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.