BOOK CLUB - Season One
BOOK CLUB - Season One
BOOK CLUB - Season One
OVER 18 HOURS OF VIDEO - Full access to Mahdi Gilbert’s 2018 Book Club Livestreams.
Discover the real secrets of Max Malini, Harlan Tarbell, Henning Nelms, Edwin T. Sachs, Paul Le Paul, S.W. Erdnase, Harry Houdini, Derren Brown, and Howard Thurston by exploring works of literature by them and about their lives and magic.
MALINI AND HIS MAGIC BY DAI VERNON
Max Malini was “The Last of The Mountebacks” and performed publicly & privately for the aristocracy and was personal friends with Presidents, Emperors, Kings & Queens, and all manner of Royalty. Learn the real story of how this Polish immigrant built himself up from nothing to become the most sensational and legendary magician the world has ever known.
TARBELL COURSE IN MAGIC BY HARLAN TARBELL
The Tarbell Course in Magic one of the biggest encyclopedias of magic and treasured by both professional and amateur magicians. Originally this was a home-study correspondence course that was produced in the 1920s by Dr. Harlan Tarbell. You would receive one lesson every week by mail and have time to work on it before moving ahead. Years later these were compiled into 5 Volumes with 3 additional Volumes added by contemporary magicians.
MAGIC & SHOWMANSHIP: A HANDBOOK FOR CONJURERS 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. Without having mastered the art of presentation or “showmanship,” however, even the most competent sleight-of-hand artist can fall short in performance. This work is an essential guide to showmanship and is highly recommended by David Blaine.
SLEIGHT OF HAND BY EDWIN T. SACHS
First published in 1885, this classic treatise on the art of prestidigitation has initiated and will continue to serve as an introductory guide to countless magicians.
This livestream is based on the Second, and greatly expanded, Edition of this timeless work. Mahdi Gilbert has breathed new life into this masterpiece with the goal of instructing the future generation of conjurors.
"It is my intention to give, in the following pages, such instruction as shall enable the merest tyro to become an adept in the art of Legerdemain, providing that a due degree of attention is given and a reasonable amount of practice undertaken." - Edwin Sachs
THE CARD MAGIC OF LE PAUL BY PAUL LEPAUL
Virtually everyone in the conjuring & cardistry community know of The LePaul Spread but very few know much about the actually man or his magic. Paul LePaul performed one of the great manipulation acts in magic and was a master of sleight of hand with playing cards. In his seminal work he teaches improved versions of many classic card techniques and his favorite pieces of card magic, many of which would elevate classic plots in card magic to masterpieces.
THE EXPERT AT THE CARD TABLE BY S.W. ERDNASE
Artifice, Ruse and Subterfuge at the Card Table: A Treatise on the Science and Art of Manipulating Cards is considered to be the greatest book on card manipulation by card experts worldwide. Published in 1902 by a mysterious card cheater this is the best work that exists on the subject and fully details a highly sophisticated system of manipulation at the card table.
THE SECRET LIFE OF HOUDINI BY WILLIAM KALUSH & LARRY SLOMAN
Since his death eighty years ago, Harry Houdini’s life has been chronicled in books, in film, and on television. Now, in this groundbreaking biography, renowned magic expert William Kalush and best-selling writer Larry Sloman team up to find the man behind the myth. Drawing from millions of pages of research, they describe in vivid detail the passions that drove Houdini to perform ever-more-dangerous feats, his secret life as a spy, and a pernicious plot to subvert his legacy.
After years of struggling on the dime museum circuit, Harry Houdini got a break that put him on the front page of a Chicago newspaper. He never looked back. Soon Houdini was performing for royalty, commanding vast sums, and exploring the new power of Hollywood to expand on his legend. At a time when spy agencies frequently co-opted amateurs, Houdini went to London and developed a relationship with a man who would run MI-5. For the next several years, the world’s most famous magician traveled to Germany and Russia and routinely reported his findings.
After World War I was successfully concluded, Houdini embarked on a battle of his own. He created a group of disguised field operatives to infiltrate the seamy world of fake spirit mediums. In doing so, Houdini triggered the wrath of fanatical Spiritualists, led by the esteemed British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Death threats became an everyday occurrence, but the group would pose an even greater danger to Houdini’s legacy.
Rigorously researched, and as exciting as a good thriller, The Secret Life of Houdini traces the arc of the master magician’s life from desperate poverty to worldwide legend, initiating the reader along the way into the arcane world of professional magic. In this remarkable book, Kalush and Sloman decode a life based on deception, providing an intimate and riveting portrayal of Houdini, the man and the legend.
ABSOLUTE MAGIC: A MODEL FOR POWERFUL CLOSE-UP PERFORMANCE BY DERREN BROWN
Derren Brown is one of the greatest magicians of our time and has generously shared his thoughts on how to create powerful close-up performances with all of us. Unlike many other authors who write sound theories only to disappoint when seen at work in actual performances, Derren Brown can perform at a high level. We here at Before Magic feel depraved that we do not get to witness Derren Brown perform close-up magic any longer as he has chosen to focus on his current trajectory on stage and television. This is an excellent book and should be studied seriously by anyone who aspires to be a great magician.
THE LAST GREATEST MAGICIAN IN THE WORLD BY JIM STEINMEYER
Here is the seminal biography of the magician's magician, Howard Thurston, a man who surpassed Houdini in the eyes of showmen and fans and set the standard fro how stage magic is performed today.
Everyone knows Houdini-but who was Thurston? In this rich, vivid biography of the "greatest magician in the world," celebrated historian of stage magic Jim Steinmeyer captures the career and controversies of the wonder-worker extraordinaire, Howard Thurston.
The public's fickleness over magicians has left Thurston all but forgotten today. Yet Steinmeyer shows how his story is one of the most remarkable in show business. During his life, from 1869 to 1936, Thurston successfully navigated the most dramatic changes in entertainment-from street performances to sideshows to wagon tours through America's still-Wild West to stage magic amid the glitter of grand theaters. Thurston became one of America's most renowned vaudeville stars, boldly performing an act with just a handful of playing cards, and then had the foresight to leave vaudeville, expanding his show into an extravaganza with more than forty tons of apparatus and costumes. His touring production was an American institution for nearly thirty years, and Thurston earned a brand name equal to Ziegfeld or Ringling Brothers.
Steinmeyer explores the stage and psychological rivalry between Thurston and Houdini during the first decades of the twentieth century-a contest that Thurston won. He won with a bigger show, a more successful reputation, and the title of America's greatest magician. In The Last Greatest Magician in the World, Thurston's magic show is revealed as the one that animates our collective memories.