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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » Wilson vs Dummie vs Idiot's Guides - General Magic (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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The Magician
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Liverpool
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Mark Wilsons Complete Course In Magic wins hands down. No disrespect to the other two books
The Magician

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Rob Johnston
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Utah
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Why does everything have to be on Versus terms?

These books should all be owned and respected....not competing against each other.

I find this "Versus" term is popular amonst the young ones.
"Genius is another word for magic, and the whole point of magic is that it is inexplicable." - Margot Fonteyn
Erion
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Maybe that is because they (and me also) don't have that much spare money so we can't afford to buy every book on magic at once, or maybe we just want to buy the cool new trick that the guy on tv did...ahhh well, someday I will understand that another book is a better way to spend my money.
jwebyra
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Personally I perfer the The Mark Wilson Book. Not to say the other books don't have their plusses like where to go buy props and books but then some of the lists are outdated. The Mark Wilson Book is very compersive and covers all aspects of magic. Just my 2% of $1.00
poppa
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I have all 4 books.

The Idiot, The Dummy, Mark Wilson's Complete Course In Magic, and marc Wilson's Cyclopedia of Magic.

All 4 are great beginner's books! Really, you can't go wrong no matter which one you choose.

No personally, I like the Mark Wilson Books a bit better, but I have no real objective reason for this other than volume...

The Dummy book is around 400 pages, and the Idiot book is around 350 pages, while the Wilsom Complete Course is around 500 pages and the Cyclopedia is 638 pages.

The Wilson Complete course book is aproximately 8 1/2 x 11 inches and the Cyclopedia is only aproximately 4 1/2 x 5 1/2 inches but over 1 1/2 inches thick.

There is no question that Both of the mark Wilson books contain a lot more of what they all 4 have to offer.

A quick study of the table of contents of the 2 Wilson books shows that the Wilson complete course contains everything in the Cyclopedia plus quite a bit of additional information.

My choice would be the Mark Wilson Complete Course in Magic.
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calexa
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I have question:

What are the differences in the 1991 edition and the "revised edition" 2003 of "The complete course in magic"?

Thanks, Magixx
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andre combrinck
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Wilson still rules-also worth checking out is Amateur Magicians Handbook,Learn Magic(both by Hay) and The Magic Book(Lorayne).
Andre
Will Gordon
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I have seen all three and have found them to be perfect for the newbie.
jack_is_dead
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Mark wilsons book worked perfectly for me..after this book get some video..and just watch all those magic shows they perform in tv or internet..u will begin to get it how things work!
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RCarruth
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I bought the Mark Wilson in the discount section of Barnes and Noble about seven years ago. That was the best ten dollars I've ever spent on anything magic related. I didn't really think I would find much in it that I didn't already know, but I was wrong..
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Father Photius
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Wilson has several versions of the book out there, after all it was in the early 70's when it first came out. The current paperback version has some additional effects in it. You can generally find these in a lot of places, but you can buy it from Mark Autographed for about 20 bucks.
"Now here's the man with the 25 cent hands, that two bit magician..."
Hobie the Magical Hobo Clown
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For the person that has some knowledge of card and coin magic Wilson's is the best way to go.
Impromptu tricks and ones you can make up are very good as well.
Each one is step by step so you can not go wrong.
One Mustn't study a magician to closely,
Never look up his sleeve,
Never look under his hat,
Just sit back and let him do his act.
The Count of Three
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I came across the Wilson Complete paperback today. It was the one and only magic book in my local Waldenbooks. I might try to get one autographed, from Mark, as mentioned above.

The book looks very comprehensive, but I was disappointed by how few pages (for such a huge book) are devoted to mentalism.

Is it available as a hardcover?
MagicalArtist
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How could you even compare the dummies or idiots guides to the Wilson course? Yes, the dummies and the idiots guides are good, but look at the title: the Mark Wilson COURSE in magic. This is an actual course that will take you from a mere novice all the way up to the level of a professional magician, if you master much of what it contains. The dummies or idiots guides are just books.

Only the Wilson course has a tricks broken-down into the step-by-step method, with each of the steps illustrated. It's the easiest way to become a magician next to video, and a lot cheaper . Remember that this course originally sold for $40 (the equivalent of $140 today) and required the signing of a secrecy agreement before it would even be released to the customer.

However, keep in mind that there are different editions of the Wilson course, and some of them don't contain the complete contents. The version I have does and is also a hardcover.

The only area in which the Wilson course is week is in the areas of history and showmanship so it's not a bad idea to by both the Wilson course and one of the other guides.
gerard1973
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This is my opinion but I agree with MagicalArtist and the others that you cannot compare Magic for Dummies by David Pogue or The Complete Idiot's Guide to Magic Tricks by Tom Ogden to Mark Wilson’s The Complete Course in Magic.

Mark Wilson is a performing Magician with many years of experience and his book is a magic classic that has stood the test of time. Many Magicians and Mentalists now living and still performing state that one of their first magic book(s) were: The Amateur Magician’s Handbook by Henry Hay and/or The Complete Course in Magic by Mark Wilson.

These two books are some of the GREAT CLASSICS of magic that have been written by great Magician and Mentalists. I would rather buy a GREAT book by say, Henry Hay or Mark Wilson than purchase Magic for Dummies or The Complete Idiot's Guide. To me, it's a matter of economics. If you are going to purchase any magic books, why not buy GREAT magic books?

I personally would not buy Magic for Dummies or The Complete Idiot's Guide not because they are bad books but because there are a large amount of much better magic books out there to purchase. Magic for Dummies or The Complete Idiot's Guide cannot and will never compare to these great classics of magic.

How can you compare Magic for Dummies or The Complete Idiot's Guide to Mark Wilson’s The Complete Course in Magic? You can't. Mark Wilson’s book is a magic classic that has stood the test of time…

Gerard
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Father Photius
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Last time I talked to Mark it was no longer available from him in hardcover, you might still find some of the older hardcover editions out there. Mark's website is http://www.markwilsonmagic.com Beginners don't do a lot of mentalism, if ur interested in mentalism then Corinda's 13 Steps to Mentalism and Annemann's Practical Mental Magic are the two texts you want to start with. They cover all the basics. Then I'd move on to some DVD's and books from the likes of Phil Goldstein (Max Maven) and Richard Osterlind (who is a member of this forum), both have excellent text that offer good effects principles and effects.
"Now here's the man with the 25 cent hands, that two bit magician..."
The Count of Three
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Photius,

Thanks for the help. You mapped out the route I've decided to take: Corinda + Annemann + a selection of DVDs. I'm most interested in mentalism out of all the possible areas of magic becuase of my background in hypnosis, although I do plan on learning some card magic as well. I'll seek out the Wilson book.

I've also ordered a couple of books about performance, and have downloaded a number of Richard Osterlind's ebooks.
John Long
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Magixx: Wilson's newer book (copyright of 2002) has an extra chapter of "Reputation Makers". I really like the ring on rope routine in that section. I think it is worth getting this newer edition.

As to the difference between Wilson's course and Dummies, as someone else mentioned, if it is for someone who just wants to dabble, and do some stuff quick, the Dummies(or Idiots) book seems appropriate. Yet if the book is for someone who wants to become a magician, go with Wilson's complete course.

The Dummies book did seem to give more description of some of the peripheral issues of magic than Wilson's book. Maybe just try to find it in a library.

enjoy
John
ruaturtle
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Gastonia, NC
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Definitely go with Mark Wilson first. I also have a copy of the Idiot's Guide but like the Wilson much better. I've never seen the Dummies but can say that I have found the Idiot's Guide to be better than the Dummie's Guide in other subject matter (ie statistics)
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John Long
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I recently looked at the "Idiots" and notice that it includes some interesting looking gaffed Bikes. Are the effects for these good?

Has anyone tried the spoon bending?

John
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