Authors Preface

Like most people, I had seen a magician perform here and there and I had been entertained. In 1947, a Washington friend invited me to accompany him to a magic "convention." I didn't even know there were such things! For want of something better to do, I went —and magic came alive for me when Slydini stepped to stage front.

I do not lack words, merely space, to describe my impressions. To state it succinctly: I was enthralled, delighted, entertained beyond my wildest imaginings. In my opinion: if Magic is an Art, Slydini is its Michaelangelo.

Tony's stage act in Atlantic City that night included his "Knotted Silks."* If you have seen Tony's performance, enough said. If you haven't, there's no sense trying. ... I overheard one distinguished-looking spectator (later I discovered he was one of Magic's "greats") say: "Only one outstanding magician ever attempted to entertain an audience, from the stage, with this effect. In comparison—there is no comparison. Slydini is truly great!"

I sought Slydini's acquaintance and took my first lesson in magic at the close of that convention. Slydini has been teaching me, on and off, ever since.

Following his success at Atlantic City, many magical devotees insisted on being taught by Slydini and so Tony opened his New York "Studio." Over the years all of Magic's greats have visited "Slydini's Studio of Magic" in New York's west forties and have gone back to their several countries singing Slydini's praises.

Slydini himself has made several performing and teaching tours in the U.S., Europe, England and Latin America. His first book "The Magic of Slydini" has gone to many corners of the world and so, today, wherever Magic is organized throughout the world the name of Slydini is its synonym.

*See "The Magic of Slydini'

My readers may think that I exaggerate. I can only say: See for yourself. Slydini is the only modern performer / know to whom all superlatives are applicable. His virtuosity and creativity are incredible. And no amount of description can ever do justice to his performances.

I felt that permanence should be given them in print, no matter how much the description beggared the facts and talked to Tony about doing a second book—this one. At first he wouldn't even listen. He had already gone through hell and high water with the first one and did not feel up to going through it again. But he finally consented to talk to Blanca Lopez (who knew his work thoroughly and who had experience in editing material for the magical field through her association with Hugard's MAGIC Monthly).

To make a long story short, there were innumerable trips between New York and Washington by Tony and me. We'd also meet with Miss Lopez at Tony's studio. Another magician now gone to the great beyond, A1 Stevenson, helped between trips in making rough notes from which many of the effects were later re-written.

Cliff Green, another of Magic's truly great exponents and a close friend of Tony's was an interested collaborator and has written up the "Thumb-Tipping" postscript. Cliffs introduction to this book testifies to his own opinion of Slydini's work.

Slydini worries that many feel his principles are of difficult application. I can assure you that all that is required is good will, reasonable dedication to practice, and faith that you can master the instructions.

This book is the result of Slydini's love for Magic and the love of those who have put it together for Slydini's magic. We trust that you will be rewarded and pleased with our combined efforts.

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