The first time I met Eugene Burger was in Abbots in Colon MI. I had stopped in to pick up a handful of items, and was the only person in the shop. I had begun to collect a pile of items to buy, when Eugene and a few of his students walked in. I approached him letting him know what a fan of his work I was and we talked about magic for a bit. He performed two effects for me: Phil Goldstein’s B’wave and his version of Dia Vernon’s Trick that cannot be explained. Both were performed flawlessly, every moment of the effects were polished and smooth. Since that meeting I have attended several lectures and a workshop run by Eugene. I had always appreciated his work before our meeting, but after our interaction I admire his approach for magic even more.
This book is a collection of older writings by Eugene Burger along with some new material. The previously written material includes Secrets and Mysteries for the Close-Up Entertainer (1982), Audience Involvement(1982), The Secrets of Restaurant Magic(1983), On Matt Schulien’s Fabulous Card Discoveries(1983), Intimate Power(1983), and The Craft of Magic and Other Writings(1994). The new material is a collection of reflections, reworked handlings of old effects, thoughts and a couple new effects. It was printed in 2000, hard bound with a dust jacket and is 228 pages in length.
I love this book, there are quite a few fabulous effects in this book, however the real power and treasure in the theory that is presented and discussed in its pages. This book is essential reading for anyone who wants to be a better performer. It covers everything from psychology, etiquette, practice, script writing, developing routines, audience management, and much more. It is a comprehensive course in magical thinking.
This book is out of print and has been for sometime, however there are copies that surface every now and again via e-bay or estate sales. If you ever have the opportunity to pick this book up do yourself a favor and get it, it’s great. It originally retailed for $45.00, but I have seen it being sold anywhere from $50.00 and $200.00 (at the time of this writing there is one available on ebay for $130.00 + $8.95 s&h).