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4.7 out of 5 stars43
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 8 January 2008
Being an amateur magician, I have read (and own) several books on the topic. Most books about Magic lack clarity and especially figures, so that they are really hard to read. After being frustrated by other books, Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic actually opened my eyes: it is extremely clear, and every trick is carefully explained with plenty of figures - the author took thousands photos for the book, that were then rendered to figures. Also, every trick is explained step by step, and useful comments are added at the end. The covered material is quite broad, and covers most of the basics tricks that every respected magician should have in his/her repertoire. Some comments on Amazon complain about the fact that this book is basic and it does not cover advanced topics; while this is true, I have to say that this excellent book is THE ONLY one I would recommend to anybody starting doing Magic; indeed, I was able to perform more advanced tricks explained in other books only after reading Mark Wilson's course.
In conclusion, I definitely recommend this book to everybody wanting to build a solid knowledge of the basics of Magic; read more advanced books only after having studied this one!
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on 20 February 1997
Mark Wilson has done a great service for the magic community. This book is a must have for the young magician wanting to get started on his road to fun and msytery.

This book covers cards, coins, sponge balls and all the way up to large stage illusions.

This book belongs on every magicians shelf.
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on 19 February 1998
This is a rich and informative source of information for a beginning magician. It is very well categorized with easy to understand comprehensive sections. If you're someone just starting out as an aspiring magician, as I am, this book is a MUST!
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on 14 July 2008
I recently purcased this book after reading a recomendation for it from Derren Brown. This is a serious book to get you into the world of magic. The same size and thickness of an average phonebook, it includes all the basics to turn an interested admirer into a competent conjuror. All the tricks and handlings etc are complete with detailed images that make the book increadibly easy to read. Whilst it is true, like others have said, that the book tends to cover several variations of the same trick, I feel this helps the "student" - it ceratainly helped me - to develop a more natural ability at magic. If you are seriously interested in magic, do not be put off by the price tag - you can't afford to not read this book!
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on 6 December 2012
It really is a Complete Course in Magic...not that you will learn everything but you will learn a wide range of styles of magic as well as the standard sleights within each area of magic: cards, coins, balls, rope, even stage magic. It has many excellent diagrams taking you through step-by-step and easy to follow instructions and nothing looks overly scary.

Learning a few tricks and sleights from each section will allow you to do magic from all areas and most likely allow you to find which style you enjoy and therefore move into buying more advanced books on those subjects.

I've used a few of the tricks and the cup & ball routine is an absolute stormer and the final reveal knocks them dead.
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on 25 June 2009
Mark Wilson's book is a beautifully written, clearly illustrated guide for the novice magician, covering almost every genre of magic. There's an awful lot here on cards, and that's to be expected given their dominance in the magic world, but coins, ropes, silks, mindreading, and even large stage illusions are covered here too. The effects taught are serious and strong if you make the effort to learn and perform them, and time spent with this book will give you a solid enough background in magic to decide how you want to specialise as you become a more advanced performer.

One decent trick from a magic shop would cost more than this book, but wouldn't give you half as much to play with!
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on 1 July 2000
The book itself is very useful as core book on the basics of magic. It starts off with many well known essentials in magic such as the art of forcing and plaming. But as it tries to offer variations of the same trick it seems to become repititive and lacking of true imagination. However the basics are extreamly well illusrated and supurbly simplified in language- very easy to understand. The book then takes you through many topics, each well done in quanity. But the book becomes too similar and only the presentation changes, which is good for beginers learning to form a unique style of magic, but far too cliched for regular magicians looking for something new in self-tutor books or bibles. On a personal note, the back of the book deals with stage magic and magic tricks involving complicated and unusual items like balls of wool. However these tricks will make you look like a poor Haven seaside entertainer and focus too much attention on the tricks being obvioudly gimmicked. For someone looking for a book involving instuctions mainly on levels of skill and manipulation, then it is too simple but for someone who likes the unusual gimmicked tricks then its perfect. Wilson delivers an assultment of a large varity. This book is perfect for children and people just looking for a playful hobbie but people who are slightly more serious begginers, who want to seriouly show off would be better off getting "An Idiots guide to magic". None the less its implications are good and is never a complete waste of money, there is always something to interest.
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on 17 February 1999
This is pretty cool. I would rated the best magic book.
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on 6 June 2005
hmmm, having read the amazing reviews for this book and as a beginner** in the world of magic i thought this would be perfect for me. In content, you cant fault it - by that i mean the postman must've had a sore shoulder after deliveing this baby! visually it's great and all tricks are accompanied by clear diagrams which do help...however, its main flaw is 'the tricks arn't that good'!!!! i found myself getting bored reading it and it reminded me of my paul daniels days! the book is split mainly into two sections; the first is card magic, the second is everything else (ie coins, impromtu tricks, stage magic, rope magic, etc)...the whole first section is quite easily surpassed by 'the royal road to card magic' and the second half is a bolstered version of 'magic for kids'...as a total beginner to the world of magic this book would be great as an overview of all the basic concepts however i considered myself a beginner until i read this!? take from that what you will
**when i say beginner i mean i've been dabbling all my life (with paul daniels kits, etc...) but only began to take it seriously in the past year and am still building up my collection
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on 28 December 2015
A bit dAted, needs re-writing to provide a more modern feel to the tricks. Some of the stuff is a little bit pointless and I would consider them as fillers. However in all fairness it provides an excellent range of tricks across the different spectrums of mAgic and is well worth the time invested, but you will need to think of a more modern context for some of these tricks to make them 21st century appropriate in terms of the patter provided to link the tricks to some sort of modern context for the participant.
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