Harry Lorayne's new book

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Postby David Prouty » 10/18/01 02:46 PM

Has anybody seen Harry's new book "Personal Collection" yet ? Richard (and Jon), Congrads on another SUPERLATIVE issue ... I can't put it down ... (much to my wife's chagrin) ...

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Postby Richard Kaufman » 10/18/01 10:21 PM

Hi there, Lorayne's new book "Personal Collection" will not be shipped from the printer until the beginning of November. Only a few people have seen it, and I assume these include myself, Paul Cummins (doing the Genii review), and Mike Close (doing the MAGIC review). I assume some of Harry's close friends, and people who worked on the book (like the illustrator and Andrew Pinard, who did the layout) have also seen it.
The material is typical of the type of card magic Lorayne likes, and is better than any other book he's done of his own material in over 20 years.
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Postby Guest » 10/19/01 05:45 PM

So Richard, what you are essentially saying is that this new book is better than TREND SETTERS.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 10/19/01 08:56 PM

The toilet paper hanging off the roll in my bathroom is better than Trendsetters!
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Postby El Mystico » 11/11/01 03:49 AM

My copy arrived Friday - I'd say it's his best book for years...is it worth the price? Not sure yet - but already come across several ideas I will use...
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 11/25/01 04:08 PM

I just got the new issue of MAGIC, and Mike Close certainly does burn Harry Lorayne's tail in his review of "Personal Collection." I think Close eventually states that he found only 16 decent tricks in the book. Yikes!
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Postby David Prouty » 11/25/01 05:41 PM

I have not yet received the most recent MAGIC issue, but I'm not at all suprised that Mike Close panned Harry's new book. From the last 3 lectures of Michael Close that I have attended (over a span of ~7 years), he has always expressed a certain disdain towards Harry Lorayne. My take is that Close is fed up with Harry's ego and lack of crediting moves and effects. :rolleyes:
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Postby Jon Racherbaumer » 11/25/01 07:15 PM

There doesn't seem to be a shortage of over-bearing, over-inflated egos (in magicdom) to go around... As far as Harry Lorayne's ego is concerned, many observers thought that Harry addressed the subject (of his own ego)nicely in the GENII article.

Re my own dubious perspective: I saved and underscored an on-target remark by William Gaddis, a very highly regarded writer (at least in academic circles):

"Writing a novel, especially a long novel, is an immense act of ego. You're not only asking people to pursue your vision, you're also asking them to pay to do so--and to applaud."

Substitute "magic book" for "novel" and the platitude neatly applies in many current cases.

It's also fair to suggest that writing CRITICISM or BOOK REVIEWS requires a certain amount of supreme confidence...and "ego."

I wonder how many magicians would enjoy seeing Lorayne and Close compete head-to-head in front of lay people? I've seen Harry "chew up" the competition on many occasions...and I've also seen many supposed "magic stars" lose major close-up competitions to teenagers...

I applaud and appreciate that guys such as Lorayne and Close put their egos, mouths, and minds "on the line." I don't always agree with them, but I carefully read what they write. When the dust settles, everybody who cares about such "stakes," will have an opinion. Unfortunately, ALL of the votes are seldom tallied. Over time, the only thing that matters is whether or not a magician's work endures longer than two generations past their lifetime. The rest, alas, is "sound and fury."

Onward...
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Postby Guest » 12/14/01 08:42 AM

Jon,
I always enjoy reading your post. You always force us to pause and reflect on the value of the debate, and many times you enable us to refocus our energy on worthy and productive discussion rather than the empty pursuit of self-absorption and personal attacks on our fellow magicians.
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Postby Jon Racherbaumer » 12/14/01 10:18 AM

Thanks, David.

Whenever the "enormous room" in magicdom starts to get "windy" with blustery discourse, I usually step back and look for aspects lying in plain view.

Let me provide an example. During the heated discussions regarding the David Blaine Phenomenon, I realized that nobody noticed a couple of things about his television show.
(1) DB, although obviously a person with show-business aspirations with a steadfast eye on success, is different from the viewer's perception of him as the CHARACTER he plays in his own docu-drama.

(2) What lay people see is a street-guy performing extraordinary feats with ordinary things in a commonplace setting. More important, he is doing these things FREELY. He is not charging money. In terms of his INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCES (disregarding the fact that these individual street-performances are filmed to be shown later to MILLIONS of viewers), the audience, as it suspends its disbelief, sees a free-wheeling guy giving pleasure and moments of astonishment without charging a penny. He is, or so it seems, a FREE SPIRIT providing FREE ENTERTAINMENT. THe viewers at home also see a FREE SHOW. This creates a much different impression in the minds of viewers. On the other hand, other celebrity magician charge big bucks and use all kinds of hype to promote themselves. (CHeck out Vegas.)

Granted: Blaine is now surrounded by hype and has seriously and vigorously courted the press and other publicity generators. Granted: Blaine is also earning big bucks.

However, his TELEVISED IDENTITY is that of a relatively unpretentious, ordinary guy, freely showing people on the street some very cool feats.

This strong point has gone unnoticed and largely accounts for Blaine's initial allure...despite vociferous and calculated attacks by magicians who know the alernate reality. WE may know all the nasty, underlying facts that the public doesn't know, but we seem equally oblivious of the fact that Blaine's public doesn't care a whit about what we know or think about Blaine.

Onward...
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