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Little Book Of Big Secrets, The Review

Official Review

February 1st, 2006 3:37pm
Reviewed by Gordon Meyer
Goldman's The Little Book of Big Secrets it quite charming, but easy to dismiss, in spite of its good humor and advice. It's quite unique among magic books; falling in that rarified category of publications that include neither tricks nor lofty theory. Instead, Goldman serves up some straightforward, hard-won advice in a very casual style.

The pages in the book aren't numbered, and the very short chapters can be read in any order, but you'll get the most out of it by spending the half hour it takes to read the book straight through, from cover-to-cover. That's what I did, and after I reached the end I thought to myself, "Wow, that was fun!" And it is a fun read, Goldman's personality drips from every page, and you're left with the feeling that he's a likable, friendly guy who cares about magic, and cares about you.

Which, frankly, is the point of the whole book. If I had to summarize it in just a few words, it would be "Be a genuine, caring person." There, I've spilled it, that's one of the big secrets to success in magic. Oh, Goldman says it a lot better, but almost as succinctly. Which is where I think this book could have been a lot better than it is. Goldman does have some important principals to convey, and he does so using some good stories, but too often I felt that he had taken me to the edge of a very good thought, then failed to fully develop it. That's a shame, because it is clear what Goldman has to say; a lot of magicians need to hear.

Oh, I should clarify that there is one trick in the book, lest someone accuse of me not reading it carefully. It's a trick you probably already know, and I bet its one that you long ago rejected as being to silly or obvious. Well, Goldman shows you how to turn it into a routine that's guaranteed to end in a standing ovation, and with the audience sharing an amusing and amazing moment that they, and you, have jointly created. And that's why it's in the book, not because the trick is big secret, but because creating a shared, joyful, amazing experience is what magic should be about.

Let's put this in perspective with the rest of the magic market. The Big Book of Little Secrets is reasonably priced, and while it could benefit from a good editor and a bit more depth, it offers honest advice from a long-time professional that might, if you are willing to internalize it, change the course of your career. Or, you could blow $20 on yet another marked deck.

Available at your favorite Murphy’s Magic dealer

Product info for Little Book Of Big Secrets, The

Author: Bill Goldman
Average Rating:  (1)
Retail Price: $19.95
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Manufacturer's Description:

Whenever a successful magician plays to a nationwide audience in front of millions of people do you say to yourself, "That guy is doing the same tricks that I am, he must have caught a lucky break." If you do, Bill Goldman has got a book for you. This manuscript shows you how to investigate how that Magician attained prominence and how you can follow their example to gain more success. Bill maintains that it is not the effects or the routines, but the way a performer affects the audience that makes a Lance Burton or a David Copperfield. In the book Bill strives to give practical, real world tips and techniques that will allow you to win the hearts, minds, and imaginations of paying crowds. Bill tells you in plain and simple terms how to become the great magician and performer you have always wanted to be.

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