Mysteerio's Encyclopedia of Magic and Conjuring

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Mysteerio's Encyclopedia of Magic and Conjuring

Postby Calaith » Jan 6th, '09, 10:28



Mysterio's Encyclopedia of Magic and Conjuring

A book writen by Gabe Fajuri, apparently based on the journal of a 19th century magician named Alphonse Rekulak (aka: Mr. Mysterio)

Cost

Not sure, it was a gift for christmas. Probably about $30 Australian.

Difficulty
(1=easy to do, 2=No sleights, but not so easy, 3=Some sleights used,
4=Advanced sleights used, 5=Suitable for experienced magicians only)

1 - 4. Many of the tricks done do require some sleight of hand used, although not many of them are rediculously complicated, and should only require a few hours practice. Many more of the tricks are self working and mastered in minutes, depending on your showmanship.

Review

I want to make two things clear about this review and this book. Firstly I am only a beginner, performing magic for only a few months now and most often for friends and family. Secondly I percieve this book to be one for beginners, as though some of the tricks are still a bit more complicated than I can yet handle, there appears to be nothing that cannot be mastered with several hours of solid practice.

Those two things said, it should become pretty obvious that this book is aimed at and (in my opinion) perfect for beginners. While simple to perform, the tricks can be startling and garner amazing reactions from audiences. I have performed them with great success, and have earned myself a growing reputation amongst my peers and strangers.

The book itself is split into several sections;

The first section is entitled 'Body Magic', and includes tricks that can be done without the need for any props or preperation. Essentially you are trying to convince your audience that your body has supernatural abilities theirs do not. While most the tricks in this section aren't really convincing as 'real magic' (and indeed most tricks here I've just passed by), they are fun to try and generally lightly entertaining. They are also very quick, and so can be done at a party or in a restraunt situation when you need quick snappy illusions, or are challenged to perform magic at a time you find yourself 'unarmed'.

The second section is card magic, and as far as I've read the most extensive. It provides several impressive card tricks in three secions, starting from self working card tricks, moving to skilled card tricks, and up to 'Repuation Making' card tricks. Many of them can be performed very quickly with a simple non-gimmick deck of cards, and minimal preperation, and can be very impressive amongst non-magic circles. As well as providing individual tricks, it also teaches card sleights that not only help in performing these tricks, but also help in inventing your own or making yourself a more flexible and adaptive performer. Though not as extensive as a book entirely on card magic, it is certainly helpful for those wanting a few good card tricks to sprinkle between the large tricks in their routine.

Chapter three is close up magic, outlining very quick tricks that are more visual than card tricks and require more sleight of hand. Again none of these tricks are particularly breath taking or advanced, but very good for beginners wishing for a place to start practicing their sleight of hand. They can also be done in every day situations with a myriad of different objects, and so can be done in any situation. To other magic users they will seem a bit ametuer I can imagine, but in non-magic circles they will impress.

Chapter 4 is an introduction to the cups and balls, arming budding prestigitators with the basic skills and sleights behind this classic illusion. Similarly to the Card Magic section of the book, it doesn't necessarily run you through a handful of cups and balls tricks, but teaches you the individual sleights that you can piece together in any way you like in a routin to make something more suited to your style of performance. It then takes you through the classic cups and balls routine starting with Gone and Back again right through to that final surprise load.

Chapter 5 is Money Magic, taking you through basic coin sleights and demonstrating how they can be applied, but also including note tricks such as the torn and restored note. There are again some great simple effects here, that will get you practicing your sleight of hand an impressing small audiences.

I'm just going to list the remainder of the books sections. I feel as if I am just repeating myself now; Each section is full of great simple illusions, but mostly for beginning magicians.

Chapter 5 is Rope Magic (including the classic cut and restore), Chapter 6 is mentalism, though probably the most simplistic in its field than others. Chapter 7 is Parlor Magic and stage illusions. This section requires more props and gimmicks, and probably should be moved to after mastering some of the other chapters. But it would be good for performing in small clubs or at parties, and such. Chapter 9 is Hankerchief magic , and Chapter 10 is proper stage filling illusions. The final chapter requires a lot of preperation for still simple tricks, but are 'larger' for larger audiences and can still be used to great effect. Nothing breathtaking once more, and none of those old mind boggling classics such as the zig-zag woman or cutting people in half. But again (and again and again it seems) it will suffice for beginners.

Overall

I feel like I've probably over stated the fact here, but this is a great book for beginners. If, like me, you've only just started magic and want to get into some nice simple tricks to impress friends and new audiences, I highly recommend this resource. Even more so, because while the tricks aren't mind blowing they are impressive and WILL get reactions - but additionally everybody has to start somewhere, and this will get you started with your sleight of hand.

For begginers: 8/10

For experienced magicians: 4/10 perhaps. You will probably find this resource much less helpful or impressive, but admittedly great for a novice.

Thanks, Cal

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Postby Mandrake » Jan 6th, '09, 11:22

Great Review - thanks!

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Postby feifei » Jan 6th, '09, 14:37

Thanks for the review. Well written.

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Re: Mysterio's Encyclopedia of Magic and Conjuring

Postby Mandrake » Aug 4th, '21, 18:11

Bump!!

Cost
Not sure, it was a gift for christmas. Probably about $30 Australian.


I recently spotted this book on sale on a second hand book site for less than £5 with free postage so I grabbed it! When it arrived the back cover had a sticker showing it was £11.99 and in almost mint condition - it looks like remainder stock rather than genuinely pre-used.

The content is more than excellent, when folks ask what books we recommend to start learning general magic we usually say Mark Wilson's Encyclopedia or Nic Einhorn's similarly titled books and they are all excellent. Mr Mysterio's book is in the same class, a very wide variety of magic taught, plenty of details on sleights and moves, many well-known routines are covered and you will see many tricks which are performed by top flight magicians being explained in the book. The issue date on my copy was 2008 and the author admits to having updated some of the tricks to use modern day items such as credit cards which makes the book more relevant to newcomers. Occasional anachronisms are left in (‘ask your Tinsmith to make…’ being my favourite!) and I suppose the hand drawn monochrome images will be less appealing compared to the usual full colour photographs in more modern works but they are very clear and in some ways show more than a photo could.

This book is probably out of print now so only second hand book shops and sites are likely to have them but if you can track one down it will be well worth it.

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Re: Mysteerio's Encyclopedia of Magic and Conjuring

Postby magicofthemind » Aug 5th, '21, 09:28

Thanks. Just ordered a copy from Amazon. There is a Kindle version, so you can "Look Inside" at the first chapter.

Barry

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Re: Mysteerio's Encyclopedia of Magic and Conjuring

Postby magicofthemind » Aug 15th, '21, 13:41

My copy arrived a few days ago and I've just finished skim reading it. My hardback copy also cost less than £5 including postage. It is still in print, though; at least one magic dealer has it, and Amazon has a Kindle version.

I can't agree that it's a beginner's book. It's the nearest thing I've seen to a single-volume magic encyclopedia; the range of content is enormous, covering almost every classic you can name. Where else (apart from Tarbell) can you find, in one volume:

Cups and balls
Professor's Nightmare
Out of this World
Hunter's Knot
Miraskill
Crazy Man's Handcuffs
Dual Control
Gray Elephants
Magic squares...

There's no alphabetical index, but there are six pages of contents.

It has to be said that many of the descriptions are short and focus more on method than presentation, but that's inevitable in a 340 page, clearly formatted book. The closest book that I know of like this is George Anderson's Magic Digest, but that is poorly formatted, with pretty rough illustrations, and does not credit originators of effects. There is little here that I haven't read elsewhere, but to find it all in one book is amazing. This is a book that I could have done with many years ago, after my three magic bibles which gave a better grounding for a beginner: Modern Magic Manual, Amateur Magician's Handbook and The Complete Magician. You really need to learn the basic lessons of books like that before tackling a comprehensive resource like this.

Barry

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Re: Mysteerio's Encyclopedia of Magic and Conjuring

Postby Le Petit Bateleur » Aug 16th, '21, 09:27

Thank you for the tip Barry.

Some second hand copies on ebay currently going at a good price.

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