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Dai Vernon's Select Secrets
by Dai Vernon


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Dai Vernon's Select Secrets by Dai Vernon

Paul Fleming wrote:

This little book contains 12 items in all. There are four tricks and one sleight with cards, two tricks with coins (including one by T. Nelson Downs, the late "King of Koins"), a close-up feat with matches (another Downs specialty, with which he greatly impressed the famous Buffalo Bill), a clever cigarette "switch," an improved method for passing a drinking glass through a table-top, one trick with silk handkerchiefs, and another with tissue paper.

Several of these feats (and particularly the card tricks) are hard to describe briefly, and we shall enlarge upon only three items which seem to us to be among the best. The first of these, which Mr. Vernon calls Topping the Deck, is a four page explanation (with four diagrams) of palming cards from the pack, which tells not only how to "steal" the cards in the first place, but also how to hold them safely concealed in the hand without arousing the suspicions of the audience. This information should be valuable to all magicians who have reason to believe that their card-palming is not perfectly deceptive. The second item which strikes us as especially good is the author's version of The Twentieth Century Handkerchief Trick. Both the effect and the method are new. The novelty in effect arises from the introduction of an unprepared newspaper cone; and the method is one which requires neither prepared handkerchiefs nor an exchange of bundles. Furthermore, only five (not six) handkerchiefs are used! Finally, we must mention The Snow Storm in China, in which the magician first performs The Torn and Restored Strip of Paper. He decides to tear the paper once more, then drops the pieces into a glass of water, fishes them out and squeezes out the surplus water, and fans the soggy mass gently - with the result that the air is filled with a shower of perfectly dry paper bits which suggest a miniature snow storm. No one who has witnessed Dai Vernon's Harlequin Act is likely to forget this charming feat.

These three explanations, written by a performer of Mr. Vernon's standing, should be a sufficient recommendation of this book, though it is quite possible that some of the other things (the effective card tricks, for example) will find even greater favor with some readers. It is a booklet of 30 pages, bound in soft boards, and illustrated with 21 line drawings.

  • Introduction
  • "Topping The Deck"
  • The Royal Marriages
  • Addition And Subtraction
  • The Little Dictators
  • Winged Silver
  • Two Impromptus
    • (1) Fallacy Of Vision
    • (2) Matchless Digits
  • A Cigarette Switch
  • Heads Or Tails
  • Twentieth Century Handkerchief Trick
  • Snow Storm In China
This work was also published in a revised and expanded Second Edition.

1st edition 1941, 30 pages; PDF 28 pages.
word count: 9388 which is equivalent to 37 standard pages of text