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Mysterio's Encyclopedia of Magic and…

Mysterio's Encyclopedia of Magic and Conjuring: A Complete Compendium…

by Gabe Fajuri

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About Mr. Mysterio

Before telling you about Mr. Mysterio, let me say a bit about myself. I've been an amateur magician since the mid-1940s. I am a member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians, Order of Merlin. I have an above average collection of magic books, 17th century through 21st century. I have rubbed elbows with magicians, both professional and amateur, at their conventions. I say this in order to tell you that I am surprised never to have heard about Mr. Mysterio until the 21st century. My grandparents told me about Harry Kellar, Howard Thurston, and Harry Houdini, but never about Mr. Mysterio.

The true identity of Mr. Mysterio is clouded in mystery. In the little book, The Amazing Magical Wonder Deck (2005), allegedly written by Mr. Mysterio, the real author, Jason Rekulak, claims that Mr. Mysterio was the stage name of his Ukrainian great-great-uncle, Alphonse Zenobius Rekulak. Jason also claims that Mr. Mysterio was as famous in the early 20th century as Kellar, Thurston, and Houdini. Say what?

Furthermore, Jason Rekulak claims that a critic for the New York Times wrote, "Mysterio makes his cards dance." I have searched the New York Times archives, 1903-1936, for "Mysterio." Alas, he is not to be found. No news stories. No critiques. No photographs. No vaudeville bills. No posters. No advertisements. No nothing. Nada. At the same time, there are lots of columns written by and about Harry Kellar, Howard Thurston, and Harry Houdini.

The mystery of Mr. Mysterio's true identity deepens when you consult Mysterio's Encyclopedia of Magic and Conjuring (2008) by Gabe Fajuri. On the copyright page, we read, "Name and character of Mr. Mysterio © 2008 Quirk Productions, Inc." The last time I consulted the voluminous body of copyright law, unless you are a close relative, you are not permitted to copyright the names of famous people, such as, Kellar, Thurston, and Houdini. Mysterio's name and character could only be copyrighted by Quirk Productions in 2008 if he were a specter, a figment of someone's imagination, not a real person. On page 340 of his book, in his acknowledgments, Mr. Fajuri expresses thanks to his "phantom collaborator ... Mr. Mysterio."

Perhaps the best trick in this book is convincing the reader of Mr. Mysterio's existence. ( )
1 vote MrJack | Jan 10, 2009 |
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Here are illustrated step-by-step instructions for rope tricks, money magic, mind-reading effects, stage illusions, everyday magic, and plenty of all-new card tricks. Readers will learn how to bend spoons, stretch handkerchiefs, levitate glassware, make small children disappear, shuffle playing cards with aplomb, and much more - everything from simple street magic effects to epic on-stage illusions. Mysterio's Encyclopedia of Magic and Conjuring is a beautifully designed reference for magicians of all ages and abilities.… (more)

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