100 Most Important Magic Books

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Postby Sam Kesler » 01/27/06 08:35 AM

Magic, Inc. has two interesting lists on their website: 25 Basic Magic Books and 100 Most Important Magic Books of the 20th Century. Check it out. What do you think?

http://www.magicinc.net/index.asp?PageA ... stom&ID=11
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 01/27/06 08:55 AM

Originally posted by Sam Kesler:
Magic, Inc. has two interesting lists on their website: 25 Basic Magic Books and 100 Most Important Magic Books of the 20th Century. Check it out. What do you think?

http://www.magicinc.net/index.asp?PageA ... stom&ID=11
No mention of The Books of Magic by Neil Gaiman or the Harry Potter stories by Rowlings?
Where is Promethea by Alan Moore on that list?

Sometimes I wonder what folks mean by magic and if they prefer to settle for clever tricks.
Mundus vult decipi
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Postby Guest » 01/28/06 08:36 PM

While I'll agree with most of it, I have to say that, sadly, "The Amateur Magician's Handbook" is lacking from both lists. This book has always been important to me.
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Postby Brian Rasmussen » 01/28/06 08:57 PM

I can also do without the Ricky Jay book for this list in favor of say Classic Magic of Larry Jennings, the John Carney books, or Complete Works of Derek Dingle.
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Postby Guest » 01/28/06 09:07 PM

Or Theater of the Mind....or Drawing Room Deceptions....or any Lorayne book
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Postby Richard Hatch » 01/28/06 11:11 PM

Both are very interesting lists and useful starting points for a discussion. I found at least one title that does not belong on the list according to the compiler's contraint that the book originally have been published between 1900 and 1999: Roberto Giobbi's CARD COLLEGE Volume 5 was originally published in 2003 (the English edition appeared that year, before the German!). So technically, only the first 4 Card College volumes would make the cut. I agree that Henry Hay's AMATEUR MAGICIAN'S HANDBOOK belongs on such a list, and would be more worthy of a place than Hay's CYCLOPEDIA, which was soundly criticized by Paul Fleming when it was published in 1949 (though I have a personal fondness for it, Flemings valid points notwithstanding). I don't personally care much for (or own!) the two Byron Wels' volumes on illusions and would probably substitute the controversial Burling Hull/Ormond McGill volume in their place. I also noted quite a few typos: "Melbourne" Christopher, Robert "Neil", William "Larson", Al "Schnieder", "Kaufaman" and Greenberg, etc. But those are all easily corrected. I'd probably agree with 90% of the choices made.
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Postby David Alexander » 01/28/06 11:59 PM

Interesting in that there's nothing by Scarne and nothing by Lorayne....given that Scarne was one of the few magic titles published by a major publisher in hardback and Harry's book was one of the very best on commerical card magic, also in hardback.

It was one of the best purchases I ever made.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 01/29/06 08:42 AM

Dumb list.
I think it's a sales tool: I wouldn't trust anything posted by a magic dealer (except Denny).
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Postby Michael Close » 01/29/06 12:28 PM

Damn.

Just when I was feeling good about being on that list.

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Postby David Alexander » 01/29/06 02:06 PM

This sounds like the old discussion back in the 1930s about the "Five Foot Shelf" of magic books. Of course, back in those days, there were far fewer books available and whittling those that were down to a single five foot shelf made for interesting discussions. I think some of the discussion was in Annemann's Jinx.

Doesn't the listing of The Jinx duplicate the inclusion of Practical Mental Effects since the contents of PME came from The Jinx after Annemann was dead?

I notice that none of Bruce Elliot's books, published by major publishers and widely available in libraries, are listed but The Phoenix is.

Bill Gresham's book on Houdini is a fictionalized biography and not strictly a magic book and I would question how "influential" it was.

Drake did not publish The Expert at the Card Table in 1902. Drake came later. It was originally published by the author.

The Fitzkee Trilogy was not originally published by Lee Jacobs, but by Lloyd Jones' Magic Limited. The dates are correct, the publisher isn't and contrary to the criteria sent down, the Jacobs editions are reprints.
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Postby Guest » 01/29/06 06:53 PM

Sales tool? Shirley, you jest. One would have to lay odds if betting that every book listed that's still in print is available from that particular provider.

I kinda figured it'd go this way. I like what Jonathan said. How about a list of 25 Most Important Magic Books that don't explain one single move?

Rowlings' books are the first 7 on the list as we are leaving some space for the ultimate.
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Postby Sam Kesler » 01/29/06 07:16 PM

Yes, it does seem kinda cynical but I think that's probably norm for Richard. Magic, Inc doesn't even sell Annemann's Practical Mental Effects, although they do sell 202 Methods of Forcing.

As far as the list is concerned (I'm a card guy, okay?;take that into consideration)I would add Ackerman, Carney, Garcia, Green, LePaul, Mendoza, Racherbaumer, Maxwells Larry Jennings, LePaul, Walton, and don't forget Complete Works of Derek Dingle.
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Postby Chris Aguilar » 01/29/06 07:27 PM

I find these sort of lists fairly pointless, though I understand others find enjoyment in them.

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Postby Guest » 01/29/06 09:36 PM

I REALLY LIKE the list, as edited by Richard Hatch (a big HOORAH for H&R Books)..My library probably has about 500 books, most of which are not really needed....

However, I do suspect that some people will use the list (and pass it on), as a means of selling books, probably at a discount....

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