On The Slydini Books... by Bill Wisch
Original Publication Date: Jul, 2000
This month, I will discuss the following two Slydini Books:
1)THE BEST OF SLYDINI AND MORE
2)THE MAGICAL WORLD OF SLYDINI
This is the “Grand-Slam” when it comes to Slydini material.
There is one book of text and one of the photographs in each of the two sets. When the first set of two books went into production, (1975) I was fortunate enough to be involved in a small way. The evening before the first day of photographs were to be taken, Slydini had been an overnight dinner guest at my home in Montvale, NJ.
After breakfast, I drove him to the home of Arthur Manfredi, the photographer of the books, and personally witnessed the intense work and effort that went into the making of the books. Slydini was a perfectionist and each photo had to be perfect. A book could actually be written about the “making-of” project itself but that is not my main concern here. My goal here is to have you realize just how wonderful and comprehensive these books are.
Over the years I have heard from time to time that it is hard to learn from the Slydini books. I really can’t understand that. All of the instructions are magnificently done by Karl Fulves, one of the finest and most proficient magical writers of all time. There is a tremendous quantity of detailed, every-angle photographs for each and every effect. The only thing I can understand is that it wouldn’t be easy to learn from them because of the depth of the material and explanations. It’s not a “spoon-feed” by any means and you have to want to invest your money into these tomes (approximately $135.00) as well as your time, but let’s settle this now, once and for all. I can’t imagine, in my opinion, a more effective and efficient method of learning the intricate magic of Slydini’s genius than these four books. I spent many hours taking private lessons and can honestly say that if you really want to “get into” Slydini magic and sign on for the whole journey, these books really deliver the goods as best as can be expected.
1)The Best of Slydini and More
This set of two volumes, released in 1976, contain the basics of Slydini’s work. His masterpieces with Cigarettes, Cards, Balls, and Coins are presented fully. Also, the basic principles and concepts regarding Misdirection and Timing are examined in great detail. Add a wonderful biography and numerous tips, strategies personal photos, and stories and you can see why this book will easily transport you off to “never-never land”.
Everything contained in this set is a favorite of mine (and everyone else as well), but personally, the Slydini Switch and the classic Coins Through The Table Routine are the “frosting on the cake”.
I wanted to make mention that the original title of “The Best of Slydini and More” was “The Magic of Slydini and More”, but due to conflicting arrangements with Supreme in England who owned the rights to the original “Magic of Slydini” by Lewis Ganson, the title had to be altered. Only a very few copies were printed with the original title and copies of the two-volume set are already worth many hundreds of dollars and will undoubtedly increase greatly in value over the years.
2)The Magical World of Slydini
In 1978 this set was released to complete the project.
Presented here are the Slydini classic Silk Knot, Rope, Sponge, Torn & Restored Newspaper, and Linking Ring Routines as well as some wonderful bonus items involving napkins, coins, cards, sugar packets, and cigarettes.
There are tributes by twelve of Slydini’s pupils and photographs that will enchant you. There is also a wonderful introduction by Dick Cavett. This is a marvelous compilation of Slydini’s work!
One final thing. When the first set of books came out in 1976, I had the honor and privilege to introduce them in 38 cities around the country. It was a period in my life I will always remember and be grateful for. Slydini actually sponsored me for the tour and sent a personal letter to each of the magic clubs involved.
I remember how nervous I was because each lecture was literally packed and everyone wanted to see this upstart, Slydini wanna-be, from New Jersey, and compare him to the original. Realizing the impossibility of the task I would start out each lecture with a heart-felt “disclaimer”, if you will, that the attendees would not see anything close to Slydini at this lecture. No one could ever do that. But I would do my best to display his work, introduce the books and take any and all questions I could. It went extremely well. At one time or another I had the chance to present and demonstrate everything in the book, plus a number of miscellaneous Slydini items. What a wonderful opportunity and learning experience.
In 1978 I had the chance to do it all again in another 36 cities, nation-wide. Again, I was fortunate to be able to present, at one time or another, everything in the second set of books. There were some wonderful friendships made and many, many memories created. No one knows this but I actually kept a daily journal of all the tours. There are literally thousands of memories included. I stopped after three journals were filled. I get a lot of gratification from going back and reading the exploits I was so fortunate to have been part of.
Also, a lot of Slydini books were sold as well. I always sold out very quickly because of limited space in my car (a Karmann Ghia), so I always felt bad when I had to turn down sales, but the people could always get them from the dealers. Thank goodness, you can still get them as well.
Please take advantage of these four “magical volumes” and include them on your “must-have shelf”. They will open up doors that you never knew existed. And both you and your audiences will be very, very pleased.
Long live Tony Slydini…the greatest, pure magician of the century!
"Bill Wisch's Definitive Lesson on Slydini's Knots" 2 DVD Set
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