Dobson's Choices the Sequel by Wayne Dobson
Reviewed by Jamy Ian Swiss (originally published in Genii January, 2004)
Wayne Dobson is quite well known among British conjurors as an award-winning magician and a noted television per-former, having starred in his own series, A Kind of Magic, for a three-year run in the 1990s. Mr. Dobson may be less well known elsewhere, but this little set of lecture notes certainly indicates that his reputation is well deserved. The author suffers from Multiple Sclerosis and is actively involved with related charity work, but the illness seems not to have dimmed his substantial creativity, indomitable spirit, or his sense of humor. He maintains an active touring schedule and his recent performance at FISM received rave reviews.
There are 13 items in this little set of notes and they simply can't be beat for sheer bang-for-buck value. Although the descriptions are fairly brief, all the core details are there, and this manuscript is full of clever and commercial ideas. Some of my favorites include "The Crying Game," which is a take on the card in impossible location, that location in this case being an onion. The handling is so simple and elegant it could bring one to tears, which is exactly what the presentation is based on us well. "Tossed Deck" adds an invaluable presentational angle on building the climax of the standard "Tossed-Out Deck." "Banana-Drama" is an immensely practical "bill in banana," in which the fruit in question is actually selected from an assortment of several types. "Rainbow" is a strong but easy-to-do version of the Crandall "Rainbow Deck," with a force that is reminiscent of a Derek Dingle handling of the same effect. "Word Association" is a lovely and mystifying card effect based on a great old Harry Lorayne item from Close-up Cad Magic, "The Moving Pencil." An extremely clean and easy version of a vanished card to card box comprises "Jack in the Box." And the closing item, "A Kid's Magician," is a platform bit-of-business that is worth not simply the price of the booklet, but frankly many times more to anyone who elects to put it to use.
You'll note that this booklet is subtitled "The Sequel." I was unable to obtain the original volume, but I am told that Mr. Dobson intends to combine both manuscripts perhaps along with some additional material and re-release all in one volume. be first on line with money in hand the moment it comes off the presses.