Most Overlooked Magic Book?

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Postby David Acer » 09/08/05 10:23 PM

A friend of mine and I were recently discussing the subject of good magic books we've read that for some reason have been largely overlooked by the community. I brought up Norm Houghton's Wit and Wizardry, he brought up The Magic of Michael Ammar (I forgot to mention that my friend is an idiot). In any case - and maybe this is just the result of a sugar-high I'm experiencing from having polished off a whole pint of Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Brownie Fudge in one sitting - I'm curious to know if there are any magic books you've read that you enjoyed but are rarely discussed in mixed company. Brainstorm in the Bahamas?? When Creators Collide??
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Postby George Olson » 09/08/05 10:33 PM

Yep!

Tarbell is the one...

GO
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Postby Chris Aguilar » 09/08/05 11:59 PM

Originally posted by David Acer:
When Creators Collide??
I used to do "Switch Places Aces" (I believe that's what it's called) from that book all the time. I've still got the book floating around somewhere and while I haven't read it in a few years, I do recall it as a fun read.
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Postby Matthew Field » 09/09/05 02:34 AM

I've often mentioned "Secrets Draun From Underground," "Feints and Temps of Harry Riser," the Flicking Fingers' "The Book," and "Stodare: The Enigma Variations" by Eddie Dawes as books from Richard Kaufman (which I helped edit) that were under-appreciated.

I love Karl Fulves' slim book "Gambler's Third Lesson.' Lewis Jones' "Seventh Heaven" has been under-appreciated. There's not as much written about Marlo's "Unexpected Card Book" as I think there ought to be. Wesley James' "Enchantments" has sort of passed from discussion. Bruce Cervon's "Hard Boiled Mysteries" is one of my favorite books by this card master.

There are many slim, soft-cover magic books from the 40s, 50s and 60s that I love, are often ignored, and are too numerous to mention.

That's off the top of my head. Now I'll put the top back on my head, if that's alright with you, David.

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Postby Guest » 09/09/05 05:40 AM

"he brought up The Magic of Michael Ammar (Oh, I forgot to mention that my friend is an idiot)."

David
So if I thought this book was overlooked as well, I'd be an idiot? Rather meanspirited thing to say isn't it? I have no idea why you would post such a comment. Maybe you can explain?

Jeff
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Postby Steve Hook » 09/09/05 05:58 AM

THE MAGIC OF MICHAEL AMMAR?

Definitely one of a select few books about which you could say "You could earn a living doing just the material in this book."

I think David was using his usual, and often funny, sense of sarcasm. Maybe the point of the sarcasm is more oblique this time around.

Also, I'm not sure it qualifies for "overlooked" since most magicians have most of this material in their library in one form or another.

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Postby Michel Huot » 09/09/05 07:02 AM

David would NEVER post something that would intentionnaly hurt someone
I think what he meant was that Ammar's book is not at all overlooked since it's a best seller. It would be like saying Davinci Code is overlooked...
...a friend
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Postby David Acer » 09/09/05 07:23 AM

Hi Fellas,

The Magic of Michael Ammar went through 16 reprints. Not overlooked. Great book. Just a joke. Until now...
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Postby Eric Rose » 09/09/05 08:52 AM

I rarely hear anyone mention Wilfred Jonson's But Not to Play. I love the humor and misdirection in his "Have You Seen the Four Ace Trick?"
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Postby Guest » 09/09/05 09:11 AM

David
I am very glad I missed your attempt at humor. My mistake completely! :rolleyes: Looking forward to "Random Acts of Magic" which I will be purchasing this weekend at the Browsers Den of Magic in Toronto.
Again, sorry for misreading your post.

Best,
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Postby Jeff Eline » 09/09/05 09:14 AM

The magic of Eddie Fechter by Jerry Mentzer
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Postby David Acer » 09/09/05 09:19 AM

Originally posted by Chris Aguilar:
Originally posted by David Acer:
[b]When Creators Collide??
I used to do "Switch Places Aces" (I believe that's what it's called) from that book all the time. I've still got the book floating around somewhere and while I haven't read it in a few years, I do recall it as a fun read. [/b]
Hi Chris,

I thought it was a fun read too, but as I recall it was mostly poo-pooed by the critics. And "Switch-Places Aces" was definitely a highlight - in fact, Richard Sanders does the trick on one of the new Sankey/Sanders Sessions DVDs (for those of you who haven't seen or heard of it, it's a multi-phase transposition effect in which two Aces switch places with each other repeatedly, then finally, both switch places with two previously chosen cards in the deck).

That book also had a couple of excellent Ambitious Card sequences, including one of my all-time favourites - "Top Card" - and it introduced "The Pointing Transfer," Richard's beautiful handling for the Tenkai Pennies transfer.

Also, I'm with Matt regarding The Book, or Don't Forget to Point - it's absolutely PACKED with fresh, funny, interesting material. I have no idea why it doesn't come up more on book threads.
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Postby Guest » 09/09/05 09:40 AM

You know, this brings up a bigger issue. If the book makers did a better job maybe they wouldn't have to reprint a book 16 times but get it right the first time...where the quality control?
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Postby David Acer » 09/09/05 10:18 AM

Yeah, good point!...

Actually, 16 reprints is astonishing for a magic book. 2000 copies is your average first run, and most publishers are quite content to sell out of those. So even if each printing of The Magic of Michael Ammar was only a thousand copies (I doubt they would have been less), that's still a grand total of 16 000 copies. VERY few magic books can lay claim to those kinds of numbers. Maybe Tarbell, Card College Vol. I... and after that I have think.
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Postby Guest » 09/09/05 11:01 AM

Not much discussion on Ken Weber's, Maximum Entertainment: Director's Notes for Magicians and Mentalists. No tricks, but one of my top 10 favorite texts.

Also, Derren Browns Absolute Magic I strongly recommend. Perfect title I might add.

-rk
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Postby Tom Dobrowolski » 09/09/05 11:08 AM

The four Jim Ryan manuscripts, Sensational Stunners, Card Quickies, Classic Card Routines and Cups and Balls. Great material from a great guy.
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Postby Bill Duncan » 09/09/05 11:30 AM

When Creators Collide is one of my favorite hidden treasures, but it did receive wide attention when it came out and, as I recall, it received a very positive review from yours truly in The Letter from Hades newsletter. I think the fact that its overlooked has a lot to do with the fact the its filled with odd material (like Thought Thief) and simple but great ideas (Rubber Room Rise and Top Card) that its easy to forget if youre part of the next cool book club.

To my mind overlooked means not noticed, rather than ignored, or forgotten. My nomination for most overlooked book was written by Paul Cummins about the work of Doug Conn: Tricks Of My Trade

Doug is the first person in a decade to fool me with a coin trick. And he managed to do it with a video of the trick, so I cant even blame his misdirection! Adding insult to injury, when I read the routine in his book it turns out I know and use every move in the trick! Dougs construction and technique simply b!+($ slapped me (but in good way). If you want to witness my humiliation visit his website and watch the Copper/Silver Brash video.

Tricks Of My Trade in addition to having some great variations of some classic plots has one of the easiest, most commercial card tricks Ive ever read. The ESJoker is simply the best use of the Simon business card move ever put in print. It adds a Ted Anneman idea that makes for a memorable and comic moment.
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Postby Jeff Haas » 09/09/05 11:40 AM

Bill, we wouldn't witness your humilation, but we might experience it for ourselves.

However, if you get the chance to post a video...
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Postby Brian Marks » 09/09/05 11:42 AM

I am having trouble finding the book. Ill let you know once I find it.
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Postby Gord » 09/09/05 11:46 AM

Originally posted by George Olson:
Yep!

Tarbell is the one...

GO
I had this very conversation about this very book series yesterday. I was at the Browsers Den of Magic in Toronto and mentioned to it's owner, Jeff, that I don't understand why people aren't doing more stuff from Tarbell, it's an amazing resource.
the best excuse we could come up with was that Tarbell was an old series, and these days people look back on that which is old with disdain, believing that the newer stuff is better. That's fine with me. If I'm the only one doing stuff from Tarbell, as far as I'm concerned that puts me a bit ahead.

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Postby Bob Farmer » 09/09/05 11:57 AM

WHAT'S NEW IN MAGIC
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Postby Bob Farmer » 09/09/05 11:58 AM

WHAT'S NEW IN MAGIC by Walter Gibson.

THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF CARD TRICKS by Hugard, etc.
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Postby Jerry Harrell » 09/09/05 12:24 PM

Any of the books or booklets by the late great Horace Bennett. "Prize Winning Magic" from 1970, and especially "Familiar Themes" from 1984, which contains alternate handlings of classic sleights and routines. Great ideas, hidden treasure.
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Postby Steve Hook » 09/09/05 01:03 PM

1) One of the most interesting card books I read in the last fifteen years was Steve Pressley's ENDLESS POSSIBILITIES. Steve had that light, effortless touch with the cards and the book had interesting ways of getting from A to B which I just haven't seen in print anywhere else. My favorite: "1/13". [The book is hard to find but Steve Beam or Peter Duffie may have some copies.]

2) Matt and David: Good call on THE BOOK, OR DON'T FORGET TO POINT. There was/is a copy on the shelf at The Magic Corner in Raleigh for at least 3 years. That always surprised me because it's up-to-the-second cool. It is a little pricey in the US...maybe that's the reason for anonymity.

3) Bill: Right on. I mentioned Doug Conn's well-written (by Paul Cummins) TRICKS OF MY TRADE at a lecture/club meeting the other night and drew blank looks from a couple of guys who should know better. Doug is one of my favorite magicians and that book is rated A-freakin'-plus. Doug's The Man!

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Postby John Pezzullo » 09/09/05 03:27 PM

A friend of mine and I were recently discussing the subject of good magic books we've read that for some reason have been largely overlooked by the community.
A list of the 'overlooked' could easily reach into the hundreds.

A few more titles worth considering:

"Kane" (1982)
"Cardfixes" (1990)
"The Miracle Makers" (1975)
"Buffaloe'd - The Magic of Jim Buffaloe" (1998)
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Postby dwmagic » 09/09/05 03:40 PM

I'll vote for Charles Jordan Best Card Tricks. Or anything by him.
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Postby Guest » 09/09/05 08:09 PM

MY BEST edited by J.G. Thompson. A lifetime of great magic in that one book.
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Postby Bill Duncan » 09/09/05 09:40 PM

Ok Jeff, you asked for it. Now you too can feel the pain...

http://www.dougconn.com/videos.htm

;)
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Postby David Acer » 09/10/05 03:59 PM

So many great books listed here - Kane, Tricks of my Trade, The Magic of Eddie Fechter. And you've convinced me to buy What's New in Magic, My Best, Buffaloe'd, and more.

The mention of Cardfixes also reminded me of another greatly underrated Jon Racherbaumer book, At The Table. And if you like the Fechter book, you'll love Fork Full of Appetizers - there is SO much meat-and-potatoes, real-world magic in there. If you want more info, here's a link to a review I wrote on www.mylovelyassistant.com awhile back:

http://www.mylovelyassistant.com/index. ... ay&rid=239
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Postby Guest » 09/10/05 04:34 PM

Overlooked? How about "The Magic of Rezvani", translated by Dariel Fitzzkee, published by San Rafael House, in 1949. Charlie Miller was amazed at Rezvani's skill. His cardwork was superb. The tricks are great, including "The Card on The Necktie". His false shuffle work looks, well, like he's shuffling. And there is a version of "The Tomato Trick". Ask Pete Biro about this. Or Dick Zimmerman. In fact, there is a photo of Zimmerman doing this for Vernon, Bob Brown, and Jack McMillen. It appears in one of the "Vernon Chronicles". The full text of "The Tomato Trick" was published in Persia, with a suite of hand-drawn illustrations, in a special binding. The text was in French, I think it was. Lots of other stuff as well...

Or, you might want to take a look at "Secrets of the Street Conjurors". It includes a method of doing the "Adhering Cane" that is just amazing. It looks like the cane just clings to the back of your hand as you move it all over the place. This, combined with some of the Carl Stenquist material from "Magicana" and the Liepzig "Grips with a Cane" can be made to look almost like a "Dancing Cane" type sequence with a real cane and none of the obvious hookups. There is also a neat handling of the "Cap and Pence", and several body load/productions.

I think that the MOST overlooked book of magic in the 20th century, though, is "An Evening With Charlie Miller". "Nuff sed"...

Best, PSC
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Postby Matthew Field » 09/11/05 03:23 AM

Originally posted by pchosse:
I think that the MOST overlooked book of magic in the 20th century, though, is "An Evening With Charlie Miller".
Ahhh. What a great book.

It took me quite a while to locate "But Not to Play" by Wilfrid Jonson after many people (including Peter Duffie) recommended it a few years ago. An excellent little book.

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Postby Alan Bursky » 09/12/05 10:32 PM

Gene Gordans Legacy ( dizzy dollar routine is in there)

Bruce Elliot's books.

Ken Krenzel's book by Harry Lorayne
Ron Wilson's book by Richard Kaufman
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Postby Doomo » 09/12/05 11:02 PM

I say Dave, is this your attempt to bring the Magic Cafe over here? Whats next? "Are red decks better than blue decks for double lifts?"...

By Gad sir! If I have to I will have you flogged! My faithful servant Wallaby has a triple pronged bamboo cane we use for just such situations!

Do not prompt me into action! Remember the last time when I had your entire family beaten for refusing to stand when I performed color monte.

And on a happier note, please say hello to the little Acers. Or whatever you call them, since you refuse to marry the various mothers of your misbegotten progeny. I believe that there are what? Seven of the little creatures now?

Ah well, Canadians are simple creatures.
RFA Productions yeah... It is cool stuff.

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Postby Matthew Field » 09/13/05 03:43 AM

Originally posted by Doomo:
My faithful servant Wallaby has a triple pronged bamboo cane we use for just such situations!
Rumor has it that Wallaby and his notorious cane have been used by Doomo for other things as well.

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Postby Doomo » 09/13/05 05:47 AM

Originally posted by Matthew Field:
Originally posted by Doomo:
[b] My faithful servant Wallaby has a triple pronged bamboo cane we use for just such situations!
Rumor has it that Wallaby and his notorious cane have been used by Doomo for other things as well.

Matt Field [/b]
Indeed! I expected better from an Englishman sir!I have absolutely NO prurient uses for either Wallaby or the cane... At least since I started taking the blood pressure medication.
RFA Productions yeah... It is cool stuff.

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Postby Guest » 09/13/05 08:38 AM

Ok Jeff, you asked for it. Now you too can feel the pain...

http://www.dougconn.com/videos.htm
FYI: there's a few coin routines on my vid page, I believe "Copper Silver Brash" is the routine Sire Duncan speaks of.

Note: The Hardcover edition of TOMT is out of print (perhaps it's overlooked because Paul only printed/produced 23 copies? ;) ) however... There is a cd/ebook edition that is a virtual replica of the original text... So... if anyone is interested in "Tricks of My Trade" be sure and check out Paul Cummins site: www.fasdiu.com

PS: the rumor mill says Richard Hatch has a hardcopy he'll be zapping up on ebay in the near future
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Postby David Acer » 09/13/05 08:33 PM

Originally posted by Doomo:
My faithful servant Wallaby has a triple pronged bamboo cane we use for just such situations!
I saw Wallaby perform his dancing triple-pronged-bamboo-cane routine once at Fechters. Beautiful work.
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Postby Matthew Field » 09/14/05 07:05 AM

Originally posted by David Acer:
I saw Wallaby perform his dancing triple-pronged-bamboo-cane routine once at Fechters. Beautiful work.
Yes -- I seem to recall reading about Wallaby and his Dancing Triple-pronged-bamboo-cane routine at Fechter's.

Might this, in fact, be the same Wallaby who has been abusing Doomo?

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Postby Dale Shrimpton » 09/14/05 08:10 AM

I rate the joe Berg book quite highly.

It has Something for everybody !
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Postby Doomo » 09/14/05 08:34 AM

Originally posted by Matthew Field:
Originally posted by David Acer:
[b]I saw Wallaby perform his dancing triple-pronged-bamboo-cane routine once at Fechters. Beautiful work.
Yes -- I seem to recall reading about Wallaby and his Dancing Triple-pronged-bamboo-cane routine at Fechter's.

Might this, in fact, be the same Wallaby who has been abusing Doomo?

Matt Field [/b]
Oh the shame! YES! Walloped by Wallaby! My dreadful secret revealed to the world! I took him in and raised him from a ... well, whatever his species is called when young... and I am betrayed! Well, there is no need for me to hide in the shadows now! And I have arranged for a 6 step program for Wallaby. Due to certain budget constraints, we were unable to afford a full 12 step program.
RFA Productions yeah... It is cool stuff.

www.rfaproductions.com
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