Once opened, I read from the first to the last page before I closed this book again. Wow, these pages contain an overwhelming amount of practical knowledge, wisdom and clever tricks. I think this is a great book, and it is my pleasure to write a review.
Jeff Mcbride, named as one the most influential magicians of our time, collected in this book the columns he wrote for Magic Magazine over the course of four years. In these 48 (revised) columns McBride answers questions of readers ranging from making your magic more fun, sweaty hands, building an in house theater, to tips on stage illusions. McBride shares his knowledge and experience in short columns of about 2 pages in an easy to read style. His examples and advices are direct, witty and honest: a questioner with five years experience who wants to build a full evening show is advised to follow his dream, and to be realistic: Great magicians are created one trick at a time (a quote by Eugene Burger).
Being an experienced Masterclass Student I recognize a lot of the tips I read, and again am impressed with the practical clearness of the teachings. Indeed, McBride proves there is little as practical as practical theory! But McBride is not only smart, he is wise too, having a deep love for magic and a deep love to helping people becoming better in every way. His advice is never to dream less, but always to dream more, and to dream with your eyes wide open. And in sharing his own experiences, successful and unsuccessful, he inspires to stay focused in getting the best out of yourself, as a magician and as a human!
Next to the revised columns from Magic Magazine you find some interviews by editor Lawrence Hass to go into a subject a little deeper and several extensively described magic effects. The tricks range from a close-up routine with coins, to mind reading the participants first kiss to a low budget illusion to make yourself vanish on stage. Often you find references to books, YouTube videos and articles on McBrides own online learning ground www.magicalwisdom.com
The hardcover book is very well produced, with high quality paper and witty drawings at the beginning of each chapter by Craig Conley and most illustrations with the tricks are by the late master illustrator Earle oakes. If you want to go digital, theres an IPad version of the book as well available.
In short, this is one of the most practical books available to improving your magic, learn some of the most powerful tricks of the trade and learn some new strong magic tricks. This book is highly recommended.
About the reviewer Arjan van Vembde
I am a part time professional magician from Amsterdam, The Netherlands. I worked weekly over six years in a restaurant as magician of the house and won several prices at competitions. I am serious about creating an experience of wonder for my audience and have a fond interest in theory and philosophy of magic. In daily life I work as a consultant on organisational development.