The Magic of Johnny Thompson


The long-awaited book devoted to the magic of Johnny Thompson—one of the magic's most revered performers, creators and mentors—enjoyed two printings in 2018. This title is now sold out.

We have been fans of Johnny Thompson for more than forty years.  He has helped create and refine virtually every branch of our stage and television work.

—Penn & Teller

Johnny is not only the most knowledgeable and proficient magician I have ever met, he is also a great teacher who is happy to share his knowledge... I have learned more about magic from Johnny Thompson than anyone else in the world. 

—Lance Burton

The Magic of Johnny Thompson

He was one of the most respected minds in magic. His distinguished, decades-long career has covered all facets of magic. As a pioneer of trade show performances, as a legendary dove worker—performed as his iconic stage persona, The Great Tomsoni & Co.—as a bamboozling bar magician, as a charming mentalist, as a surprising illusionist, and as one of the most sought-after magic consultants... Johnny Thompson has truly, done it all.

Written by renowned author Jamy Ian Swiss—Shattering Illusions (2001), Devious Standards (2011), and Preserving Mystery (2017) and the Lyons Den—and the master magician himself, Johnny Thompson, The Magic of Johnny Thompson meticulously details the real secrets of seventy-eight of Johnny’s most cherished and celebrated routines, including The Cups & Balls, The Balls in the Net, The Egg Bag and The Gambler’s Ballad.

It also includes previously unpublished material from Johnny’s respected colleagues and mentors including Dai Vernon, Harry Riser and Ed Marlo. There is an extended chapter devoted to the close-up magic of Charlie Miller and Max Malini. There is the entire Johnny Thompson Trade Show Act (complete with a sample script), including his incredibly impossible $100 Dollar Prediction. There is also a chapter devoted to dove and silk magic by The Great Tomsoni & Co., which incudes a thorough essay on the development of a dove act.

This handsome two-volume, slipcased set is over 660 pages and is illustrated with nearly 1,100 photographs and features forewords by Jamy Ian Swiss and Lance Burton, and introductions by Teller and Levent. Every copy sold also features two original signatures: one by Johnny Thompson and one by The Great Tomsoni! 

Everything you would expect—and much more—from one of the most respected magicians of this, or any other age!

Two-volume hardcover, slipcased set: 12.5" x 9.25" x 2.75" (31.75 x 23.5 x 7 cm), approximately 10 lbs. (4.5 kg) with seventy-eight routines spread over 663 pages, featuring nearly 1,100 photographs.


The regular price is $295 plus $25 S&H domestic or $40 international.


Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication 

Swiss, Jamy Ian, author The magic of Johnny Thompson / by Jamy Ian Swiss and Johnny Thompson ; edited by David Ben and Karl Johnson.

ISBN 978-0-9878686-6-4 (set)

    1. Magic tricks. 2. Thompson, Johnny, 1934-2019. I. Thompson, Johnny, 1934-, author II. Ben, David, editor III. Johnson, Karl, 1959-, editor IV. Title. V. Title: Johnny Thompson.

GV1547.S95 2018        793.8        C2017-907376-1



Foreword by Jamy Ian Swiss, Introduction by Teller


HARRY RISER | Everywhere Nowhere All Backs, The Ambilipstrous Card, The Kissed Card, Les Quick Cartes, The Bean Coins, Elmsley’s Brainweave, Expert Dunbury Delusion, Impromptu Shiner

ED MARLO | The Empty Balloon, KF + BC + EM2 = Another Universal, Stilted Tilt, Mental Card Miracle, Expert Estimating the Aces



MORE CARDS | Zarrow Translating Deck, The Whispering Queen, The Prowling Jokers, Stopping Hofzinser, Location with a One-Way Back, The Classic Force, Underground Card Moves: Finlay Shift, Optical Shuffle, Carlyle Top Palm Replacement, Dribble Replacement


MILLER & MALINI | Basic English, Charlie’s First Card Trick, Covering Erdnase, Malini Side Steal, Thompson Side Steal, The Trick That Cannot Be Explained, Manuel’s Phantom Cigarette, Han Ping Chien, The Vanishing Glass, Miller Cups and Balls, Sugar Cube Assembly




Foreword by Lance Burton, Introduction by Levent


MORE COIN MAGIC | Presto Chango, The Golden Coin, Coin in the Bottle

DAI VERNON | Expert Vernon’s Variant, Cutting the Aces, Copper and Silver Transposition, Dai Vernon’s Magic Castle Act


EVEN MORE CARDS | The Five Senses, Card on the Seat, Quadruple Coincidence, Grippo’s Card to Envelope, The Genii’s Stop Trick, The Scoot, Ravelli Meets Rix, Parrish the Thought, Lazy Man’s Card Trick

MENTALISM | The Koran Medallion, Polish Epic, The Pump Deck

ILLUSIONS The Color-Changing Dress, The Transformation Tunnel, The Trunk Trick, The JT Asrah

THE GREAT TOMSONI & CO. | The Act, On Birds, Pockets and Principles, Wings of Warsaw, Unprepared Serpentine Silk, Color-Changing Silk, Color-Changing Dove, Multiple Dove Vanish, Paper to Parakeet

TRADE SHOW ACT | The Act, Sample Script, The Opener, Miniature Invisible Deck, Micro-Macro, Triumph, Signed Card to Miniature Box, The Johnny Thompson $100 Prediction

THE FINAL WORD |  Johnny Thompson