This article is from the Magic FAQ, by Paul Nielsen firstname.lastname@example.org with numerous contributions by others.
Marlo, Edward M. I. N. T.
(198?, L&L Publ.)
[SD] Ed Marlo's magic collected from material presented in now out-
of-print magazine sources.
[RD] The title is an acronym for Marlo In New Tops, I think.
Marlo, Edward Marlo's Magazine Volume 1
(1976, Ed Marlo)
[SD] Really a large book of many effects. However, as he says in the
Foreword, he wanted to "say something" besides talk about routines and
effects. So he makes "editorial points" throughout the book. I like
to read about how magicians think (and what they think about) when it
comes to magic. There's lots of card magic here as well as the
Minch, Stephen Korem Without Limits
(19??, A.D. Robbins Publ.)
[SD] Reasonably good collection of intermediate magic -- not
everything caught my attention -- with reasonably good photographs
Minch, Stephen Ken Krenzel's Close-Up Impact
(1990, Hermetic Press)
[SD] Krenzel is a "thinking person's" magician with a reputation for
exploring the psychology of effects. The fact that he's a
psychologist -- it's Dr. Krenzel -- explains that partially. Not all
this stuff has the impact that the title claims -- at least, I've seen
him lecture and wasn't overwhelmed.
Ouellet, Gary The Masters of Magic Series
(various dates, Camirand Academy of Magic)
[SD] Ouellet covers many routines with cards, shells and pea, coin
penetrations, cups and balls, etc. One routine per monograph.
[RD] These are generally well-written and produced. These are the ones
I've read: The Coin Connection - excellent routine from Eric DeCamps
Supershells - a 3-shell routine. Threshold - an attractive method for the
torn-and-restored card, using lapping. Finger on the Card - a presentation
of the Dunbury Delusion - not bad.
Page, Patrick and Goshman, Albert Magic by Gosh
[SD] Basically, Goshman's act, all of it, plus other items.
[RD] Goshman's work with sponges was incredibly good, and his "coins
under the salt shaker" routine was great. I assume these are in this
Pierce, Lance Roger Klause in Concert
(?, L&L Publishing)
[DP] Includes the most recent treatment of the famous $100 bill switch.
Good motivation for everything, suggested patter and attention to
detail. Most things require special props, from TT to gaffed coins.
Intermediate difficulty. Well designed & produced, a number of
proofing errors (right hand for left hand, etc) and dark photo
reproductions, however. Lots of filler, including letters of praise
for RK from a who's who of modern magic.
Slaight, Allan Stewart James in Print: The First Fifty Years
[SD] Probably the thickest book in magic. At least the thickest one
I've seen at over 990 pages! You have to dig stuff out, but there's a
variety of things here from the easy to the more challenging.
[RD] Mr. James invented the ever-popular Miraskil. Volume 2 of this
incredible inventor's work is still pending (1994).
Tannen's Magic Stars of Magic
[SD] A series of 11 monographs (plus two "lessons") which appeared
individually in the past but are collected into book form. Usually
multiple effects per monograph.
[RD] Much of the magic seems dated, but John Scarne's "Triple
Coincidence" and Dai Vernon's "Ambitious Card" and "Royal Monte" are
[BD] It is noticeable also for the famous SPELLBOUND coin move (D.
Vernon). In every coin book you'll find a reference to that.
Tannen's Magic New Stars of Magic
(various dates, Tannen)
[SD] A monograph series from the 1970's and early 1980's on subjects
such as MacDonald's Four Ace Trick (Garcia), the Card Tunnel
(Krenzel), the Ultimate Invisible Assembly (Kaufman), a 3-Ring Routine
(Capehart), Immaculate Connection (Harris), Bewildering (Bennett),
etc. Some nice routines (one per monograph) with certain equipment
included (gimmick cards, etc.) for some routines.
[RD] Immaculate Connection is great. For a better handling of
MacDonald's Aces, try John Mendoza's "The Book of John: Verse Two".
Tarbell, Harlan Tarbell Course in Magic
(8 vols, 1972, 1993, D. Robbins & Co.)
[SD] Originally distributed in the late 1920's as a mail-order course
in magic with 60 separate lessons and now a multi-volume set covering
nearly every aspect of magic. Not the first thing to buy, for sure,
but something everyone may want to get eventually. (Of course, at
$120+ a set, that may take a while.)
[RD] Harry Lorayne actually wrote Volume 7.
[FD] For those of you who have posted that you would like to get into
magic but don't have the money for tricks, books are your best bet.
Probably the grand-daddy of all series is the Tarbell Course in Magic.
It is hard cover and comes in seven volumes. I bought the complete
set at a magic convention for $115. If bought separately, I believe
that the first volume is $15 and the succeeding ones are $18 each.
The complete course is a wealth of magical information! For a little
over $100 anyone can get into magic and be able to perform some
amazing feats. Every so often I'll see a fellow magician perform some
magical miracle I've never seen and he'll then tell me that he got it
out of Tarbell.
Weber, Michael Lifesavers
[MK] Weber gives lots of ideas on what he calls improvised magic.
Making do with what you got. (He does carry around a lot of strange
things -- but with 10 min. in a bathroom he can build miracles --
maybe that didn't sound right :-) Weber has some interesting ideas on
handling of 'standard' ideas. I liked how he combined the Chris
Kenner and Dan Harlan linking rubber band routines.
[JG] "LIFE SAVERS" is an excellent book. It's currently $35, and I
think it's worth the money if you do any performing for real
people (not other magicians...the stuff is too good to waste on
Several items do require a few moments of advance preparation, so
it's a misnomer to call the book a collection of impromptu magic.
..though each item will look spur-of-the-moment when performed.
The book is well written and illustrated with many photographs.
Mike Weber is well known in magical circles for his creativity
and this book is an excellent introduction to his thinking. I
highly recommend this book.
Wilson, Mark Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic
( 1991(?), Courage Books)
[SD] A large book offering a beginner's course in magic. Good for
lots of fundamental stuff, but with a few things that may interest
slightly experienced magicians. Think of it as an abbreviated Tarbell
in some respects.
[FD] Another fine book. The 472 page hard cover book sells for about
$20-$25 and also is a wealth of magical information. For this small
investment you too can get into the field of magic. The original book
should be a staple in every magician's library. There is more magic
in that one book than you might suspect. Beginners stuff, yes. But
also some great effects and sleights.
[RG] This will get you going with cards, coins, rope, mentalism, cups and
balls, even some stage illusions you can build (if you're handy).