Dai Vernon: A Biography by David Ben

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Dai Vernon: A Biography by David Ben

Postby John McDonald » Sun Feb 17, 2008 4:30 pm



The Effect
Dai Vernon: A Biography
Artist - Magician - Muse
David Ben

Cost

Available from: http://www.squashpublications.com/PD208.html
Price: £28.75( Including International Delivery) From Publisher
Amazon :£47.12 (excluding p&p)


Publisher's blurb
Dai Vernon was born in Canada but moved to New York in 1915. Miracles flowed from his fingertips - effortlessly. The source of his secrets? The underworld and the gamblers, husters and con-men that roamed back-room dens of iniquity, bunked in jail cells and walked the streets of America. Vernon sought them out, befriended them, and made their work, their covert methods, his.

This book is the first in-depth examination of Vernon's life, traces the first half of his remarkable journey - through Ottawa, Coney Island, Chicago, Manhattan, Kansas City and Colorado Springs - and the celebrities - Houdini, Billy Rose, and Roosevelt, that Vernon encountered along the way.

Dai Vernon: A Biography also details the evolution of magic in the 20th century. From the stages of London and Paris to the back rooms of magic emporiums where secrets were bought and sold, Vernon's life and work escort the reader through vaudeville, Broadway theaters, grand magic spectaculars, New York nightspots and the dawn of television. Here, cornerstones of the craft have finally been laid bare for all to see.

Hardbound, 370 pages with over 40 rare photographs and a full-color dust jacket.


Difficulty
N/A Magic History


Review

What can be said about Dai Vernon that has not already been said. His reputation and influence on Magic and Magicians in the 20th Century is un-debateable.

This is the first Volume that traces the first half of Dai Vernon's life. A second book is being written by David Benn due to be released in 2009. If you want a book about his magic then there are other books available. However, if you love stories about magicians and learning about the experiences that formed them and made them the interesting characters that they became you will LOVE this book.

David Benn has done a suoerb job in researching letters and basicaly using the transcripts of an audio interview with Vernon to let us inside the life story of maybe the second Father of "modern Magic."

David Benn has taken a scholarly approach to this Biography. For the outstanding contribution that Vernon has made to magic then this book will be a classic worth 10 times the price.

My Rating 10/10

Last edited by John McDonald on Mon Feb 18, 2008 6:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby mark lewis » Sun Feb 17, 2008 10:59 pm

I am highly amused that you think David's biography is "dry in parts".
Davis is an ex-tax lawyer so what do you expect?

I shall be sure to irritate him with your comment when I see him. However I expect he will be more irritated when he sees that you have spelled his name wrong. It is David Ben with only one letter N at the end.

I have been informed that David's second volume will upset a lot of people. I have no idea why or who but I am delighted to hear it. Gossip amuses me greatly.

Anyway I happen to know that David will be publishing a memoir of a far more illustrious person than Vernon. It is about someone I admire greatly. I shall say no more.

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Postby John McDonald » Mon Feb 18, 2008 6:20 am

Apology to Mr Ben for the spelling mistake.
Who is Davis? :D

Please let Mr Ben know again that it is an outstanding book. I have already written to him in praise of it. I can't wait for the second volume Cheers :D

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Postby mark lewis » Mon Feb 18, 2008 10:46 am

I noticed the Davis thing already but couldn't be bothered editing it because I am a very busy and important person. However your sin is greater than mine because mine was a mere typo whereas yours was obviously a mistaken impression that David has two "N"s in his name.

David does get infuriated when you point out HIS spelling mistakes. I believe that on page 234 (I think) of the Vernon book he has spelled "sheer" as "shear".

When I asked a third party to point this out to him gently on the Genii board David went berserk and I got great amusement out of it. Of course he didn't know I was behind the correction.

He retorted that there were probably more spelling mistakes which didn't help his case of course.

I have known David for years and in fact he sold svengali decks for me once. And to his eternal shame so did Jay Sankey. They have both gone on to become icons in the magic world and I have gone on to be something else.

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Postby John McDonald » Mon Feb 18, 2008 5:41 pm

You agree with me then - an excellent read.

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Postby mark lewis » Mon Feb 18, 2008 8:03 pm

Coincidentally I was reading it this morning. I must say that the best bits in it are not written by David. I love the private letters by Paul Fox, Faucett Ross, etc; I am sure they would be horrified if they had known when they wrote them that they would be written up for all to see in a book.

I liked the excerpts from Jeanne Vernon's unpublished biography of her husband. I don't think it was too complimentary since he treated her and his children in a very neglectful manner.

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Re: Dai Vernon: A Biography by David Ben

Postby Mandrake » Sat Jan 20, 2018 11:06 am

Bumpety Bump!

David Ben's Canadian TV Biography has now been made available, see www.magicana.com/spiritofmagic

Many thanks to Magic New Zealand for the info - see http://www.magicnewzealand.com/ezine-ar ... -2017.html.

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