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Melbourne, Australia
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Profile of irontoaster
Hello everyone. I have been seriously practicing magic for about 4-5 months now and have several good card tricks and a number of good props in my arsenal. However, I would really like to read a book specifically about performance and theory. I'm sorry if there is already a topic about this, but I did a search and didn't find anything. Thanks very much.
Darko Bean
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Profile of Darko Bean
Hope this helps Smile

On 2005-05-13 22:28, gerard1973 wrote:
Here is a basic magic book list that I have been working on:


All you really need is:
1. Coin Magic or the New Modern Coin Magic by J.B.Bobo – Coin Magic is an inexpensive book. Highly Recommended!
If you have the money, you can also buy:
2. Expert Coin Magic - David Roth (Coin Magic)
3. Kaufman's Coinmagic - Richard Kaufman (Coin Magic)
If you can find them.

All you really need is:
Coin Magic or the New Modern Coin Magic by J.B. Highly Recommended!

NOTE: J.B.Bobo’s Coin Magic book is really the only coin magic book you will really need. Expert Coin Magic or Kaufman's Coinmagic books are hard to find. If you cannot find either one then don’t worry because J.B.Bobo’s Coin Magic book will teach you enough of the basics of coin magic that you will need. Expert Coin Magic or Kaufman's Coinmagic teaches several other advanced coin techniques but you must have your basics learnt first and this comes from J.B.Bobo’s Coin Magic book.

You have two choices here:
The Royal Road To Card Magic (RRTCM) by Hugard & Braue – RRTCM is an inexpensive book. Highly Recommended!
Card College Volume 1 by Robert Giobbi (Card Magic)
Card College Volume 2 by Robert Giobbi (Card Magic)
Card College Volume 3 by Robert Giobbi (Card Magic)
Card College Volume 4 by Robert Giobbi (Card Magic)
Card College Volume 5 by Robert Giobbi (Card Magic)
Or both if you can afford it

All you really need is:
The Royal Road To Card Magic Highly Recommended!

The Expert at the Card Table: The Classic Treatise on Card Manipulation (ECT) by Erdnase, S. W. Braue – ECT is an inexpensive book. Highly Recommended!

You have two choices here:
Practical Mental Magic (PMM) by Ted Annemann – PMM is an inexpensive book. Highly Recommended!
13 Steps to Mentalism by Tony Corinda
Or both if you can afford it

All you really need is:
Practical Mental Magic (PMM) – PMM is an inexpensive book. Highly Recommended!

NOTE: Practical Mental Magic comes in either soft back/paperback or a hardback version. The 13 Steps to Mentalism is only available in a hardback edition. Both books are a little old fashion but they contain the basics for mentalism and there is no consensus as to which book should replace them. Some people prefer the 13 Steps to Mentalism over Practical Mental Magic. Buy both if you can afford it. Both books are relatively inexpensive.

You have many choices here:
Amateur Magicians Handbook by Henry Hay – Highly Recommended!
The Complete Course in Magic by Mark Wilson - Highly Recommended!
The Magic Book by Harry Lorayne - Highly Recommended!
The Magic Of Michael Ammar by Mike Maxwell - Highly Recommended!
101 Easy-to-Do Magic Tricks - Bill Tarr - Good fundamentals taught. Highly Recommended!
The Tarbell Course in Magic Volumes 1-8 (The Encyclopedia of Magic)
by Harlan Tarbell – Buy them one at a time! Highly Recommended!
NOTE: Covers everything in magic.

All you really need is:
Any or all of the above books. The choice is yours but chose wisely.

NOTE: General magic books are a personal choice. Any of these books that you chose, will do. sells most magic books on CD’s. They are inexpensive.

All you really need is:
Magic and Showmanship: A Handbook for Conjurers - Henny Nelms - Magic and Showmanship is an inexpensive book. Highly Recommended!

I hope that you will find this magic book list helpful...

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Profile of krissheppard
Hi irontoaster,

I'm also studying performance. Here are a few books you might find of interest:

Showmanship for Magicians by Dariel Fitzkee
(Fitzkee has a couple more books called "Magic by Misdirection" and "The Trick Brain". These three are known as the Fitzkee Trilogy)
Magic and Showmanship by Henning Nelms

The Magic of Michael Ammar has many essays on performance, theory, and making magic memorable as well as many tricks. He also goes into the business side of things including forms he uses.

The Books of Wonder (two volume set) by Tommy Wonder teach many tricks, but there is also endless essays on his performance methods and theories between the teaching of the tricks.

I hope this helps you in your quest for knowledge. If there's one thing I've learned, its that only magicians care about how well a trick is performed. Regular people just want to be entertained.

Kris Sheppard — designer and magician
Successful Performercast
The show that interviews one professional performer per week with the goal of inspiring & equipping those who are working to go full-time themselves.

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Eternal Order
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Profile of JamesTong
I would like to add two more -

Strong Magic - Darwin Ortiz
Designing Miracles - Darwin Ortiz
The Burnaby Kid
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Inner circle
St. John's, Canada
3108 Posts

Profile of The Burnaby Kid
Got these from the search engine...

Magic related, Theory book list?

Easiest to digest book on magic theory

Recommended Theory/Presentation book

Please provide a list of books on theory

Books about performing magic better and general theory

Criticism of performance theory books

Books on Theory

Books on theory of magic, scripting, mentalism

Books or DVDs on mentalism theory?

In addition to whatever wisdom you might find in the above, I'd say that seriously practicing magic for a few months isn't enough to get the most out of theory texts. Make sure that your education includes getting as much performing experience possible, and if you really must start into these books, doing the two in tandem with each other (performing & studying).
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Inner circle
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Father Photius
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El Paso, TX (Formerly Amarillo)
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Profile of Father Photius
There are any number of good books on magic theory if you read the book for the sake of trying to understand how the author thinks about magic rather than for the tricks. Harry Lorayne's books are good, I would second the Books of Wonder, Paul Harris's "Art of Astonishment" set is also a very good theory book when you read around the tricks and get into his magic thinking. Any book by Eugene Burger and of course Mystery School by McBride and Burger.
"Now here's the man with the 25 cent hands, that two bit magician..."
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Inner circle
It's taken me 10+ years to make
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Profile of Vick
Lots of good stuff here, I'm a big fan of all Tommy Wonder's work

The Fitzkee books are great

If you can find a copy of it
"Our Magic" by Nevil Maskelyne & David Devant is outstanding. It's a must have

When you invest in The Tarbell Course in Magic Volumes 1-8
You have more magic than you perform in a lifetime and lots of great insight
Unique, Thought Provoking & Amazing Magical Entertainment Experiences
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Profile of taoist
Books of Wonder by Tommy Wonder are awesome though may be better after the reader has "been around the block" as it could be otherwise daunting.
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Profile of Koenraad
In adition to the mentioned books I would sugest; lots of great columns on the site.

I know it's not book ... but they have E-books.

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Inner circle
Harrisburg, PA
1432 Posts

Profile of mmreed
Theory is a great topic... and many good books...

Beyond Deception by Tobias Beckwith
This is one of my favorites.

Magic of Ascanio book Vol. 1 "The Structural Conception of Magic"
Another really solid book on theory

Strong Magic by Darwin Ortiz
Very indepth book on structure and focus

Transformations (Creating Magic Out Of Tricks) by Larry Hass
Lawrence Hass uncovers some of the higher secrets for creating strong, entertaining performances of magic.

Those are 4 solid MODERN DAY books on theory that will give you everything you need regarding structure, composition, theory, and more.
Mark Reed
Wedding and Event Entertainment
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Loyal user
Gettysburg, PA
240 Posts

Profile of J.Robert
Can't believe it wasn't already mentioned: Scripting Magic by Pete McCabe (and a bunch of other people). My other favorite in this area is Maximum Entertainment as mentioned above.
andre combrinck
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South Africa
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Profile of andre combrinck
Books of Wonder are brilliant.Tommy teaches theory and then usually demonstrates an effect using the theory.If you have seen any of his magic, you'll to expect in-your-face magic.
Highest recommendation.

Bob Sanders
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Magic Valley Ranch, Clanton, Alabama
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Did you ever dream that this much help would be available this quickly?

Enjoy The Magic Café and your magic.

Since you are also a cabinet maker, we are looking forward to your advice in the Workshop for prop builders.

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Bob Sanders

Magic By Sander / The Amazed Wiz
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