A Book of Magic for Young Magicians - The Secrets of Alkazar

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A Book of Magic for Young Magicians - The Secrets of Alkazar

Postby Adam Boyes » Jul 10th, '07, 15:56

Hi all this is my first review. I hope you like it and find it useful! :D

Title: A Book of Magic for Young Magicians - The Secrets of Alkazar

Cost: £5.95 from www.amazon.co.uk

Difficulty: I don't feel in the position to rate the difficulty....

Synopsis: The Book explains how techniques such as misdirection, patter, repetition, and routining are used by magicians in the performance of specific tricks.

Review: It seemed like an eternity for this book to arrive and my anticipation was high. When I realised the book had arrived I tore apart the brown jiffy in an instant and started to read what is probably the most important book I’ll ever read on my journey to becoming a magician.

Firstly I must stress that I am a complete beginner when it comes to magic and thus the review is written from a beginner’s point of view; however, this book is without doubt the best magic book I've read thus far and I wish this had been my very first purchase. Why I hear you ask? I bought “Royal Road to Card Magic” and “Bobo's Modern Coin Magic” first and although they are fantastic books I kind of didn't get them first off. The Secrets of Alkazar really helped me to comprehend what being a magician is all about and best of all it reads like the diary of a magic student, which I found both unusual and utterly compelling. It would be hard to cover everything in this review so I’ll concentrate on the aspects that I found most useful.

There are 12 chapters in total, each with its own trick and although I wouldn’t want to perform them all each chapter is still a captivating read. I found the first chapter particularly invaluable as it clearly describes the principles of misdirection, includes some wonderful advice that any young magician should take on board and has a brilliant trick called “Passing through” that I would love to be able to perform one day.

I found the three chapters on Cards especially beneficial to a beginner like myself and as such this is definitely my favourite chapter. It was nice to find that as you progress through the book you’re provided with a little something extra in each chapter relating to performance. In these particular chapters the focus is on showmanship and are mainly based around one card trick “Magnetic Touch” and how you, as a magician, can incorporate different themes and variations to the trick that make it magical. What I found most useful here (and something that I’d imagine revisiting time after time) were some great sections that detailed 15 different methods of card selection and 6 key card placements. These chapters are resolved with some inspired card effects based on “Magnetic Touch” but with differing methods.

Chapter 9 “Naturalness” is in my view an excellent starting point for any aspiring coin conjuror and has some great tips on how to develop a natural appearance. I found this a great help and a compliment to Bobo’s Modern Coin Magic; this chapter is worth the price of the book alone. Again the chapter ends with a great trick, this time involving four coins passing through a table.

Overall: It’s titled “A Book for Young Magicians” but don’t let this put you off as I’m pretty certain that any magician would find something of value in here. In any case “Young” could also imply “A Beginner in Magic” like me, a total beginner at 25 years old, rather than young in age terms, in which case you’re doubly certain to find this book extremely handy and worth every penny.

As you have probably gathered I can’t recommend this book highly enough. Whether you’re starting out in magic or a seasoned performer, it’s thoroughly entertaining, brilliant, amazing and you won’t want to put it down!

What do you mean you don’t own this book?


EDIT: I forgot to paste this in but a big thank you to Michael Jay for the recommendation!

Last edited by Adam Boyes on Jul 10th, '07, 16:30, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Rob » Jul 10th, '07, 16:01

Very nice first review Adam - you should be proud of your efforts there mate :D

And - yes; I *will* be buying this, based upon the comments you've made here.

Many thanks for putting the time and effort into reviewing this for us :wink:


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Postby Mandrake » Jul 10th, '07, 16:07

Super Review - all other members please take note of how things ought to be done :wink: ! I have this one on order as well!

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Postby Michael Jay » Jul 10th, '07, 16:08

Excellent review! :P And, I agree with every word of it. After 35+ years of doing magic, I still refer back to this book to remind me of little things that I seem to forget from time to time. Most definitely one the my favorite books in my library and an undeniably important beginning book to have for someone just getting started in magic.

Thank you for taking the time to put this up, sir.


Michael Jay

Postby roddy » Jul 10th, '07, 16:24

Thanks for a great review - I've just ordered mine from " The Book Depository " 7 pounds 73 pence but this includes delivery and as I live in Germany that's a bargain.

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Postby Wills » Jul 10th, '07, 16:45

Nice review!!

I recently got this book on Michael Jay's recommendations and can say that for the price everyone should buy it and give it the once over.

I'd also say not to be put of about it being a children's book. It provides very simple but deceptive tricks and methods.

If RRTCM and Bobo teach excellent card and money magic then The Secrets of Alkazar teaches excellent pure magic.

I loved his first lesson in card magic, it completely gets you away from the thinking of "pick a card, is this your card thinking". :D

Can anybody please help me? I'm having terrible problems controlling my streetmagic- I can't walk down a street without turning into a pub.
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Postby beeno » Jul 10th, '07, 17:04

Nice review.
You got me. Putting order in now.

Is it the Baker version of "Coins through table"? If it is then that's worth the price of the book alone. One of my favourites. Looks impossible and dumbfounds them every time.

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Postby Adam Boyes » Jul 10th, '07, 17:26

I'm glad you all liked it and thank you for the kind words!

I really enjoyed writing the review, it was fun :D I wanted to make sure I had everything down and sorted before I posted.

I'd be interested in what everyone else thinks when their copies arrive and if you share the same opinon!?

I've taken the book to work with me everyday to study and digest whats in there and it's really helped!

Now I must keep practicing

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Postby Lord Freddie » Jul 10th, '07, 20:05

Great review!
Michael Jay recommended this to me and I shall be getting two copies - one for myself and one for my nephew who is becoming quite an adept magician!

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Postby Schwen » Jul 11th, '07, 11:00

Just ordered this as well on the basis of this review... along with Total Recall and The Shawshank Redemption (might as well bump up the order to get free shipping ;) )

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Postby bananafish » Jul 20th, '07, 12:29

A nice recommendation. Thank you for the review. I bought it for the son of a friend who has expressed an interest in magic. I liked it so much though I decided to keep it myself.

(ok ok, i may order another one for him - sheesh, give me a break will you!)

For now I will probably just let him have one of my extra Einhorn's

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Postby donkeylord » Jul 20th, '07, 21:18

Just ordered it, can't wait :lol:

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Postby philipsw » Jul 21st, '07, 13:09

It is nice to hear of a "beginners" book that actually deals with the important part of magic - presentation &c. I may well get this to have a look at, and maybe recommend to friends who want to get started in magic. Thanks for the review.

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Postby BanaZombie » Jul 22nd, '07, 22:52

Hey just wanted toss this in you can purchase this book on amazon for almost just the cost of shipping.

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Postby Adam Boyes » Jul 24th, '07, 12:08

Has anyone else ordered and recieved their copy yet? What did you think?

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