Paul Curry's World's Beyond

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Postby Matthew Field » 11/01/01 10:16 AM

Hermetic Press has recently published "Paul Curry's World's Beyond," a book I had the pleasure of working on with Stephen Minch. It gathers together a ton of material from this great thinker.

Jamy Ian Swiss gave the book an excellent review in the November Genii.

My only concern is whether or not newcomers to magic will know Curry's name, since he died in the mid-1980s. Sure, they probably know "Out of this World," but they probably are not even familiar with another Curry classic, "Touch" (probably one of the most frequently ripped-off tricks of all time).

Will the book, or any book like this, sell well?

So -- do you think it's worth a publisher's time, money and effort to publish a book by someone, not exactly a household name, an amateur, who has been dead for more than 15 years?

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Postby steve » 11/01/01 05:45 PM

I can only speak for myself, but I can say that in my quest to learn magic, I'm still in the beginner stage of learning. I'm still learning names, effects, and creators of magic. Being that I love to learn, I actively search information that might lead me to learn anything about someone who contributed greatly to magic. I've searched down items by many people long gone from this world, but they left big footprints in the magic world. I haven't bought the Curry book yet, but I am aware of a small amount of his work, and knowing that, I have put this book on my list to books to buy next time I'm in a magic shop. So, my answer is that if that person was innovative in magic then I'll be more than happy to shell out the money.

[ November 01, 2001: Message edited by: Steve S. ]
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Postby Guest » 11/02/01 02:24 AM

It is causing a buzz here in Northern California. I think it will sell. Books can easily catch on through the strength of their material. I think this book's sales will grow as more of the material gets seen.

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Postby Bill McFadden » 11/02/01 09:30 AM

Matt,
I'd be disappointed to learn that anyone who has a serious interest in sleights/close-up does not regard a collected volume of Curry to be pure gold (and that doesn't pertain solely to the card guys). I received my copy yesterday, and figured I should purchase now, or suffer later. My "return" to magic (having left as a 13-year-old; I'm 48 now)has been within the past five years.

This book has several things going for it: a wealth of Paul Curry's thinking and methodologies, the fact that the project was overseen by Minch, Weigle, Kort, Max, Field, et. al., and - for those still sitting on the fence - a beautifully written analysis/critique from Jamy Swiss. We need books such as this! (Especially us newcomers.)
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Postby Guest » 11/23/01 12:39 PM

I picked up a copy last weekend and have been largely lost to the world since. The writing (ergo, editing) and illustrations are superb, and most of the effects are both strong and well within at least my piddling skill set. I'm not much into mentalism, but there's one telephone telepathy item that blew my mind; my wife, who has stood ever ready to work the ancient "Wizard" telephone trick, was similarly impressed.

Well worth my bucks.

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Postby Ben Harris » 11/23/01 03:03 PM

Matt Field asks:

"Will the book, or any book like this, sell well?

So -- do you think it's worth a publisher's time, money and effort to publish a book by someone, not exactly a household name, an amateur, who has been dead for more than 15 years?"

I only hope so, Matt. Such a book, so beautiful written and produced - and one just seeping with such genuine and subtle creativity - DESERVES to be a best-seller.

It is books like this that will keep our art alive. Curry is HOT.

Ben Harris
Creator of the famous "Floating Match On Card" illusion.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 11/23/01 09:03 PM

I'm extremely happy to see that there are some folks out there who share my enthusiasm for "Paul Curry's Worlds Beyond." It is a FABULOUS book. I've already spent many hours reading it. Curry's "voice" in the introductions is priceless.
BUY IT!!!
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Postby Eric Rose » 11/24/01 03:39 AM

The New Generation magicians may not know Curry's name, but I watched Jules Lenier fry a couple of them last month with his variation of a Curry trick. There's something to be appreciated in magic that fools without fifteen-fingered sleights. Maybe - just maybe - some kid out there will pick up this book and be converted from a prop juggler into a magician.
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Postby Guest » 11/24/01 11:07 AM

I second Eric Rose's comments but am also reminded of the introductory chapter "Hard Easy Tricks and Easy Hard Tricks" in Henry Hay's "Amateur Magician's Handbook." Hay made the point that the presentational maturity gained through mastery of at least some sleight-of-hand helps the performer present self-working tricks as magical entertainment rather than puzzles. Some of Curry's most powerfully simple tricks require some theater skill to achieve the proper balance between devastation and wonderment.
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Postby Eric Rose » 11/24/01 03:30 PM

I'm absolutely in agreement with you, Mr. Bonhiem. Too often we search for an audience so that we can do the magic WE want to do, regardless of what the spectator wants. Part of the presentational maturity you mention is learning what the spectators think is amazing, even when its not as technically challenging as we know we can handle. The Curry book is full of this type of material - but it can fall prey to poor handling just like the toughest routines. For anyone that is just joining this thread, let me reiterate Richard Kaufman's advice - BUY THIS BOOK!
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Postby Areeb Malik » 12/03/01 12:30 PM

I really like this book. Truly inspirational material which is a pleasure to read and practice. Not quite ready to show my "Two Card Trick" to anyone yet. I hope this book is doing well. Then there would be more like them.
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