Ganson, Lewis: Dai Vernon Book of Magic
©1994 L&L Publishing
Photographs by George Bartlett
Hardbound, 239 glossy pages
Comments: This beautifully bound book is a classic of magic and includes Dai Vernon's linking rings moves and cups and balls routine. It uses high quality B&W photos throughout to show many of the moves. Each routine ends with an outline of the routine, which is great for practicing from. Highly Recommended.
7 Contents: full summaries are provided for each chapter
13 Foreword: How the book came to be, and some introductory remarks by Dai Vernon
15 Introduction: about writing the book, by Lewis Ganson
16 B&W photo of "The Professor"
17 Chapter One: The Background to a Legend. Biographical notes on the magical life of Dai Vernon
25 Chapter Two: The Vernon Touch. Lewis Ganson on why Dai Vernon's magic is so good, with excepts from audio recordings of Dai Vernon. Includes Vernon's approach to the "french drop" and lots of anecdotes about other magicians such as Nate Leipzig, Malini, and others.
39 Chapter Three: A Chinese Classic. Routine for Coins Through the Table. Dai used six half crowns and a metal ring about the size of a Jardine Ellis ring.
49 Chapter 4: Penetration of Thought. Card thought of by a spectator passes from the packet held by the performer to the packet held by the spectator. Uses 8 cards: 4 red backed and 4 blue backed.
57 The Buckle False Count
59 Chapter 5: Three Ball Transposition. A 3 ball routine (using 4 1" balls). Uses a net or handkerchief to catch the balls. Three solid balls travel mysteriously from one hand to the other. Repeated with interesting variations until they all vanish.
71 Chapter 6: Application of the Tenkai Palm. Explains the Tenkai palm, The Svengali Color Change of a card, Stealing a card from the pack into the Tenkai Palm position, exchanging a card, and The Jumping Jack routine.
81 Chapter 7: The Linking Rings. Several of Dai Vernon's moves with 14" linking rings are detailed. Includes Spinning the Rings, the Crash Linking, the Pull Through Method of Unlinking, and The Falling Ring. See Dai Vernon's Symphony of the Rings for his excellent, full routine.
87 Chapter 8: Seven Card Monte: Six black cards and one red court card are dealt face up. The three black cards are turned face down, and the cards are squared up. The Deck is turned over and dealt. The spectator fails to find the court card after several tries. Uses one gimmicked card in addition to a regular deck
93 Chapter 9: Quick Tricks
94 Leipzig's Coin on the Knee: coin vanish on the magician's knee (while seated)
96 Martin Gardner's Cigar Vanish: Lighted cigar from beneath an handkerchief. Sort of a hoax, but it takes a while before the spectator's realize what's happened.
98 Five Coin Star: a five coin appearance, flourish. Can also be used for cards.
101 Dai Vernon's Pick Off Pip: A pip is taken off a three spot card (color change move)
103 Dai Vernon's Adaptation of Bill Bowman's Clipped: a note (dollar bill) secured by two paper clips and a string comes free, linking the clips and string
104 The Multiple Colour Change (Cliff Green): Face card of a pack changes rapidly time and time again
105 Malini-Vernon Three Coins from One: Close up quickie: a borrowed coin has two others broken from it (impromptu)
107 Chapter 10: Expansion of Texture: Copper & Silver placed in hanky. Selected coin is magically removed. Silver coin is placed in hanky and held by the spectator. The Copper vanishes and audibly joins the Silver. Uses two coppers, one silver, and a handkerchief.
113 Chapter 11: The Challenge. Two cards are shown. Spectator mentally selects one, and performer repeatedly reveals it. Only needs a double lift.
117 Chapter 12: Dai Vernon's Double Lift: with a well covered get ready.
123 Chapter 13: The Cups & Balls: Dai Vernon's routine is a must study for effectiveness and routining. Can use most any style cup, and produces three jumbo loads for the climax. Also features a wand and the wand spin vanish. Five phase routine. Photos feature Dai's engraved sterling silver cups.
137 The Vanish of a Ball Whilst Spinning The Wand: this vanish fully explained.
141 Chapter 14: Nate Leipzig's Card Stab: A knife stabbed through the deck wrapped in newspaper has two selected cards attached.
153 Chapter 15: Tips on Knots: Includes Dai Vernon's False Knot, Dai Vernon's Method for Upsetting a Square Knot, and Splitting an Atom: a tied silks fall apart at a "click"
161 Chapter 16: Six Card Repeat: Dai's version starts with 9, but adds 6 twice during the routine for a total of 21 cards (3 card discards five times!)
167 Chapter 17: Free and Unlimited Coinage of Silver: A version of the Miser's Dream performed seated at a dinner table, with several clever methods of finding the coins.
175 Chapter 18: Mental Spell: One of ten cards is thought of. The card is spelled as cards are moved in packet, revealing the selected card. (stack)
181 Chapter 19: Pot Pourri
183 Dai Vernon's Climax for a Dice Routine: two in the hand, one in the pocket, with a jumbo die climax
186 Dai Vernon's One Under and One Down: From a packet of 10 cards, one is selected. Top card is tabled, next to bottom, next to table, next to bottom and so on until one card remains - the selection.
188 Charles Miller's Cups & Balls Move: The appearance of one ball visibly penetrating the bottom of a cup.
189 Welsh Miller's Cards & Matches: a cups & balls type routine using cards and matches. You have to bend the cards...
193 Tips for Experts: Hints from Dai Vernon on the pass, second dealing, bottom dealing, card palming, and sleeving.
195 Chapter 20: Ball, Cone, and Handkerchief: suitable for close up. Uses a 24" silk handkerchief, two white and one red 2 1/8" balls, and cone suitable in size for the balls.
209 Chapter 21: The Last Trick of Dr. Jacob Daley: Four Ace Transposition packet trick. Dr. Daley actually died just after a performance that ended with this trick.
215 Chapter 22: Paul Rosini's Impromptu Thimble Routine: thimble jumps from finger to finger, then five appear all at once on the fingertips, then they jump one by one to the other hand. Uses six thimbles.
221 Chapter 23: Vernon Poker Demonstration (Thanks to Jay Marshall): A four ace hand and royal flush are produced in this cheating gambler's routine. Originally in The New Phoenix.
229 Chapter 24: The Thumb Tie: a full routine. Despite having his thumbs tied by a spectator, the performer can catch rings on his arms, and even unlink his arms from the spectator's! Describes how to prepare the string.
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(1894 - 1992)
Stage name of David Frederick Wingfield Verner. Learned magic at age 8 from father, an amateur magician. One of the five original members of the New York "Inner Circle" by 1932. Voted one of the ten living Card Stars in 1938. Known worldwide as "The Professor". Moved to Hollywood in 1963, when he became resident magician at the Magic Castle.
Among his most famous inventions are Brain Wave / Ultra Mental Deck (1930)*, Triumph (by 1946), Travellers (by 1950), Twisting the Aces (by 1960), Depth Illusion (by 1961) and Stripout Addition.
* Dai Vernon published a description in the October 1938 (Issue 49, P. 341) issue of Jinx titled Brain Wave Deck, in which he mentions having invented the deck in 1930. The deck he describes there is what we call today the "Ultra Mental" deck. However, in the same article, Vernon mentions a variation by Paul Fox which turns out to be today's "Brainwave" deck. There are some web sites that incorrectly attribute the invention of the Brainwave deck to Ralph Hull. Our thanks to another of Vernon's creations, his son, Derek, for helping us research this and setting the record straight.