The Magicians' Yearbook by Anthony Owen

Reviewed by Jamy Ian Swiss (originally published in Genii September, 1998)

This is another annual roundup of magic in the UK by the irrepressible Anthony Owen and associates. This year there have been some format changes, the most significant being that the attempt at random surveys of magicians concerning their preferences in books, videos, lecturers, conventions, etc. has been abandoned (an attempt I found worthy but not terribly effective) and replaced by brief personalized write-ups by various British and American magicians. This review of the year is preceded by, as in previous editions, the editor/author's sort of calendar-account of the year's events in magic. There is another round-up of the year in periodicals by the estimable Eddie Dawes, and an overview of the year's favorite products by Magic magazine reviewer Michael Close. Tony Griffith, who books lecture tours in Great Britain, contributes a piece about "The Lecture Game." A couple of other entries and a few tricks are capped off by a brief dialogue between Mr. Owen and Eugene Burger. The highlight of the booklet for me is Mr. Owen's very funny compilation entitled "So You Think You're a Magician?" This is a list of thirty indicators along the lines of "You can only describe yourself as a magician when you have..." This made me laugh—including such entries as "Winked at the audience through a chrome tube"—and I also couldn't agree more about the reference to Penn & Teller.

8 - 1/4" X 11-3/4" saddle-stitched; 91 pages; not illustrated; 1998; Publisher: Dynamic FX