The Magic Café
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Books, Pamphlets & Lecture Notes » » Can someone review Simply Harkey book (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

View Profile
Veteran user
and Pretty Nice Guy
373 Posts

Profile of Bill
I've been thinking of buying this book. Sounds incredible, and that's what worries me. Anybody have an opinion on it?
Joshua Quinn
View Profile
Inner circle
with an outer triangle
2046 Posts

Profile of Joshua Quinn
I just got it a couple days ago. I've only read a few of routines, but so far I'm highly impressed. Of the six effects I've gone through, I plan on learning and using four. Just glancing through the rest, it seems to be full of very original and creative ideas -- no Ace assemblies or oil & water variations here. In fact it's pretty light on cards, and what card effects it does have seem to be surprising and visual -- like, for example, an instant, visible transposition of a face-up card and a folded card lying on top of it. I'm reminded of the Art of Astonishment series, which can only be a good thing. Not everything in it is up my alley (I could never see myself transforming a marble into a test tube, then into an hourglass), but even the routines I won't use have given me things to think about. If the rest of the book maintains this kind of hit/miss ratio, it will be one of the best investments I've made in quite a while.

Every problem contains the seeds of its own solution. Unfortunately every problem also contains the seeds of an infinite number of non-solutions, so that first part really isn't super helpful.
John Pezzullo
View Profile
Veteran user
354 Posts

Profile of John Pezzullo

You'll find a review of "Simply Harkey" at:
"One arrow. One life."
Scott F. Guinn
View Profile
Inner circle
"Great Scott!" aka "Palms of Putty" & "Poof Daddy G"
6584 Posts

Profile of Scott F. Guinn
I think it's an excellent book. It is not "the most eagerly anticipated magic book of all time" as the ads said (or something to that effect)--ads writtend by David himself. But it is full of strong, practical material with a "Sankey-esque" quality (early Sankey). Definitely a better buy than most of the stuff out there these days!
"Love God, laugh more, spend more time with the ones you love, play with children, do good to those in need, and eat more ice cream. There is more to life than magic tricks." - Scott F. Guinn
My Lybrary Page
Mark Ennis
View Profile
Inner circle
Raleigh, NC
1030 Posts

Profile of Mark Ennis
I like the book. I don't use any of the routines from it but it is a different, offbeat book. I also saw David Harkey lecture on material from this book about 2 months after it came out. Some of the stuff I thought looked a bit iffy from the book looked great in his hands. A couple of the effects were not as impressive live but he fooled me with some of his coin work.

I am not sure what David Harkey is doing these days but if you get a chance to see him lecture, I think you may enjoy it.
Dr Mage
View Profile
Veteran user
Southern California
332 Posts

Profile of Dr Mage
I'll second that, Mark.

I caught his lecture back when the book was 1st released, and it was great. He performed material from the book and it looked wonderful. He uses a lot of unconventional items (for a magic effect), which adds to the effect (making them seem less "prop-like").
What is the color of magic?
View Profile
New user
69 Posts

Profile of MagicalDesignPro
I completely agree - I saw David lecture back in 1992, when the book was released, and it was one of the best lectures I have ever seen.

The material was beautiful in his hands
View Profile
Loyal user
291 Posts

Profile of FTAMagician
I've always been a kind of "Harkey fan"...he was the very first magician I ever saw lecture (about 6-7 years ago) and as they say..."you never forget your first!" He does have some VERY GOOD stuff though...and the book is well worth having!! (got it!)
View Profile
Special user
868 Posts

Profile of brainman
...very practical and VERY inspiring. What a fresh wind that blows out of his mind...!!!
View Profile
New user
84 Posts

Profile of lawrenceng
I just got mine a couple of days ago, and like most of the rest find the effects practical and innovative. His Goldfinger effect in the book has been highly rated, read in some thread that that alone is worth the price of the book. I personally find it a very good effect as well, and definitely worth the price I paid (bought it second hand through this Café) I happen to have vol one of simply harkey on video as well, and in that he has added improvements to couple of the effects found in the book.

thanks y'all
Mickey Cohen
View Profile
New user
51 Posts

Profile of Mickey Cohen
I attended a David Harkey lecture in Peoria, Illinois back in 1995. He performed at least 50% of the contents of his book Simply Harkey.I personally loved his Goldfinger effect where he has a finger ring appear to melt right off his finger (in his hands a beautiful thing) For that piece alone I knew the book was worth the $40.00. Simply Harkey will get your creative juices flowing . Though I don't use anything in it in my repertoire,it certainly expanded my consciousness in regards to creating original plots and thinking out of the box. Smile
View Profile
Regular user
North Carolina
173 Posts

Profile of jasonchr
Just so you know, I am the author of the MagicTalk Review of Simply Harkey that was referenced here. As you can tell from my review, I liked the book. What is odd is that a lot of people seem to bash this book. Even Richard Kaufman called it "crap." I am really puzzled by this. While not everything in the book is workable, there are quite a few gems and a lot of inspiration.

I have used his "Dirty Pool" as an opener and watched people's jaws drop. It's quite a surprising effect. I am also incorporating his version of Reset called "Persuasion" into my formal close-up act. It has the best presentation for Reset that I know of and the most visual changes. It is filled with very subtle techniques that can be applied to other card effects. The only thing I am changing is to use Jim Swain's clean-up at the end. I have also used Pop Art II (on his video) to very good effect as well. This is a great trick that can be done for adults or children (I've done it for both).

You will also find some very visual coin and card routines that are definitely out of the norm. Also, if you are looking for business card effects, Simply Harkey is one of the best sources. I think he has at least three routines with business cards in the book.

You might also want to check out his video. It’s a bit pricey in my opinion, but if you want to perform Pop Art, you should definitely check it out. It’s also see neat to how good GoldFinger looks in his hands.

Ah-Ha also contains a very good effect for the stand-up performer. You have someone pick a word from a newspaper and then the newspaper is torn up according to the audience’s direction. When you have only a small piece left, someone points to a word on that piece and, you guessed it, both words match. Those who saw me perform it were very impressed. It’s quite a devious method.

But anyway, feel free to e-mail me if you have any other questions. If you decide to purchase it, let me know what you think.
The aspirant should acquire the resolve to explore and expand his talents to the best of his ability. With a thorough commitment to quality comes a sense of accomplishment and unique satisfaction.

John Carney
View Profile
Inner circle
1253 Posts

Profile of Schaden
Some one said that Kaufman called the book 'crap'. Did Harkey turn down Kaufman to publish his book?

View Profile
Regular user
Toronto, Canada
157 Posts

Profile of Mitch
I understand that this book is now out of print. Can anyone confirm?

Mitch Solway
Sean Fields
View Profile
889 Posts

Profile of Sean Fields
I agree with all of the above comments. I bought Simply Harkey several years ago and it was one of the most read and re-read books I owned. It is truly refreshing to read a book with the artistic side of magic so openly displayed.

There are not a lot of effects I use from the book (I sometimes use Transpasm and Goldfinger), but when I do use something from the book, it gets a great reaction. As well, the book is simply fun to read. You get to see how 'outside the box' Mr. Harkey can think. It is great to see someone focus on the effect, not the method. It is great to see someone creating magic with new and exciting ideas and principles, not just rearranging, and regurgitating the same old ideas into 'new'(?) effects. Highly recommended.


View Profile
Regular user
North Carolina
173 Posts

Profile of jasonchr
I don't think it is out of print. I got mine directly from David. I can get his contact info for you. Just let me know.

As far as Kaufman goes, the only thing David mentioned to me is that he has been reluctant to give away his material due to rip-offs, etc. So maybe that's why Kaufman doesn't like him. Who knows??

The aspirant should acquire the resolve to explore and expand his talents to the best of his ability. With a thorough commitment to quality comes a sense of accomplishment and unique satisfaction.

John Carney
View Profile
Special user
552 Posts

Profile of debaser
The book is comprised of 85% stuff you'll probably never do and the other 15% is iffy. However, if you love that Sankey stuff (this stuff is harder) or early Kurtz (easier than most Kurtz) this is a must buy book. Otherwise I would not spend the money.

The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Books, Pamphlets & Lecture Notes » » Can someone review Simply Harkey book (1 Likes)
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2021 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.19 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL