Piles of junk accumulated at Flosso’s. Showcases were crammed with antique magic
equipment. Stacks of magic literature teetered on the countertops. Al Flosso lived
a life of disarray. So assembling this life story proved a challenging task.
In writing The Coney Island Fakir, magic writer Gary Brown examined
books, newspapers, photographs, magazines, programs, catalogs, and video and
audio tapes from public and private collections, piecing together details from
this chaotic record. Through interviews and correspondence, magicians, performers
and collectors on four continents added their anecdotes, insights and observations
about Flosso. Their recollections breathed life into The Coney Island Fakir.
The result is a vibrant portrait and animated mosaic. The book traces Flosso’s
fascinating career, from his days as a street-corner shill, carnival pitchman
and sideshow magician to his work on Broadway, film and television. Lavishly
illustrated with dozens of photos, The Coney Island Fakir provides a
vivid portrait of this unique performer.
As an added bonus, this volume contains a reprint of Our Mysteries.
Produced by Flosso in the 1940s, Our Mysteries features 23 classic tricks
by Flosso, Al Baker, Ted Annemann and other top performers.
Photo illustrated, 215 pages.
Preface and Acknowledgements
Chapter 1 – Beginnings
Chapter 2 – Sorcerers’ Apprentice
Chapter 3 – Rise of the Coney Island Faker
Chapter 4 – Punch & Judy
Chapter 5 – On the Pitch
Chapter 6 – At the Circus
Chapter 7 – Open for Business
Chapter 8 – Wheeling and Dealing
Chapter 9 – Tricks of the Trade
Chapter 10 – Collector’s Paradise
Chapter 11 – Stand Up Straight!
Chapter 12 – Trodding the Boards
Chapter 13 – Finale
Chapter 14 – Art Imitates Life
Reprint of Our Mysteries