Another Review - The Big Book Of Magic by Patrick Page

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Another Review - The Big Book Of Magic by Patrick Page

Postby JustCraig » Jun 23rd, '13, 00:58


The Big Book Of Magic


Patrick Page – Illustrated by Eric Mason


Bought mine pre-owned from Amazon for £8


Published in 1976


304 Pages


Chapter One – A short history of Conjuring

As the chapter title suggests, the book begins with a brief history of magic and conjuring.

Chapter Two – Standard Accessories

This chapter looks at the Traditional Magicians Tools. The top hat, the wand (in its various forms), the magicians table etc. In today's day and age, it is probably less relevant but still an interesting chapter non the less.

That said, anyone interested in stage magic or magic for Children will probably get much more out of this chapter than I did.

Chapter Three – Manipulation V's Apparatus

An essay exploring the difference between close up and stage magic.

Chapter Four – Coin and Ring Manipulation

The chapter describes and explains two classics of magic at great length. Namely The Misers Dream and the iconic Chinese Linking Rings.

For example, in this chapter Patrick Page explains not only individual slights required to perform The Misers Dream (although these are covered in detail) but an entire routine including how to present the effect. A whole 15 pages worth of material dedicated to this effect alone.

The same goes for the Chinese Linking Rings, this chapter contain 9 pages of material for anyone interested in learning this classic effect.

Chapter Five – Card Manipulation

The first half of this chapter seem to focus primarily on card productions, from single card productions to multiple fan productions mixed in with some useful slights that are required during the production.

The chapter on Card Manipulation then goes on to describe some classic card effects including Cards to Pocket, 3 Cards Across, The Six Card Repeat (the slight of hand version, NOT the awful gimmick card version), The Card In Balloon and the Card Stab.

You will also find some effects using the Si Stebbins stack, The Stripper Deck and the Svengali deck.

Chapter Six - Ball Manipulation

Billiard ball manipulations, sponge ball manipulation and the classic cups and balls routine are all explained at great length. Not just individual slights (although these are covered) but entire routines.

I haven't seen many magicians performing many billiard ball effects these days but Sponge Balls and Cups and Balls are still as popular today with many magicians as they have always been and for those magicians, this chapter contains 10 pages of material for both the Sponge Balls and the Cups & Balls

Chapter Seven – Rope Tricks

In this Chapter you will find a selection of tricks with rope including various Appearing Knot effects (the aptly names “The Appearing Knot” being my personal favourite) and the classic cut and restored rope effect.

Chapter Eight - Thimble manipulation

Probably less relevant in today’s day and age and not an area of magic that appeals to me but an interesting read non the less. Again this chapter take you through some basic slights before going more in depth by putting it all together into a full routine.

This chapter only takes up 7 pages.

Chapter Nine – Tricks with liquids

6 pages, 3 effects. I just skimmed through this chapter because the effects didn't really interest me but for the sake of offering a complete review, here are a list of effects that it covers:

The vanishing bowl of water
The evaporating liquid
The glass of wine production

Again, I dare say stage performers may find more value in this chapter than I did.

Chapter Ten – Pocket Tricks

Chapter 10 is all about pocket tricks and there are some good effects in this chapter. As well as effects like the paddle move and the Chinese compass, this chapter also contains a number of effects using the TT and some nifty little tricks with finger rings (namely The Ring on Stick and The Floating Ring)

But my favourite part of this chapter was the last 5 pages, which explained in great detail the old street hustle, The Three Shell Game.

As with some of the classic effects in the earlier chapters, Patrick Page explains both the individual slights/moves required and the foundations for creating a full routine.

Chapter Eleven – Tricks with Paper

This chapter starts with some origami type effects (such as a paper tree and a paper ladder) and a couple of other little titbits and then goes into the classic effect that is The Torn and Restored Newspaper.

Another classic effect which every magician should at least be familiar with.

Chapter Twelve – Livestock and Platform Effects

All the effects in this chapter require the correct props (and in most cases, some livestock!) and even if you are a handy with a screwdriver and a buzz-saw, there are no plans to tell you how to make them. I guess the information would be useful if you purchased the props elsewhere but didn't have the instructions or you already owned the effect and wanted some additional thoughts on presentation.

Having said that, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it (as much if not more than some of the other chapters) simply to learn the secrets behind the effects that I grew up watching when I was a youngster (the vanishing birdcage, the rabbit cage etc)

Chapter Thirteen – Magic Spectaculars

This is similar to the last chapter in that although the book explains how to do some of magic’s classic illusions, you are not going to be able to perform them unless you already own the apparatus required. The only exception to this would be a couple of escapology effects (mainly with rope). But again, that doesn't make it any less enjoyable to read.

Illusions covered include (although not a full list):

Sawing a woman in half
The Submission Trunk
The Vanishing Car (Or Elephant!)
The Indian Basket
Straight jacket escape

Plus many more...

Out of 10:



I think I have said pretty much everything there is to say about it above but would like to add that I would highly recommend this book to both novices and professionals alike. There is a wealth of information contained within its pages and I'm sure the more experienced magician will be able to take much more from it than I can.

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