is an appropriate title for this ebook because the author, Paul Curry, is surely one of the world's best-known 'magician's magicians.'" The words are those of Martin Gardner
, Scientific American's
mathematical divertisements editor, himself a distinguished amateur magician and author.
"For some thirty years, Paul Curry has been inventing tricks and sleights of such beautiful simplicity that they have become standard items in the repertoire of close-up performers of magic throughout the world."
The performing of magic draws practitioners from every field - doctors, lawyers, actors, writers; Orson Welles, Edmund Lowe, Johnny Carson, Jerry Lewis, Chester Morris, and Edgar Bergen, among others.
Mr. Curry shows how through the years, from ancient Egyptian times to the present, certain types of magic tricking have mystified the beholder.
He writes of objects made to disappear, of things summoned from nowhere, of transformations, levitations, spirit calling, mind reading, and escapes. All the great names of magic are here: Robert-Houdin, Houdini, Hermann, Kellar, Blackstone, Cardini, and Scarne.
The author explains the principles of legended "effects" - and gives the reader directions for performing a trick in the same category. Most of these tricks are of Curry's own devising and have not appeared in any other book.
- CHAPTER ONE BY WAY OF BACKGROUND
- CHAPTER TWO THE OLD, OLD TRICKS
- CHAPTER THREE THE MAGICIAN’S IMAGE
- CHAPTER FOUR HOUDINI— AND AFTER
- CHAPTER FIVE THE NEW CONJURERS
- CHAPTER SIX WHAT BECAME OF GRAVITY?
- Robert-Houdin’s Levitation
- Maskelyne’s Levitation
- A Pencil - a Ring - and Gravity
- CHAPTER SEVEN INTO THIN AIR
- The Sphinx
- Where Do the Ducks Go?
- The Joker Knows
- CHAPTER EIGHT OUT OF NOWHERE
- The Vampire
- Production of a Bowl of Water
- Made Whole Again
- Sawing a Lady in Half
- The Cut and Restored String
- CHAPTER NINE TIES THAT DO NOT BIND
- Walking Through a Wall
- String Around the Fingers
- On and Off
- CHAPTER TEN THE POWER OF THOUGHT
- Thoughts from Afar
- CHAPTER ELEVEN OF THINGS TO COME
- Three Cards in the Future
- CHAPTER TWELVE THE QUICK AND THE DEAD
- A Simple Spirit Séance
- CHAPTER THIRTEEN THE MIND REELS
- Out of this World
- The Case of the Missing Hat
1st edition 1965, 269 pages; PDF 160 pages.
word count: 56963 which is equivalent to 227 standard pages of text