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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Books, Pamphlets & Lecture Notes » » The Secret Ways of Al Baker (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

owen.daniel
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I have searched for reviews of this new Al Baker book (well techniquely not new). Maybe the reason for the lack of reviews is because it has been so extensively reviewed in magic magazines, or because people have already got copies of the original books, and it is thus just copied up and requires not review as it has all been seen before.
I have not currently got any of the Al Baker books,i was just interested to hear any personal opinions on the book, are there any things that you dislike about it?
Thanks,
Owen
Scott F. Guinn
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"Great Scott!" aka "Palms of Putty" & "Poof Daddy G"
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I have it and there is NOTHING I dislike about it! This (huge) volume is beautifully produced and contains the entire published works of one of the most underrated but best "workers" in the history of modern conjuring. This book makes my short list--of the 1200+ publications I own, this is in the top 5!

There is powerful, commercial, practical magic a-plenty in this collection, along with some teriffic historical notes and photos. Baker knew magic and he knew how to perform and this collection proves that in spades.

It seems a bit pricey, but imagine having to buy all of his books separately and this suddenly becomes a tremendous bargain! Add to that the fact that, pound for pound, this book probably has more material that you can actually use than just about anything else out there. No serious student of the art (who has the funds) should be without this enormous and prodigious tome. It's worth its weight in gold!
"Love God, laugh more, spend more time with the ones you love, play with children, do good to those in need, and eat more ice cream. There is more to life than magic tricks." - Scott F. Guinn
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owen.daniel
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Thanks for the reassurance, i am now bound to get it.
Just wondering, how much of the contents relies on the use of gaffs?
Is most of the material cards?
Law
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I have it too. I haven't read all of it, but enough to know that I'll never part with my copy. Click here for the table of contents. I'm not sure of the ratio of card to non-card material, but there's plenty of both.
Phred
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I am still wading through this monstrous, and extremely valuable, book. It is destined to become a classic. I am not a professional performer, rather a hobbiest (like most of us?). I find the material to be practicle and within reach of most magicians.

The advice contained within the effect descriptions is a how to from someone who worked in the trenches for years. Baker was one of the few magicians who was accomplished at children's magic, stage, mentalism, close up (cards and coins).

Baker was truly a magical genius in every sense of the word (can you tell I like the book?)
sirbrad
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I was finally able to order this. I will post a review in a few years. Smile
The great trouble with magicians is the fact that they believe when they have bought a certain trick or piece of apparatus, and know the method or procedure, that they are full-fledged mystifiers. -- Harry Houdini
Andy the cardician
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Quote:
On 2007-07-28 00:52, sirbrad wrote:
I was finally able to order this. I will post a review in a few years. Smile


hope you go through it faster . . .
Cards never lie
sirbrad
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Well maybe 3-6 months I hope.
The great trouble with magicians is the fact that they believe when they have bought a certain trick or piece of apparatus, and know the method or procedure, that they are full-fledged mystifiers. -- Harry Houdini
Andy the cardician
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Looking forward to it . . . as I am still usure about getting it, as I have already several of his hooks.
Cards never lie
sirbrad
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If I had the time I could read it in a month straight through. However I don't have the time to read that much every day, and plus I like to actually field test material before reviewing it. But I might give a "general impression" first about the book after I get through it once, then maybe a long review later, and from the looks of it; it will be loooooong. (912 pages)
The great trouble with magicians is the fact that they believe when they have bought a certain trick or piece of apparatus, and know the method or procedure, that they are full-fledged mystifiers. -- Harry Houdini
Andrew Loh
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If I am not mistaken, I think this book is the most expensive compare to other books in the market. I mean yes, I came across many of the Baker's materials, his creation and approach in magic is marvellous.

Yes, I really hope to hear more reviews about this book. I have to start save money in order to invest this book.

Andrew Loh
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sirbrad
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Yeah it is the most expensive magic book I ever bought, and so far well worth the investment. I just can't wait until I get at least half way through it so that it will stay open evenly. Smile That alone will take months.
The great trouble with magicians is the fact that they believe when they have bought a certain trick or piece of apparatus, and know the method or procedure, that they are full-fledged mystifiers. -- Harry Houdini
mellanp
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There is no question this man was one of the most creative geniuses of our time. Eugene Burger, who wrote one of the introductions to the book, quoted Max Maven who said, that Burger was a John the Baptist for Al Baker for years now. Max Holden said (paraphrasing) that Al Baker was one of the greatest entertainers who combined original effects and a natural sense of humor. From the Deck that Cuts Itself to his Newspaper Tear, Baker still lives on today and his magic is now the classical of classic magic!
Ray Haining
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Quote:
On Feb 1, 2020, mellanp wrote:
Eugene Burger, who wrote one of the introductions to the book, quoted Max Maven who said, that Burger was a John the Baptist for Al Baker for years now.


Since Max Maven was one year old and Eugene Burger was 12 years old when Al Baker died in 1951, unless Baker was a super-psychic (maybe in his book Mental Magic he reveals how to do this), I think you've got things confused. It would have to be Al Baker who was a John the Baptist to either Burger or, more probably, Maven (I think you got those two gentlemen confused as well).

I would have gotten the book, but didn't because I already owned first-edition copies of three of the six books (Magical Ways and Means, Pet Secrets, and Mental Magic) and the price was a bit steep. It was certainly worth it, and I debated getting it, but then it went out of print. The three books I have, though, are great.
Ray Haining
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Quote:
On Feb 1, 2020, Ray Haining wrote:
Quote:
On Feb 1, 2020, mellanp wrote:
Eugene Burger, who wrote one of the introductions to the book, quoted Max Maven who said, that Burger was a John the Baptist for Al Baker for years now.


Since Max Maven was one year old and Eugene Burger was 12 years old when Al Baker died in 1951, unless Baker was a super-psychic (maybe in his book Mental Magic he reveals how to do this), I think you've got things confused. It would have to be Al Baker who was a John the Baptist to either Burger or, more probably, Maven (I think you got those two gentlemen confused as well).

I would have gotten the book, but didn't because I already owned first-edition copies of three of the six books (Magical Ways and Means, Pet Secrets, and Mental Magic) and the price was a bit steep. It was certainly worth it, and I debated getting it, but then it went out of print. The three books I have, though, are great.


After posting the above, I realized that it must have been Burger, not Maven, who thought of Baker as a John the Baptist. I remember Burger praising Baker and recommending his books for study. I was confused as to why Burger would quote Maven to say what he, Burger, thought, but I don't have the book and didn't read the Introduction. Probably because Maven used the term "John the Baptist."

Sorry. It appears you were only half-confused.
rodrigez
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This is a relly good book, as everything the Miracle Factory puts out in print. It is beautiful made up, with lot of interesting facts about Baker, his life and his magic. Speaking of that the material is a gold mine. He surely was ahead of his time.
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