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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Magic and Showmanship by Henning Nelms.
Like theatrical presentations, conjuring is an art of illusion. A magician skilled in the craft is able to convince an audience that he or she can read minds, communicate with the spirit world, make objects appear or disappear, and perform other acts of seemingly genuine magic.
Of particular interest is a chapter on body language, posture, positioning and movement. Also included are some 60 original routines — from simple card tricks to such major illusions as having the performer suddenly appear at stage center. Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published April 13th by Dover Publications first published June More Details Original Title. Other Editions 3.
Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Magic and Showmanship , please sign up. Be the first to ask a question about Magic and Showmanship. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 4. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Nov 05, Chris Bauer rated it really liked it. This book actually came as a recommendation from a writing workshop I attended last month.
I was a little puzzled at first but dove right in. The writing is a little dated and some of the tricks are well beyond my meager skills of sleight of hand, but the important information in the book wasn't actually doing illusions.
It happens to provide an invaluable viewpoint on how to truly weave a good story. The setup, the hook, the pull, the build, the tension, characters, and climax. Took me a little w This book actually came as a recommendation from a writing workshop I attended last month.
Took me a little while to "get it" but it worked! As an aside, one of the best quotes I've heard about writing came about indirectly from this work. If you know 50 sleights but only 1 way to show, you know ONE trick. Aug 03, Randy Hulshizer rated it liked it.
This book has some great chapters that will be of interest to magicians of all levels; however, the material in the book is a bit dated and is slanted heavily toward mentalism and comedy magic.
May 27, Karl rated it liked it. I bought this book years ago after attending a lecture on magic. Unfortunately, the book which was last updated in has not aged well.
The casual sexism, ageism, and Eurocentric narrative won't fly with modern audiences. I did enjoy some of the technical elements of the sample magic tricks.
You might know how these things work, but seeing how simple constructions of paper, thread, and paint can create basic illusions was a nice throwback to those magic shops you can still find in some city I bought this book years ago after attending a lecture on magic.
You might know how these things work, but seeing how simple constructions of paper, thread, and paint can create basic illusions was a nice throwback to those magic shops you can still find in some city tourist stops. I think the real strength in this book is its discussion of presentation and audience, showmanship and theatre.
The comparisons between traditional theatre and stage conjuration provide some nice insight to the writers of fiction. There are other books that teach this lesson in more focused and less offensive light, however, so it might be best to see this as a historical document rather than a primer.
Jun 12, Mary Catelli rated it it was amazing Shelves: how-to-write , nonfiction-other , primary-source. This is a how-to-write book. I even picked it up because it was recommended as such. Since it was published in and is still in print, it's probably a good book on being a conjurer, for reference or if you want to do it. I can't recommend it as such, as I read to learn how to write. Where it is good.
The source of information, where all eyes ought to be. Devising your magic system where the author cites fantasy literature as much better than most conjurers , giving characters roles an This is a how-to-write book. Even when he talks about misdirection -- writers want to misdirect.
Not so overtly, but you want to be able to set things up without the reader going -- look, setup! View all 3 comments. Apr 22, David rated it really liked it. The tricks are pretty confusing and don't really make sense but the theory is just right. Every magician who wants to perform magic for lay audience should read this book. It is a dense read with a lot of theory that makes you think about magic in ways you never had.
Magic is going through changes and people want to see entertainers, not some guy who can do all this fancy moves. You must engage your audience and make them want to see you. Your magic is merely icing on the cake. Become a professi The tricks are pretty confusing and don't really make sense but the theory is just right. Become a professional entertainer. Read this book. Jun 08, Louis-philippe Morier rated it liked it. A reading for the magician interested in the historical aspect of presentation.
The text feels and is dated. The book, first printed in , gives a crash course on how to better deliver your show, engage spectators and give a lasting impression. I still prefer Strong Magic by Darwin Ortiz for a clearer course structure and better suited to our modern minds. Nov 05, Ali Schultz rated it it was amazing Shelves: subject-magic-and-mentalism. Absolutely amazing book, so much incredibly useful information not just for magicians but for any variety of performer or directors.
Jan 03, Jeffrey rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: Anyone interested in performing arts. A great book that details how to get and direct an audience's attention.
How to get a message across. Useful to anyone not just magicians. Jan 09, Jhk rated it really liked it. You can read this as a handbook, or as a giant metaphor. I found it at just the right time in my life. I'm reading it as the latter. Aug 05, Donal Phipps rated it it was amazing.
An incredibly detailed, comprehensive and extremely useful textbook. Why am I interested in this? Well, why wouldn't I be? Jun 12, Alexis rated it liked it. This is great if you want to be a magician, because it is a straight up handbook. I thought it might be more philosophical so I was dissappointed.
The writing reads like a manual.
By Henning Nelms. In , French North Africa was as disturbed as it is today. However, the agitators were not Communists but marabouts—Mohammedan fanatics who worked the Arabian mobs into superstitious frenzy by pretending to possess magical powers. The French Government displayed imagination almost unique in official circles and sent a conjurer, Robert-Houdin, to discredit the marabouts by outdoing their magic. The marabouts had a trick which apparently proved that no pistol aimed at them would fire.
Magic and Showmanship: A Handbook for Conjurers
In , French North Africa was as disturbed as it is today. However, the agitators were not Communists but marabouts—Mohammedan fanatics who worked the Arabian mobs into superstitious frenzy by pretending to possess magical powers. The French Government displayed imagination almost unique in official circles and sent a conjurer, Robert-Houdin, to discredit the marabouts by outdoing their magic. One of Robert-Houdin's feats is probably the most perfect example of conjuring ever performed. The marabouts had a trick which apparently proved that no pistol aimed at them would fire. The French conjurer countered by letting a marabout shoot at him and catching the bullet in an apple stuck on the point of a knife. However, Robert-Houdin had announced publicly that his "magic" consisted entirely of tricks, and the shrewder marabouts guessed that his bullet-catching feat could be performed only with his own gun.
View Larger Image. Ask Seller a Question. Publisher: Dover Publications, Inc. Highly instructive book by a noted authority on the subject analyzes every phase of conjuring, from sleights, devices, misdirection, and controlling audience attention to incorporating patter and the effective use of assistants.