Bill Goodwin Exposed – Let’s ask the Oracle

I had a lot of fun with the Bill Goodwin post a couple days ago. After I posted you knew I would be asking Bill Goodwin one of your questions.  Lee Asher knew as well – he even thought it was a good idea. The only reader of this blog not to know anything about our plan to ask Bill Goodwin a mystery question was……well, Bill Goodwin. 

I made the post after Bill left home for his evening’s work at the Magic Castle. On purpose.

Can’t anyone keep a secret anymore?

About 9:30pm, half an hour before Goodwin’s expected arrival, it occurred to me the odds were pretty small that Billy would make it through his entire evening at the castle without talking to a single person who knew what was coming. 

Hanging out in the Castle Library around 8:30, Larry Horowitz decided he had to check his email. He gave Billy the news that some ‘magic star’ was coming to my house later. Thanks Larry – you’re off the list.

Poor Billy spent an hour excited to find out who was going to be here.  When he arrived, boy was he surprised…

Billy's Blog 002

Billy LOVES the spotlight!

 

I had a hard time getting him to choose a question to answer – he wanted to spend most of his time learning hardcore sleight of hand…..

 

Billy's Blog 004

Billy Goodwin sure does like the passes, sleights and tricks in The Paper Engine…just look at that smile on his face. He LOVES the new edition.

 

Billy's Blog 006

In fact, we  had a late night over here. I finally went to bed, and when I awoke to ask Billy one of your questions, I found him truly happy, surrounded by great magic.

The Question 

Billy chose a question by Dave Atkins – for those of you who didn’t have your question asked, don’t worry. Next time Billy comes over he’ll pick a new one – eventually, we’ll squeeze it all out of him. You know how it is with real experts: they tip the secrets – they just do it slowly. Our only worry is that after this kind of embarrassment, Bill decides never to visit again. Here’s the question:

From Dave Atkins –

To Mr. Goodwin I would ask: as the librarian of the Magic Castle, if some magician was going to make the library disappear, which three books would you try to save before he did it?

That’s a great question! We decided to pretend, for the discussion, that the Magic Castle library is the ONLY magic library in the world. Under those circumstances, Mr. Librarian, which three books would you save?

What’s your answer?

Billy answered the question, and I’ll share that answer in my next post. In the meantime, post a comment with YOUR answer. What three books would you save if a giant comet were coming to destroy all the magic books on earth? I can’t wait to see what answers you give!

 

 

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18 Responses to “Bill Goodwin Exposed – Let’s ask the Oracle”


  1. 1 Justin Fraser January 15, 2008 at 1:26 am

    These three can provide hours of enjoyment. They have for
    me.

    1)Stewart James in Print
    2) the newly printed Castle Notebooks
    3)Revolutionaty Card Technique

  2. 2 David Rysin January 15, 2008 at 1:39 am

    In my opinion, the 3 books saved should be books that would allow for as much knowledge as possible to be saved. That way those books can make new magicians that can then create new effects (or ones that at least are not in the 3 saved books) and can then re-make a magic library. The books that I would save and that I believe could accomplish are, in order:

    1. Greater Magic
    2. 13 Steps to Mentalism
    3. The Expert at the Card Table

    ~David Rysin

  3. 3 mattlee January 15, 2008 at 2:07 am

    Personally I would save the books that have really contributed to my magical education.

    1. Paper Engine
    2. Strong Magic
    3. Royal Road to Card Magic

  4. 4 Tony Noice January 15, 2008 at 5:14 am

    Hi Aaron,
    Since this is your blog, anyone who doesn’t include THE PAPER ENGINE is showing both disrespect and poor taste, so let’s narrow it to two. I’d take two of Harry Lorayne’s edited volumes, one of the 3 BEST OF FRIENDS tomes and one from the four volumes of collected issues of APOCALYPSE. That way, you’d have thousands upon thousands of effects to work on for the rest of your life.

  5. 5 Ricky January 15, 2008 at 8:15 am

    Hey Aaron.
    My three books of choice would be,
    1) The paper engine 🙂
    2) Stars of Magic
    3) Magic & Showmanship by Henning Nelms

  6. 6 Erik Jansson January 15, 2008 at 11:44 am

    Bannon, John – Dear Mr. Fantasy
    Fisher, Aaron – The Paper Engine (I do not lick your backside.)
    Minch, Stephen – By Forces Unseen

  7. 7 Matt G. January 15, 2008 at 8:19 pm

    3 books. I decided to leave Paper Engine, The Expert, and other greats book out to leave only what I thought was necessary for magic to continue.

    The Illustrated History Of Magic Updated Edition – Christopher and Maurine Milbourne

    I think this a great book to learn about magic’s highs and lows and the overall history of famous performers. If you don’t know where your coming from then you can’t know where your going.

    Magic And Showmanship Book – Henning Nelms

    A book that teaches magicians the meaning of magic and how to perform magic to get the maximum effect. One of the best and only books on magic theory.

    Expert Card Technique: Close-Up Table Magic – Jean Hugard And Frederick Braue

    If every other book on card magic would disappear I’d like this one to remain because the next generation could expand on the great sleights shown in this book.

  8. 8 Matt G. January 15, 2008 at 8:20 pm

    3 books. I decided to leave Paper Engine, The Expert, and other greats book out to leave only what I thought was necessary for magic to continue.

    The Illustrated History Of Magic Updated Edition – Christopher and Maurine Milbourne

    I think this a great book to learn about magic’s highs and lows and the overall history of famous performers. If you don’t know where your coming from then you can’t know where your going.

    Magic And Showmanship Book – Henning Nelms

    A book that teaches magicians the meaning of magic and how to perform magic to get the maximum effect. One of the best and only books on magic theory.

    Expert Card Technique: Close-Up Table Magic – Jean Hugard And Frederick Braue

    If every other book on card magic would disappear I’d like this one to remain because the next generation could expand on the great sleights shown in this book.

  9. 9 Jason Bomar January 15, 2008 at 10:29 pm

    Great question, and I love the blog in general – what a neat way to spend time with the magical community.

    Card College Vol. 1 – So that the fundamentals can be retained.
    Mnemonica – Something from Tamariz has to make the cut, and this seems like a stand out treatise to me.
    Strong Magic – I think a text delineating the importance of how to perform close-up effects for lay audiences needs to make the grade.

    Even with my limited knowledge and library this is a tough choice!

  10. 10 Harry Lorayne January 17, 2008 at 10:52 pm

    Seems as if Tony Noice is the only one to say it like it is, to name the books that’d really “work” if those were all you had. Obviously, I agree with him (up to a point) HL

  11. 11 Harry Lorayne January 17, 2008 at 10:53 pm

    Seems as if Tony Noice is the only one to say it like it is, to name the books that’d really “work” if those were all you had. Obviously, I agree with him (up to a point) HL

  12. 12 Harry Lorayne January 17, 2008 at 10:54 pm

    Sure wish I knew what you wanted me to do – I’ve typed my “reply.” Best I can do. HL

  13. 13 Harry Lorayne January 17, 2008 at 10:55 pm

    I have no idea what is meant by “Your comment is awaiting modeeration.” hl

  14. 14 Scot Smith January 17, 2008 at 11:00 pm

    I think they need to make a one volume edition of Tarbell’s complete course in magic and save that. as well as Expert at the Card Table (Ortiz) and absolute magic by Derrin Brown

  15. 15 Stan Twigge January 17, 2008 at 11:01 pm

    I can only comment on card books, so here goes:- Paper Engine,
    Best of Friends (Lorayne) volumes 1 & 3.

  16. 16 Adam Sachs January 17, 2008 at 11:21 pm

    The challenge here is figuring out the question. Would all the magicians still be around so we could re-create the fundamental knowledge base (in other words, we’d be able to recruit someone to take a stab at the Vernon works and someone else to take a stab at Slydini (and get it right) and someone else, well, you get the picture . . .)? Would the videos survive? Would all knowledge of magic be wiped out? Depending on how those points sort out, we’d come up with different answers.

    I think the two most interesting questions are (1) if all knowledge of magic was wiped out, what three books would you preserve?; and (2) if all books were gone for now, but the knowledge and videos remain, what three books would you save?

    With the first question, I’d fudge and my answer would be Tarbell, the Card College books (showing my bias for cards) and Thirteen Steps, and regret not saving so many others.

    With the second question, the writings I would hate to lose–books whose authors are dead and that have something interesting to say that may not be said with the same intonation by someone else–would be the Books of Wonder (again fudging), Our Magic, and I’m having a hard time figuring out what the final one would be: Magic and Showmanship?

  17. 17 Glenn West January 17, 2008 at 11:25 pm

    One that I am surprised was not mentioned yet;

    Henry Hay’s The Amateur Magician’s Handbook

    Other great suggestions were made, so as of now, this is the only one that I can add.

    Thanks
    Glenn

  18. 18 Brett Taylor January 18, 2008 at 1:06 am

    three books id save would be

    1) S.W. Erdnase, Expert at the Card Table (bible edition)
    2) Hugard and Braue, Expert Card Technique
    3) The Card Magic of LePaul.

    The only reason Paper Engine is NOT included is that Aaron would live, and he could teach his techniques in person.


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