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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Magicians of old » » Blondini/Michael Costello (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Twinkie
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Hi There,

I was wondering if anyone here had any photos or info about an escapology/strongman/illusionist type of act, performed by an Irish guy who went by the name of Blondini (NOT Blondin). His real name was Michael Costello and he died, I believe, in 1996. His name was really a kind of skit on both Houndini and Blondin. I'm searching for some biographical details for a book I'm currently researching on another subject but I wish to include a brief note about him.

I've found a couple of very brief biographies online, mostly a little like brief obituaries, but just wondered if anyone either had the book about him (I think it may have been called "The Amazing Blondini") or any other info about him?

Thanks so much.

Here's a link to one short piece I found in The Irish Times about him : http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/week......634.html

Many of the other links I've found actually relate to Blondin rather than Blondini!

Thank you so much.
Twinkie
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I thought I'd update this to say that, today, I've received a very helpful email from The Magic Circle librarian who tells me that Blondini was, in fact, never a member of The Magic Circle (I believe he claimed he simply had extraordinary powers rather than anything being due to illusion or 'magic' but I really don't want to start THAT particular argument here!) However, they were able to find out that his biography was actually called "Bed of Nails - The Story of the Amazing Blondini" and was written by someone called Gordon Thomas. I imagine it's out of print but I shall have a snoop about online to see if I can find a secondhand copy anywhere. Apparently it is over 200 pages long and has quite a few photographs in it.

I just thought perhaps an update would be nice as it might be of interest to someone else, apart from me!

Thanks so much.
Kevin Connolly
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I found about 15 of them out there. It seems-like an interesting book.
Please visit my website.
www.houdinihimself.com

Always looking buy or trade for original Houdini, Hardeen and escape artist items. I'm interested in books, pitchbooks and ephemera. Email [email]hhoudini@optonline.net[/email]
Twinkie
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Wow! Really Kevin? Thanks for letting me know. I haven't had a chance to look yet but I will now. Thanks so much.
Kevin Connolly
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No problem. I would go with the 1955 hardbound edition. The pictures should be much clearer than the later reprint. IMHO
Please visit my website.
www.houdinihimself.com

Always looking buy or trade for original Houdini, Hardeen and escape artist items. I'm interested in books, pitchbooks and ephemera. Email [email]hhoudini@optonline.net[/email]
Twinkie
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I'd imagine you're right there Kevin. Oddly enough, once the chap from The Magic Circle had reminded me of the correct name of the biography, I could actually remember it from my childhood, even recalling the picture on the front of the book which I hadn't remembered until he emailed me. My mother once briefly worked as his assistant and my godfather, about whom I'm writing this book, also knew him fairly well and I believe he was part of the backstory to one of the albums my godfather released. I suppose these things are what make me so curious about him. I'm also one of those people who hates innacuracy and sloppy research so I wanted to ensure I had the correct background info on him. Unfortunately, my godfather has since passed and so I cannot ask him, and my mother has somewhat selective memory these days when asked to recall her misspent youth! So I'm really looking forward to reading this book once I get hold of a copy.

And, just as a footnote, I've just received another email from The Magic Circle (the historian this time) with a little more information on the book. I must say that they really are extraordinarily helpful. As have you been Kevin, thank you.
Twinkie
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Just as an aside, something which may amuse you ... I suspect I could probably get years of counselling out of the trauma Blondini caused me as a child when he regularly attempted to saw my mother in half while loudly proclaiming it was all 'real' and he really was capable of live dissection! For years, I believed that and now that I'm an adult, I obviously no longer believe he really did separate her top half from her bottom half, I am still fairly impressed by the performance he made of it all and really have no idea how he did it! No doubt it's a very obvious and simple trick of some sort but I'm happy believing it to be magic!
jay kirwan
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Have only seen this thread, don't know

if you are still searching for info on Blondini.

I recall reading the book "Bed of Nails" and

while commenting to an Irish showman about the

books premise (Where is Michael Costello?), the

showman reckoned that Blondini was never missing!!

I also learned that Gordon Thomas met Blondin originally

when he moved to the same village in Wicklow where he was

living.

While the book was a great read I was advised to treat a lot

of it as being "a good yarn".

Ken Kondini might have further insights to share.
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