The Best Magic Theory Books

At Vanishing Inc. we have one clear aim: to improve the art of magic. To that end, we’ve written this article to share with you nine magic theory books you should read. Yes, sure, we’re happy to promote the latest magic tricks, playing cards, magic books, card tricks and more. But we strongly believe that your performance of any of those things will be vastly improved by a better understanding of magic theory.

Strong Magic - Darwin Ortiz

Strong Magic

Darwin Ortiz’ seminal book will make you question the way you think about magic. You won’t agree with all of the ideas in here, but you shouldn’t really agree with all of the ideas in any book - magic or otherwise. Darwin Ortiz is one of the best writers on magic theory (he features twice in this article), and his writing here is clear and thoughtful. It is a deep and insightful dive into what makes strong magic. It’s a book for anyone who is serious about making their magic more meaningful.

Buy Strong Magic

The Books Of Wonder - Stephen Minch

the books of wonder by tommy wonder

We believe these two tomes by Stephen Minch present the most articulate manifesto to proving magic is a true artform. It’s a detailed guide, a blueprint if you will, for creating art through practise. Over a series of compelling essays, tricks and full routines, Tommy Wonder will give you a guide for creating a brand of magic with zero compromises. Yes, you will get the close up, stand up and walkaround acts he made his reputation with, but this book gives you so much more when you take the time to study it.

Buy The Books Of Wonder

The Magic Rainbow - Stephen Minch and Juan Tamariz

the magic rainbow

This was a long time coming, but we’re delighted it is here. As is the rest of the magic community including names such as Michael Weber who said: "I've waited more than twenty years to read this book, and the wait was worth it. If you've spent years looking for magic but have only been finding tricks, this book may contain the secrets you've been searching for.” This book condenses 40 years of The Maestro’s experience into one, large, amazing book. It shares the same aim as we do here at VI. To improve the art of magic. It details how we can all do better than just delivering magic tricks. How we can instill amazement, how can create the feeling - even for a moment - that magic is real.

Buy The Magic Rainbow

Designing Miracles - Darwin Ortiz

designing miracles

This is the sequel to Strong Magic. We could really stop writing there. It should be all you need to know. But, let’s carry on just in case. This book details how to structure your magic in order to create the maximum impact possible. It focuses on how laymen think, and what you need to do to go beyond merely fooling them and how to start amazing them. It will give you the tools you need to understand how magic works. Using your spectators’ thought processes against them, this book will do something very few books do: change the way you think about magic. Rarely for a magic book, it’s also been made available as an audio book and you can even get a sample of the audio book version for free.

Buy Designing Miracles

Get Free Sample Designing Miracles Audiobook

Buy Designing Miracles Audiobook

The Magic Of Ascanio Vol.1 - Arturo de Ascanio

the magic of ascanio

This is a must-read book for any serious student of magic. It details Ascanio’s thoughts on magic and we believe it is one of the most important books on theory ever written. It covers construction of effects, presentation, how to study magic and more. Through a series of essays on creativity, misdirection, timing, creating a magical atmosphere and more you will come away with one overarching takeaway. That your magic will never be the same again. This has been out of print for years and we’re delighted that new generations of magicians can learn from the master, Arturo de Ascanio.

Buy The Magic Of Ascanio Vol.1

Five Points In Magic - Juan Tamariz

five points in magic

In a nutshell, the five points covered in this long out of print book are: the eyes, the voice, the hands, the feet and the body. How does this help your magic? Well it will teach you how to use those five things to teach you how to create impossible happenings. And how when you use them properly, your magic will get elevated. Yes, his famous concept of Crossing The Gaze is in here, but there is so much more. No book has existed that will give you the tools you need to take your performance to the next level with such speed and efficiency. Put simply, you need this!

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Scripting Magic - Pete McCabe

scripting magic

What do you say when you perform? There are very few books dedicated to that seemingly simple question. Over these two volumes, Pete McCabe and 26 of “other guys” as he calls them will feed your hunger to answer that questions. Over 472 pages, you will learn not only 30 tricks and read through 43 scripts, you’ll be equipped with a new toolbelt you’ll find indispensable when it comes to creating meaningful magic. On its initial release, it proved to be a worldwide success, and went through three printings. We’re extremely proud to publish these two volumes and bring this must-read book back to the magic community.

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Maximum Entertainment 2.0 - Ken Weber

maximum entertainment 2.0

When you read this book, it will make the tricks or shows you already do better. Guaranteed. It will teach you how to be your own director, how to deal with spectators, how to adapt when things get difficult and even specifics like how to use a microphone. Yes, you can present your magic as a puzzle, or a trick. But if you want to make an extraordinary moment for your audiences, you owe it to yourself to listen to what Ken Weber has to say. It is essential reading if you’re serious about performing better magic. It is an undisputed classic and this new, updated edition deserves a slot in every magician’s bookshelf, everywhere in the world.

Buy Maximum Entertainment