The Royal Road, all it's cracked up to be?

All beginners in magic should address their questions here.

Postby Guest » 01/15/02 07:25 PM

Can someone recommend a better magic book for beginning cards than the Royal Road? If I have to read one more time about my third filangee...

Someone recently suggested Lorrayne's books to me, but I haven't purchased them yet.

Thanks,
Miranda
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 01/15/02 08:03 PM

While I am more of a “book” guy, it really sounds to me like you could use Richard Kaufman's “Basic, Basic, Basic Card Technique” video.

Royal Road is always my first book recommendation. Close-up Card Magic by Harry Lorayne is second, though his “for the general public” book titled The Magic Book has some good beginning stuff in it.

The Card College series by Roberto Giobbi is superb. You could start with volume one and work up to all four.

Good luck!
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Postby Brad A._dup1 » 01/15/02 11:16 PM

I, too, recommend Lorayne's "Magic Book." It's a great reference, and a perfect tool to learn. (Note, our own Richard Kaufman illustrated it.)

When I was beginning to learn card magic I picked up a copy of "Stars of Magic." There's some nice material in there that requires relative skill. Skill, however, that can be learned easily.

I have Royal Road. It's sitting in a box somewhere. I mainly liked the cover! The material inside was a nice resource though.

Lorayne, though, his books are well written and explain things nicely for a learning cardman.

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Postby Guest » 01/16/02 05:16 AM

My recommendations -

1. Royal Road To Card Magic - Personally I think Royal Road to Card Magic is the perfect source for a beginner in card magic. It is a complete course and it gives the performer a solid foundation in card magic. I believe there are enough effects in this book alone for someone to perform card magic professionally and since it has been released in paperback, it has a price tag of just over $10. I also have a personal fondness for this book because it was my first real book on card magic. I still use several effects from it.

2. Card College - Vols. 1-4 - This is a contemporary course (over the 4 volumes) of Card Magic and I think they are the finest books that have come out in the last decade. The explanations are great, the drawings are clear and there are many effects that Roberto Giobbi includes that are very strong. The only drawback is that the complete series will run you about $125 dollars which is a problem if you are on a tight budget, although I think they are worth every penny. You may want to make sure that your enthusiasm for cards will warrant the money spent for the series.

3. Close Up Card Magic - A good friend of mine (and professional magician) has told me more than once that this book has more commercial card magic than any other book out and I would have to say he is right. This is the stuff Harry used when he was performing magic for lay audiences. There are so many top notch routines in this book that each time you reread the book, you may find something you overlooked.

4. Dai Vernon Inner Secrets Trilogy - The effects range from easy to difficult but they are all powerful and audience tested routines.

5. Self Working Card Tricks Series - Karl Fulves released 3 books (I believe) that contain self working tricks. Even if you have mastered sleight of hand, there are some dynamite routines to throw in to your repertoire from these series.

I highly recommend all of the books listed above. If you only want one for a solid foundation, Royal Road would be my recommendation.
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Postby Matthew Field » 01/16/02 10:14 AM

Originally posted by Miranda:
If I have to read one more time about my third filangee...


Hi, Miranda. The advice from some of the folks who have answered here on the Forum is excellent. You'll notice that "Royal Road" is one of their top choices, as it would be from me, as well.

The "third falange" jargon is something you really should get used to -- it's used by Giobbi in the "Card College" series as well. Card technique requires accurate, technical writing, and the use of exacting words can sometimes be off-putting. So much so, in fact, that often, when non-magic people see my large book collection and ask if they can peek inside a "secret magic book," I just allow them to. They are as impenetrable as a manual on brain surgery would be to most people.

The alternative, one I hate, is the use of "pointer finger" and the like to describe handlings.

Also recommended, by the way, is "Expert Card Technique" by Hugard and Braue, the follow-up (so to speak) to "Royal Road."

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Postby Guest » 01/16/02 11:09 AM

I remember borrowing "Royal Road" from my local library many years gao when I was in my early teens and found it extremely difficult to grasp some of the contents in terms of writing style. It was only a few years later that I realised what a seminal work it really was and I wished I had realised that sooner.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough.

Gavin
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Postby Bill Mullins » 01/16/02 05:05 PM

Originally posted by Matthew Field:
Card technique requires accurate, technical writing, and the use of exacting words can sometimes be off-putting


Hear, Hear. I'm an engineer, and much of my professional writing is technical. It is very difficult to write accurately when the specifics are so important (as in describing sleight-of-hand magic). So Giobbi (and other good magic writers like Kaufman, Minch, Maven/Goldstein, Racherbaumer, and even Matt Field) should be commended for taking the trouble to get it write. Even if reading the language _seems_ dense, rest assured that learning magic would be much more difficult if casual, sloppy, vernacular writing was being used to convey the description.

It is very frustrating to try and figure out what the heck is going on when the writing is imprecise.

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Postby Richard Kaufman » 01/16/02 09:54 PM

I find it interesting to note that the one book which has outsold all others for beginners has NOT been recommended: "Now You See It, Now You Don't" by Bill Tarr and Barry Ross.
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 01/17/02 01:09 AM

I don't own the Tarr book, so I didn't think of it. I recall (from my callow youth) that when I skimmed through a friend's edition of Now You See It, Now You Don't I smugly felt that I was “above” such a “simple” book, and didn't consider purchasing it. Hah! A lot I knew. Now I recall how easily understood and well illustrated the book is, and I have no doubt that it's an excellent beginner's book on not just cards, but most basic sleight of hand.

Another good book I didn't think of is The Amateur Magician's Handbook by Henry Hay, which was the first book I had that taught a lot of sleight of hand.

This conversation is making the memories flood back as I type – so forgive me as I reminisce, but I'm thinking of my very first book on magic: Magician's Magic by Paul Curry (bought for me by my Mom at a library sale; I still have it). Imagine a ten year old running around doing “Out of This World” followed up by the 21-Card trick?! Talk about your polar opposites of card magic! Like I said, a lot I knew.

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Postby Guest » 01/17/02 07:08 AM

The Card College series is really the way to go. Every important sleight is covered as well as some fine effects to get you practicing. The diagrams are perfect and the "Check Points" section at the end of each lesson bring out all the subtle points and details of the sleight taught.

There are large sections on some of the real work in magic; psychology, misdirection, timing, showmanship. This is all written in a modern, clear, easily applicable style.
Don't waste $20 here, $30 there, it adds up quickly and before you know it, you could have owned the entire Card College series for far less.
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Postby Terry » 01/17/02 12:28 PM

Hear, Hear. I'm an engineer, and much of my professional writing is technical. So Giobbi (and other good magic writers like Kaufman, Minch, Maven/Goldstein, Racherbaumer, and even Matt Field) should be commended for taking the trouble to get it write.


You mean right don't you?
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Postby Guest » 01/17/02 07:03 PM

Hi Miranda,

Learning card magic is very easy for some, and very difficult for others. I believe this has to do with a persons general thinking of what magic is, and specifically what that person thinks magic with cards should look like. Since there are many different kinds of thinkers in the world and magicians in magicdom, you're going to have as many different answers to your question.

For example: I'm a very visual person and find that Bill Tarr's "Now you see it, now you don't" works great for me. Even though Richard Kaufman IS the expert illustrator in "capturing a move" in an illustration, (just look at Ammar's "The Topit Book"), the illustrator for the "Now you see it", Barry Ross, really makes the illustrations and implied movement flow nice. On the other hand if you're a less visual person, any of the other books mentioned above may suit you.

I recommend going over to a friend's house who has a great magic library and peruse their collection. Anything that sticks out as impressive to you- purchase it. Also, stick with that one book, at least a year 'til you totally hone 3 or 5 tricks. Those will be 3 or 5 tricks you will have for the rest of your life and you may even end up doing them better than anyone else in the world. Just don't quit- stay at it. It can be very rewarding.

Good Luck!
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Postby Robert Kane » 01/21/02 08:26 PM

Thanks to Miranda for starting this great topic which sent me scurrying to my book shelf to get my copies of Royal Road, Card College Vol. 1 and Close Up Card Magic.

It was wonderful to be reminded to read these great books. I ended up spending the good part of a Sunday afternoon reading, re-reading and practicing Braue & Hugard's instruction on the Top Palm of a Single Card. As a positive result of my study, I found one flaw in my palm handling (incorrect movement of my left thumb) and I also got a neat tip on misdirection after the palming action. In addition, I am practicing Braue & Hugard's "Gathering of the Clan" effect, which appears to be a very entertaining ace routine

These classic books are truly superb. Guess that is why they are Classics. I remember Roger Klause once saying that Royal Road was one of Larry Jennings favorite books on card magic. As I recall, Roger Klause said that Larry Jennings felt that Royal Road contained some of the finest work on card magic available and that, unfortunately, most of the magic community had forgotten how powerful the material was and still is.

I too have had a hard time with Royal Road, but please keep trying to go at it because your hard work will bring you joy and many happy returns. It really is worth the effort.

As suggested previously Giobbi's Card College is fantastic too and really helped me learn the basics of card magic (which I continue to learn about and enjoy).

Thanks again for the inspiration. :)

[ January 21, 2002: Message edited by: Robert Kane ]
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Postby Pete Biro » 01/22/02 09:39 PM

Erdnase. :cool:
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Postby Guest » 02/04/02 07:16 PM

After reading and collecting numerous books on cards I find one that really fascinates me using sublety more than sleights an that book is "The card magic of Nick Trost", check it out and see if you agree, I also like the Jerry Mentzer card series..[*]
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Postby Guest » 02/06/02 01:39 PM

Just to keep it as simple as possible, I would recommend Bill Tarr's "Now You See It, Now You Don't." It's got a lot more than card stuff in it, but the drawings and simple, direct explanations are really helpful when you are first starting. I had the Royal Road first, but found it easier after learning the basic, basics in Bill Tarr's book. Card Craft by JK Hartman is also good and just about anything in the Tarbell books - start with number 1, of course.
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Postby Guest » 02/06/02 01:43 PM

Mark Phillips just told me to mention Card College, too. He thinks it has a lot of good commercial magic in it. I hate to admit this, but he's probably right. :rolleyes:
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Postby Guest » 02/06/02 01:44 PM

Mark Phillips just told me to mention Card College, too. He thinks it has a lot of good commercial magic in it. I hate to admit this, but he's probably right. :rolleyes:
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Postby Guest » 02/23/02 05:36 AM

The Royal Road started me off after discovering it whilst rummaging through my fathers boes and bits & pieces(1971).I got very good results until I sat next to Ricky Jay in the Magic Circle one evening,and as a youngster didnt realise that with a better understanding of the material and dlligent practise the material in that book could have looked just as clean.Oh for an old head on young shoulders.
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Postby Guest » 03/27/02 11:30 AM

One of the Dover reprints: Annemanns "Card Magic" :p
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Postby Charlie Chang » 04/01/02 02:54 AM

..
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Postby Charlie Chang » 04/01/02 11:38 AM

Miranda,
Theres some good advice in the replies to your post but I feel most of them miss the real point (which Matt Field touched upon).

Royal Road is an excellent beginning for anyone in Card Magic. It teaches a new move in every chapter, several effects that use that move and a self working trick that will allow you to concentrate on your presentation whenever you perform.

Royal Road also teaches you only one method for each sleight. Later you'll discover hundreds of ways to make The Pass or palm a card.

I happen to believe that Royal Road is a book that should be re-read every five or ten years by anyone serious about magic. The effects in that book constitute a gold mine of material. Let me repeat that - a GOLD MINE of material.

I regularly perform an effect from Royal Road that fools EVERY magician I have shown it to. There are simple revelations that drive lay audiences nuts - but are ignored by most students. Michael Skinner often performed material from this book and Juan Tamariz recently described to me an effect he considered to be one of the best in card magic - it's in Royal Road.

You already have everything you need to get you started (and you chose very wisely when you bought this book). Keep going but remember to take it one chapter at a time and PERFORM something from each chapter.

I promise you will find at least one effect (I actually found several) that you will perform for the rest of your life.

Put simply: you already have the best foundations
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Postby Bill Mullins » 04/01/02 03:02 PM

Boy, wouldn't it be fine if a _good_ card magician, who appreciates the quality of the material in Royal Road, would do a series of tapes featuring the material in it.

Maybe a good Scots magician.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 04/01/02 11:20 PM

hahahahahahahahah
SSSSSHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!
Something is coming ... from Scotland ... and it aint't the Loch Ness monster.
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Postby John Pezzullo » 04/02/02 04:31 AM

Working title:

"Bravecarte" (?!?)
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Postby Guest » 04/02/02 03:31 PM

"I know you can do card tricks, but it's our wits that make us magicians."

-- Uncle Walcolm to Nephew William
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Postby David Acer » 04/03/02 09:12 PM

Very few people know this, but if you apply the Bible Code to Royal Road to Card Magic, you get the complete text of Brainstorm in the Bahamas.
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Postby Guest » 04/03/02 09:23 PM

Noooo Waaay... No-Way!!!
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 04/04/02 12:22 AM

Originally posted by David Acer:
Very few people know this, but if you apply the Bible Code to Royal Road to Card Magic, you get the complete text of Brainstorm in the Bahamas.
After it worked for me, I applied the same code to Erdnase and came up with the text for Professional Close-up Volume One by Carl Dreher.

Now that's spooky.

I'm thinking of trying Greater Magic next. Who knows what might turn up.

Be afraid; be very afraid.
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Postby John Pezzullo » 04/04/02 02:56 AM

Even fewer people know this:

'David' Acer is an anagram of 'Dead Vicar'!
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Postby Charlie Chang » 04/04/02 03:17 AM

I just applied the Bible Code to "Natural Selections" Volumes One and Two with interesting results.

Volume one translated into a complete copy of the communist party's manifesto for 1979, complete with an extra appendix and an errata sheet.

Strangely, Volume Two translated as a recipe for steamed chicken won-tons. They were delicious.
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Postby David Acer » 04/04/02 12:34 PM

Thats odd, because if you apply the Bible Code to Frank Garcias recipe for steamed chicken won tons in Super Subtle Card Miracles, you get a four ace production.
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Postby Guest » 04/04/02 12:58 PM

That wasn't Frank Garcia's recipe. It was originally Betty Crocker. Frank changed one ingredient and put his name on it.
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Postby John Pezzullo » 04/05/02 08:25 PM

That wasn't Frank Garcia's recipe. It was originally Betty Crocker. Frank changed one ingredient and put his name on it.
We need to be more accurate in our crediting.

Betty Crocker's recipe was published almost two years after Ed Marlo published his recipe in "The Unexpected Cook Book" (1972).
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 04/06/02 01:37 AM

I hate to disappoint the Marlophiles out there, but you're wrong. A set of unpublished notes proves that Dai Vernon and Charlie Miller spent several weeks watching Max Malini cook “small pieces of chicken in a thin dough” until they were able to reconstruct the recipe themselves. These notes date from the early 1930s. Persi Diaconis has the original and it's believed that Steve Freeman has the only other known copy (though Busby had a set on eBay until the auction was ended abruptly). It's clear from these notes that they were onto Malini's recipe for steamed chicken won tons, but they just didn't have a name for it. There are also some that feel the recipe was actually Leipzig's, as it's documented that his widow always claimed that; “They were all trying to get my Nate's recipes!”
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Postby Guest » 04/06/02 07:09 AM

Newsflash:

The horse has officially died. Cause of death - blunt force trauma.
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Postby Bill Mullins » 04/06/02 01:42 PM

Party Pooper.
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Postby John Pezzullo » 04/06/02 04:26 PM

The horse has officially died.
But like Lazarus, the horse may rise again one day.
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