Joel Givens is not a household name in magic, but his creations have been touted in magic’s underground for years. In 2007 I wrote the first and only collection of his work, Session, and I was both pleased and flattered by the reception it garnered.
Universally praised by critics and readers, it won Book of the Year on the Magic Café. What meant most to us about this honor was that the prize was decided by popular vote, not a panel of judges. The book sold very well, but strangely it is not a title you hear much about less than two years later.
If you haven’t read it, here are some things you can look forward to. Joel’s magic is situational and often uses props or objects found in bars or restaurants. This is why the entire book is written as a magic “novel,” with protagonist (Joel), hecklers, a pretty waitress, and a few other surprises. Magicians seemed to really like the format because the reading experience was less like a recipe book (trick, explanation, trick, explanation) and more like a story.