Completely Magi-Call by Beverly Suzan

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Publisher: SMC Publications
Location: Branchville, New Jersey
Date: 2008, 2009
Pages: 346
Layout: 5"x8", softbound
Search at: Amazon, Stevens Magic.

COMPLETELY MAGI-CALL: A STUDY OF THE MAGICIAN’S ART (The True Secrets of Magic) by Beverly Suzan is apparently the first text book on magic written by a female magician.

It is intended as an introductory course, and includes chapters on “Ethics, Aesthetics and Showmanship,” “Patter and Presentation” and “The Psychology and Philosophy of Magic.” Among the techniques taught are basic coin sleights, card tricks, rope tricks, an effect with rubber bands and a cups and balls routine.

Of particular interest to our clients will be the second half of the book which includes a “who’s who” of brief biographies of magicians past and present, with a surprising number of female magicians included, from Adelaide Herrmann and Lulu Hurst to Trixie Bond, Becky Blaney and Cherie Kay (the latter three all from Houston!). Male magicians are not neglected either and their are entries ranging from Max Malini, Channing Pollock, Cardini, Houdini and Slydini to Johnny Carson and Orson Welles. A section on magical families includes information on the Bambergs, Maskelynes, Farquars, Herrmanns and Willards, among others.

There are lists of useful websites, sources of other information and performing venues. Guest contributions include an essay on Showmanship by Bill Wisch and a chapter on idea development by Ron Dayton. A number of intriguing “art illusions” by Don Thoenig are collected in a special chapter.

These are illustrations change when inverted, for example, a magician wearing a top hat producing a silk from his hand becomes a hand pulling a rabbit from the top hat when inverted. The excellent illustrations in the technical portion of the book are by Tony Dunn. A 346 page paperback with limited distribution, this seems reasonably priced at just $29.95.

Richard Hatch


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