Magic for Dummies

Review of Magic for Dummies by David Pogue – a wonderful introduction to both performing as a magician or comedy magician, as well as performing, and why the performance is more important than the sleight of hand.

Magic for Dummies - a reference for the rest of us by David Pogue - ''A book that all magicians of any age and level of experience will cherish and refer to for years to come''—Lance Burton, world-renowned magician - Includes favorite tricks from 35 top professional magicians! - over 90 easy-to-perform tricks using everyday items like money, silverware and playing cards! Conjure up a magical performance for any event or occassion - Photos, patter and presentation tips provided for every trick

As a general rule, I dislike the ‘Dummies’ series of books, simply because the titles seem to insult the reader.  However, I’ll make an exception for Magic for Dummies by David Pogue.  I’ve been familiar with David Pogue’s writing for the Macintosh community for several years, and I’ve always found him to be both an entertaining as well as informative writer.  The same, I’m happy to say, holds here.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Part I: Being Magical
    • Chapter 1: All Form, No Content
    • Chapter 2: The Instant Gratification Chapter
  • Part II: Wizardry Anywhere
    • Chapter 3: Financial Wizardry
    • Chapter 4: New Uses for Old Office Supplies
    • Chapter 5: What to Do with Other Peoples Clothing
    • Chapter 6: Take it Outside, Pal
  • Part III: The Restaurant Zone
    • Chapter 7: Cutlery is Your Friend
    • Chapter 8: Playing with Your Food
    • Chapter 9: Matches Made in Heaven
  • Intermission
  • Part IV: Pick a Card … Trick
    • Chapter 10: I Could Have Dealt All Night
    • Chapter 11: The Build-Your-Own-Card-Trick Kit
  • Part V: Party Time
    • Chapter 12: Rope
    • Chapter 13: I Knew That!
    • Chapter 14: Group Hysteria
  • Part VI: The Part of Tens
    • Chapter 15: Ten Basics of Good Magic
    • Chapter 16: Ten Classic Moments in Magic History
    • Chapter 17: Ten Dead Magicians Worth Knowing
    • Chapter 18: Ten Things to Say When Things Go Wrong
    • Chapter 19: Ten Ways to Get More Into Magic
  • Part VII: Appendixes
    • Appendix A: Magic Stores, Publishers, Societies, and Magazines
    • Appendix B: Magic Words: A Glossary
    • Appendix C: Trickography
  • Index

Editorial Review of Magic for Dummies, courtesy of

You don’t need a white tiger, expensive props, or hours of preparation to do magic. With a little practice, some clever misdirection (which lays at the heart of all magic tricks), and showmanship, you can surprise family, friends, and coworkers using a few everyday items!
If you’re looking to saw a beautiful women in half or make buildings disappear, we’re sorry, but this book isn’t you. But if you want to act out little miracles that you can perform on the spur of the moment with items that are usually within reach, then Magic For Dummies can show you how.

Magic For Dummies features more than 90 easy-to-perform deceptions, illusions, and sleights of hand for any event or occasion. You’ll discover how to perform entertaining card tricks, coin tricks, disappearing acts, as well as the always-popular mind reading trick. You’ll even see how easy it is to make money disappear as well as melt a saltshaker! Chock-full of show-stopping tricks, Magic For Dummies will:

  • Get you started with easy-to-learn magic tricks
  • Let you turn a restaurant into a your stage with tricks that include utensils, mugs, and even food
  • Show you how to use a deck of cards to perform endless magic tricks
  • Make you the life of the party with tricks such as “Call This Number,” “The Strength Test,” and “The Phantom Photo”
  • Get you out of tough situations buy giving you ten things to say when things go wrong

Filled with photos, patter, and presentation tips for every trick in the book, Magic For Dummies offers a great opportunity to become familiar with some of the coolest magic tricks ever performed. With the help of author David Pogue and the stunning tricks contributed by thirty-five of America’s top professional magicians, you’ll be leaving your friends, family, and coworkers spellbound at your mastery of the mystical arts.

From the Back Cover of Magic for Dummies

“A book that all magicians of any age and level of experience will cherish and refer to for years to come!” — Lance Burton, World-Renowned Magician “A wonderful introduction, not only to ‘how it’s done,’ but also to ‘how and why You can do it’!” — Tobias Beckwith, Magic Producer and Manager

350 Step-by-Step Photos Featured!

Perform Magic at the Drop of a Hat You don’t need a white tiger, expensive props, or hours of preparation to do magic. With a little practice and showmanship, you can bewitch family, friends, and coworkers using a few everyday items! Make money disappear, melt a salt shaker, and even read someone’s mind! The trick to spicing up your next party, presentation, or evening out is easy — just pick up Magic For Dummies®! Chock-Full of Show-Stopping Tricks:

  • The Ninja Key Catch
  • The Torn and Restored Toilet Paper
  • Straw through the Jaw
  • Beans through Orifices

Plus stunning tricks contributed by 35 of America’s top professional magicians, including Lance Burton, Johnny Thompson, Jeff McBride, and Paul Harris! 

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