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The International Brotherhood of Magicians

02 Nov

David Ginn's New Book Is Magnificent

Category: Blog   Posted by: C. DENNIS SCHICK

 David Ginn “wrote the book” -- literally-- on children’s magic. Of course in his nearly five decades of performing, lecturing, writing about and videotaping kids' shows, he knows a thing or two about them. And he puts much of that knowledge and experience in his new 544-page book “Kidshow Magic Kompendium,” recently published.


Before reviewing David Ginn’s new book -- Kidshow Magic Kompendium -- this disclosure: I wrote the index for the book. As David was finishing his monumental book late last year, several advisors said it really needed an index. The book is full of people and events and magic effects and props and tips and advice. It would be much more useful with a comprehensive index.


When David finally agreed, he checked with a professional indexer (yes, there are such people), and found out she was cost prohibitive. Sammy Smith, editor of The Linking Ring, also owns a book-publishing business, publishing many magic books. He recommended me since I had created indexes for him in the past, as well as have a background in journalism and magic. We negotiated a reasonable compensation, and I subsequently spent over two hundred hours reading and re-reading every page of the book.


So the following comments about his book are not exactly unbiased nor neutral. Also, I have known David Ginn for many years, having attended three of his lectures and talked with him at several magic conventions, especially in the dealers room. I also own a number of Ginn products, including books and DVDs.


Even with all that in mind, I was completely blown away when his finished book came in the mail the other day. It is five hundred and forty-four pages long -- you read that right, 544 -- in 8 1/2 X 11 size. And it’s hardback. It easily could have been two or even three books. It has nine hundred full-color photos, and one hundred and thirty routines. It is a combination children’s magic how-to manual, as well as an autobiography of David Ginn’s five-decade career. Wow!


David Ginn loves the number thirteen, which he explains in the book. It’s his lucky number. So he forces the content into thirteen chapters, and into those one-hundred-and-thirty routines (a multiple of thirteen). But here’s a secret. There are many more than one-hundred-and-thirty gems and tidbits and tips and gags and one-liners and come-backs and good ole solid advice within those pages. He even gives you a list of all the videos on YouTube where you can watch live performances of the routines and tricks throughout the book. And he also gives a list of all his books and DVDs.


For many of those one hundred and thirty “routines,” he gives the background, the “why,” the description of what happens, and then the workings and method. You learn each one with a complete understanding of the who, what, when, where, why and how.


Throughout the book he gives a huge bonus in each chapter -- “Lessons Learned” -- priceless tips and advice. There are seventy-five of these “lessons” which are from five decades of experience. Talk about added value. With a bit of expansion on each point, these could comprise an entire book on their own. And they come with the book.


If I was just starting out in kidshow magic, this book would be my first purchase and would be my day-to-day guide. Why not learn from the master? Why make mistakes by trial-and-error when you can AVOID mistakes by reading this book (and watching the related videos)? 


Yes, I have read the book at least three times -- as an INDEXER. Now I have started reading it again, as a READER. And I am taking notes along the way, part of my training as a journalist, but also because there is so much “good stuff” throughout the book, I want to try and remember it all.


So why do I say David Ginn's new book is "magnificent?" Because it is, in every way possible -- scope, quality, quantity, depth, breadth, usefulness, etc.


Yes, I highly recommend Kidshow Magic Kompendium. What a valuable addition t∫o magic literature.







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