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Danny Borneo
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I'm going to say that there shouldn't even be a decision, get Tarbell first and then get MW when your funds allow, any beginning magic library will benefit from both.
David Bilan
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Clarksville, TN
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Amazon offers the Mark Wilson Book for around five buck including shipping (used). Insist on new? Ten bucks including shipping.

They also have the Tarbell course new for $34 (Vol. 1 - 7). Get this one while it lasts.

If I could only choose one? I'd go with the Tarbell collection. But why only one? I own both Tarbell and Mark Wilson. Mark Wilson is worth skipping lunch for a couple of days. Smile

Yes, I am a magician. No I did not make my hare (hair) disappear... it just took early retirement.
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Profile of MagicSanta
They have the entire Tarbell course for $34? Daaaaaaaaaaang!

Hey...wait a minute....David Bilan, Erdnase...bilan...andrews...Blain! I knew it!
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Merritt Island FL
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Profile of kentfgunn
Oh, Tarbell. No question.

Mr. Lorayne is quite correct about his collection. I had all the originals, got the collection and was able to gift the originals to my students and friends.

The Classic Collection has a HUGE quantity of GREAT stuff.

Sorry though Harry. I think there is more cool and obscure stuff in either:

Best of Friends or
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Profile of mormonyoyoman
Gee, how could you go wrong with any of these suggestions?

Mark Wilson -- for a quick fix or to quicly look up something you almost forgot. Just glance at the pictures, and it all comes back.

Tarbell -- either the course (which is on CD) so you can learn to be a wizard through an actual course of learning; or the hardback books, so you'll (eventually) know every principle, every foundation of magic and mentalism. EITHER will teach you how to routine your show. Of EITHER it can truly be said that those who learn 60% of the material (and 100% of the essays) could become the greatest magician of their day. Read Bamberg's (Fu Manchu) testimonial in either, for an example of a guy starting with Tarbell's original course and ending up with the biggest show in South America.

Harry Lorayne -- Anything. Really, anything by Harry is going to improve your lot. I strongly recommend starting with his *Magic Book* (Which is far too good to be labeled ONLY a beginner's book, but WILL make a professional out of a studious beginner.) -- but really, you can't go wrong with his stuff. After picking up some back issues (and a hardback) of *Apocolypse*, I prefer it -- as raw, stream-of-consciousness Lorayne is fascinating reading.

Then again, I highly recommend *the Osterlind Trilogy* for anyone who wants to really get intense about making magic.

--Grandpa Chet
#ShareGoodness #ldsconf
Jim Stan Magic Man
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Tarbell is the way to go. Lots of good stuff to keep you busy for a long time.
Don't forget the Tarbell Companion book. This is a comb bound book, about 150 pages. This also includes a sleight index in the back which references the volume and page. It is edited by Steve Burton and put out in 1994.
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Profile of acchessor
I only have the Mark Wilson book, and I whole-heartedly give it full recommendation. I would say to get both Wilson's and Tarbell, probably with Wilson's first as it gives pretty easy material.
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Profile of rxwookie
If you are truly new to magic, then Mark Wilson's book is great because you are only dropping around $10. Order it, then save your money and get Tarbell when you can.

While Tarbell is better, it certainly costs more and takes more time to go through. Additionally, Wilson's book is somewhat easier to read as it was written much later than Tarbell.

Longview: The material in Wilson will keep you occupied for years. The material in Tarbell will keep you occupied for a lifetime.
If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a sucess unexpected in common hours.
~Henry David Thoreau
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Fort Worth, TX
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Profile of randirain

With just the purchase of Tarbell 1, you have most of what's in Mark Wilsons.
By the time you get to 3, you pretty much have it all and more.

But for me...
I like volume 4 and up.

And like what others have said...
You can always pick up Mark Wilsons at Half-Priced books for about $8 any time.

Andy the cardician
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Great advice by Randi . . . full support of it. With that material you should be going a long, long time before needing to spend more money on material. Remember, just buying it does not mean that you have already mastered it.
Cards never lie
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Profile of gardini
I have the Tarbell couses on Cd, I printed it out a lesson at a time to work through it with out being overwelmed, if you have an intrest in close up get Apocolypse books there is such a wealth of good meterial in them.

between the great essay's and tricks in theese seris you'll have meterial for years to work on.

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Profile of magicjluc
I am more for books, and even though I started with Mark Wilson book, and got the Tarbell course(8 volumes) years later, I'll say get the Tarbell first!

Zatanna Queen of Illusion, 2007,2008 & 2009 WA's Magician of the year, 2011 Fringe Festival magic slam winner
Mike Maturen
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Michigan's Beautiful Sunrise Side
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If you are concerned with the cost of the 8-Volume Tarbell series, you can pick up the single volume "original" Tarbell course for around $65. It contains the original 60 lessons. You can always pick up volume 7 (written by Harry Lorayne) and volume 8 (a compilation of Tarbell's other writings) on E-Bay for about $20 each at a later date.

PM me if you want details on the single volume Tarbell...900+ pages, $65 free shipping to the US.
Mike Maturen
World of Wonder Entertainment
The Magic and Mayhem of Mike Maturen

AUTHOR OF "A NEW DAWN--Weekly Wisdom From Everyday Life"

member: International Magician's Society
*Mark Lewis*
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Both books are great. Get them both. But just to confuse the issue further Harry Lorayne wrote only one book for beginners in magic. And it is one of the best I have ever read. If you can get "The Magic Book". Although it is designed for beginners an advanced worker can learn from it. I know I did. I think it is actually one of Harry's best books.
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Profile of boboshempy
Every time I flip through the Mark Wilson book I find something that I thought I never caught before and I want to do. It really is a wealth of great effects. It gets my creativity flowing and has a lot of reputation makers in there. You can't go wrong with it!
Ray Chelt
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Weirdly I have a Complete Original Course in Magic by Tarbell on my Kindle.

Weird because when I went back to Amazon to check how complete it is I seem to have bought the last one !!!!

It cost £6 so keep an eye on Amazon ...there are some decent offers at times.

And yes before he mentions it, you can even get Harry Lorayne memory books on Kindle Smile
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