Review: Tom Stones Monshine Monolougues

When I got his new eBook from Tom Stone, my first thought was: “Tom must have gone insane to write almost a full eBook about the multiplying bottles trick.”


To me this trick never appealed in any way and so I began to read rather sceptical but also curious as I know Tom is a great thinker and inventor so perhaps there may be a surprise for me….

And I didn’t get disappointed. Already the first trick “Stirring the still” convinced me that there is more to this classic than I had thought before. It describes how to get three nested bottles onto your table without letting the audience knowing. Really clever and a good trick in its own although Tom would call it only the overture for a multiplying bottle routine.

To give you idea about the quality of Tom’s drawings if you never have seen one of his works before have a look at this here:


Tom is a perfectionist in any means. His thoughts about how to make it possible to show even the bottom of the bottles in “Don’t stare at my bottom” is ingenious even if he himself calls it a pipe dream so far. I disagree in that and I’m sure a good crafts man can built this gimmick. Very clever indeed.

I’m still wondering why Tom did include the chapter “The Pianist’s Cutlery” for me it’s the weakest effect of all but perhaps I just did not understand it. It’s Tom’s take on the classic piano card trick with out cards but with cutlery (OK perhaps I should give it an extra point as I know know the English term vor Besteck ;-) )

Basically it’s a transposition of a spoon from one cup to another. To accomplish this several knifes and forks are put into the cups too. To me Dai Vernons words “Confusion is no magic!” sprang to my mind the moment I read it.

If want to perform it still, I can only recommend the Fork-Spoon-Gimmick from my friend Axel Hecklau from his funny trick “Spoonaround” which is perfectly constructed so that you don’t really have to hide anything. But to be honest I think Spoonaround is much better than“The Pianist’s Cutlery” so you will not regret to have bought the trick ;-)

“Redneck Remedy” is a very sound bottle <-> glass transposition routine with the nice detail that a red silk is used as prove that the bottle/glass has traveled. If you have a multiplying bottle set, give it a try!

“GlassWhere” is a pipe-dream from Tom notebooks (what would I give to have a longer look into this book as there must be a lot of treasures to discover) how to create a perfect glass transposition from one tube to another. I have my doubts if this would in real world at all, but I’m happy that Tom shares also this sort of ideas with us as this is the stuff that can spark our own creativity more than a perfectly finished routine. Perhaps his proposed principle may be exactly the solution for a problem you may face in future.

“Audience Cues” is an interesting study about the possibility of giving the audience cues that are only visible from some distance but that are invisible for anybody close like a assisting spectator on stage. As interesting as this ideas are I think they miss the point from a view of showmanship.  When performing a “Thought Transmitter” routine where the whole audience is aware of the chosen card with the exception of a assisting spectator on stage, much of the comedy is drawn from the boldness of how you are giving the cue e.g. holding a big sign behind the spectators head.
If you give the cue in such a sophisticated way the audience will give you credit how clever this method must be, but a lot of entertainment will be lost. I feel that this method is more clever than good. But nevertheless I enjoyed reading about this principle perhaps there is another application for it.

“Glass-Bottle-Can” is an idea from Tom’s friend Daniel Risman and is in fact a great twist on the classic bottle-glass transposition as it introduces a third object a tin can. With the described principle you can do three way transpositions or transformations. If you have a bottle set give it a try. I think there is much to discover that could make a bottle routine much more interesting. I’m not really satisfied with the solution of using a thread and a paperclip. If I would work on this I had already an idea to solve this with magnets.

“Paperback Writer” is an example what happens if Tom reads too much good books at the same time in this case The Real Story, Mind, Myth and Magic and an old issue of Magic Info. The result is an eerie twilight like effect in which the spectators select the story line of a criminal novel only to find out that they just came up with the story of a book that was on the table the whole time. Great presentation with old principles clever used!

Did I mention before that I as a former engineer am a great fan of ingenious devices? Exactly this is the type of thing that Tom presents us in the last chapter “Multiplying Glasses”. So far he states it’s still an idea from his notebooks but I already read a comment from James Riser on Genii forum that he sees no problem in building such a device. Now what is it? With this method you can produce a glass at any time during your multiplying bottle routine (yes again bottles ;-) )  To make it clear, you can produce up to 6 or 8 glasses in sequence.  I hope that I will sometimes get to a set of bottles as it’s really a great idea!

You can get the eBook from Tom Stone’s website for only

$16. Highly recommended even if you never think about performing any of these tricks

As Pit Hartling already said, Tom sells his goodies much too cheap! But as long as he don’t change his mind, enjoy it!


I watched yesterday “Paper Moon” from Peter Bogdanovich and learned that he choose the movie title just because he and Orson Welles found it so great (Welles proposed “Don’t make the movie, just publish the title”. Actually they introduced a scene with a cartoon moon just to justify the title. As I’m always curious I asked Tom how he came to the Title Moonshine Monologues and I’m happy to share his answer which also gives a good insight into Toms creative process:

The association chain for the name of the ebook…
I had several bits for the Multiplying Bottles.
… the effect is: one person produces more and more bottles of alcohol.
… usually, in “real life”, when one person produces a lot of bottles, it is during illegal manufacture of alcohol.
…The english slang for illegal alcohol is “Moonshine“.
…I usually write my texts during the night, when the moon shines.
…I’m mostly alone when writing, in solitude. I’m communicating without anyone to listen – a monologue.
…”Monologue” is an alliteration to “Moonshine”, so it looks good as a graphic title.
Well, after that chain of thoughts, there were no other suitable title :)

-Tom Stone

After he heard that I liked this sort of thought chains I even git more:

Sure, you’re welcome to use it. :)
Most of my titles are based on association chains like that – some chains are longer and some are shorter.

Like “A Toast for Charon”
…I devised that routine while working on a cruise ship, or ferry, between sweden and finland, and the gig was dead boring.
…In greek mythology, the name of the ferryman who transported the dead over the river Styx to Hades was Charon.
…To pay the passage over Styx, the custom was to put a coin in the mouth of the dead at the funeral.
…In my routine, I drop coins in a wine glass.
…The gig was so boring that I wished I could just die. Give Charon a toast, then pour the coins into my mouth, and then let him carry me away to Hades.
…So therefore, the manuscript detailing the routine got the title “A Toast for Charon”

Or “Tracking Mr. Fogg”
…I had been spending 10 years to try and track down the ultimate method for Dai Vernon’s Travellers.
…In litterature, many consider Phileas Fogg (Jules Verne, Around the World in 80 days) to be the ultimate traveller.
… So, therefore I gave my manuscript on the Travellers the title “Tracking Mr. Fogg”.

And so on… :)

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