Cardini: The Suave Deceiver
by John Fisher and The Miracle Factory
Edited by Todd Karr
Introduction by Lance Burton
At last! Perhaps the greatest sleight-of-hand artist of all time, Cardini finally receives the wonderful book he deserves. A master of sleight-of-hand, a show-business success, a classic act that changed the course of his art, and a builder of intricate miracles, Cardini is here unveiled in depth and with great insight by John Fisher, a wizard of words.
Granted access to the personal notebooks, scrapbooks, and memorabilia of Cardini, John Fisher has crafted not only a revelatory biography but also a fine piece of magical literature.
Cardini's legendary act is explained in detail, moment by moment, for the first time in print, but his amazing life story is also revealed in this fascinating work.
Generously illustrated with hundreds of photos and mementos of this master's career, including a beautiful color frontispiece and color section.
To top it all off, the book begins with Lance Burton paying tribute to Cardini in a heartfelt, inspiring preface.
Hardbound, with top-quality satin-finish paper, smyth-sewn for added durability, with a heavy full-color glossy dust jacket.
A complete biography of magic's master!
Step-by-step analysis of Cardini's act
Almost 600 pages
Over 800 illustrations
350 frame-by-frame shots of his act
Beautiful color section
One of the dangers of magic is that its language, the vocabulary of showmanship, is one of superlatives. When you are researching an artist as exceptional as Cardini, the peril of being sucked into a morass of sycophancy becomes even greater. I do not wish this volume to fall into that trap.
Nevertheless, there can be little doubt that he was the most successful British magical performer operating on the international scene during the last one hundred years. When Magic magazine conducted its controversial poll to find the one hundred magicians who had most affected American magic in the twentieth century, Cardini was not surprisingly placed in the final ten. Editor and publisher Stan Allen graciously invited me to pen the words to accompany Cardini?s portrait in the climactic issue of the series. I wrote, ?He brought to legerdemain the wit, sophistication, and flawless technique that Astaire conferred upon the dance and, like Fred, remained etched effortlessly on the consciousness of each succeeding generation. Cardini was perfection.?
I prefer the words of one of Cardini?s own idols, T. Nelson Downs, who travelled one hundred miles to see the younger performer when he first arrived in America. In an early letter to Faucett Ross, he wrote, ?I?ll give you the secret of Cardini?s success in a few words. He does not do tricks in the sense of the word. His act does not smell of magic and magicians? props. He?s half finished his act before the audience discovers he?s a magician.? A sad indictment of magic perhaps, but possibly the most astute compliment ever paid to him.
? From John Fisher, preface to Cardini: The Suave Deceiver
Introduction Lance Burton
Preface Todd Karr
Chapter One: We?re off to see the Wizard...
Chapter Two: A Magician for his Time
Chapter Three: Under Magic Wood
Chapter Four: A Long, Long Trail A-Winding
Chapter Five: London Pride
Chapter Six: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz!
Chapter Seven: A New World Beckons
Chapter Eight: The Big Time
Chapter Nine: The Returned Magician
Chapter Ten: Practice Makes Perfection
Chapter Eleven: Act as Known
Chapter Twelve: The Sincerest Form of Flattery?
Chapter Thirteen: An Actor?s Life for Me?
Chapter Fourteen: A Changing World
Chapter Fifteen: Amateurs and Professionals
Chapter Sixteen: The Phantom, the Professor, and the Pretender
Chapter Seventeen: A Magician for all Seasons
Chapter Eighteen: The Magic Box
Chapter Nineteen: Sleight of Heart
Chapter Twenty: Final Curtain