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DIY Magic: A Strange and Whimsical Guide to Creativity Paperback – April 7, 2015

4.3 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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$13.45 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. Only 13 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Really wonderful.... I picked this one up based entirely on name, a method that has served me just fine in the past, assuming I'd either be conjuring demons or pulling rabbits from hats on the plane ride home. A pretty big win either way. But Alvarado's magic is an entirely different thing altogether. The author describes it as, "the fine and subtle art of driving yourself insane." I'd say it's more along the lines of hacking one's perception -- going on reality trips (mostly) within the confines of the law. Apparently Salvador Dali would nod off with a spoon in a hand that would fall into a bucket below, waking him up immediately with its clamor. That blurred line between sleep and waking is said to have informed the master of surreality."
—BoingBoing

"Presented in relaxed language...Alvarado seeks to create altered awareness in a way that is accessible."
Publishers Weekly

“Few books are as immediately useful as this delightful, inspirational tips ‘n’ tricks tome. I’m having a backyard betel nut party in five minutes and everyone’s invited!”
—Jay Babcock, Arthur Magazine

"This book is full of tips and tricks that will expand your consciousness and the edges of your world."
—Jason Leivian, Floating World Comics

“[D.I.Y Magic] represents...the stripping away of a lot of the balderdash and exotica from esoteric and magical practices and the reformulating of them for a more immediate, hands-on, consciousness-hacking kind of approach.”
—Erik Davis, author of TechGnosis: Myth, Magic, and Mysticism in the Age of Information

"Anthony Alvarado has concocted a cookbook for vivid living: poetry that's lived rather than written. His 'spells' are actually practical suggestions by which the reader may coax the extraordinary from the everyday--and from themselves."
—Lord Breaulove Swells Whimsy, author of The Affected Provincial's Companion

"One of the best life hacks I have seen...a much needed prescription for some of the ills of this modern world...[an] eloquent and illustrative tome."
Farel Dalrymple 


About the Author

Anthony Alvarado has been a forest fire fighter, a high school science teacher, a library delivery truck driver, a telephone psychic, and a mental health counselor. He lives with a cat, a dog, and a girl in Portland, Oregon. When he is not doing magical experiments he spends his time writing and trying not to drink too much coffee.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: TarcherPerigee; Revised ed. edition (April 7, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399171797
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399171796
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.7 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #287,630 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I picked this little gem up after reading an excerpt from it on Reality Sandwich (how do you say no to directions for making your own tarot deck? You don't, of course.) In pretty much every way, it has exceeded my expectations. I've seen a lot of small press esoterica, and for quality, quantity, and price, I have rarely seen such a value. For the price, I kind of expected a slim tome and something vaguely Dover thrifty--you get a whopping 288 pages (as astute shoppers will note) and the general print quality is excellent. It appears sturdy enough to take with you on your adventures.

And oh! What adventures it will take you on. Alvarado takes a more practical approach to magic--his spells involve less candles and chanting and more active participation. The novice may mistake this for an activity book, but the more experienced practitioner will recognize that most of the spells in here are for molding your mind into a magical state, for laying the groundwork for more "serious" magic. As such, the advanced practitioner may find little new here. That's not to say there's nothing there--even if you've tried most of the spells and activities in here, Alvarado still has a pleasant writing style. It's a fun read, if nothing else. That said, it's an excellent primer for beginners. With each spell, he offers clear and concise directions, a bit of history, and an explanation of the whys and hows. Also worth noting is that, unlike most easily accessible spell books, the spells in this one work (albeit, not in the way you might expect). For example, when I read the section on "The Cloak of Invisibility," I realized I was apparently one of those people who comes to it naturally.
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Format: Paperback
I don't usually write reviews but wanted to balance out the person offended by swearing- I picked this book up at Linework NW and love it already- simple practices that teach you the importance of crafting your own reality. The illustrations are lovely as well.
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A unique, practical take on magic. This author deconstructs various modes of what is normally considered witchcraft and shamanism into a great introduction to mysticism. Whether you want to improve your intuitive awareness or practice opening your mind to information in the ether, this is a fun and easy read that will inspire you.
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I thought it would offer some magical items that I could work with. It is just some hububaloo about talking about simple events that you can do like talking to schizophrenic for alternative views on life and your problems (it's really in the book). The coin trick (choose two ways to do something, flip the coin and then think while flipping for the one choice you really want). I'm halfway through and it has fallen to the bottom of my must read books.
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I fell in love with this book. I've learned a lot about myself and the world of MAGIC!
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Not so much about magic, more about ways to be creative and view life in a new way.
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A little on the bland side. Not very creative except for the title and the concept.
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A fun book of experiments & ways of perceiving everyday life. Really enjoyed it!
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