My Favorite Magic Books: Rob Zabrecky
By Alex Robertson - Wednesday, March 18, 2020
We asked some of magic's greatest minds to share with us their favorite magic books. This week is the turn of Rob Zabrecky. Rob is best known for his avant-garde style of magic. He combines dark humor, mentalism and a very particular character that is adored by audiences. Over to Rob:
Spirit Theater by Eugene Burger
For two decades, Spirit Theater has been among my favorite magic books. It contains an excellent balance of seance history, magic effects, essays, and interviews pertaining to the theatrical summoning of the departed. Eugene's writing style is engaging and regardless of the content, manages to have a sense of humor. Plus, any interview with Tony Andruzzi and Max Maven is worth keeping on your nearest bookshelf.
Prism by Max Maven
Max's "Color Series of Mentalism" compiled as Prism is my go to example in regards to effect and script working together as one. The routines in Prism employ refined, easy-to-follow, empathic plots — some which I've been performing for years — making only minor adjustments to suit my persona. Max chooses wonderful material (some created by him) and writes beautifully. He wastes no time in setting the tone and getting to the point. His word economy should be studied by everyone in the field of mental magic..
Handsome Jack, etc... by John Lovick and Handsome Jack
One of the earliest magic performances I encountered was male model/magician Handsome Jack in the Parlour of Prestidigitation at the Magic Castle. I was floored by his ingenuity to combine great magic and a unique character, presenting something that felt more like a one-act play with magic as opposed to a magic show. The mind behind Handsome Jack, as we know, is John Lovick; a gifted writer and performer known as the author and co-author of revered magic books (SWITCH, The Paper Engine, The Magic of Jon Allen) and as editor of Genii Magazine. Lovick's book, Handsome Jack, etc, lays out the real work for anyone interested in presenting magic as theater. The routines combine years of practical and tested top-notch magic with strong point of view, which is a study in and of itself, but also includes the finest essays on character and scripting I've ever read. I'd be negligent in my duties of praising this book if I didn't mention that the dialogue between Handsome Jack and John Lovick is worth the read itself.
Photo credits: Taylor Wong
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