying your personality, so alone with illusions you need other effects.
Dennis Michael
magicjohn2278
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Quote:
On 2005-04-02 23:31, majical wrote:


Also, is the Complete Jarrett more on the history of magic and the life of Mr. Jarrett, or does it describe the workings of illusions?




It's more a biography of Jarrett - I don't think it reveals the workings of any illusions (as far as I can remember!)
Allan Given
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I would definitely agree with everyone. If you are only going to get two, get the Wakeling book and Device and Illusion. I also cast my vote for "Hiding the Elephant" as a must read. As rev said, it starts getting you to think like an illusionists...plus, I'm a firm believer in learning as much as you can...by studying the history of illusions, it can give you a very strong foundation in which to build upon.
rtgreen
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Quote:
On 2005-04-02 23:31, majical wrote:

Also, is the Complete Jarrett more on the history of magic and the life of Mr. Jarrett, or does it describe the workings of illusions?

Thank you for the advice, it looks like I'll be getting "The Magic of Alan Wakeling" or "Device and Illusion"...or both!



Actually, The Jarrett book does describe the workings of quite a few illusions in good detail, but it is not a book of working plans. You would, however, learn all about the Jarrett Pedestal which is still used a lot and his production of 13 people. It's a great read, but I wouldn't get it just yet if I were you. Ithink your two choices are the best (Though I also agree you should get Hiding the Elephant ASAP. It's inexpensive and as a magician you will get much more out of it than a lay reader.) It would be hard for me to choose one over the other since they are both excellent, but I would probably get Device and Illusion first since it talks more about the design process than the Wakeling Book.

Good luck,
Richard
EvanMagic
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I purchased "Modern Art and Other Mysteries" off a store in San Fran. It is one hell of a book, has thorough explanations and is a breeze to build the illusions (although perfection would take some time) If you have any questions about this book, give me a PM, I can help you out.
LeeAlex2002
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I would go with Alan Wakeling and Device and Illusion.
Hiding the Elephant is a fantastic read, and well worth the price - so cheap!

Don't forget that in the Autumn Jim is also bringing out a book about Chung Ling Soo which will be in the style of Hiding the Elephant ( ie. for the general public).
Yours Magically,
Lee Alex

http://www.magic2wear.com
Deke Rivers
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I own all you mentioned except Berglas. I think "Device and Illusion" is most practical for finding stuff the average guy will use. Next, I'd get the Wakeling book. I haven't built directly from it, but I have used information contained within in building an illusion, and I developed a variation of another routine.

The Jarrett book is great for developing an understanding of magic principles, but most of the stuff is so big or extreme that it's not practical for most average regional magicians (unless you WANT to produce 13 dancing girls!) Also, don't get it if you're easily offended!

Modern Art is good if you want to build those illusions contained within. I bought the book but never built any of them, so I'm not the one to comment on the difficulty of doing so. However, it does not appear to be "a breeze" to build them as previously posted.
Geoff Weber
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Modern Art is one of the most space efficient box cutting tricks because of its vertical nature.. so it will easily fit in your truck.. Shadow theatre is truly an amazing illusion to behold. Its just beautiful when done properly.
Farrell
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Yeah man Modern art is a great book hospitality is easy to build also and would work great in any fly on cruise ship act.
majical
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OK...well at looks like I'll end up getting all the Steinmeyer books eventually!

I decided to start with "Device and Illusion." I don't want to order two pretty large books at the same time, because I know I'll pick a 'favorite' and go through everything in there, and maybe forget about the other one. I know I've done it before! You have brand new magic laying around, its hard to keep from looking at everything. What ends up happening is you don't give some items the attention they deserve. Besides, when you order them from Steinmeyer's site shipping is free! After I'm done with that, I'll get "The Magic of Alan Wakeling" and give all my attention to it.

On a side note, I found a copy of "Hiding the Elephant" and started reading it. It's great so far!

However, I'm going through another case of trying to do too many things at once. I have a competition coming up! A close-up competition! I promised myself I wouldn't order or build anything related to stage magic until the competition is over with. At least I know what I'll be ordering!
Magnus Eisengrim
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I just finished Hiding the Elephant and it is simply a wonderful book. The prose is clean and elegant, and Steinmeyer tells a number of great stories, leading to his wonderful rediscovery of an old illusion. I highly recommend this book.

John
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.--Yeats
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