Kaufman's Top 10 from 1984 Almanac

Talk about what is being written in other magic publications.

Postby John Bodine » 12/22/03 11:20 PM

Just came across this as I was reading the Collected Almanac. Almost 20 years ago Richard put to paper his list of the 10 greatest books published on sleight of hand. The list is as follows.

1. J.N. Hofzinser's Card Conjuring
2. The Expert At The Card Table
3. Greater Magic
4. Sach's Sleight of Hand
5. The Art of Magic
6. Modern Coin Manipulation
7. Modern Coin Magic
8. Houdin's Secrets of Conjuring and Magic
9. The Modern Conjuror
10. Expert Card Technique

Has the list changed any? I'd have to agree with most of the list. Although I have not thoroughly digested each of these books, I've skimmed through most and read the entirety of quite a few.

Richard, do you still agree with your list or do some newer books replace any of the above.

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Postby magicbar » 12/23/03 01:15 AM

I am partial to Hay's Amateur Magician's Handbook along with many on that list.
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Postby Guest » 12/23/03 08:45 PM

...and how many of those were published after 1954? well?

(ok, so I guess I do miss Mark for the laughs ;) )

Merry Christmas to all!
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 12/23/03 09:53 PM

My opinion of the books on the list have not changed. One of the reasons those particular books form the list is because they are the core of our knowledge: the base of the tree, so to speak. Other excellent books may (and do) come out, however they are merely additional limbs on the upper part of the tree. I did not name any of the books I've written among the ten, however I feel that some of them (CoinMagic, David Roth's Expert Coin Magic, The Complete Works of Derek Dingle, The Secrets of Brother Hamman, Jennings' 67 and the Jennings books to come) certainly qualify as important limbs on the larger tree of magical literature.
The books are all devoted to close-up magic and sleight of hand (with the exception of The Modern Conjuror, which has lots of standup material in it). There are other genres I ignored completely at the time, such as stage magic (whether manip of illusion), and mentalism.
Jim Steinmeyer's entire output, produced for the most part since I made the list, is almost singlehandedly responsible for lifting the literature of stage magic and illusionistic principles onto a new level.
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Postby Guest » 12/29/03 03:15 PM

Since you mentioned them Richard how are the Jennings follow on books coming? :)
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 12/29/03 10:37 PM

How many ways can you spell S-L-O-W-L-Y?
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 12/29/03 11:51 PM

There's an upside! He could have said, "SSS-LLL-OOOOOOO-WWW-LLL-YYYYYY"
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Postby CHRIS » 12/30/03 07:32 AM

Originally posted by John Bodine:

1. J.N. Hofzinser's Card Conjuring
2. The Expert At The Card Table
3. Greater Magic
4. Sach's Sleight of Hand
5. The Art of Magic
6. Modern Coin Manipulation
7. Modern Coin Magic
8. Houdin's Secrets of Conjuring and Magic
9. The Modern Conjuror
10. Expert Card Technique
Interesting to note that you can get almost all of these as ebooks (eight out of the ten). So I wonder if there would be interest in a CD that holds these books on one CD - the Richard Kaufman Top Ten?

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Postby Guest » 01/01/04 08:51 AM

Richard,

Well I am glad to hear you are making some progress on the Jenning's books as I realize that when it is all said and done you will probably make about the same hourly wage for your efforts as the person who made my last pair of NIKE's...

But as a fan of your previous efforts I offer all the encouragement I can to have you complete the job. Hey its New Years - time for a resolution of sorts!

Richard
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Postby magicbar » 01/02/04 08:52 PM

I find it interesting how absolutely none of the books published from the last two-three decades have no mention here. Although many are good, they all have obvious roots to the ones from over a generation ago.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 01/03/04 09:43 AM

It is difficult for anything published in recent memory to find its way into the top 10. Think of how difficult it would be to nudge one of the existing top 10 out so a contemporary book could make its way in!
Frankly, to the average magician or hobbyist, the contemporary books are more valuable even though they're not on the list. Have you ever tried to make your way through Hofzinser's Card Conjuring? Yikes!
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Postby Pete Biro » 01/03/04 10:54 AM

How about a Top 10 of the books written FOLLOWING the timeframe of the original list?

Henry Hay
Bruce Elliott
Lewis Ganson

Probably the above will have written them all.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 01/03/04 12:37 PM

Perhaps top 10 books per decade--oh, Jamy already did that in our millenium issue.
Bruce Elliott's Classic Secrets of Magic is certainly one of the greatest books on all around magic ever written. What a gem!
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