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Ayrshire, Scotland
861 Posts

Profile of boydy
As I don't really know where to place this post, I'm placing it here as my magic is mostly coins.

I'm looking for the best book written on misdirection. Purely about misdirection and presentation.

Does such a book exist?
Jonathan Townsend
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Eternal Order
Ossining, NY
27157 Posts

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Since you asked in the context of coins, Andrew Galloway just published a short book Diverting Coin Magic on that subject.

Attention management comes in context.

Unless you really want to study psychology and learn about "change blindness" it probably is simpler to learn about how this principle can be used in routines within magic context. all the coins I've dropped here
El Mystico
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Profile of El Mystico
I agree with Jonathan - if you are looking in the context of coin magic, Andy's book is well worth tracking down. He was the pupil of Ramsay, who was by all accounts an expert at misdirection.
But I would also get the new Slydini DVD. He had an angle on misdirection - which he called Timing - which, when understood, is an immensely powerful tool.
Chris "linkster" Watson
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Profile of Chris
Sounds like a good book I'll try and track that down.

Some interesting reads include the Ramsay Material by galloway, Goshman - Magic by Gosh, Kurtz - Leading with your head and you'll also find some interesting stuff at which is also the place to go to get the kurtz book. The Ramsay and Goshman books aren't purely dedicated to misdirection they just have some great info in there. And the Kurtz book isn't just on Coins but takes a broader look at the subject.
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Inner circle
The Jersey Shore
2700 Posts

Profile of sethb
I would also recommend STRONG MAGIC by Darwin Ortiz. Lots of good information about misdirection as well as handling volunteers and other aspects of presentation. Click HERE for more info. SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
Charlie Justice
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Inner circle
Mount Dora, Florida
1142 Posts

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I'll second the Kurtz 'book' (actually more of a manuscript). If you want to learn more about misdirection than you thought possible then get yourself the short yet vast & most thought provoking Leading With Your Head by Gary Kurtz.
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Profile of ithomson

There are plenty of threads here on The Café about misdirection. From one such thread, here's a short list of books other than the Ortiz and Kurtz books already mentioned:

"The Books Of Wonder" by Tommy Wonder. There are a few essays in these books on misdirection. The one that looks at "shadows" is particularly relevant.

"The Magic of Misdirection" by Daniel Fitzkee. A classic.

"The Ostrich Principle" by Gerald Edmundson. Although primarily a practise guide, this book also looks at routining and misdirection.

"Pocket Power" by Jarle Leirpoll. Essays on misdirection here, plus his web-site has some invaluable insights.

Michael Close's "Workers" series, particularly Number 3, has some essays and points on all sorts of performance detail. Now available as an e-book, I believe.

"Expert Card Magic" by Hugard and Braue has an essay on misdirection.

"Five Points Of magic" by Juan Tamariz has a number of topics directly relevant, including Crossing The Gaze.

And there are many others. Al Schneider's DVDs and (now out of print)book spring immediately to mind.

If you're after just one book, my recommendation would be Ortiz's "Strong Magic". If that's too pricey, I'd go for Kurtz's "Leading With Your Head". Both together should serve you for a long time.

And if you get "Strong Magic", look out for Ortiz's comments on Ramsey and Slydini.


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Profile of Gerald
Thanks, Ian for including The Ostrich Factor in your list! Boydy, a manuscript by Al Leech, called "Don't Look Now" (1948, L.L. Ireland, Chicago) has some excellent "down and dirty", practical information on misdirection. It is a difficult book to find, but it is a good starting point.

Thanks again, Ian.

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