The Art of Astonishment

By Paul Harris
All 3 Books for 135.00 (SAVE $15.00)
Also available individually
Some of this collection in stock.
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4.8 | 6 reviews
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The Art of Astonishment

135.00 usd

By Paul Harris

All 3 Books for 135.00 (SAVE $15.00) | Also available individually

Some of this collection in stock.

That Paul Harris has changed the face of close-up magic is undisputed. That Paul Harris continues to be relevant in 2009 is also undisputed. But there’s a lot going on here, so let’s be candid.  

Paul Harris burst onto the scene in the mid 70s with a totally new brand of close-up magic. Unlike anyone who came before him, Paul’s material was playful, topological, and way, way outside the box. For the first time, playing cards weren’t suits and numbers—they were pieces of paper that could be torn, linked, peeled, and split. They took on personalities and became vacuum cleaners or damsels in distress. They were inspiring.  

Today Paul Harris is a different guy. He’s dropped this playfulness in favor of a much more minimalistic style. His work is focused completely on the effect and the moment and, unfortunately, not at all on the magician. It’s the David Blaine/street magic approach, and we get that, but we prefer vintage Paul Harris. 

So while Paul continues to be relevant, know that his line of products today is very different than the Paul Harris who made his mark in the annals of close-up magic.

Which brings us to The Art of Astonishment. These books are a TREMENDOUS value, and represent the complete canon his early books and booklets. These books are SO MUCH FUN to read, and the tricks are really cool. They are unlike anything you’ve read, we’re sure, and the style he uses is fun and easy to follow. The trilogy also features what was, at the time, “new” material that represents a sea change in Paul’s outfit. Some of this stuff is great too, and some of it is more indicative of his current output. You’re getting a good range.  

These books are modern classics that are on the shelves of all serious magic students. But what you’re buying here is a neat, remastered set of all the old Paul Harris books. If you were to collect them all one by one, it would cost hundreds of dollars. Here, you’re saving money, getting all his best tricks in three volumes, and getting 73 new pieces to boot. 

In the age of DVDs, we can’t emphasize enough that books are a MUCH BETTER VALUE. For substantially less than Paul’s new DVD series, you’re getting over 200 classic effects. TWO HUNDRED EFFECTS. Compared to the new DVD series, where it’s far less than 50? This series is a fantastic value, and one that you’ll enjoy forever.


Also available individually:

The Art of Astonishment #1

The Art of Astonishment #2
The Art of Astonishment #3 (out of stock)

Customer reviews for The Art of Astonishment



This series of three books is incredible. A must-have in your library. Volumes 1 and 3 are the best, but that doesn't mean that volume 2 is bad, far from it. Paul Harris is a brilliant inventor. His original and surprising routines are a welcome change from the classic "pick a card, I'll find it". Many of the tricks are highly visual, and almost all are interesting. There are many card tricks, but also a few involving other objects. Over the years, many of the tricks in these books have been picked up by other magicians, but Paul Harris is often the original creator. Truly one of the best buys possible in terms of card books.



You can’t go wrong with this book set. There are so many gems between the three books. One of my first book set. Looks great in my library, even better in my study. The one thing I take away the most from the set, Don’t be afraid to go for it.



One of the best magic purchases you can make. You get an incredible wealth of blockbuster material in an amazingly well written book series full of humor and wit.



I refer to this series every time I am building a new act. These books are full of useable effects as well as ideas that, with a little bit of extra work, can become mainstays in a performer's repertoire. This series is well worth the purchase price. .



I've studied and performed magic for 50 years.
In these books you find thousands of dollars worth of genius effects for $135.
What are you waiting for ?



My review for one book of Art of Astonishment is the same for all three. These are EXCELLENT resources with many good tricks - some fit for beginner, others for experienced sleight artists. Many cards tricks, but it's nice that there are also other ideas, and humour sprinkled throughout. I can totally see why this set is quintessential for magic books, and would recommend it. My problem is though that some of the content (whether humour or performance description) feels a bit outdated towards women or treads the line of objectifying. Perhaps it comes from an older time, or is just my preference, but I have to rate it as a whole and can't give it perfect rating for that reason.


Community questions about The Art of Astonishment

Have a question about this product? It's possible others do too. Ask here and other Vanishing Inc. Magic customers will be able to respond with assistance! Alternatively, email us and we can help too.

  • Howard asks: Is the Art of Astonishment trilogy all about card magic?

    • 1. Vanishing Inc. Magic responds: Mostly, but coins and other items are in there as well.
  • asks: What level are most of the magic effects in the books, like for a beginner, expert, etc.?

    • 1. Jim answers: All types.
    Post an answer to this question
  • David asks: Is this a reprint of the originals?

    • 1. Vanishing Inc. Magic responds: Yes they are reprints.
  • Jack asks: Is volume 3 out of print or will it be back in stock eventually?

    • 1. Vanishing Inc. Magic responds: We hope it'll be back soon! Hit add to cart to be notified the moment it arrives.
  • Rick asks: Does this version of book 1 have any added material from previous versions?

    • 1. Vanishing Inc. Magic responds: Just the standard version
  • Rick asks: It says 73 new pieces to boot. Can you elaborate on this comment ? What are the new pieces and in what books? Thanks

    • 1. Vanishing Inc. Magic responds: I recommend taking a look here as you can see the content of each book
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