Book by Max Maven
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Book by Max Maven (54.95)

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Parallax - magic
Parallax Parallax

It’s one thing to find magic, but what you do with it is what matters most.

This was a prevailing thought that guided the career of the late great Max Maven, a visionary that cared deeply about growing the art of magic and mentalism. For five years (September 1991 to August 1996), he shared his commentary on the art in a thought-provoking, and oftentimes controversial, column in MAGIC Magazine called “Parallax”.

Now, for the first time, all 61 of these influential essays are available in one remarkable hardcover book. Immerse yourself in more than 200 pages of pertinent observations, rich commentary, and sardonic editorializing on our beloved art form. Rich with Max's distinct tone, it would be difficult to find another text that is as earnest and stimulating as it is laugh-out-loud funny.

Founder of Hermetic Press Stephen Minch, who has authored some of the most important magic books in history and also wrote the introduction for Parallax, put it perfectly when he called this book “A manifesto on magic as an art form."

Parallax by Max Maven is a must in the library of any serious student of magic. Nearly 30 years after the final column was published, his insights are as relevant as ever. It will feel like you’re sitting down to have a chat with the legend. And, when Max speaks, you listen.

This is a book you’ll find yourself returning to often. Don’t miss your chance to grab a copy of Parallax by Max Maven!

“Max Maven's finest creation" Mac King

"Unprecedented" Jamy Ian Swiss

"Ahead of its time" John Lovick

"Essential reading" Jeff McBride

"One of the most important books of our time" Todd Robbins

208 pages | Hardcover | 6in x 9in | Illustrated | Cloth-Bound | Smyth-Sewn


Customer reviews for Parallax



If you're looking for methods, or even theory, this is not the book for you. Rather than being a traditional magic book, this collection of Max Maven's articles from MAGIC Magazine gets to the core of what conjuring is all about at its core. Questions of value, philosophy, originality, and more are discussed in such a way that truly makes this collection a pleasure to read. You may not come out of this volume learning a lot of magic, but you'll come out from it as a more well-rounded human being with an expanded vocabulary and a greater appreciation of why what we magicians do is not only important but necessary as well.



Maven light is still a delight. It is excellent for what it is and for what the marketing promised. I read it in chunks; for me it was a page-turner. I recently saw as advertisement for Magicseen (offered by another company); it was a panel of photographs of famous contributors, six rows times four. All White males, as Max Maven had conspicuously complained.



Although we never met in person, I miss Max Maven. I miss his voice, apparent prescience, and rapier wit. Having first been introduced to Max via his monthly Parallax coumn in Magic magazine I was delighted to learn that those writings had been curated into a single volume. From the thoughtful introduction by Stephen Minch to the final entry, Parallax is one of those rare gems that is at various times poignant, thought provoking, and occassinaly laugh out loud funny. Highly recommended.



A glorious treasure of a book by one of magic and mentalism’s great modern thinkers, performers, and theorists. This book will challenge, provoke, entertain, and enlighten any magician who picks it up. The beautiful book design and layout by Squash Publishing is simply the icing on the cake. I will re-read and cherish this book forever.



This review should be called “So Far” since I’m taking Stephen Minch’s excellent advice and reading this slowly, to savor it.
First of all, so far there has been very little explicitly about magic theory, although lots about some ethical issues that were clearly near and dear to his heart.
What IS there, and in spades, is some just wonderful writing, rich with Max’s humor, which was such that you will know he didn’t suffer fools gladly. Or at all, maybe. Each column comes with a header of similar wit and beautiful writing that lets you know about Max’s deep and wide ranging reading .
This book is definitely wonderful.

VI Monthly


Max Maven cared about magic. I first saw Mr. Maven at a comedy club (I was not close to him and will not presume to call him Max). Yes a comedy club. Maven had a great sense of humor, often though the topic was so obscure that a segment of the listeners didn’t get the joke. He was a fan of professional wrestling and I often gifted him with old wrestling trading cards which brought a warm smile to his face.
Reading Parallax has reminded me of what was my favorite part of Magic Magazine. During some of the years of the column, I was working on my graduate school, and didn’t allow myself much contact with magic. One thing I always kept was Magic Magazine so that I could read Maven’s work. In fact I even quoted from it once in a Ph.D. seminar.
What a work this is. It contains all of what Mr. Maven wrote (with a few editorial changes) during his stint with Magic. He deals with the gap between amateurs and professionals; stealing of material; race, gender, and sexual orientation in magic; and even the value of “blue” material.
There are very few magic authors whom I read just for the pleasure of enjoying the wonderful prose. Mr. Maven is one of those few. Not only are his articles brilliant, but they are beautifully written. Rather than the crayon scribble that passes for much magic writing these days, it is apparent that these sentences have been poured over and carefully edited. That is just one thing that makes them worth reading again.
This is destined to become one of my favorite books in my large collection. The test of a great book is not “have you read it?” but, “how many times have you read it?” Mr. Maven’s work is great because it discusses great ideas, because it treats magic like a great art, but mostly because it was written by a great, brilliant man who turned his great knowledge to magic. We owe him a great debt of gratitude and this book will show you why.

VI Monthly


Not a huge fan of Mr. Maven, nor of mentalism in general, but I do appreciate thinking.

And he was a thinking person. Clever, well read, and a fine author.

These articles were written for VERY public consumption, and that I think kept them from being too "in depth".

I did enjoy the articles, but I got very little actual knowledge or information from them that I think is useful.

However, they are, I think, a valuable keepsake of this author, and they illustrate just how much Mr. Maven cared about our craft.



I have to be honest here. I wasn't crazy about this book. The ideas seems a bit dated and I just didn't connect with the spirit of the book. I don't have any of max mavens books but not sure I am enticed to explore any further. I think this book is an acquired taste. Not quite for me. See the other reviews for a balanced view.



As a huge Max Maven fan I've been excited about this release since hearing about it shortly after the incredibly sad event of his passing. Indeed, it's hard to imagine a world in which there will be no new Max contributions, such was the significance of the massive body of work he gave us. So it's understandable that we all want to re-engage with what he did give us.I didn't read the contributions collected in this volume at the time they were published. Perhaps I'd have felt more warmly disposed towards them if I had. But reading them now, they come across as what they essentially are: acerbic, superficial reflections written to a deadline on the magic scene of the early nineties. The aim seems to be to entertain, rather than leave the reader with deep, lasting insights. Shorn from their context, they feel lightweight and thin. Perhaps the volume suffered in my eyes being read directly after Derren Brown's superb "Notes from a fellow traveller".This is not the contemporary Max Maven I was familiar with. Modern Maven was a much softer, more mature, more thoughtful figure. Though this book no doubt represents a snapshot of who he was in a particular context at a particular stage of his thinking, there are much better works to remind us of Max's warmer, more generous, latter day genius.


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  • Danielsson asks: Is it mentalism or card magic or what kind of magic is it?

    • 1. Vanishing Inc. Magic responds: It is a collection of essays covering both magic and mentalism.
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