Paul Harris, a good friend of David Blaine, has conusulted for the biggest names in magic. This should tell you what you're getting into when purchasing his books! There is something for everyone in here. A trick with almost any prop! Yes there is card magic; yes there is coin magic, a lot in fact. More intriguing are the use of props or items that are given meaning through the mind of Paul Harris. Read them all the time, flip them open when you're bored or in a magical mood, you can't help but find gold inside these wonderful books.
Combined these books contain over 900 pages of Paul Harris including a ground-breaking essay discussing the feeling of astonishment as our natural state of mind. There are also six conversations with Eric Mead about effects that are too weird even for Paul.
The type of effects that you will learn from these books have a wide spectrum which really shows you the incredibly vast, outrageous and wild imagination of Paul Harris. One of my personal favorites is from book 2, called Immaculate Connection, the funny thing being is that I really don't care that much for using cards to reproduce and demonstrate the same properties of the Chinese Linking Rings. However with the Immaculate Connection, the effect (when done right) looks like the closest thing to real magic and spectators just love it.
Performing effects like that among countless others where you will be destroying anywhere from 1-3 card minimum, while at other times the effect will require you to use all 52 cards in a certain and specific manner. Which personally I don't mind one bit, when using Bicycle cards which everyone has either seen or knows about, are also reasonably priced so you can stock up on a brick or two. That way you can blow people away with the type of magic only Paul Harris can produce.
Although it can be sort of expensive to buy all three of these amazing books at one time, I suggest buying just one to start off with. The first book I purchased was volume 2 and for a couple of reasons, the first was the effect called Counterfeit Spectator where you cause a spectators name to appear as one of the signatures on a dollar bill. The other of course was to learn the Immaculate Connection effect where you cause playing cards torn as paper rings, to connect and disconnect in the most magical way possible.
In closing, if you are looking for something more than another pick a card trick and really want to explore one of the greatest minds in Magic, then you should seriously consider one if not all three books in the Art of Astonishment series. Also, for those of you who want to see some of these tricks performed live, along with some of the effects that have slight variations, you should consider purchasing the True Astonishment 9 DVD Box Set. Those DVD's are comprised of the effects originally taught in these 3 wonderful books. Of course not ALL of the effects are taught, but some of the most popular are, along with quite a few extras and goodies you'll love and appreciate. Be sure to add these books to your shopping cart and then into your collection, you will have absolutely no regrets once you open these books and see what has truly made Paul Harris a legend.