This article is from the Magic FAQ, by Paul Nielsen email@example.com with numerous contributions by others.
Kaufman, Richard Complete Works of Derek Dingle, The
(1982, Kaufman & Greenberg)
[SD] Derek Dingle does (mostly) cards and this work by Kaufman covers
most of the stuff the folks associate with Derek. A good modern book
on card magic, but not easy by any means.
[DP] Includes some truly classic effects. Others have bewildering
descriptions. Many items with gaffed cards and coins. Lots of clues
for the development of useful sleights (e.g., Silent Steal, Zarrow
shuffle, Riffle Pass, Double lift -- Dingle's is the best I've seen).
Favorite effect: Regal Royal Flush.
Kaufman, Richard Williamson's Wonders
(1989, Kaufman & Greenberg)
[SD] Magic from a well-respected "new" name. People who have seen
David Williamson perform/lecture seem to really like him. Definitely
good card/coin stuff here.
Kaufman, Richard Sankey Pankey
(1986, Kaufman & Greenberg)
[SD] The works of Jay Sankey, including Forgery - An amazing routine
that gets great mileage out of a simple duplicate marked card. The
effect: A card is marked with a big X. X mark 'jumps' from back to
face, to back, and then... Split Ends - Anyone who has ever seen or
read the late Nate Leipzeig's Knife between two selected cards trick
will appreciate this fresh new treatment. Apparently, Stephen Minch
proposed the idea and solution of doing it with one card, that is card
stabbing into the layers of a selected card. Jay's handling is really
ingenious and one of my favorites. Some really twisted coin effects
are also in this 121 page hard cover book making a great treat to the
magician that is looking for a book with more than just one good trick
[RD] This book also contains the "card through balloon" trick that
Copperfield did on TV. It was my favourite trick from the book before
that, and still is.
Kurtz, Gary Continuations ... Departures, 1&2
[SD] Another booklet on coin magic plus a few things with cards.
Lorayne, Harry Star Quality - The Magic of David Regal
[RD] Mostly cards, but also some coins (and even Q-tips!). This is a
fine book. Mr. Regal is very creative, and very conscious of the
visual aspects of magic. Favourite trick: Divining Card.
Maxwell, Mike Classic Magic of Larry Jennings
(198?, L&L Publishing)
[SD] Just a ton of stuff with cards (and some coins).
[RD] An outstanding book. Favourite trick: The Visitor - an absolute
[TN] The BEST BOOK IN THE WORLD!!!! If you want to learn how to do
first-rate card tricks (I do), go out and find the Larry Jennings book.
This guy is the absolute Ninja. He is right up there with Brother Hamman.
I mean it. You won't regret it.
Maxwell, Mike Commercial Magic of J.C. Wagner
(198?, L&L Publishing)
[SD] One of the most respected of magic's "underground" names. Wagner
was, like many other magicians, a bartender who did his magic in (or
at) the bar.
[RD] This is available in soft cover now. A great book for the money.
Favourite trick: The Assembly.
Minch, Stephen Carneycopia
(?, L&L Publishing)
[DP] Simple, direct material, mostly without gaffes. Very well written and
explained. Many strong sequences and a few routines. Some really
clever ideas, but the better stuff is often the most difficult. Easy
to impossible. No crystals or toy mice here.
Ouellet, Gary Close-Up Illusions
(1990, Camirand Academy of Magic)
[SD] A fine book on different approaches to common sleights such as
the French Drop, Double Lift, etc. A companion video-tape can be
purchased that shows all the sleights performed -- probably worthwhile
(at $20) since seeing magic performed is more important than being
told about it or looking at pictures.
[FD] I think it's a great book. It is very well written, and is
loaded with tips. There's a section on the "Cigarette through the
Coin" which is great. Gary writes about how all of us sometimes buy a
prop which then ends up in a drawer because we think it's too
difficult to use. He uses this trick as an example and then proceeds
to tell you how the effect can be done effectively and be a killer. I
tried it and it was great! The effect had previously sat in a drawer
for over a year. I've also met Gary at conventions and he is a real
gentleman. He is willing to spend time with you just to say hello or
to discuss an effect. The last time I spoke to him and told him I
much I liked the book, he told me that the Modified Kosky Illusion at
the end of the book was worth the price of the book. He then
proceeded to show me the effect.
[JB] I have an extensive library and this is my favorite. Most items
in the book are explained in terms that anyone can understand. I am a
technical writer and have found few books on magic written so clearly.
If you are primarily interested in close-up magic, then definitely buy
[DH] I bought this book a couple months ago to take on a business
trip. I didn't put it down until I was done (~400 pages). Gary really
brings a fresh attitude to magic and it comes out in his writing. The
book is filled to the brim with photos (over 500, many with multiple
angle shots on the same move). He covers a lot of card stuff. One
criticism I have is the space spent on describing about 10 different
double lifts. There are many "building block" moves that could be used
in other routines. There is also a fair amount of coin magic. He does
a treatise on the French drop which is quite interesting. Also gives
about 5 different variations on it. The big win factor for this book
is that the many photos make it easy to learn from. The magic ranges
from simple (the first trick is a variation on the ColorView cube we
all got in our first magic set) to the difficult (card moves in
particular). The only other criticism I have with the book (or any
magic book for that matter) is several references to other books he
has written. I hate that, particularly when they are the "now use the
move I described in X but won't describe here because you obviously
have my other book" variety.
I liked the book so well that I bought the companion video about a
month later (I am on a monthly magic budget). This is an idea that is
long overdue. The video shows all the sleights as they would appear
when performed. He (generally) does not show an entire routine or a
slo-mo version of the sleight. Gary goes to great lengths to state
that it is not a teaching video, but to show you how a move looks. It
really gave me a sense of the timing needed to make the moves
work. The video quality is not high, but then neither is the price,
compared to any other video you would buy. It looks like Gary and his
publisher just set up the camcorder in the living room and went to
work. Don't get me wrong, everything is very visible and clear and
this is a valuable tool when combined with the book.
[DP] - some valuable tips on hand care
- chapter on the classic force with excellent suggestions (as an
aside, if someone claims to be able to classic force the same
card on 100 people in a row (as G.O. does) this says more about
the people with which the magician associates than the magician
himself. _Nobody_ can classic force with success on my S.O. for
example --- she reaches over with both hands :-)
- some good card effects and handling tips
- dice stacking chapter
Powers, Michael Top Secret Stuff
[MK] This book is mostly card effects with some coin and other
objects. There are some effects that are very difficult. Some of the
moves needed for the effects are Marlo's ATFUS, kelly bottom, a
pass... Definitely not for the beginner.