Close-up Magic for Beginners - Harry Baron

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Close-up Magic for Beginners - Harry Baron

Postby Hardik » Jan 2nd, '10, 11:57



I don't know how many of you know that there is an effect called "Mind Bender" in Harry Baron's "Close-up Magic for Beginners" published in the 1970s.

The book itself is such a joy - some great effects, most of them quite impromptu and mind boggling. The book is divided into 8 chapters :

1. Card Tricks
2. Stunts
3. Mental Effects
4. Pins, Rope & String
5. Puzzles
6. Money and Coin Tricks
7. Miscellaneous Effects
8. Silks Bands and Ribbons

About 60 effects over 150 pages. The explanations are short, to the point and easy to understand. In particular, this effect called "Mind Bender" is just fantastic. It is basically a list of simple numbers provided to the spectator and he has to mentally add them up.. And almost 99% of the people do this wrong.

Now I showed this to my friends, some of the smartest undergraduates around, and ALL of them got it wrong - one after the other. And I taped everyone's reactions - including my class topper who was flabbergasted at his mistake - it was a sheer joy and provided everyone with tons of laughter.

For anyone who doesn't own this book, I wholeheartedly recommend it - a ton of stuff using cards, newspapers, safety pins , and I even found Osterlind's Clip Line coming in here.. I hear it is by Albert Spackman - but it does come in here. Anyone acquainted with magic history could help out - this effect is really lovely. It's called Newspaper Prediction in this book.

I found this little gem at the local Recyclers and bought it for an equivalent of less than a pound. In terms of the joy of performing effects within coupled with value for money, it probably ranks in the top three I own. I usually don't mind going a step back to beginner's books and I am really happy with this book.

A great 9/10 for a beginner's classic in my opinion - probably right out there with Amateur Magician's Handbook (Hay).

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Postby philipsw » Jan 2nd, '10, 20:16

A book I fondly remember reading from my local library when I was a child - in fact I now have an ex-library edition in my own personal collection :-)

I've just fished it out again - worth a re-visit, like most of these books.

He did a book just on card magic which I also remember very positively.

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Postby Fort » Jan 3rd, '10, 09:30

Harry Baron used to run my local magic shop in Billericay when I was a kid. The shop started out as literally a shed then evolved into a tiny store at the top of a rickety staircase. The walls were filled with memorabilia and photos, the whole place had a genuinely magical feel seen through my eleven year old eyes.

Harry was always very kind and patient considering I must have been a total pain, taking up his time and not spending very much. He even showed me a few simple tricks. I remember finding this book in the local library and was amazed that the 'magic shop guy' was actually famous!

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I remember those stairs

Postby maxbaron » Jul 17th, '10, 20:58

Haha.. he was my grandfather, he died when I was young, but I would of loved to have learnt more off of him... I remember those stairs, it was an amazing shop.

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Great

Postby killersneakers » Jul 29th, '10, 01:35

This post is very informative

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Postby Barefoot Boy » Jul 29th, '10, 02:19

According to Tom Mullica, Harry Baron was the inspiration for his Mullica Wallet. Perhaps the germ of the method is in that very book.

Blessings on thee, little man
Barefoot Boy with cheeks of tan...
Outward sunshine; Inward joy,
Blessings on thee, Barefoot Boy!
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Postby mark lewis » Jul 30th, '10, 01:06

I knew Harry Baron quite well. He was as deaf then as I am now.

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Postby mark lewis » Jul 30th, '10, 01:07

I knew Harry Baron quite well. He was as deaf then as I am now.

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Postby bananafish » Jul 30th, '10, 05:38

evidently he also forgets he has said something and repeats it....
I said evidently he also forgets he has said something and repeats it....

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Postby Mr_Grue » Jul 30th, '10, 09:02

This has just gone on sale at lybrary.com, if anyone wants to revisit it, or enjoy it for the first time.

Simon Scott

If the spectator doesn't engage in the effect,
then the only thing left is the method.


tiny.cc/Grue
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Re: Close-up Magic for Beginners - Harry Baron

Postby Dspack » Sep 29th, '11, 17:33

Albert "Al Brema" Spackman is my grandfather, unfortunately he passed away on the 14 march this year 2011. I will however ask my family about the above mentioned trick!

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Re: Close-up Magic for Beginners - Harry Baron

Postby paul1665 » Dec 15th, '11, 18:10

Dspack wrote:Albert "Al Brema" Spackman is my grandfather, unfortunately he passed away on the 14 march this year 2011. I will however ask my family about the above mentioned trick!


Sorry to hear that. Apart from the newspaper trick, one of my favorites was his "Voodoo" routine, which some people still market, though it appeared in the book The Art of Close Up Magic (vol.1 I think).

I have a different approach/method to it on my Fortune DVD.

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Re: Close-up Magic for Beginners - Harry Baron

Postby JabJay » Jun 16th, '12, 22:22

Old thread I know, but just wanted to say this was my first magic book and I still come back to it. Such a great read it's up there with the Royal Road. Seriously a great book

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Re: Close-up Magic for Beginners - Harry Baron

Postby pnerd » Mar 25th, '18, 09:38

This was once of the first magic books I read about 25 years ago. Fond memories!

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