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Magic-Daniel
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Hi.

This book is concidered by many, one of the greatest book in magic. Why is that - enlighten me:)
No really. I know nothing about this book. But of course always interested in the classic books in magic.

Can you tell me more about this book?
Vlad_77
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Hi Magic-Daniel,

There are a number of reasons why Greater Magic is considered a landmark book in magic. First off, until its publication in the late 30's there had not been a book of this magnitude published in the wider magic community. When you read the original ad copy for this for 1938 you read that magicians were already predicting this to be a classic which of course it is.

Consider as well that Greater Magic contains everything from close up to illusions. It is the third largest monograph printed in magic to this day - the second largest being Stewart James in Print and the largest being The James File. Greater Magic contains effects from the greatest contemporaries of the time and the effects hold up VERY well to this day. Furthermore, a HUGE amount of the effects in Greater Magic spawned many further classics in later books.

In a sense, Greater Magic was and IS truly a one volume mammoth course in magic. This is more than a mere classic my friend; Greater Magic is a FOUNDATIONAL text.

Ironically, first editions of this book are actually cheaper than the Richard Kaufman reprint. Somebody on the Café is selling both a first edition AND a Kaufman reprint. The Kaufman reprint has additional material from Hilliard's notebooks; these notes became the basis for the later Hilliard book published by Kaufman.

I really cannot stress enough how important this book is Magic-Daniel. Before the Kaufman reprint this book was VERY hard to find. Somehow, Richard Kaufman was able to secure permission to do a reprint and that was published in 1994. It is now OOP and from my understanding it will never be reprinted again. Greater Magic BTW is the sequel to T. Nelson Downs book The Art of Magic which was actually written by John Northern Hilliard. Hilliard wrote a large portion of Greater Magic and legendary magician and author Jean Hugard finished the mammoth work after Hilliard's death. Hilliard was the advance man for Howard Thurston and was VERY well connected and respected in the magic community hence his ability to procure effects for this magnum opus.

If you have the money, I would strongly advise you to pick it up.

If you have more questions please feel free to PM me. Even better you might want to PM our book guru Peo Olsson, and in addition you could PM Lawrence O, Richard Kaufman, Rennie, motown, and magicfish to name but a few.

GET THE BOOK MAN!! Smile

Ahimsa,
Vlad

PS: Here is the link where it is being sold. Scroll down a bit!

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......rum=78&5
Magic-Daniel
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I have become a lot more critical about the books I buy. And concering some of the classic books in Magic, I do feel that some of the books have become a bit outdated. At least for me...

Would you say that Greater Magic still has a lot to offer for the magicians of 2011? Do you use any of the effects from the book today?
Vlad_77
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Daniel,

Please re-read my post and you will get answers to your questions. Not to sound brusque my friend but how can a classic - a seminal text - become outdated? Yes, I do quite a few effects from Greater Magic.

But let me ask you Daniel: would you argue that Linking Rings and Cups and Balls are outdated? What about the Hofzinser ace effect which predates Greater Magic by decades?

But, if some of the classic books are out of date for you that is a valid statement for YOU. The writing style is not flashy, there are no clear photographs, but the illustrations are good. This book is so widely referenced in the literature to this day that there must be a reason why. If you are used to Card College then you may not like Greater Magic. I love BOTH works and I have learned so much from every book and journal I read. But, I do not read magic books just for effects so perhaps our approach to study is different and that too is valid for BOTH of us.

Your question was about Greater Magic and I was happy to answer it. That said, only YOU can judge whether it is worth your effort to study it. There is certainly no shortage of books to read in the art. Smile

I WOULD however be curious to know what classic books you consider "outdated."

Ahimsa,
Vlad
gostone23
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WOW Vlad, Now I am really wanting a copy of this book. Bad too! Having never seen it I wasn't aware of what all it covered. Your review is great.(Ever consider sales?)

Any chance Richard Kaufman will do a reprint anytime soon? I imagine with his version fetching the prices it does, that the demand is there. Not to search for a decently priced used one...

-Robert
Magic-Daniel
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@Vlad.

I'm actually looking more for books on the theory on magic than actual effects, as I want to be the best performer possibly. But I'm always very curious about the classic books in magic - Just for the fact that they are concidered a classic. Also if it only contains effects.

Let me be a little more clear on what I meant about being outdated. I could have been a little more specific.
I'm actually talking more about certain effects than books itself. For ME, I feel like some of the original effects has been outdated. IMO, I feel there are better/more streamlined handlings today of some of the very classic's effects in magic.
That of course could lead to another debate, whether a book only good, if you're going to do effects from it?. My answer to that is no.
But I still would prefer a book, where I could use as many effects as possible or learn better handlings on certain moves.

But thank you Vlad, for writing an indepth and honest review on this book. I will definately concider fiding a kaufman edition
krazykat
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If you know how to read it, there is plenty of theory in Greater Magic. There is even an entire on stage magic written by David Bamberg!

Also - it is true that many of the effects have been "streamlined" over the years. However, if you go back and learn the original, you may find that it plays better FOR YOU than a more modern version. If it does not, understand why it does not and then making changes will give a strong trick that no one else can do, because it was designed FOR YOU BY YOU.
Richard Kaufman
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Greater Magic is a truly wonderful book: like taking a college course in advance magic theory through the application of magic. I don't stand to make a penny if you buy it or not, because my reprint is long gone and probably will never happen again until the book becomes public domain. I added 400 pages, however the material I added is a combination of history about how the book came to be, as well as some items that were slated to appear in the book and either removed at the last minute or simply never included by Jean Hugard, who took over long after Hilliard died. However, the material is not the same as in The Lost Notebooks of John Northern Hilliard.

There's a reason Greater Magic is famous--read it from cover to cover and you'll see why.
boinko
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When is it slated to go into the public domain?
Vlad_77
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Quote:
On 2011-12-17 10:27, boinko wrote:
When is it slated to go into the public domain?


Boinko,

Normally, books go into the public domain 67 years after the death of the copyright holder IF the copyright was not renewed. However, given the fact that it took a minor miracle for Mr. Kaufman to reprint this seems to imply that the copyright has been well protected. So we will be old if not dead when Greater Magic goes PD.

There is a reason why Bobo is incomplete in the Dover edition and that is because certain sections had the copyright renewed and others didn't. So the complete Bobo can only be had in the Magic,Inc. hard back.

Interesting weird trivia for you: The Bible is still under copyright! I should modify that: the Bible used by protestants is still protected by copyright. The protestant bible has 66 books. The Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox bibles have 73 and 74 books respectively: the Deuterocanonical books (referred to as Apocrypha by protestants) and in the case of the Orthodox Christian Church one addition book beyond 1st and 2nd Maccabees.

Strange that the word of God is under copyright. Lawyers!! Grrr

Dracula however IS public domain which is why you see a plethora of editions and printing. Not that you would make much money, but, you can legally do an edition of Stoker's classic.

Ahimsa,
Vlad

PS: Copyright laws are fairly complex though not as complex as Trademark laws. The information In have provided is not from a legal expertise but rather conventions in the laws as they were 10 years ago when I worked as a cartographic specialist and archiver.
LobowolfXXX
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Quote:
On 2011-09-29 14:15, Magic-Daniel wrote:
@Vlad.

I'm actually looking more for books on the theory on magic than actual effects, as I want to be the best performer possibly. But I'm always very curious about the classic books in magic - Just for the fact that they are concidered a classic. Also if it only contains effects.

Let me be a little more clear on what I meant about being outdated. I could have been a little more specific.
I'm actually talking more about certain effects than books itself. For ME, I feel like some of the original effects has been outdated. IMO, I feel there are better/more streamlined handlings today of some of the very classic's effects in magic.
That of course could lead to another debate, whether a book only good, if you're going to do effects from it?. My answer to that is no.
But I still would prefer a book, where I could use as many effects as possible or learn better handlings on certain moves.

But thank you Vlad, for writing an indepth and honest review on this book. I will definately concider fiding a kaufman edition


Do you have "Our Magic"?
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
Jim Sparx
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When I was a kid in 1949 the book was selling for $10. I bought a copy a month ago for $125, the Kaufman edition. I saved my dollars for the Tarbell & Rice books instead of GM.

I think the real bargains for magic books is the complete editions of The Sphinx and Hugard material, now available on DVDs. The classic how to in presentation was the Fitzkee triolgy. Maybe there is something newer I don't know about
jnrussell
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Vlad, actually the King James Version of the Bible (protestant) IS in the public domain. More recent translations are copyrighted, but the KJV is 400 years old and very much available for open public use.
John Russell
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Magic-Daniel
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Quote:
On 2011-12-18 11:21, LobowolfXXX wrote:
Quote:
On 2011-09-29 14:15, Magic-Daniel wrote:
@Vlad.

I'm actually looking more for books on the theory on magic than actual effects, as I want to be the best performer possibly. But I'm always very curious about the classic books in magic - Just for the fact that they are concidered a classic. Also if it only contains effects.

Let me be a little more clear on what I meant about being outdated. I could have been a little more specific.
I'm actually talking more about certain effects than books itself. For ME, I feel like some of the original effects has been outdated. IMO, I feel there are better/more streamlined handlings today of some of the very classic's effects in magic.
That of course could lead to another debate, whether a book only good, if you're going to do effects from it?. My answer to that is no.
But I still would prefer a book, where I could use as many effects as possible or learn better handlings on certain moves.

But thank you Vlad, for writing an indepth and honest review on this book. I will definately concider fiding a kaufman edition


Do you have "Our Magic"?


Yes, I do. I love this book. And in general I try to read as much about magic theory as possible
Michael Landes
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Hi,

My two cents: the card portions of Greater Magic, about 60% of the whole, is essential. Period. I consider the remainder of the book to be not very valuable.
There are a few other chapters I like, but not many. On the whole I think the rest of the book is a wash. I would say to get a used copy of the card portion, entitled
Card Magic, except that there are a couple of card chapters missing from that. Sorry. Understand that I'm not referring to the quality of the material that is being described,
rather I'm referring to the descriptions. It reads as essentially just Hilliard's notes. And without Hilliard there to flesh them out they are simply insufficient.

Why the difference? Well, I seem to recollect that Hugard did not do the card portion. Rather, I seem to recollect that the card portion of the manuscript was given over to
Horowitz to "edit". It is likely that this resulted in substantive additions and revisions of the text that might have made all the difference.

But, for non card magic I can easily list 100 books I would recommend before Greater Magic. In fact, for non card magic, I would not recommend it AT ALL, (although as I say, there are a few nice portions.
Michael Landes
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If you seriously are looking for cheap, available texts that will help you become better. I can do no better than to recommend a tiny book available on Dover,
called something like The Magic Of Alkazar. Does anyone know this book? It is ostensibly for children, but it is as good a master class in magic as I know of.
Simple, straightforeward object lessons on every aspect of performing magic. And for once the advice is on the money.
PapaG
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For those interested, I am selling a mint copy of the Kaufman edition of Greater Magic. PM me for details.
Vlad_77
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Quote:
On 2012-02-28 18:07, Michael Landes wrote:
If you seriously are looking for cheap, available texts that will help you become better. I can do no better than to recommend a tiny book available on Dover,
called something like The Magic Of Alkazar. Does anyone know this book? It is ostensibly for children, but it is as good a master class in magic as I know of.
Simple, straightforeward object lessons on every aspect of performing magic. And for once the advice is on the money.


To each his or her own but to place this book you mention ABOVE Greater Magic and The Tarbell Course in Magic (and I would add even The Mark Wilson Course) is rather interesting. I would love to get your thoughts on how Greater Magic and the hard back Tarbell volumes seem to be "less" for you than The Magic of Alkazar.

Please understand that I ask out of curiosity.

Ahimsa,
Vlad
JanForster
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... And it is a superb bookend Smile Jan
Jan Forster
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duanebarry
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Quote:
On 2012-03-04 14:35, Vlad_77 wrote:
Quote:
On 2012-02-28 18:07, Michael Landes wrote:
If you seriously are looking for cheap, available texts that will help you become better. I can do no better than to recommend a tiny book available on Dover,
called something like The Magic Of Alkazar. Does anyone know this book? It is ostensibly for children, but it is as good a master class in magic as I know of.
Simple, straightforeward object lessons on every aspect of performing magic. And for once the advice is on the money.


To each his or her own but to place this book you mention ABOVE Greater Magic and The Tarbell Course in Magic (and I would add even The Mark Wilson Course) is rather interesting. I would love to get your thoughts on how Greater Magic and the hard back Tarbell volumes seem to be "less" for you than The Magic of Alkazar.

Please understand that I ask out of curiosity.

Ahimsa,
Vlad


Reading closely, he differentiated Alcazar from the $100+ Greater Magic/Tarbell Course it by its virtues of being:

- cheap
- available

I think it's pretty useful to know about surprisingly good $5 books that I can put into people's hands.
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