If you could only perform from one book for the rest of your life

Discuss your favorite close-up tricks and methods.
Jonathan Arturo
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If you could only perform from one book for the rest of your life

Postby Jonathan Arturo » October 26th, 2009, 8:04 pm

I am trying to start a bit of fun with this post. I am hoping it does not turn philosophical.

If you could only perform magic from one book, what book would you choose?

For me I would have to say Stars of Magic!

I know this is a stranded on a desert island question, but I am curiuos what others would say.

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NCMarsh
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Re: If you could only perform from one book for the rest of your life

Postby NCMarsh » October 26th, 2009, 8:05 pm

Roy Benson by Starlight

Mark.Lewis
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Re: If you could only perform from one book for the rest of your life

Postby Mark.Lewis » October 26th, 2009, 8:13 pm

The Benson book is indeed a wonderful book. I am reading it quite thoroughly at the moment as a matter of fact. He confirmed a point I have asserted for years that it doesn't matter how beautiful your Chinese Ring routine is if the rings aren't examined it doesn't mean a thing. However that is another argument for another time.

The book also explained something that has puzzled me for years. Blackstone Junior once wrote a book for beginners and emphasised that your best trick should be second last rather than the usual assumption that it should be the closing trick. The trouble was that bloody Blackstone didn't explain why he said that and it drove me nuts. I kept asking people if they knew why and I think I even asked it on the Genii forum but nobody came up with a satisfactory answer.

In the Benson book the whole theory is explained in detail and I am no longer in the dark.

It really is a wonderful book.

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Re: If you could only perform from one book for the rest of your life

Postby Richard Kaufman » October 26th, 2009, 9:46 pm

I'll pick Bruce Elliott's "Classic Secrets of Magic" because of the wide variety of material, both close-up and standup/stage. I would pick that as my desert island book as well, along with Greater Magic.
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Re: If you could only perform from one book for the rest of your life

Postby mai-ling » October 26th, 2009, 10:09 pm

The upcoming Jay Marshall book of course.

(because i'm suppose to be mentioned in it... not the credits part)

he hee!
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Mark.Lewis
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Re: If you could only perform from one book for the rest of your life

Postby Mark.Lewis » October 26th, 2009, 10:15 pm

Classic Secrets of Magic is also a fantastic book even though I have always thought it was badly written. I do rather a lot of the material in it. For example the Dr Sacks dice routine which everybody is belatedly making a fuss about nowadays I have been doing for nearly 50 years. I learned it when I was sitting on the toilet and reading the book at the same time with the dice in one hand but perhaps I shouldn't unsettle people with that particular vision.

I also do an out with the svengali deck which I learned in that book. And I learned the billiard ball trick from there as well. It is a great book. I lost it years ago and found it again on sale for 10 cents somewhere or other. One hell of a bargain and I haven't lost it again.
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Re: If you could only perform from one book for the rest of your life

Postby Steve Cohen » October 26th, 2009, 10:43 pm

The entire book Classic Secrets of Magic is available to read online for free at Google books:
http://books.google.com/books?id=g0eCU- ... tt&f=false

I like Wally Dean's Miser's Dream routine in this book.

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: If you could only perform from one book for the rest of your life

Postby Richard Kaufman » October 26th, 2009, 11:24 pm

It's not the entire book, thank goodness.--I think Google is trying to bankrupt every publisher and author they can find.
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Re: If you could only perform from one book for the rest of your life

Postby John Bowden » October 26th, 2009, 11:24 pm

Scripting Magic by Pete McCabe ........and 26 other guys.

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Re: If you could only perform from one book for the rest of your life

Postby Mark.Lewis » October 27th, 2009, 12:02 am

Oddly enough I have myself lately been working on the Wally Dean routine. However I have added a lot extra to it which may perhaps be brilliant but on the other hand may not. I will not know until I try it out on normal human beings. I shall keep it under wraps until I know one way or the other. If it works well I shall brag incessantly about my genius and if it doesn't work I will never mention it again.

If it does work I will not keep it a secret. I am at an age now where I feel I have to let people know how clever I am before I finally drop dead.

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Re: If you could only perform from one book for the rest of your life

Postby Marco Pusterla » October 27th, 2009, 9:32 am

The Fine Art of Magic by George Kaplan.
Marco Pusterla - http://www.mpmagic.com

Ye Olde Magic Mag: magic history and collecting magazine.

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Re: If you could only perform from one book for the rest of your life

Postby Jonathan Townsend » October 27th, 2009, 10:11 am

Probably stick with my grimiore - and still working on it. :)
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

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Re: If you could only perform from one book for the rest of your life

Postby mrgoat » October 27th, 2009, 10:35 am

Royal Road.

Pete McCabe
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Re: If you could only perform from one book for the rest of your life

Postby Pete McCabe » October 27th, 2009, 1:03 pm

As much as I respect John Bowden's opinion, I might go with Carneycopia. All top notch material with a good variety of props and effects. Alternately any of David Regal's books for the same reason.

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NCMarsh
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Re: If you could only perform from one book for the rest of your life

Postby NCMarsh » October 27th, 2009, 1:29 pm

Marvels of Mystery John Booth

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Re: If you could only perform from one book for the rest of your life

Postby DrDanny » October 27th, 2009, 1:36 pm

Is the Collected Almanac ineligible as a book?
Or how about the collected Jinx? I know you could assemble multiple outstanding acts from either of those.

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: If you could only perform from one book for the rest of your life

Postby Richard Kaufman » October 27th, 2009, 1:52 pm

They would be ineligible as separate issues of a magazines, but certainly seem eligible in book form.
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Re: If you could only perform from one book for the rest of your life

Postby Pete McCabe » October 27th, 2009, 1:59 pm

How about the Ross Bertram issue of Genii a couple of years back. More great magic in that than in most books.

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Steve Bryant
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Re: If you could only perform from one book for the rest of your life

Postby Steve Bryant » October 27th, 2009, 2:22 pm

I'd have to concur with Classic Secrets of Magic as a "final answer," but, if Genii issues can be suggested, I suggest the Michael Skinner issue, which I keep handy at my desk. Some of the best Skinner material ever to see print.

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Re: If you could only perform from one book for the rest of your life

Postby Jonathan Townsend » October 27th, 2009, 2:27 pm

Jonathan Arturo wrote:...If you could only perform magic from one book, what book would you choose?...


oh - perform - hmmm... Promethea? no - already had fun with one Apocalypse. Sandman or Books of Magic. Tough choice between a yoyo and a realm. Sandman would be my book then. Final Choice here.

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Re: If you could only perform from one book for the rest of your life

Postby Necromancer » October 27th, 2009, 3:09 pm

For me, it's a toss-up between Mind, Myth & Magick by Waters and Annemann by Abrams.
Neil Tobin, Necromancer

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Donal Chayce
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Re: If you could only perform from one book for the rest of your life

Postby Donal Chayce » October 27th, 2009, 3:11 pm

Another vote for Classic Secrets of Magic.
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Mark.Lewis
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Re: If you could only perform from one book for the rest of your life

Postby Mark.Lewis » October 27th, 2009, 3:29 pm

I think if I were to go to a desert island Classic Secrets of Magic wouldn't be thick enough. It would have to be a big book like the Roy Benson book or Greater Magic.

As for the Ross Bertam book I think the book is so filled with technical difficult that only David Ben and Ross Bertam could actually do it. And David told me that Bertam's famous trick where the coin penetrates the glass Bertram never did anyway. I can't do a single trick in the Bertam book but just lately I find the first trick quite practical and reasonably easy.

I once met Ross Bertam's wife in a flea market who grumbled that her late husband wasn't famous enough and she was going to contact the newspapers to put the matter right. I don't think she ever did and if she did I expect the newspaper didn't care enough anyway.

I never spoke to Ross but he was privileged to be in my presence once. He stood with Bruce Posgate at the back of a magic shop. The shop had a card table where all the local hotshots would bore me to death with awful card tricks full of technical tommyrot which I have never approved of. I think it is foolish to be technically skilled beyond necessity but that is another conversation for another time.

Gary Kurtz was doing wonderful sleight of hand and as he did in those days smirk with great superiority every time he did a difficult move. I think he wanted applause for the move rather than for the trick but I mustn't go off at a tangent.

I then overheard Ross Bertam say with a sigh to Bruce Posgate, "I can't keep up with these young guys with all these new sleights and tricks" Bruce said "No, how can you? It is just too much"

I then thought to myself "If the legendary and skilled Ross Bertam can't keep up how the hell is anyone else supposed to?"

No thank you. I will stick to beginner's books. I well remember the said Gary Kurtz sneering at a Walter Gibson book for beginners in my hand. I believe I have had the last laugh. The best tricks are in the beginner's books. I am now away to read "The boy's book of magic"

And I am not kidding either.


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