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andre combrinck
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South Africa
953 Posts

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I've read all the Tarbell books-8 of them and still think they are good.See The Collected Works of Alex Elmsley books to see how many times these books are refered to.
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70 Posts

Profile of Brazilian
A unusual book for peoples outside Brazil,is a portuguese book for cardicians called "Os Valetes"

Hard bound with 480pp,more then 80 selected tricks

Tricks like:
A lot of self-working,
1 version of "Twisting the aces",
1 version of "Shuffle-bored",
2 versions of "Out of this word",
10 versions of "Oil And Water",
Tricks with the aces,
Tricks with the Jacks,
Gambling routines,
trick using the faro shuffle
trick using estimation
And many others.
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Eternal Order
Northern California
13411 Posts

Profile of TheAmbitiousCard
5x5 japan
Simply Harkey Hand Crafted Magic
Trophy Husband, Father of the Year Candidate,
Chippendale's Dancer applicant, Unofficial World Record Holder.
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Inner circle
1636 Posts

Profile of bdekolta
John Kokot - that is a really good list. The Bertram books are often overlooked. I would add the three Ramsey books that Galloway wrote.

I have read all seven volumes of Tarbell. Recently I had the pleasure of seeing the original sales letters and follow-up letters for the Tarbell Course in magic. All framed and laid out in order on the wall. Very cool.
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My current prediction is that I have
326 Posts

Profile of cpatchett
The entire (original) Tarbell course along with the graduate lesson is now available from on CD-ROM for $37. That includes searchable PDF, HTML, and scanned versions.

You can even use the PDF or HTML version to generate a file that you can carry on your PDA! (I have it on my Tungsten T3.)

Now that's unusual!

I'll also add to the list (some unusual, some not):

"Card Stories" by Ariel Fraillich
"The Trick Brain" by Dariel Fitzkee
"The Magic of J. N. Hofzinser" by Ottokar Fischer
"The Complete Walton" by Roy Walton
"Theater of the Mind" by Barrie Richardson

Magician: Someone willing to spend $15 to learn how to make $1 disappear.
Richard Allen
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66 Posts

Profile of Richard Allen
I have yet to read Tarbell, but I've seen several quotes from his material that fascinate me. I will definitely pick it up soon... I can actually get the whole set for about 150.
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Inner circle
Portland, Oregon
1322 Posts

Profile of rtgreen
Tarbell is one of the greatest books (collections) on magic ever written. I started reading it when I first began magic (Over 30 years ago) and it still ranks as my favorite read in magic. Everytime I read it it is with new eyes and I learn completely new things. Volumes 7 and 8 are not as good as the first six, but all are worth having and studying.

As far as unusual books are concerned, I liked The Practitioner by Gene Poinc and Capricornian Tales by Che... (Oh, lets face it. I can't spell his name right now. PM me and I look at the book Smile )

Both are in the Bizarre genre and both are very entertaining.
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Profile of lchemist
On 2003-06-20 13:08, John Kokot wrote:

Carroll, Jose. "Fifty-Two Lovers: Volumes I and II" and a pamphlet called "Effects and Presentations." Everyone's heard of Juan Tamariz (justifiably), but Carroll is also an important member of the Madrid school.

Paginas from Madrid, just published acorrected and enlarged version in one volume in Spanish, called 52 Lovers...Through the Mirror!. It includes his routine winner of the FISM at LA Haya (1988)

I think they are working in an English Translation.

Bobby Forbes
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virginia beach, VA.
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Chris kenner's Totally Out of Control
or ernest earick's By Forces Unseen
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Profile of amccrawford
Only one mention for Lewis Ganson! I highly recommend any of his books, but in particular:

Magic of Slydini (annotated version)
Vernon Inner Secrets series
Dai Vernon's tribute to Nate Leipzig
Routined Manipulation (I, II and Finale)
Art of Close up magic
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Special user
Birmingham, UK
585 Posts

Profile of Flec
I don't know much about the topic, but black artifacts specialises in black magic and seances and the like, they might have some unsual books.

I have also heard paul Harris is one of the most creative minds in magic today, comign up with countless new ideas and variations on tricks. So check out any of his books, namely 'the art of astonishment.'
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Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
126 Posts

Profile of TheCaffeinator
I have sort of an "unusual" edition of Erdnase. It's a small red paperpack .. a bit shorter and wider than a typical paperback novel. Expert at the Card Table is actually the second half of the text (seconds two-thirds if you think in terms of page numbers). The first half is a book on gambling technique...the author's name escapes me...I'll look it up when I get home. Or maybe I'll just let Cameron fill in the blanks -- *wink wink* RoatC! Smile

I picked it up maybe 15 years ago and have not seen another copy of this edition since the day I bought it.
Rob Johnston
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Most people dismiss "Swami and Mantra" as a haven of bizarre magic, but that is untrue.

There is more card work in there than anything. Some well known techniques, but also some very rare techniques.

Check them out. It is a pricey book, but well worth it.
"Genius is another word for magic, and the whole point of magic is that it is inexplicable." - Margot Fonteyn
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Profile of calexa
"The Little Egypt Book of Numbers" by Steve Bryant

"Life, Death & other card tricks" by Robert Neale

Optimists have more fun.....
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Leesburg, FL
76 Posts

Profile of SteveReel
TOPS Treasury of Illusions! has some great ideas in it, if they were brought up to date.
World music and magic
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Profile of truthteller

You have a book called Card MAstery. The first half is by Mickey McDougall. The second is a reprint of Erdnase. It is fairly common.


When I was in high school I made it through 4.5 valumes of tarbell straight through. You are right. There is more great, overlooked material there than in the majority of books hyped today.
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