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Book Review: Scrolls by Tim Converse

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating


Book Review: Scrolls by Tim Converse
When I first read that this book was about “bizarre magic,” I thought that it wasn’t for me. But after reading it, I discovered that the book was definitely for me and anyone who wants to add dramatic impact to their magic through the use of character and storytelling. This book is relevant and informative and can help make your magic stronger.


Converse defines “bizarre magic” as story telling. To quote him directly, “it’s about the combination of magic and stories to produce a feeling.” Throughout the book, Converse offers simple tricks that have been effectively dressed-up with stories and character. This isn’t a book about innovative and clever methods, it’s about telling stories with magic.

As you may expect, many of the routines involve dark themes and make use of tarot cards and more. The themes are compelling: the creation of life, the ghostly possession of a real world object, a ship’s warning bell and more. Converse brings new angles to such standards as egg bag, haunted key, six-card repeat, hindu sands and more.

For some time, I had been thinking about a routine for the classic story about the monkey trying to reach for candy in a bottle, and Converse offers an interesting take here. There’s are also several routines that are based on themes of Edgar Allan Poe.

The Essays

Converse also presents several essays about magic in general: establishing character, why magicians want to perform as “Merlin,” combining acting with magic, performing magic as a female, commentary on standard illusion shows and more. Throughout, Converse writes in an easy and direct style.

Even if you don’t actually perform the routines in this book, they’ll provide themes for effects that you already do. If you’re looking for some story telling angles for your magic, you’ll find “Scrolls” to be a worthwhile read.

-Wayne N. Kawamoto

MSRP: (US) $39.95

Dealers can purchase from Murphy's Magic Supplies, Inc.

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