I've been performing magic for over forty years. I have read thousands of magic manuscripts in that time. Almost every one of them claim to be the best. Hardly ever would that claim hold true.
For a beginning student, just starting out in this wonderous art, I would give them two textbooks. One would be "Mark Wilson's Complete Course In Magic" for a well rounded understanding of all the basic concepts in magic. The other would be this book, "The Dark Waltz" by Michael J Fraughton, for a solid understanding of how to apply those concepts.
Somewhere within the glamor and glitz of the Las Vegas type stages, the fundamental ideas of magic got lost. Tuxedos, flashy boxes, and scantily clad women took the essence out of what we are supposed to be, the keepers of a mystic realm. This book gives us back the mystic powers of a true magician while still providing entertainment values that are second to none.
It is not just a manuscript for Bizarrist, but captures the beating heart of magic itself. No longer will you be just some shmo providing cute little puzzles for your audience to figure out. You will be able to perform magic that touches an audience so deeply, so emotionally, that they won't care how you did it. They will just know that real magic exists and that they were lucky enough to experience it.
Reading "The Dark Waltz" was a rare pleasure, and got my magic back to where it was supposed to be. In fact, and I do not say these words lightly. it is THE absolute best book on magic I have ever read.