Saturday, September 4, 2010

Tarbell vol. 1

To celebrate the new arrival of The Cuckoo's Nest right across the street from Schell Games, I did something I've wanted to do for 25 years... I bought the Tarbell Course in Magic. And it is even better than I would have imagined! His descriptions are so clear, his illustrations are the best I've ever seen, and his blend of theory and practice makes the books a joy to read. Volume One has some great stuff about the history of magic, and clear ways to get started with coin tricks, thumb tip tricks, and a bunch of other great basics. I've always been a terrible magician, but with these books, I'm starting to see the path forward.


  1. The Tarbell series is really great place to start. I think the number one book for basic instruction is "Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic". It has the broadest scope and the clearest diagrams. It is possible to learn most of the effects by the pictures alone. Its simplicity betrays its depth.

  2. I *totally* agree about the Mark Wilson book -- that was the book that my master had me use back when I was an apprentice. Definitely a great way to get started. However, there is a depth and richness in the Tarbell books that suits me much better as an adult.