(1 customer review)

Books of Wonder: Vol. 1 by Tommy Wonder, Stephen Minch

(c. 1996) (Submit Review) (Submit Update)

For full details of the contents of this amazing book you can view it here.

“By far, two of the most valuable books in my library. His magic is truly exceptional, original, awe inspiring.” –Johnny Thompson

“Tommy Wonder was, quite simply, one of the greatest magicians of all time. He was a superb performer, a diabolical creator, and a profound philosopher. If you want to make your magic better, read these books.” –Max Maven

“If you study these books diligently, you will find answers to questions you didn’t know existed.” –Roberto Giobbi

“The perfect blend of superb magic, and amazing philosophical insight that can make everyone a better magician.” –David Ben

“The Books of Wonder changed my life.” –Larry Haas

“If you want deep original thinking on magic, there’s nothing better than the books of wonder. Tommy Wonder came up with ideas that no one else had seen before. New ways of thinking about magic, and ways to perfect your magic that fools audiences and magicians alike.” -Paul Draper

Never has there been a more articulate manifesto declaring magic a true art. And never has one man offered a more detailed and coherent plan for achieving art by the practice of magic. Through a series of tricks, routines and essays, Tommy Wonder provides a clear blueprint for an uncompromising brand of magical theater. Along the way he explains his professional routines for Close-up. Stand-up, Walk-around and Stage.

Among them are … The Updated Two Cup Routine; Watch in Nest of Boxes, 3 methods; Wild Card Tamed; The Watch, the Ring & the Wallet; The Well-tempered Birdcage; and 50 other card tricks, routines and sleights.

The Books of Wonder is a set of two luxuriously produced, matched volumes, each containing approximately 340 pages of extraordinary material with 630 professional illustrations by Kelly Lyles.

Contents: (updated Jan 2016)

ix Preface
xi Introduction: The Wonder Years (Max Maven)
1 Prologue: The Limitations of Theory
1 – Raw Diamonds
2 – Feeling Right
3 – Why Theory
4 – Developing Intuition
4 – Refining Theory
4 – No Rules

7 Chapter One: Attention-Getting Devices
9 Getting the Mis Out of Misdirection
9 – Outside-Inside
11 – Misdirection
13 – Something of Interest
14 – Continuous Direction
14 – Believing In Your Own Magic
15 – Lack of Confidence in the Power of Misdirection
17 – Broadening Attention
18 – No Control
18 – Waiting
20 – Keep It Subtle, Keep It Short
20 – Nothing Happened
21 – Concentrating Attention
23 – The Tension-Relaxation Wave
24 – Mental Direction
24 – Time and Place Dissociation
25 – Grasping At a Straw
26 – Acting
27 – Advanced Direction Techniques
27 – The Train
27 – Multiple Layers
28 – Connecting the Train With Multiple Layering
29 – Applying the Ideas
29 – The Chain of Shadows
31 – On Making Adjustments
33 – Postscript
35 Tough Customers
40 Ricochet

43 Chapter Two: Travel Tales of Mr. Pip
45 Magic Ranch: version of Don Alan’s Card in the Egg
53 The Mind Movie: essay – imagining your effect
55 Fabricated: card through handkerchief
59 The Architect: essay – building your effect
64 Elizabeth III: based on Wally Boyce’s Elizabeth 2nd, card in envelope matches selection
70 Failureffects: essay on magician-gone-wrong effects
77 Here and Not: based on Hofzinser’s Everywhere and Nowhere plot
88 The Pavlov Effect: essay on improving your performance
90 Post-ultimate Rip-off: improvements to Paul Harris’ Ultimate Rip-off torn & restored card
97 Counting Cards, Unnatural Rhythms and Other Problems
100 The Poltergeist Pack: the self-cutting, or Haunted Pack
105 Walk, Don’t Run: essay – how to avoid being chased
107 Carpenter’s Revenge: a nail penetrates a card and the card is un-harmed
112 Rubik’s Card: blocks with pips in a box match the card selection
115 Concerning Eye Contact: essay
119 The Shrinking Card-case: two designs
123 Falling Pips: as an add on to the shrinking case, the pips of the cards fall to the bottom of each card
127 – Card Holdout
129 Ambi-tilt: depth illusion for card work
136 The Two-second Card Fold: variation of the Mercury fold
141 The Card in the Ringbox: update to Fred Kaps’ routine
149 Squeeze: entire deck is squeezed to fit into small card case
156 All That Glitters: essay
157 The Pip-eating Spider: a ball of tissue paper eats card pips, which end up on the paper
161 The Origin of Originality: essay
164 The Wondereverse: secret reverse
167 Déjá ReVurse: one of two selections keeps turning face up, the 2nd selection is finally found
173 Breath Control: essay
176 Master or Servant?: essay

179 Chapter Three: The Tamed Card
181 The Creative Process: essay on development of The Tamed Card
183 The Tamed Card: a thorough treatise of Tommy’s version of Wild Card
202 The Kickoff: essay on alternative ways to start an effect
204 Card Forcing: essay
206 Confidence: essay
209 Slow and Steady Wins the Race: 
212 Fictitious Danger: psychological cover vs. physical cover
214 An Examination of Examinations: on the examination of props
217 High and Low: designing your show for your audience
222 The Family Three: the rules of 3
225 Reset: developing tricks that reset

229 Chapter Four: Presentations In Silver
231 Coins Across and Back with Interlude: a Boston Box (Okito Box variation) routine
243 Mud in Your Eye: an addition to coins across where a coin appears on the eye
248 When Tricks Become Transparent: when spectators find out ‘how’, and does it matter?
254 Sweet and Sour Simplicity: essay – simple is good, but not always best
257 Cigarette Through Quarter: a Handling
261 And Here I Have…: essay on presenting your props
263 Counterfeiter’s Spellbound: a C/S routine

269 Chapter Five: Group Encounters
271 Dealers: and the business of magic quality
274 Date with an Inflatable Bunny: a sort-of torn & restored rabbit paper
276 Rabbit Rouser: the rising card, kid-show style
278 Practical Thinking: essay – too much practicality ruining an effect
281 The Tobacco Exchange: cards to cigarette case, and more
289 Emotional Involvement: emotions vs. technical skill
291 The Improved Hydrostatic Glass: an improved gimmick and how to make it
294 Acting is Not Making Faces
297 Auto-link: a clever gimmick to aid the Linking Finger Rings
300 The Paradox of Money and Success: essay
302 The Ring, the Watch and the Wallet: all removed and placed in envelope, they vanish to re-appear on magician
316 The Three Pillars: on communication

323 Epilogue: Ouroboros

  • Publisher: Hermetic Press
  • Pages: 327
  • Location: Seattle, USA
  • Dimensions: 7″x10″
  • Date: 1996
  • Binding: hardbound

Contents: magicref.net – click for details

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Approx. Price: $45.00 (2003) ***

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1 review for Books of Wonder: Vol. 1 by Tommy Wonder, Stephen Minch

  1. Sean Waters

    BOOK OF WONDER INDEED!

    If you want to improve your magic I.Q., read it. There are fantastic routines, and it’s a pleasure to read. They don’t call him "Wonder" for nothin’. Truly a great, thought provoking book.

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