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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Books, Pamphlets & Lecture Notes » » Maskelyne's Book of Magic (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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mrehula
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Dover Publications has just reissued 'Maskelyne's Book of Magic' from 1935, calling it 'a charming glimpse of stage magic in the early 20th century'. I'm wondering just how much the word 'charming' is a code word for 'out of date'.

I know that these kinds of books often contain hidden gems and underrated effects. But these days even $12.95 causes me to hesitate to buy.

Does anyone know this book? Is the advice worthwhile? Are the tricks original?
Dick Christian
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You pays your money and takes your choice, but I've found that -- more often than not -- some of the best stuff is in the old books. The presentations may be dated but, that's easy to correct if you've got any creativity. One of the best things about what you'll find in books is that all the newbies won't be doing it because they can't be bothered with studying the books, everything they know they got from watching crap -- usually poorly performed -- on YouTube. There are gems, not just the tricks, but WISDOM in the works of Hoffmann, Maskelyne, Devant, Mulholland, et al that you won't find on the Internet or YouTube. And I haven't even mentioned the best and most comprehensive source of all -- Tarbell. Everything you ever really need to know can be found in Tarbell. You could have a highly successful and lucrative career in magic if you never studied anything but Tarbell.
Dick Christian
todsky
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Maskelyne was one of the all time greats, among the most innovative and creative magicians ever there was. $12.95 sounds quite reasonable to me, if only to learn more about one of the luminaries in our profession. Of course the tricks were mostly original for the time, but if it is new tricks you are looking for, it is probably best to look elsewhere.
Todsky's Magic Shop: over 15,000 tricks, books, DVD s and Card decks. www.magicstore.ca
ico
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If this is the first time a book from 1935 is re-issued, then probably there is not much in it. Tarbell is reprinted often enough, isn't he?
Dick Christian
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Quote:
On 2009-11-05 19:56, todsky wrote:
Maskelyne was one of the all time greats, among the most innovative and creative magicians ever there was. $12.95 sounds quite reasonable to me, if only to learn more about one of the luminaries in our profession. Of course the tricks were mostly original for the time, but if it is new tricks you are looking for, it is probably best to look elsewhere.


True in a sense, but there are really d*** few really "new" tricks. The vast majority of what passes for "new" are really old tricks updated with new dressing.

(When will the management get over their obsessive censoring of posts to sanitize them for 5 year olds to read?)
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mrehula
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(When will the management get over their obsessive censoring of posts to sanitize them for 5 year olds to read?)


Uh, my five year old can't read . . .

But when I read these posts to him, he does get rather emotionally distressed by the strong language used on the Café!
Gordon
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This book was recently highlighted in "Re-Viewed" in MAGIC magazine. The gist was quite positive.
Dick Christian
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Quote:
On 2009-11-06 11:28, mrehula wrote:
Quote:
(When will the management get over their obsessive censoring of posts to sanitize them for 5 year olds to read?)


Uh, my five year old can't read . . .

But when I read these posts to him, he does get rather emotionally distressed by the strong language used on the Café!


You mean he'd get emotionally distressed if you mentioned the Hoover, Conawingo or Grand Coulee d** without saying its proper name? Most 5 year olds are using the term themselves by the time they reach that age.
Dick Christian
Turk
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Quote:
On 2009-11-06 11:28, mrehula wrote:
Quote:
(When will the management get over their obsessive censoring of posts to sanitize them for 5 year olds to read?)


Uh, my five year old can't read . . .

But when I read these posts to him, he does get rather emotionally distressed by the strong language used on the Café!


mrehula,

Let me get this straight:

1. You actually sit and read Café posts to your five year old son, and,
2. Despite your perceived discomfort with some of the words in some of the posts, for intellectual integrity, or otherwise, you read (and subject) him the words you don't think he should be exposed to in the first place and you fail to either omit the "offending words" and fail to substitute a more "sanitized" word in their place--and you do this knowing that he will become emotionally distressed at the use of these words.

WOW!! What unusual conduct. Most parents would be reading Winnie the Pooh and Nursery Rhymes and other children's books to their five year old child--and letting him see the pictures and asociate the words in the book with the pictures.

Amazing.
Magic is a vanishing Art.

This must not be Kansas anymore, Toto.

Eschew obfuscation.
mrehula
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Quote:
On 2009-11-06 16:45, Turk wrote:
Quote:
On 2009-11-06 11:28, mrehula wrote:
Quote:
(When will the management get over their obsessive censoring of posts to sanitize them for 5 year olds to read?)


Uh, my five year old can't read . . .

But when I read these posts to him, he does get rather emotionally distressed by the strong language used on the Café!


mrehula,

Let me get this straight:

1. You actually sit and read Café posts to your five year old son, and,
2. Despite your perceived discomfort with some of the words in some of the posts, for intellectual integrity, or otherwise, you read (and subject) him the words you don't think he should be exposed to in the first place and you fail to either omit the "offending words" and fail to substitute a more "sanitized" word in their place--and you do this knowing that he will become emotionally distressed at the use of these words.

WOW!! What unusual conduct. Most parents would be reading Winnie the Pooh and Nursery Rhymes and other children's books to their five year old child--and letting him see the pictures and asociate the words in the book with the pictures.

Amazing.


Let ME get this straight . . . you actually believed me?
Turk
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Quote:
On 2009-11-09 08:43, mrehula wrote:
***
Let ME get this straight . . . you actually believed me?


Frankly, no. But I gave you the benefit of the doubt that you were attempting a serious post and that you were not attempting some rhetorical form of humor. My bad.
Magic is a vanishing Art.

This must not be Kansas anymore, Toto.

Eschew obfuscation.
mrehula
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Quote:
On 2009-11-09 12:50, Turk wrote:
Quote:
On 2009-11-09 08:43, mrehula wrote:
***
Let ME get this straight . . . you actually believed me?


Frankly, no. But I gave you the benefit of the doubt that you were attempting a serious post and that you were not attempting some rhetorical form of humor. My bad.


This IS a serious post. But I'm not a serious man. I'm interested in finding out what people have found in the book . . . no one has really provided anything specific. And I'm not below cheap humor.
Vince Hancock
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This title just became available as a (limited-time) free offering from the Conjuring Arts Research Center (CARC).

It's their first "Summer Reading Program/Club" offer of 2015. (Also described in a thread within this MC thread.)

CARC's PDF is available here.

As the CARC doesn't itself appear to offer a forum for discussion, I thought perhaps this area might be a convenient place to (continue to) talk about the book.

What say you?

Best,

Vince
Bill Hegbli
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Thanks for mentioning this book, I just purchased the ePub version from Dover Publications. Taking a quick glance, very old stuff, and basic coin sleights like the palm, front and back.

Table of Contents

Title Page
Copyright Page
INTRODUCTION TO THE DOVER EDITION
FOREWORD

Table of Figures
Chapter I - STARTING IN MAGIC
Chapter II - WHERE MAGIC IS BOUGHT
Chapter III - SPECIALIZING IN MAGIC
Chapter IV - CONJURING WITH COINS
Chapter V - BAFFLING CARD-TRICKS
Chapter VI - CLEVER TRICKS WITH HANDKERCHIEFS
Chapter VII - TRICKS WITHOUT ELABORATE APPARATUS
Chapter VIII - MAGIC WITH PIECES OF PAPER
Chapter IX - CONJURING WITH COMMON OBJECTS
Chapter X - ROPE-TRICKS
Chapter XI - STAGE-MANAGEMENT
Chapter XII - THOUGHT-READING MADE EASY
Chapter XIII - DISAPPEARING-TRICKS
Chapter XIV - SIMPLE APPARATUS FOR ILLUSIONS
Chapter XV - SPECIAL APPARATUS AND MODERN IDEAS
Chapter XVI - WHEN YOUR MAGIC GOES WRONG
Chapter XVII - WHAT ANCIENT MAGIC TEACHES US
Chapter XVIII - SIMPLE CHEMICAL TRICKS
Chapter XIX - ENTERTAINING IN DRESS-CLOTHES
Chapter XX - TWO GREAT AMERICAN MAGICIANS
Chapter XXI - A CHINESE AND WIZARD SHOW
Chapter XXII - WHERE MAGICIANS MEET
Chapter XXIII - A LITTLE JUGGLERY, SHADOWGRAPH-WORK, AND VENTRILOQUISM
Chapter XXIV - THE ART OF MAKE-UP
Chapter XXV - HOW TO GET BOOKINGS
landmark
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Who are the "two great American magicians" ?
Tim Cavendish
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Kellar and Thurston.
cheesewrestler
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Complete table of contents for this and hundreds of other magic books at magicref dot tripod dot com
Vince Hancock
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I hope those who are interested in this book have downloaded a copy. CARC's PDF is available here. It will be there, most likely, through tomorrow (Saturday), when a different book will be slid into the free section.

One fun item to play with is called "Paper Bag Cookery." See p. 121 (PDF) or p. 105 (hardcopy).

It appears to be an item plagiarized from an earlier book from 1923, called Paper Magic, by Will Blyth.

Image


Nevertheless, it could be a colorful production as it involves ribbons and candy. The patter given by Blyth actually brings to mind several ways that it could be updated. We do have Jiffy Pop and paper bag-based popcorn. What if kernels, instead of ribbon, were scooped up? (Or pretended to be - glue some kernels on top of the concealed load.) The shape of the container could be played with, too. Maybe corresponding to actual disposable popcorn containers, or perhaps a lunch-size brown paper bag.
Vince Hancock
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Along the lines of the adaptation to a "microwave popcorn" effect (have everyone point their cell phones at it?), I made this sketch. I wonder if any parts of it would actually work!

Image
landmark
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Quote:
On Jun 22, 2015, Tim Cavendish wrote:
Kellar and Thurston.

Thanks, Tim.
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