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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Books, Pamphlets & Lecture Notes » » The Complete Cups and Balls by Michael Ammar (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Bill Palmer
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Eternal Order
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I have had the videos that basically accompany this book for a couple of months now, but wanted the book, just because of the convenience of having it. After all, sometimes when you are on the road, a DVD is not an option.

So, how do I feel about it? It's a good one. It has just about everything you need to know about the cups and balls to get off to an excellent start. It includes several routines, basically the same ones from the videos, including the Vernon routine, and what Vernon might have done differently.

There are also comments from some of the masters of the routine, which the tyro and the pro will find relevant and perhaps, indispensable.

Hardback, 168 pp. well produced, available from TFMD.
"The Swatter"

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My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."
Emily Belleranti
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I found this book to be quite concise and helpful when I started to take a serious look at the cups and balls. I'm a long way from a tried and true routine, but this book certainly helped a lot and I'm still referring to it. I especially enjoyed the additional chapter with the interviews of some of the greats who perform the cups and balls. I think that Ammar explains everything very thoroughly and makes good use of photos to effectively teach his subject matter. I give this book a strong recommendation.
"If you achieve success, you will get applause, and if you get applause, you will hear it. My advice to you concerning applause is this: Enjoy it, but never quite believe it."

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No question about it,

The layout is great...the sections are in easy to understand format. Ammar has always had the knack of great layouts...even his lecture notes...yep, a "best buy" for sure, if you want to learn Cups & Balls...the oldest magic trick!

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Profile of eddieloughran
Although I agree with some of what my colleagues above have written, I do have reservations.
But first, its probably fair that this is the best cups and balls in print.

Two main grumbles.
The first is that dispite the title, this is not a complete guide. Nothing on two cup routines, or one cup. No special final loads of liquid or livestock or metals. Not much theory but I won't pick on too much ; you get the idea.

Second moan - the layout.
Instead of the usual drawings, freeze frame photographs have been used extensively. In some cases this works, but on some sections it becomes merely a line of small pictures which are hard to follow.
The text is close printed and is color highlighted and arrows point to the relivent picture.
Doug, above, likes the layout, but in places I found it a mess.

Only two full routines are given ; we don't really want too many given, but the thinking behind the routines would of helped us to make our own.
Ammars own routine is prefaced by a comment that a more detailed account of the thinking and construction appears in his book Magic Of M.A.
Why ?

The final third of the book is given over to interviews. Some are very good but some are not so.
Given what has been missed I find it a bit fustrating.

Overall, as I said at first, its still the best introdution to cups and balls - but keep your eyes open for old, used books, that can be bought cheap.
Randy Sager
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I do not have the book as of yet. But have looked thru it a few times.

I would say it is the best book out there on the cups at this period of time. I too feel that the ultimate book on the cups and balls has yet to be written.
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I'm deleting the question ... it was meant as a conversation starter but on reflection I think that particular conversation might be unproductive.
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Profile of truthteller
I was the research consultant to the Ammar book and tape series. It was a great project and I learned a lot from being on board.

Jamy did not care for the concept because he does not care for the democratization of information. While I did not agree with him initially, I have come to see his point clearly.

It was hoped that by presenting strong material in resource form, magicians would be empowered to improve their performances with better magic and hopefully lead them to thoughts that they could use as fodder for creativity, thoughts that were at one time difficult to gain exposure to.

While this was a noble goal, we now find ourselves in a situation where the "strongest 10 tricks you do" list is almost a Xerox copy from magi to magi, performance quality has not really improved just better tricks are being butchered, and there has been no growth in the respect for great material.

Every trick which was put on the ETM series was researched, credited, and we went to whomever was appropriate to GAIN PERMISSION to include their magic.

Today, anyone with a DVD burner feels entitled to teach other people's tricks, or offer minor variations SOMETIMES with credit, almost never with permission.

I had hoped that exposure to great material would have instilled respect for the great creators of our art. By making it easier to access this information, more people would get turned on to great magic. Sadly, I think Jamy was right. That didn't happen. We just made the information easier to obtain, and sadly easier to abuse.

(I hasten to add that I still think the ETM concept was a great one. The fault lay not in the project, but in magician's laziness.)
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