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Magic Bar And Grill Book Review

Official Review

March 1st, 2006 12:26am
Reviewed by Gordon Meyer
My first impression of this book was that "Magic Bar & Grill" was a rather odd title of for a magic book. Then I realized that it's a compendium of ten newsletters with that title, published over about a decade, so at least I understood the origin. And by the time I was about halfway through the book, I was convinced that there couldn't be a better title--this book is a lot like a real bar and grill, it's friendly, fun, and has something on the "menu" for everyone.

Goldman's writing style is casual, and his advice and perspective convey his experience as a professional magician. That means the material is practical, varied, and (for the most part) streamlined in its approach. If you've already read his Little Book of Big Secrets, then you'll feel right at home. (In fact, some of the themes that emerge in that book echo throughout this one. The two go together quite well.)

Publications for magician's have long been lacking in production values, and this book is at least visually-appealing, but unfortunately Goldman didn't do much to make the previously individual issues easier to use in this compilation format. For example, there isn't a table of contents, index, or even continuous page numbering. This makes it challenging to take notes, so I recommend keeping a package of Post-It tape flags on hand as you read through. You'll need several, if my experience is any indication.

By the time I was done reading the book's approximately 45 pages of material, I found that I had jotted down over a dozen effects or tips that I wanted to learn or develop further. One item, "Counting Fingers," gave me a bit of business that I immediately scripted and have since performed several times in various casual situations, to good reception. Another, a book test called "Bird on a Wire" promises to become the basis for a new closing effect. I wish I had learned "The Rise of the Pyramid" when I worked in a magic shop, I could have used it to sell a lot of Devano decks.

At $50, this isn't an inexpensive book, and I think it would fare better as a hardbound book (it's perfect bound with a soft cover), but I've paid nearly as much for shorter publications that have less useful material. And if you, like me, find some material that you can immediately use you'll more than get your money's worth. And given the variety of material, the entertaining tone of the book, and even the bonus material that's tacked onto the end, I'm betting you'll feel this is a good value.

Available at your favorite Murphy’s Magic dealer

Product info for Magic Bar And Grill Book

Author: Bill Goldman
Average Rating:  (1)
Retail Price: $40.00
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Manufacturer's Description:

The "Magic Bar and Grill," began as an outlet for Goldman's magical ideas, presentations, methods, opinions, etc... Nine years and ten issues later, Bill has compiled a significant amount of material including routines and effects from his own professional act. Now all these great magical insights can be yours in one booklet.

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