Sign up Latest Topics Chat
 
 
 


Reply
  Author   Comment   Page 1 of 2      1   2   Next
Mind Phantom

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 1,239
Reply with quote  #1 
I have three that I like and they are;

Strong Magic by Darwin Ortiz~
Maximum Entertainment by Ken Weber~
Mind, Myth & Magick by T.A Waters~

What are yours?

T.A Waters essays are worth the price of his book. Even though he really wasn't a performer, there is lots of wisdom in his book. Anybody that does close-up magic should have Strong Magic in there library.

Logan,
0
Gerald Deutsch

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 294
Reply with quote  #2 
1  Our Magic - Maskelyne and Devant

2  Showmanship For Magicians- Dariel Fitzkee

3  Learn Magic  - Henry hay
0
Dave Berkompas

Avatar / Picture

Inner Circle
Registered:
Posts: 143
Reply with quote  #3 
The Books of Wonder - Wonder
Magic and Meaning - Burger
The Five Points of Magic - Tamariz
0
Robin Dawes

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 1,114
Reply with quote  #4 
To the many excellent titles already listed, I would add

Eugene Burger - The Experience of Magic
0
Anthony Vinson

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member - Moderator
Registered:
Posts: 1,914
Reply with quote  #5 
In addition to the aforementioned The Five Points of Magic, I would add Senor Tamariz's The Magic Way. Additionally, and this may seem strange since it doesn't deal strictly with magic theory, but rather human psychology: Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahnaman.
0
Intensely Magic

Avatar / Picture

Inner Circle
Registered:
Posts: 392
Reply with quote  #6 
How times have changed (very original i/m!)

For years, the required answer was Magic and Showmanship: A Handbook for Conjurers by Henning Nelms. I never see it mentioned any more.

Personally, with the exception of the Tamariz books above, I find most of these are 2 page essays crammed into 200 pages.

I think there is so much more to be learned by watching great performers and possibly listening to a David Williamson talk about framing and timing than reading a library full of theory.

I also find it ironic, many of these authors would bore the butt off an iron man when performing, as my grandmother would say.

Maybe this weather is making me extra crabby..... I dunno.

i/m

PS Since I just fell victim to a pet peeve of mine - people answering questions that weren't asked, I guess I better respond to the op's post. My choice would be The Five Points in Magic.

__________________
A crummy trick with a great presentation is still a crummy trick with a great presentation.
0
Mike Powers

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 1,584
Reply with quote  #7 
I second the motion for Strong Magic by Darwin Ortiz and Maximum Entertainment by Ken Weber

I'd add Darwin's "Designing Miracles" as well.

Also find the Burger material very valuable.

Sankey's "The Zen of Stand-Up Comedy" is good too. There's a lot of good stuff there that applies to magic as well as comedy.

Mike
0
Stevie Ray Christian

Avatar / Picture

Inner Circle
Registered:
Posts: 426
Reply with quote  #8 
Magic in Mind is an excellent collection of essays edited by Joshua Jay.

Contributors include:

Tommy Wonder
Simon Aronson
Paul Harris
John Carney
Derren Brown
Michael Close
René Lavand
Juan Tamariz
Milt Kort
Darwin Ortiz
Ascanio
Roberto Giobbi
Teller
and many others previously mentioned in this thread.

0
Harry Lorayne

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 2,116
Reply with quote  #9 
    I haven't done a book on theory alone (nor do I intend to) I simply hid some of my "theory thoughts" within effects/routines/Afterthoughts, and so on. I guess I was too busy/involved teaching those "jaw dropping" effects and routines. I now have the feeling that I hid them a bit too well!
0
Intensely Magic

Avatar / Picture

Inner Circle
Registered:
Posts: 392
Reply with quote  #10 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevie Ray
Magic in Mind is an excellent collection of essays edited by Joshua Jay.



And the price is right - free!

__________________
A crummy trick with a great presentation is still a crummy trick with a great presentation.
0
Gareth

Inner Circle
Registered:
Posts: 779
Reply with quote  #11 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevie Ray
Magic in Mind is an excellent collection of essays edited by Joshua Jay.

Contributors include:

Tommy Wonder
Simon Aronson
Paul Harris
John Carney
Derren Brown
Michael Close
René Lavand
Juan Tamariz
Milt Kort
Darwin Ortiz
Ascanio
Roberto Giobbi
Teller
and many others previously mentioned in this thread.



Completely agree Steve and Intensely Magic.
0
Rudy Tinoco

Founding Member
Registered:
Posts: 4,098
Reply with quote  #12 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry Lorayne
    I haven't done a book on theory alone (nor do I intend to) I simply hid some of my "theory thoughts" within effects/routines/Afterthoughts, and so on. I guess I was too busy/involved teaching those "jaw dropping" effects and routines. I now have the feeling that I hid them a bit too well!


It's funny you mention that, Harry. Last night I went to Michael Ammar's lecture here near Portland. At one point in the lecture he quoted you. He said, "As Harry Lorayne taught us, 'Don't make a move out of it'".

Your books always have powerful effects, along with bits of wisdom that have made me a better magician.

To answer Logan Five's question, my favorite book on theory is the Magic of Ascanio book Vol. 1 "The Structural Conception of Magic". Incredible.

Rudy

__________________
http://www.facebook.com/magicrudy
http://www.facebook.com/themagiciansforum
0
Rudy Tinoco

Founding Member
Registered:
Posts: 4,098
Reply with quote  #13 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerald Deutsch
1  Our Magic - Maskelyne and Devant

2  Showmanship For Magicians- Dariel Fitzkee

3  Learn Magic  - Henry hay


Great choices, Jerry!

I hope that you're doing well!

Rudy

__________________
http://www.facebook.com/magicrudy
http://www.facebook.com/themagiciansforum
0
Harry Lorayne

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 2,116
Reply with quote  #14 
   Yes, Rudy - that's one of my "theory pieces" that I've stated/written/taught over the decades. Still overlooked by many. Or, as I mentioned above perhaps I "hid it too well." Although that doesn't make too much sense since I've probably written it to the point of redundancy. (Perhaps that's the problem!) Nice that Michael mentions it.
0
Geoff Weber

Inner Circle
Registered:
Posts: 27
Reply with quote  #15 
I enjoyed Absolute Magic by Derren Brown. Also, One Degree by John Guastaferro is quite good
0
Blathermist

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 1,019
Reply with quote  #16 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry Lorayne
    I haven't done a book on theory alone (nor do I intend to) I simply hid some of my "theory thoughts" within effects/routines/Afterthoughts, and so on. I guess I was too busy/involved teaching those "jaw dropping" effects and routines. I now have the feeling that I hid them a bit too well!


No you didn't. Not too much of it can be distilled into one short sentence as with "Don't Make A Move Of It." But it's there in the paragraphs. Not only within the tricks themselves, but also the "Afterthoughts," where much extra insight is on view. Hidden in plain sight I suppose.

But sadly many of "us" choose to wear blinkers. It makes me wonder how much else such folk missed. Actually I think I've answered my own query. It's all there.
0
Harry Lorayne

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 2,116
Reply with quote  #17 
  Thanks, Blathermist. But I've obviously hidden them well from a few of those posting above. Obvious to me, anyway. (Well, probably not "hidden" since it's also obvious {to me} that some haven't read my stuff at all.)
0
Knowcows

Member
Registered:
Posts: 11
Reply with quote  #18 
Everyone talks about Carney's books Carneycopia and Book of Secrets but another one of his books that flies under the radar is Magic by Design. A lot of very useful information and a great reference.
0
Michaelblue

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 1,125
Reply with quote  #19 
Carneycopia does have a section in the beginning about theory, and I've learned a lot from it.

Also--Leading With Your Head, by Gary Kurtz.
0
ianmcrawford

Avatar / Picture

Inner Circle
Registered:
Posts: 156
Reply with quote  #20 
Okay, before you roll your eyes and think "thats kid show magic", bear with me.   I think that Seriously Silly by David Kaye is probably the most significant book on magic theory for children's entertainment written to date.  Talk to any successful children's magician and I will bet that they attribute their success in part to Silly Billy.  I can honestly say that after reading Seriously Silly, it totally transformed the way I present magic. Not only two children but two adults as well.
0
Chi Han

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 1,031
Reply with quote  #21 
20170210_132655.jpg 
Reorganizing my library.  Just pulled out all the stuff that's pure theory (notice that the books of wonder haven't even been unwrapped yet, and I'm only a third of the way through magic and showmanship, everything else has been read cover to cover then selectively multiple times).

Ive also found the essays in Card College volume 2, and Giobbis essays on his website quite intriguing reads.

0
Blathermist

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 1,019
Reply with quote  #22 

Assuming that "Magic In Mind" is the Vanishing Inc free download, this has to be one of the best bargains ever. even if it isn't, it is, er... if you follow.  [smile]
It's free.


https://www.vanishingincmagic.com/magic-downloads/ebooks/magic-in-mind/

 

0
JHMagic

Avatar / Picture

Inner Circle
Registered:
Posts: 43
Reply with quote  #23 
Already mentioned above... and also for me it is Juan Tamariz's "The Magic Way"
It has helped me at least begin to see why Tamariz is so 'fooling'!
0
Blathermist

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 1,019
Reply with quote  #24 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JHMagic
Already mentioned above... and also for me it is Juan Tamariz's "The Magic Way"
It has helped me at least begin to see why Tamariz is so 'fooling'!


Indeed, though my post was "inspired" by the photograph. I haven't seen a "printed copy" of the book. It's a bit too much of a mammoth undertaking for me, though I might get on with it one day.

That said and done, I  felt an extra mention of the excellent book was in order.
0
Sam Slaven

Avatar / Picture

Inner Circle
Registered:
Posts: 70
Reply with quote  #25 
Short list: Tommy Wonder, Simon Aronson, Paul Harris, Juan Tamariz, Darwin Ortiz, Roberto Giobbi. The list goes on; everybody has something to offer. You've just got to pay attention along the way of your journey in magic. Keep your eyes, ears, and mind open.
__________________
Sam
0
Luis Sirgado

Member
Registered:
Posts: 39
Reply with quote  #26 
I have a lot of favorite books on theory, some of them are:  

-Magic of Ascanio book Vol. 1 "The Structural Conception of Magic"
-Strong Magic, Darwin Ortiz
- Five Points in Magic /The Magic Way, Juan Tamariz
-Books of Wonder, Tommy Wonder
- The Book of Magic ( The Vernon Touch chapter) simply love this chapter, says everything about what a magician should do.

__________________

"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. (...)"

-Einstein-


https://www.facebook.com/luissirgado

0
GreenKnight33

Inner Circle
Registered:
Posts: 179
Reply with quote  #27 
Magic in Mind
Carneycopia for that opening chapter...nicely done.
Books of Wonder
But the one I've gone back to multiple times is Our Magic...really the first 100 pages. 

0
Steven Youell

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 774
Reply with quote  #28 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry Lorayne
   Yes, Rudy - that's one of my "theory pieces" that I've stated/written/taught over the decades.

Harry-- you don't really write up "theories" because the stuff you publish is not theoretical! It WORKS! [biggrin]

__________________
Please share this on Facebook!
0
Blathermist

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 1,019
Reply with quote  #29 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry Lorayne
    I haven't done a book on theory alone (nor do I intend to) I simply hid some of my "theory thoughts" within effects/routines/Afterthoughts, and so on. I guess I was too busy/involved teaching those "jaw dropping" effects and routines. I now have the feeling that I hid them a bit too well!

Maybe not but here’s something you scribbled centuries ago, that’s worth bearing in mind.  

 Don’t let "magic truths" cloud your judgement. There are countless laymen who have never seen a double lift or even one four ace routine. 

0
Jake07712

Member
Registered:
Posts: 59
Reply with quote  #30 
We have the good fortune to have access to many really fine writings.
I'm not much of a card man, but for years, when I saw something with Harry's name on it, I read it.
.Lots of good advise.
Al Scneider is another favorite of mine. When I read some of his philosophy on performing magic, it keeps me thinking about it enough to go back and reread.
I just read the intro to Steves book that he posted on this forum, and found myself thinking about how much sense it made to me.
I enjoy reading magic philosophy, especially from some of the guys with many years of experience. The older I get, the smarter they get.

__________________
Jake
0
James Sievert

Avatar / Picture

Inner Circle
Registered:
Posts: 167
Reply with quote  #31 
If we're addressing our favorite book dedicated only to theory, I'm another "Strong Magic" fan. Most other books in my library have at least some pearls of wisdom.

My opinion, of course.

Jim

__________________

Rev 21:4
2 Cor 4:16-18

Jeremiah 11:29
Isaiah 55:8,9
Isaiah 41:10

0
Gareth

Inner Circle
Registered:
Posts: 779
Reply with quote  #32 
'Chat' by Ollie Mealing.

A series of  short musings on different facets of magic available here:

https://gumroad.com/olliemealing

Ollie writes about his thoughts on various aspects of magic theory including performance persona and character, method vs effect, breaking norms, thinking for yourself, cultivating your own artistic references and creativity, avoiding the 'latest and greatest' conveyor belt.

Overall an enjoyable read with plenty of food for thought.

Gareth
0
Intensely Magic

Avatar / Picture

Inner Circle
Registered:
Posts: 392
Reply with quote  #33 
As I stated above, I'm not a huge fan of theory books, but as I was putting away some stuff I ran into my collection of Ken Brooke instruction sheets.

I'm old enough and fortunate enough to have dealt directly with Ken and learned so much from his writings.

Reading his instructions for the Egg Bag, Koornwinder Kar, Nemo Rising Cards, Chinatown Quarter and so many more were a total magic education.


Nothing new or revolutionary, just clarity of effect, basic spectator management and the constant admonishment to get on with it.

I miss him......

__________________
A crummy trick with a great presentation is still a crummy trick with a great presentation.
0
Steven Youell

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 774
Reply with quote  #34 
I've been keeping this one close to the vest, but I know there's a lot of Card Guys here. If you look, you can
get it for a song. And if you're just starting out with cards, this is a must read. I don't agree with everything
in it, but it did much more for me than most of the other books listed here.


Capture.PNG


__________________
Please share this on Facebook!
0
Steven Youell

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 774
Reply with quote  #35 
And there's this one-- MUCH better than the one he wrote with Maskelyne, IMO.
I've reprinted the Introduction on the forums before so I'm hoping that will peak
interest in it. I believe it has great lessons on how to think about magic. Again,
I got a lot more out of it then most of the other books listed here.

Devant.PNG


__________________
Please share this on Facebook!
0
Steven Youell

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 774
Reply with quote  #36 
And finally, these. Ron's Monographs have been misunderstood for years. Some of the tricks are modified
standards, but the point of each monograph is to teach a different aspect of theater by giving you magic that
exemplifies different principles of good theater.
They're inexpensive and they're deadly good.

Ron Bauer's Private Study Series

__________________
Please share this on Facebook!
0
Mike Powers

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 1,584
Reply with quote  #37 
Good reminder on the Bauer series. Every edition has a load of embedded theory. Ron explains the why of just about every detail.

I'm going to re-plug Ortiz's "Designing Miracles." Anyone who pointed to Strong Magic should be checking out Designing Miracles. I'm talking myself into re-reading this one.

Mike
0
Robin Dawes

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 1,114
Reply with quote  #38 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Youell
And there's this one-- MUCH better than the one he wrote with Maskelyne, IMO.
I've reprinted the Introduction on the forums before so I'm hoping that will peak
interest in it. I believe it has great lessons on how to think about magic. Again,
I got a lot more out of it then most of the other books listed here.

Devant.PNG



This is available from Conjuring Arts as a PDF for $9.99
0
Amazer

Avatar / Picture

Inner Circle
Registered:
Posts: 179
Reply with quote  #39 
Maximum Entertainment - it's a must-have, for sure. One of my all time favorites

Scripting Magic, by Pete McCabe - excellent book. Really helps one put together an artistically cohesive and entertaining set.

Performing Magic, by Tony Middleton - another excellent choice.

Without question, the Ortiz books are on this list, too.

__________________
- Ken

0
Mike Powers

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 1,584
Reply with quote  #40 
Second the motion for Maximum Entertainment and Scripting Magic. Excellent books.

Ken Weber gave a talk at Magic Live last summer that was also very informative and motivating. 

Mike
0
Steven Youell

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 774
Reply with quote  #41 
OK, now here's my question:

How do you (as an individual) determine the worth of such a book?
Because of the author's reputation?
Because you agree with it?
Because it works?

__________________
Please share this on Facebook!
0
Blathermist

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 1,019
Reply with quote  #42 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Youell
OK, now here's my question:

How do you (as an individual) determine the worth of such a book?
Because of the author's reputation?
Because you agree with it?
Because it works?


Here's my answers:
1] None of the above.
2] Because I like it.

Please don't ask Why I like it, whatever it is, because I have no idea. It's just the way it is.

0
Anthony Vinson

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member - Moderator
Registered:
Posts: 1,914
Reply with quote  #43 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Youell
OK, now here's my question:

How do you (as an individual) determine the worth of such a book?
Because of the author's reputation?
Because you agree with it?
Because it works?


Personally I evaluate books based on a variety of factors, including writing style, subject, and how well the book does or doesn't stimulate me or cause me to think, rethink, examine, or reevaluate my positions. With a book on theory, and my sole suggestion was a non-magic book by a Nobel laureate, the determining factor is simply this; How much value does the book provide? 

0
Blathermist

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 1,019
Reply with quote  #44 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony Vinson


Personally I evaluate books based on a variety of factors, including writing style, subject, and how well the book does or doesn't stimulate me or cause me to think, rethink, examine, or reevaluate my positions. With a book on theory, and my sole suggestion was a non-magic book by a Nobel laureate, the determining factor is simply this; How much value does the book provide? 


All of these "variety of factors" come together in my comment about "liking" the book. Yet they don't tell the story and they're not the whole thing. Example: I can't begin to explain/quantify "value." I know what I mean if I say or think it. but being able to translate those thoughts and feelings and.....well, on and on it goes....is not something I've ever been able to articulate.

There was a time when I looked on this as some sort of failing. But that time was long long ago.
It falls in the same category as "Why are you interested in Magic?" Of "What is it about Magic that you like?"

Again, I've no idea, and again, I don't care that' I've no idea.

All this notwithstanding, I do like to read and hear the comments of others. One day, I might stumble over something and think: "That's It!"

It hasn't happened yet.
0
Anthony Vinson

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member - Moderator
Registered:
Posts: 1,914
Reply with quote  #45 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blathermist

All of these "variety of factors" come together in my comment about "liking" the book. Yet they don't tell the story and they're not the whole thing. Example: I can't begin to explain/quantify "value." I know what I mean if I say or think it. but being able to translate those thoughts and feelings and.....well, on and on it goes....is not something I've ever been able to articulate.

There was a time when I looked on this as some sort of failing. But that time was long long ago.
It falls in the same category as "Why are you interested in Magic?" Of "What is it about Magic that you like?"

Again, I've no idea, and again, I don't care that' I've no idea.

All this notwithstanding, I do like to read and hear the comments of others. One day, I might stumble over something and think: "That's It!"

It hasn't happened yet.


Yes and... Note that I based my evaluation on the extent to which a book makes me think - I want to both learn and be intellectually challenged. If an author is able to accomplish this with engaging prose, a clear style, and firm grasp of the subject matter, then we're in the vicinity of what constitutes my ideal for determining a book's worth. I number St. Exupery's The Little Prince, Thoreau's Walden, and Sagan's The Demon Haunted World among those that pass muster. Is my criteria subjective? Certainly! But it is not whimsical.

I find questions like Why do you believe in magic? interesting and thought-provoking. Perhaps I am simply more philosophically inclined than the average bear? Dunno. But as that other once grand philosopher, Popeye the Sailor Man, said, "I yam what I yam!"

And lastly, I hope to never find the grail: the answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything. For me the pursuit of happiness is synonymous with the pursuit of truths. Eureka moments are fine, but only on the trail of greater truths. I will wish to give up only when I have drawn my last breath! [crazy]
0
Mike Powers

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 1,584
Reply with quote  #46 
I'm in the same camp as Anthony Vinson with regard to answering Steve Youell's question.

"Author's rep" and "agreeing with it" have nothing to do with the appeal for me. Make me think and learn. Motivate me. Inspire me to become better. Remind me of things I knew but haven't thought about for a while. Show me things I never thought of.

Mike
0
Robin Dawes

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 1,114
Reply with quote  #47 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blathermist

...
I can't begin to explain/quantify "value." I know what I mean if I say or think it. but being able to translate those thoughts and feelings and.....well, on and on it goes....is not something I've ever been able to articulate.
...


At the risk of diverting the discussion even further from the original topic, I think you might find Pirsig's "Metaphysics of Quality" very interesting (if you haven't already looked at it).  He tackles the question of defining value (under the name of "quality") and develops a fascinating answer.
0
Mike Powers

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 1,584
Reply with quote  #48 
Robin,

I assume that's the "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintainance" Pirsig. That book is fantastic. Highly recommended reading. I haven't read "Metaphysics of Qaulity" but "quality" is a major theme in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. It's a masterpiece. I think he had something like 140 rejections before finding a publisher. Then it became a best seller. That's perseverance. 


Mike
0
Robin Dawes

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 1,114
Reply with quote  #49 
Mike

Yes, that's the guy!  "Metaphysics of Quality" is his umbrella term for the philosophy that he developed and wrote about in "ZAMM" and its semi-sequel, "Lila".  I agree that "Zen ..." is an absolute masterpiece - one of those books I have read again and again.

Robin
0
Bill Guinee

Member
Registered:
Posts: 22
Reply with quote  #50 
I really like a lot of the works that have been mentioned in this query. However, in the last few days, I have read Ascanio's Structural Conception of Magic. It is absolutely mindblowing. Although some of it initially may appear too simple or simply taxonomical, Ascanio is actually presenting a complete and complex theoretical structure through which one can view and improve magic. it is totally brilliant.
0
Previous Topic | Next Topic
Print
Reply

Quick Navigation:

Easily create a Forum Website with Website Toolbox.