Slydini Books

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Postby Guest » 08/12/02 01:44 PM

I am interested in discovering the magic of Slydini. Which book(s) will serve me best? I have found there are two two-volume sets by Fulves and one book (new edition) by Ganson.

Any tips? Thanks

Postby Guest » 08/12/02 10:51 PM

I would recommend the L&L release of "The Annotated Magic of Slydini"; the annotations really do add something to the publication. There you will find plenty of Slydini material.

But I have to say none of the books do his magic and mastery of misdirection real justice. I had the chance to see him live years ago and that helped me "get" his magic. Can anyone recommend any (legal) video material that records him in performance?



Postby Guest » 08/13/02 01:29 AM


Check out Leon Nathanson's excellent "Slydini Encores". I found Richard Hatch's H&R Magic Books to be a great source of material like this. Richard sure gives a great service!

Dick Cavett (sp?) was very astute in having Slydini as his guest on the show several times in order to capture his work on film. Look for old recordings of these shows (Hocus Pocus It's Magic! etc) in which Slydini kills the audience (which included Cher if memory serves).

Beautiful magic at its best. I never tire of watching him.

Good luck!

Postby Guest » 08/13/02 02:14 AM

Thanks for the help, however I could not find "Slydini Encores" on the web (not even at H&R). Any tips as where it can be bought?

Postby Guest » 08/13/02 04:28 AM

I haven't read the annotated Ganson work, but I can offer a word of praise for the Fulves volumes, each consisting of one book of text (plus illustrations) and one of photos. Produced just prior to the advent of the VCR, they're as close as you'll get to a Slydini instructional video, in my view. The writing and photography are clear, extensive, and meticulous. It takes some work to learn from them -- you have to lay the books side by side and refer back and forth between them. But if you study the material, you will be rewarded by a good sense of Slydini's timing and personality.

Postby Guest » 08/13/02 04:45 AM

Tony's best advice should be carved in stone for all to memorize:
In his inimitable accent: "You must gotta believe!"
That was the crux of his work: If you say you have a coin in your hand (when you don't) then you must truly believe, yourself, that you do.
Believe me, this comes across to the audience, just as not believing comes across.
There is little of Tony's work on film (that I know of).
I last saw him at Imam's Mostly Magic in New York, and the next day at his apartment.
Just as an aside, his real name was Quintino Marucci, and he said that every time he was in a new city he would check the phone book for any other Maruccis (it's not a common Italian name). In almost 50 years (at that time), I was the first he had come across and, after checking info that I had given him, it turned out that his father and my grandfather were brothers.
Peter Marucci

Postby Terry » 08/13/02 05:06 AM

There are copies of tapes offered on EBay of Slydini's work. Looks like it was home filmed at a convention. The lighting is not the best, but you can see him clearly. I think it captured his vanishing/reappearing cigarette tobacco and his 'Slydini's Silk' routine. My fiance was blown away by the silks.
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Postby Steve Bryant » 08/13/02 06:26 AM

The SAM used to have a film (video) library. For a small fee, you could rent the videos for a time. Some of the televised Slydini performances were on the list. But for the Slydini silks, wait until you see Bill Malone do them on his new DVDs. Awesome. Everyone is going to want to do this.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 08/13/02 07:58 AM

The French film producer Christian Fechner brought Slydini to France and professionaly filmed his entire repertoire during (I believe) the 1970s. The films have never been released.
Needless to say, TV is not the best way to watch Slydini. (It's not the best way to watch anyone except David Blaine.)
You really needed to sit at a table with Slydini to understand what a genius he was.
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Postby Q. Kumber » 08/13/02 08:46 AM

Originally posted by Peter Marucci:
Tony's best advice should be carved in stone for all to memorize:
In his inimitable accent: "You must gotta believe!"
That was the crux of his work:
I remember discussing Slydini with Alan Alan. Slydini had given Alan the same advice. Alan asked,
"How can you believe when you know how the trick is done?" Slydini replied, "You rehearse/perform it so much that you no longer are consciously aware that it is a trick and can watch it with the eyes of someone who is as amazed as the audience."

I'm paraphrasing, but you get the point.
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Postby Pete Biro » 08/13/02 06:22 PM

Come'a Close... look, watch...

Any students of Slydini know of what I write above...

His magic was MAGIC... the Ganson book and Nathanson's are the ones to get... read them over and over and over and over again.

The rest position may be the most important in all his writing.

Having "shilled" for him, I really got to know a lot of his ways... What I mean by "shilled" is that he used to really teach me and make sure I could do the magic, then I would nail magic club members and set up workshops and lessons for Tony whenever he came to the Left Coast...

One of the greatest pleasures of my magical life was studying with Slydini.

I put a tv special together with him in San Francisco on a show called "Ron Magers Electric Impressions."

Sadly, it was live and NO TAPE WAS MADE...


Keep looking (and learn).

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Postby Guest » 08/14/02 01:05 AM


Could you please tell me why you wouldn't recommend Fulves' books (apart for the layout)?

Thanks to everybody for the info.

Postby Pete Biro » 08/14/02 08:54 AM

Will go back and look at the Fulves books tonight, gotta to go the factory and punch in right now :eek: .
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Postby arnoldq » 08/14/02 11:28 AM

[QUOTE]Originally posted by GetJet:

Could you please tell me why you wouldn't recommend Fulves' books (apart for the layout)?

I am reading just now for the first time the Fulves's book.
I think that is a good way to approch Slydini philosophy. In fact you could find explained all the basic concept of his way to do and to intend magic.
The books are not a series of routines or performances. It is a iter step by step from the simple concept up to complete routines that permit you to improve and mastering his philosophy.
I think that these book could be more usefull to who wants to learn Slydini from the beginning meanwhile Ganson book is more "professional" level.
These are my impressions after ten days on his book and I hope could help you in your choise.


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Postby Frank Yuen » 08/14/02 11:36 AM

The best footage of Slydini available would probably be the two appearances he made on The Dick Cavett show. A half hour each time full of the wonderful magic of Slydini. He performed pretty much all of the material that he was known for.

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Postby Pete Biro » 08/14/02 10:36 PM

Having just quickly perused the Fulves editions of the Slydini material (4 volumes) I was turned off by the fact that it takes two books, one with text only the other photos only, to go through.

This is probably an unfair criticism, as I am lazy and like the words and pictures to flow together...

However, a student of close up magic should get hold of ALL books by or about Slydini, Vernon, Don Alan, et al, to get the roots of the magic that is being reinvented on a daily basis.

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Postby Michael Edwards » 08/15/02 02:57 AM

Anyone interested in the art, philosophy and technique of magic needs to study Tony Slydini's work. He had a profound and lasting impact on close-up magic and on the scores of students who learned from his skill, originality, naturalness, timing, and superb misdirection. You're right, Pete, he was a mster. A man of wonderful grace and charm, he could mystify even the most knowledgeable of audiences. Dick Cavett once asked Dai Vernon who could still fool him. Nobody, the Professor replied almost regretfully...then added with a smile “Of course, Tony can.” Sadly, he is no longer with us (Tony Slydini died in 1991). But his work remains.

I, for one, believe the Fulves' books to be superb…both in their magic and their approach to teaching. I differ with Pete about the format. The two volume layout (one volume text, the other almost a thousand photographs) works well for me. Although I must confess I did find using the two books simultaneously a bit awkward at first, once I found a way to position them so that I could easily move between them, they became wonderful teaching tools. In fact, I would argue that the detail in both words and pictures remain among the finest and most extensive set of instructions and explanations magic has to offer.

As for the content, this is GREAT material. The Best of Slydini...And More begins with a brief biography of Slydini and then builds a remarkably precise and detailed account of Slydini's approach to close-up magic. The fifteen chapters include his basic precepts, concepts, and moves; some wonderful applications of his approach (ranging from cigarette magic to Slydini's coin classics); and some of his signature routines, such as The Helicopter Card, Paper Balls Over the Head, and The Purse Frame. The second set of Fulves' books -- The Magical World of Slydini – follows the same format. This time there are some 90,000 words of text and 1,321 photographs illustrating the effects! Moreover, the material is completely different. Included are such classic Slydini routines as his silk knots, his sympathetic silks, his linking rings act, Slydini's torn and restored newspaper trick, and the complete version of his cut and restored/equal-unequal ropes presentation, as well as such moves as the Slydini Invisible Pass and Table Shift.

Both sets of books are quite remarkable. They detail and illustrate virtually every move and nuance in Slydini's repertoire. In so doing, they explore not only the routines themselves, but the subtle handling, timing, posture, and misdirection that made Slydini so unique and so important in the development of close-up magic. No, the goal is not to imitate Tony Slydini's magic. Trust me, no one else will ever be able to fully replicate the grace, charm, and technique of this modern master. Nor should anyone even try to do so. Slydini was...well, he was Slydini .

As wonderful as these books are, it simply isn't possible to capture some aspects of Slydini's magic in print -- his remarkable grace, charm, and style for instance. Sadly, few of his performances seem to have been recorded. As has been noted here before, Slydini appeared on two 1977 broadcasts of the Dick Cavett Show produced by WNET/13. While not commercially available, copies of these two half-hour shows can -- on occasion -- be found. The first show contains performances of his cigarette fantasy, torn and restored cigarette, coins through table,silk knots, cut and restored rope, the equal/unequal ropes, and the torn and restored newspaper; the second broadcast includes the sympathetic silks, Encore Coins, Gemini Coins, the Helicopter Card, paper balls to box, torn and restored cigarette, and the Flight of the Paper Balls. He also appeared on an HBO (?) special hosted by Cavett called Hocus Pocus, It's Magic. Other guests included Mark Wilson, Seigfried and Roy, Tomsoni, and Harry Blackstone Jr. I do believe this show remains available on laserdisc. Hope this

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Postby Guest » 08/15/02 03:49 AM

Pete and Michael are both right. The Fulves volumes are awkward to read; it's tough to curl up with them in bed, and forget about bathroom reading. They're designed to be studied, and when you do study them, they convey a wealth of detail and subtlety. Truly one of the extraordinary undertakings in magic publishing.

Postby CHRIS » 08/15/02 04:49 AM

I fully agree with Michael and Ralph. The Fulves books are a remarkable thing. When you take the photo books and slowly go through them I literally see the motions. Particularly if you have seen him do some of his tricks life or on TV or video. For me he comes alive when I open one of these books. I would go so far as to say, if you can only afford one book, buy one of the Fulves books with the photos.

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Postby Michael Edwards » 08/15/02 05:12 AM

As Graham and Pete suggest, in addition to the Fulves and Ganson texts, there is Dr. Leon Nathanson's Slydini Encores (edited by Blanca Lopez and published by the Slydini Studio of Magic in 1966) which includes Slydini's One Coin Routine; Prediction in Red, Capricious Cornucopia, the Purse of Aladdin, the Long & Short of It, Wrong Way Coins, Sweet Salt, Cigarette Reincarnation, Two Cigarettes from One, and Unpredictable Coins as well as Slydini's handling of the Imp Pass, the Revolve Vanish, and some Slydini insights into "thumb tipping."

You can also find some wonderful material in the Stars of Magic series, which includes four items by Slydini: Cigarette Miracle (A cigarette is torn in half, and restored); Flight of the Paper Balls; Flyaway Coin; and Slydini's lesson on "The Art of Using the Lap as a Servante."

As Pete notes, one would be well served to read -- and study -- all of Slydini's work.
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Postby Guest » 08/15/02 03:02 PM

I have a small snippet of Slydini on video tape.
It was shown a year or two ago on British TV...The show was called "100 years of magic" a really great show...On this he ripped a cigarette
into two pieces and restored it.."I gotta do this see" he said as he picked up some loose tobacco off the table and sprinkled it onto the "join" just before he magically rolled the two peices together between his finger tips and restored them....Magic..Michael Vincent was also on the show talking about when he spent some time with Slydini in New wishes to you all.

Postby Jim Patton » 08/15/02 04:54 PM

As memory serves, Tony appeared a couple of times on Bob Macallister's (s?) "Wonderama" Sunday morning "kid's" show on network TV. I have a clear recollection of his performance of the Paper Balls to Hat. (On this occasion he was using a folded cardboard square rather than the hat.) These shows were produced by the Magic Castle's own Dennis Marks..........
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Postby Pete Biro » 08/15/02 06:30 PM

There are some films/tapes of Ken Brooke demonstrating many of Slydini's effects. Harry Stanley (Unique Studio at the time w/Ken as demonstrator) produced these.

Ken hit Slydini pretty close, but a Yorkshireman doing an Italian???

I brought all these films from England and delivered them to Lloyd Jones (who bought them) and I believe they were passed on with his library to Byron Walker.

Hmmmmmmmmm :rolleyes:
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Postby Guest » 08/19/02 01:20 PM

No matter which version of the Slydini books you purchase...the bottom line is you will have a gold mine of pure magic!

Postby Guest » 09/08/02 03:39 AM

It is wonderful to see the Magic of Slydini achieving greater interest after his death. This is a tribute to his leagacy.I met Slydini in 1982 and spent four days with him along with my mentor Alan Alan. I had read the Ganson book and learnt every routine before meeting him.

When I met Slydini it was like having the top of my head pop open and my brains dribbling out. To this day, no other magician has affected me in that way. Slydini's magic has to learnt by every studuent, not for the tricks but to fully understand Slydin's tapestry of deception.

Slydini's greatest contribution to magic is his comprhensive understanding of how the mind processes information and how the magician can control and manipulate the thought process.

Every one of Slydini's routines contain the ingrediants of a great play.

We magicians for the 21st century can pay our own personal tribute to Slydini by taking his concepts and applying it the magic we are curently performing. You will be amazed at the level standard effects can be raised by employing Slydini's concepts to them. This is what I have done with every effect in my show.

The Magic of Slydini lives on through my own work, through the magic performed by my friend Jim Cellini and another of Slydin's students Dennis Barlotta who lives on the West Coast.

For the record, I have on video tape several Slydini performances. One is a complete half hour of magic with Dick Cavett. On this tape Slydini performs his Sympathetic Silks along with his classic Helicopter Card. Also, I have another performance of Slydini with Dick Cavett performning his Purse Frame routine. This permance was and is simply awesome. I also have Slydini filmed by Ganson back in the 1960's; great material for the first Ganson book, and finaly Slydini on the Fred Kaps Magic Show filmed back in the late 1970's.

I fully endorse the Magic of Slydini; his magic was simply magic but Slydini the man and performer as a real treasure to the magical fraternity. To the people who saw him and studied with him, we are they lucky ones. To the rest, you have his leagacy in the many books published and the surving material on video tape.

Study his magic and use his concepts to discover the real magician within.

I hope this post inspires you all to experience Slydini's magic with a fresh appreciation for the greatest magician I have ever seen.

God bless you Tony


Michael Vincent

Postby Guest » 09/08/02 04:39 AM

Originally posted by GetJet:
Thanks for the help, however I could not find "Slydini Encores" on the web (not even at H&R). Any tips as where it can be bought?
Hi GetJet, Slydini Encores listed for sale here at only $25. Lick your lips. :D

Good luck, Graham

Postby Guest » 09/08/02 05:44 AM

in the seventies I had the luck of being the spectator on Slydini's left hand side at the Dortmund convention of the Magic Circle of Germany. And I can tell you, it was the experience of my life. At that time, I had already studied the Ganson book.
But man, was I fooled!!1 The misdirection was incredibley strong.
Anyhow, each of the published books has its strong points. Perhaps the annotated Slydini will be very useful to you.
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