This article is from the Magic FAQ, by Paul Nielsen firstname.lastname@example.org with numerous contributions by others.
Ammar, Michael The Magic of Michael Ammar
(1991, L&L Publ.)
[SD] Very nicely executed book of effects and magic "philosophy."
Starting with an entire stand-up Cups and Balls routine, the book
includes "utilities," "restaurant" effects, other "stand-up" effects,
"magic management," as well as various chapters of philosophy and
advice. In a chapter on "classic renditions," you'll find the "Crazy
Man's Handcuffs" (i.e., rubber bands that seem to melt through one
another) which seems to be a favorite of many folks.
[RD] I use the "C. M. Handcuffs" all the time. There is a heavy
overlap between this book and Mr. Ammar's previous publications (such
as "Command Performance") but if you don't have all of those, this is
a recommended purchase.
Bannon, John Impossibilia
(1990, L&L Publ.)
[SD] A variety of nice stuff with cards, coins, cups. Easy to
Bennett, Horace On Your Feet
[RD] Mr. Bennett was considered one of the best of his day. In this
small book he details his handlings for 8 routines that can be done
while standing (though some require a table). Included are sponge
balls, a matrix type effect, ring on wand, etc.
Bertram, Ross Magic and Methods
[DP] - for someone out there this is a good book, but not for me.
- some excellent coin effects, chapter on sleeving.
- terrific stories about Dai Vernon, etc.
- good egg-bag routine
Carney, John Carney Knowledge
[RD] Mr. Carney has a more recent, much larger book out titled
"Carneycopia" that probably subsumes this booklet. Here he presents
ten or so effects with cards, coins, crystals, toy mice, etc., and
intersperses them with brief musings on the design and presentation of
magic. Mr. Carney is a student of Dai Vernon, and it appears he has
learned well. The theoretical essays made the booklet worthwhile for
Close, Michael Workers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
(1990-1996, Michael Close)
[MK] Workers 1: Close's first book contains his origami bunny,
Dr. Strangetrick (his version of card warp with a bill), and the pothole
trick. Some feel the pothole effect is worth the price of the book. Mike
gives you detailed instructions and all of his patter...
[MK] Workers 2: This time Mike gives you his 'rubik bill', The el Cheapo
magic set a ring and string effect, and the frog prince (it's much more
than a card trick). There are other effects included as well as his
handling for a spread force.
[MK] Workers 3: Includes essays on patter, presentation, motivation
audience management....He gives his techniques for palming and methods for
learning how to palm -- not just hold the card this way. There's another
origami trick and some card effects. It's good reading.
de la Torre, Jose Magicana of Havana
(1975, de la Torre)
[SD] Interesting routines based on some familiar themes, including
effects using jumbo (oversized) cards.
Elliott, Bruce Magic as a Hobby
(1951, Faber & Faber)
[RD] A great book for beginning to intermediate students of the art.
Much of the material comes from the Phoenix magazine, but is still
current. Has chapters on cards, coins, miscellaneous, mentalism,
etc., and a fine essay on developing magical presentation. Also
includes (with permission) the complete money act that Mike Bornstein
used to perform on stage.
Elliott, Bruce Classic Secrets of Magic
(1953, Faber & Faber)
[RD] Devotes a chapter each to such perennials as the Ambitious Card,
Multiplying Billiard Balls, Cups and Balls, Two Covers and Four
Objects (Elliott seems to have been ahead of his time in eschewing the
politically incorrect name usually given to this trick), 4 Aces, and
so on. All extremely practical material that will require some