Favorite Kaufman Book

Discuss your favorite books, authors, and tricks from Kaufman and Company.
Bob Farmer
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Re: Favorite Kaufman Book

Postby Bob Farmer » June 3rd, 2002, 4:53 pm

First, I don't think I could pick my favourite Kaufman book, but certainly Greater Magic, the Hamman book, the Dingle book, the Wilson book, the Jennings books --

As to "Road Hustler" -- that was my idea and Richard went along with it. I'd found the original edition and discovered the writer, Professor Robert Prus, lived about 45 miles from me. So, I called him up and told him his book had quite an underground reputation in the magic community and was very hard to come by.

He became intrigued by this connection and eventually Richard and I ended up having lunch with him and discussing a reprint. He wanted to add a small section on magic, so he talked to us about that, interviewed us and several other magicians.

He wanted to do this because he has a sort of general theory of sociology that he applies to different areas (his other books are on salesman, hookers, rounders and thieves) and wanted see if it work with magic.

Anything in the magic section is his take on what we told him. We had absolutely no idea what he would say, so if we all come off as a bunch of pompous buffoons, I guess that's how we sounded to him.

The first section is a direct reprint of the original edition.

Of course, "Road Hustler" does have the coolest cover in magic history -- by Steranko -- and should be purchased for that reason alone.

Rick Maue
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Re: Favorite Kaufman Book

Postby Rick Maue » June 3rd, 2002, 5:27 pm

Greetings,

I own tons of Kaufman books, and although "Collected Almanac", "Jennings 67" and "Complete Works of Derek Dingle" rate among my favorites, I still would have to list "A Magician Among The Spirits" as my top choice.

Since I am known as a bizarrist by some, I guess it is my duty to mention "Spirit Theater", Strange Ceremonies", "Invocation" and "Seance" as well.

In short, thanks to Richard for adding so many wonderful books to my library.

Keep the change,
Rick Maue

Ian Kendall
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Re: Favorite Kaufman Book

Postby Ian Kendall » June 4th, 2002, 6:24 am

Is it worth pointng out I read the first half of Road Hustler four times. I couldn't get into the new stuff...

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: Favorite Kaufman Book

Postby Richard Kaufman » June 4th, 2002, 5:14 pm

I would agree with Ian that the two halves of Road Hustler don't really mesh. Perhaps that's why it sold so poorly. I only printed 1000 copies and they took YEARS to sell. Of course, they're all gone now :)
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David Oliver
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Re: Favorite Kaufman Book

Postby David Oliver » June 4th, 2002, 9:18 pm

This thread has got me thinking. As with many of the posters here, I too, have had a difficult time narrowing the list down to my one favorite book.

I am always finding new gems in "Secrets of Bro John" as well as "Expert Coin Magic". Time and again, I find myself going back to the Kurtz and Bannon books to try and track down a methodology that I had forgotten. "Card Shark" and "Steel and Silver" each have their own reasons to return to them.

However, if it came down to one book... you know the scene, "if you were stranded on a desert island and could only have one with you..." For me, it would undoubtedly be "The Uncanny Scot". In fact, I WAS stranded with it once. On my first cruise gig years ago, I had been booked for a 3 month run in the Carribean, with no U.S. contact. After packing my ATA cases, my birds and luggage, I unfortunately only had enough room left for ONE magic book. Without hesitation, I packed "The Uncanny Scot". Period. (That was probably one of the BEST decisions I have ever made.)

That being said, I have to add one book to this list that no one else has mentioned (as far as I can tell). It was (and is) enjoyable to read again and again. There's a wealth of interesting and workable material in it. I am never at a loss for material or ideas when I pick it up. And it might surprise some of you. It is "Arcade Dreams" by Racherbaumer and Marlo. It's like a companion book to Martin Gardner's "Encyclopedia of Impromptu Magic." I really enjoy reading it.

Thanks, Jon & Richard! (& Ed, too!)
- DO

David Acer
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Re: Favorite Kaufman Book

Postby David Acer » June 6th, 2002, 8:23 am

I go to bed every night with a copy of The Collected Almanac under my pillow. (and Richard, if you would consider putting this out in softcover, I would appreciate it...)
Now tweeting daily from @David_Acer

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Re: Favorite Kaufman Book

Postby Guest » June 6th, 2002, 10:51 am

Since it has'nt been mentioned,
I'd like to give a thumbs up to the reprint of Howard Lyon's IBIDEM (which started with Kaufman and is now in the hands of Hermetic press.)

I've returned to IBIDEM #1 as much / or more than any other volume in my library.

It's chock full of wonderful (unique) ideas and great history. Plus, Lyon's writing style is a hoot (and the color inserts of the original covers are simply amazing.)

If you've passed it by, give it a try.

Doug Conn

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Dustin Stinett
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Re: Favorite Kaufman Book

Postby Dustin Stinett » June 6th, 2002, 1:09 pm

The IBIDEM covers are amazing – and you are also correct about the writing style of Lyons. Both volumes are outstanding. And “kudos” to Stephen Minch for maintaining the same style in which RK published the first volume. Other publishers should be so conscientious (I still wonder what L&L was thinking with Card Finesse II. At least they could have made it the same size as the first volume for goodness sake).

I love to read old periodicals. Not so much for the tricks, but for the editorial pieces. The sense of history and (in the case of “modern-past” works) nostalgia they impart is priceless to me.

Dustin

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Re: Favorite Kaufman Book

Postby Guest » June 6th, 2002, 5:57 pm

My favorite would have to be, without a doubt, The Compleat Invocation!!! If I had to get rid of my entire library save only one book, it would be the Invocation. I would not even have to think twice.

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Re: Favorite Kaufman Book

Postby Guest » June 6th, 2002, 9:28 pm

Due to a recent purchase, I've had a change of heart. "Charles Bertram: Court Conjuror" is one of the best books in magic I've read.

Richard, you stated you wish we could have seen Ron perform this stuff...Ron IS still with us, right?

Rick

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: Favorite Kaufman Book

Postby Richard Kaufman » June 6th, 2002, 9:59 pm

Yes, Ron IS still with us, however he retired from performing his close-up some years ago because his hands shake like hell from a medication he takes. His close-up act, as someone (whose name I can't remember--it might have been Bob Read or David Roth) else described it, consisted ENTIRELY of "closers," i.e., effects that other guys use to close their acts. His handlings were so smooth and well done. Stevens magic even shot a video tape of Ron but most of it was not releasable. No one did the Color Changing Hanky with a Dye Tube better than Ron (I'm talking about the close-up, seated version).
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Dustin Stinett
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Re: Favorite Kaufman Book

Postby Dustin Stinett » June 6th, 2002, 11:58 pm

Ron Wilson is the Entertainment Director at the Magic Castle. When I was “but a wee child,” Ron was the first professional magician I saw perform in a live show. My older brother worked at an upscale retirement community theater and let me sneak in at the back of the theater so I could watch “this magician that's performing.” It's one of those memories that will stay with me forever. It's no wonder that I've always wished to speak with an accent, because the next pro I saw work live (at the opening show of my very first magic convention) was Billy McComb! Front row center, this time.

“Plumbs? I don't remember bringing plumbs!”

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Re: Favorite Kaufman Book

Postby Guest » June 8th, 2002, 10:42 pm

I could never pick a single favorite. I love: the Ortiz books, COLLECTED ALMANAC, SHOW TIME AT THE TOM FOOLERY, JENNINGS 67 (pathetic title notwithstanding!), COINMAGIC, MASTERING THE ART OF MAGIC, and lots more that I have, but didn't list. However, the one that's been getting lots of attention lately has been DEREK DINGLE'S COMPLETE WORKS. That book simply inspires practice!
Wasn't there supposed to be another Hamman book? What about the next Kenner book? Yeah yeah, I know...Genii comes first.

Philippe Noël
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Re: Favorite Kaufman Book

Postby Philippe Noël » June 14th, 2002, 11:52 pm

Richard says:
I wish all of you could have seen Ron perform the stuff--it was perfection.
Richard,
Actually, you could give us the opportunity to see Ron performing the stuff. Didn't you tape 30 of Ron Wilson's professional routines in order to make the book? I have read this page 346, Glad you asked department paragraph, 2) of the Collected Almanac.

Philippe Nol ;)

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Re: Favorite Kaufman Book

Postby David Oliver » June 15th, 2002, 9:12 am

The last couple of posts made me think, "I know I have Ron Wilson on tape somewhere." Well, I found it. And now here is the information for you.

There is a tape that has some of Ron's performance as well as a lecture on it. I don't know if it's still available or not.

The Magician's Video Network (MVN) produced a Convention compilation tape of (and called) "Hank Lee's Cape Cod Magic Conclave, 1991 - The Video". I'm sure Hank still carries it, maybe MVN has copies, still.

It covers most of the highlights of that years particluar convention. Not to sound like a commercial, but there are two hours of stage and close-up performances/lectures by the Pendragons (lecture and trunk performance), Vito Lupo, Ali Bongo, Jade, Scotty York, Todd MacDonald, Dave Cresey, Eric DeCamps, Bev Bergeron, Aldo Columbini (1st American lecture, I believe), and the late Mike Rogers (performance and lecture) and the late Mark Sicher (portions of his dental magic act).

Ron Wilson appears in one of the public shows, performing his amazingly decptive newspaper tear (right out the Uncanny Scot!). It's beautiful. He does a performance of his sit-down dyetube routine, and then lectures on it.

Hope this helps.

-David Oliver
- DO

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: Favorite Kaufman Book

Postby Richard Kaufman » June 15th, 2002, 7:35 pm

Meir Yedid bought all of the MVN tapes, so he probably owns the rights to it now.
Yes, I do have a video of Ron explaining the stuff to me, but I can't show it to anyone--it's not professionally done. Just something for the archive (and on a Beta tape, no less!).
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Re: Favorite Kaufman Book

Postby Guest » June 17th, 2002, 8:36 pm

"The Secrets Of Brother John Hamman" is an absolute masterwork. "Strong Magic" is also right up there on my list of favorites. I'm going to purchuse "The Collected Almanac" as soon as possible due to all the favorable comments I've read here. And I can't wait for a new Jennings book--just hope it's coming soon. All in all,any Kaufman book is well worth the price.

Yves Tourigny
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Re: Favorite Kaufman Book

Postby Yves Tourigny » July 13th, 2002, 10:37 am

One of the best kept secret IMHO among the excellents Kaufman books ( of which there are many) is The Book or Don't Forget to Point. The magic in this book is great especially the card section. Also there is a great cups and balls routine. I found european magic very interesting.

I must also say that one of the book that kept me enthralled for a long time was Sankey Panky. At the times I had just saw Jay do some of this stuffs live at Magie Montral convention back then. I was completly flabbergasted to say the least. It was an experience that still linger in my memory. I wanted to create the same experience for my audiences. It was a deep emotionnal sensation....

Yves Tourigny :)

mike cookman
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Re: Favorite Kaufman Book

Postby mike cookman » July 15th, 2002, 10:38 am

My favorite Kaufman books are David Roths Expert Coin Magic and Gary Kurtx Unexplainable acts. I think Richard Kaufman is a great writer.

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Re: Favorite Kaufman Book

Postby Guest » July 29th, 2002, 2:56 pm

My first Kaufman books where Coin Magic-the Dingle Book and Card Magic featuring the chapter on Stand-up manipulation in the style of Cliff Green. Awesome material.

For all round magic, I realy enjoyed the Uncanny Scot and Unexplainable Acts.

Waiting with excitment for the remaining books to consolidate the legacy of Larry Jennings

Michael Vincent-London :)


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