Harry Lorayne Magic Books...Two "thumbtips" UP or DOWN?

All beginners in magic should address their questions here.

Postby Mike Tyler » 04/10/06 07:37 PM

Question: Does anyone know if Harry Lorayne's The Magic Book: The Complete Beginner's Guide to Anytime, Anywhere, Sleight-of-Hand Magic AND The Magic Book also by Harry Lorayne are the SAME book? If so, what do you think of the book(s).

I'm also interested in your opinion of Close-Up Card Magic
and Best Of Friends both by HL.

Thanks for your input.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 04/10/06 07:41 PM

Yes, they're both the same book. It's one of the best magic books ever written. Even though it's targeted for the beginner, the material is all top notch. Close-Up Card Magic and Best of Friends are also very good, though a lot of material has been published since Close-Up Card Magic and some of the effects are dated in comparison to new material. You really won't go wrong in purchasing any of them.
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Postby Bob Farmer » 04/11/06 10:10 AM

I agree, it's a great book. The U.K. edition of The Magic Book is much nicer than the U.S. edition.
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Postby Mike Tyler » 04/11/06 10:58 AM

Thanks for answering my questions about the Harry Lorayne books. I was worried because I ordered your Apocalypse and loved the first year of it but I found that Harry usually ended up promoting his books or methods, especially in the years that followed. In an issue back then you had said that The Magic Book was very good. I imagine that some of the his self-promotion isn't as obvious when months passed between issues years ago but having them in one big book, it sometimes gets a little overwhelming. I wasn't sure if his hype was a not-so-subtle attempt at selling books or an accurate attempt at helping idiots like me understand and perform magic. I'm sure alittle of both. However, his explainations are easy to understand and thought I'd look into a few of them. I appreciate you and your staff's time with the magazine and this site. It's a wealth of knowledge to someone like me who has been away from magic for a while.

Bob, Thanks for your help as well. What's different about the UK version? Is that the one that carries the "A Beginner's Guide...." in the title?
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Postby Harry Lorayne » 04/11/06 11:22 AM

Interestng. For years, whenever I mentioned a sleight of my own, like I'd write, "Check out my Status Quo Shuffle." I'd get irate readers chastising me for not MENTIONING THE BOOK IN WHICH THAT SLEIGHT APPEARED!! Yells and screams about wasting time searching for the sleight,and so on. So, I realized that they were right. You know why, because I got pretty annoyed when a writer mentioned a sleight or subtlety and didn't tell me where the hell to find it.
So, I started to say which of my books you'd find the mentioned sleight. And, then, started the "backstabbers." "Oh, he just plugs his books; just wants to sell his books," and so on.
So, the cliches are right - You can't please all the people all the time, and No good deed goes unpunished.
Fortunately the backstabbers are in the tiny minority, so I will continue to mention the name of the book that contains a sleight I mention whenever I feel it's apropos. I'm in the throes of writing BEST OF FRIENDS, VOL. III right now, and the same problem rears its head. Even more so, because - it is now 21 years after Volume 2!! I've written a number of books in the interim, including twenty years of APOCALYPSE. So, there are more sleights and effects mentioned, more references to be noted.
And I wrote only ONE "The Magic Book." The line in parentheses (The Beginner's Guide, etc.) should be on the dustjacket of each and every printing. If it isn't, it's the publisher's fault. But no matter what, IT'S THE SAME DAMN BOOK.
Oh, and the effects/routines in the Close-Up Card Magic section of LORAYNE: THE CLASSIC COLLECTION (hah, good opportunity for a darn plug!) may be "outdated" but I fool all and sundry, including magicians with most of them, and many tell me that much of those items are in their basic repertoires. So... Regards to all. HARRY LORAYNE.
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Postby Mike Tyler » 04/11/06 12:43 PM

Harry,
Didn't mean to fire you up or offend you. Your explainations are some of the easiest to follow and for a novice like me they are greatly appreciated. I used to get frustrated (and still do) when a writer doesn't take into account that the reader might not know what an Elmsley Count is or a Gemini Count is etc. That's why I like the "where the sleights are explained within a routine" section of the Apocalypse books. (I own all 4 btw) Please don't tell me there is a 5th one... I'm going broke as it is!) Again, sorry if I misinterpreted the multiple mentions of you books in Apocalypse volumes. Harry, question for you: Which of your magic books is your favorite?
Thanks!
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Postby Guest » 04/11/06 01:00 PM

I have to agree with Harry here....
In Close Up Card Magic he does specifically recommend reading one of his memory books...albeit tongue-in-cheek.

But, as far as I recall, everywhere else, he simply references his other books for sleights.

Now, for me, the reality was, that reference galvanised me to buy that book.... but that wasnt because it was a sales pitch - it was because i'd enjoyed whatever I was reading so much I wanted to explore more...isnt that the way things should be???
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Postby Bob Farmer » 04/11/06 01:10 PM

The U.K. edition has a better binding, better paper and looks classier, but the content is the same.

I love all of Harry's books.

(Harry: Yes, I'm sending those tricks along!)
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Postby Guest » 04/11/06 01:46 PM

I cut my second set of teeth on Close-up Card Magic, which I initially bought on the strength of Renee's photo on the back jacket. What I loved was Harry's enthusiasm and his here-I-am-in-your-living-room-taking-you-step-by-step exposition-style.

Harry of course will be a street scrapper, pell-mell pitchman, and promoter until the day he dies...and in the Afterlife he will no doubt be spreading Afterthoughts. This is part of the charm and the harm. Nevertheless, I heartily agree with everyone (including Harry) re THE MAGIC BOOK and most of his other books. Strip them down to the essentials and the essenses and you have the strongest TACIT argument to buy, sell, trade, and READ them.

I love them.
As for Harry, I (conditionally) love him, as well...even though I occasionally want to unplug his bullhorn while throwing rose petals his way...

Onward...
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Postby Harry Lorayne » 04/11/06 02:36 PM

Magicteacher: No problem. You gave me the opportunity to "purge." To answer your question as to which is my favorite of my own books - always the last one! (Actually REPUTATION-MAKERS and QUANTUM LEAPS contain my favorite tricks/routines. Not a plug, because they are out of print.)
DomT, Bob Farmer, Jon R: Thanks for the nice words. I wasn't angling for them, but they're always nice to hear - or read. Ego stroking always "beats" backstabbing! HARRY LORAYNE.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 04/11/06 04:28 PM

When Harry's The Magic Book came out, there was some grumbling in the magic community because he taught some really good material in it: Han Ping Chien, the Paul Curry trick with the shoelaces, and lots more.
I've written this before and will do it again here: I strongly believe that writing magic books for the public is not only a good thing, it's an important and vital thing--it makes little magicians.
Harry's book is still an under-appreciated classic and, in my opinion, makes mincemeat out of something like Henry Hay's book. Harry really distilled the best material and explains it all very clearly. If someone asks me for a basic book for a kid 10 and up, I recommend The Magic Book and Bruce Elliott's Classic Secrets of Magic.
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Postby Matthew Field » 04/12/06 02:57 AM

I fool magicians at The Magic Circle and elsewhere ALL THE TIME with material out of Close-up Card Magic. Thanks, Harry.

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Postby Fred Zimmerman » 04/13/06 02:29 PM

Just thought I'd hop in...

I, too, began my card life on Harry's books. I still use the "Lorayne Poker Deal" to GREAT effect, and I also use the subtlties I learned from his material for the impromptu Out of This World.

And lastly, I'll never be able to sell my My Reputation Makers because a) I don't want to, and b) it's incredibly dog-eared and weathered from years of use.

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