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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Books, Pamphlets & Lecture Notes » » Books of Wonder 1 & 2 by Tommy Wonder (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Maxim
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London
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Hi, are these good purchases for general magic?

Many thanks in advance,

Maxim.
Steve Brooks
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Northern California - United States
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Any magician who is serious about the art owes himself the honor of having this insightful set in his library. Smile
"Always be you because nobody else can" - Steve Brooks
emyers99
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Columbus, Ohio
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I agree with Steve that the books are insightful. If you are looking for lots of usable material, however, I would look elsewhere. I like Tommy Wonder and his material, but many of his tricks must be constructed or are not really that practical in my opinion. Just my opinion. The books are a good read for sure and the material is wonderful (no pun intended)but you better be Bob Villa or be very dedicated if you want to make some of it. His wild card routine is very do-able and there are a few others. I just feel that for $80 you can do better if you are looking for material to use for your act. I've been performing for over 18 years and have over 60 books, so this is just my opinion based on a comparison with some of my other favorite books. Take it for what it's worth.
kermitthefrog
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France
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I agree with *both* of the previous posts. From these books you can learn a great deal about magic; they are full of thoughtful essays about the art and advice about performance. You also can learn a lot by studying his routines and the thinking behind them, as they are beautifully crafted. You probably aren't all that likely to add any of those routines to your own repertoire (I didn't, anyway), but there are other books for the latter purpose.
Gary
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These two books are laden with highly perceptive insights and very clever thinking regarding the craft of magic. As previously metioned, the routines are so well thought through, you will learn much and hopefully apply the learning to your own performance.

These are not books to simply skim through and then shelve, but sources you will refer to again and again.

Above all, they will encourage you to analyse what you do and guide you in how to do it even better.
"I can see clearly now, the brain has gone"
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Maxim
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London
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Thanks very much for the honest opinions. It seems that this book is truly a classic (I must confess I had not heard of it before), even though it may be a bit impractical for tricks. I'll definitely add it to 'column B' of my shortlist.

Thanks again.

Maxim.
debaser
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Boulder
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Yes the tricks themselves are not incredibly usefull but the book is one of the best reading in the magic book world.

I read one page of this set and bought it instantaniously.

Matt
Brent Allan
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Chicago
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I have to agree that the tricks explained in the book are not overly practical for your average magician.

However, his writing on Misdirection and his work on the Cups and Balls are well worth the price of the books. I got these books back when I had a regular table-hopping gig at a local restaurant. I tried to apply some of his philosophies on misdirection, and immediately noticed a positive increase in my spectator's reactions!
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Maxim
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Hey do these insights on misdirection etc. appear in one of the books or in both of them?
kermitthefrog
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France
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Quote:
On 2003-01-23 18:35, Maxim wrote:
Hey do these insights on misdirection etc. appear in one of the books or in both of them?


They are spread throughout both, for better or for worse. I suggest trying one volume before you spring for both of them.
Ronnie Ramin
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There are some very practical routines in his books. The card in the ringbox, and his Cups and Balls to name two. I've made my set of his Cups and Balls at least 15 years ago, and they are still going. There are definately some wonderful things to build in them. I personally love the challenge they provide. His version of the Wildcard is "THE" version in my opinion, although I haven't made one up yet, but to see him do it is a thing of wonder. The Essays are even better!
Ron Giesecke
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Anyone with a keen eye on the latest L&L catalogue will notice that Tommy Wonder has filmed an as-of-yet unreleased set of videos.

The catalogue is notorious for foreshadowings--by placing the up-and-comings into a photo collage--usually interspersed throughout. I called L&L and asked them about it, and Tania said that it is something that could be out this year.

Let's hope so, because his Cups and Balls is on it.

--Ron
Scott F. Guinn
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I own over 1200 books on magic. These two are on my short list of those that I would never give up if I went bankrupt and really needed the money.

The tricks themselves are the least important part of the books, although, as has been stated, there are a number of very useful and practical routines.

It all depends on what your goals are. If you want to be "a guy who knows how to do a few tricks," these books are not for you. If you are a magician who wants to be an exceptional, entertaining performer, you can scarvely go without them.
"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
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James Washer
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Alabama
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Hey Scott,

What other books do you consider a must have?

Thanks,
Bama Gambler
Dan LeFay
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If you wanted a book on, say for example, cooking, gardening, guitarplaying, or even astrology, would you go for an "average cook, gardener, guitarist or astrologer"?
I bet not! You want the best.
Same counts for Tommy Wonder. I think that what makes his books so outstanding is that you read them and realise all your efforts for doing good magic are just a mere startingpoint compared to his routines.
Since 90 % of the books that are published are based on trick references, I am SO glad once in a (long) while something like Books of Wonder comes along...
My favorite top 5?
-Strong Magic
-Books of Wonder
-the Magic Way (Tamariz)
-Art of Astonishment
-Magic & Meaning

Why? Well, because they describe much more than tricks!
"Things need not have happened to be true.
Tales and dreams are the shadow-truths,
that will endure when mere facts are dust and ashes,
and forgot."
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Amon-Re
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If you want to practice magic as an art form I think these two should definitely be in your library. I can't begin too describe how much valuable information they contain. It's one of those books you read over and over again and contains different information every time you read it and that’s already magic by itself I would think.

It stopped me learning sleights to accomplish a trick but made me learn to think up effects and search for the necessities to accomplish it. And that's just one of the many things it made me do.


Cheers,

Remon
Cyclone
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USA
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Quote:
On 2003-01-24 02:21, Scott F. Guinn wrote:
I own over 1200 books on magic.


Can I borrow some of them? Smile
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Jonathan Townsend
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Eternal Order
Ossining, NY
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Maxim,

Jos Bemelmans (aka Tommy Wonder) is an unusual magician. It may make sense to compare him to Hofzinser.

Those books are probably his working material for the last thirty odd years.

I recall seeing him in 78 and was impressed. He was both really fun to watch and a very positive person to meet.

Short of a Fred Kaps volume (that has been about forty years coming) you may have the next best thing. There are about a dozen magicians of his generation whose work is accessible.

And if he is still around, by all means meet the guy. If you get to meet the man you will probably want to RUSH and get the books.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Dan LeFay
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Holland
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Come to FISM 2003 and meet him.
Why shouldn't he be doing OK Jon?
At the moment Tommy is reviving(along with Veronique Ross) the Magic Art Centre here in Holland, which was Richard Ross'club.
If some of you guys ever come to Holland visit this great club/bar/hanging place for magicians.
"Things need not have happened to be true.
Tales and dreams are the shadow-truths,
that will endure when mere facts are dust and ashes,
and forgot."
Neil Gaiman
chappelly
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Down Under
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I saw Tommy perform in the late 90s.What an experience!His performance was the closest thing to real magic I'd ever seen.He has a great sense of humour and is one of the nicest guys you would meet.
His books are a must have for people who want to perform magic.The essays and the tricks in the book are excellent reading and illustrate the psychology and planning thet goes into the performances.
Dan,what city in Holland is the Magic Art Centre located?

Thanks
Chappelly
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