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Saturday, April 14, 2012

Review: Tricks of the Mind

Posted by Charlene // Tags: , ,
Tricks of the Mind
by Derren Brown

Plot Summary:
Derren Brown's television and stage performances have entranced and dumbfounded millions. His baffling illusions and stunning set pieces - such as The Seance, Russian Roulette and The Heist - have set new standards of what's possible, as well as causing more than their fair share of controversy. Now, for the first time, he reveals the secrets behind his craft, what makes him tick and just why he grew that beard. Tricks of the Mind takes you on a journey into the structure and pyschology of magic. Derren teaches you how to read clues in people's behaviour and spot liars. He discusses the whys and wherefores of hypnosis and shows how to do it. And he investigates the power of suggestion and how you can massively improve your memory. He also takes a long hard look at the paranormal industry and why some of us feel the need to believe in it in the first place. Alternately hilarious, controversial and challenging, Tricks of the Mind is essential reading for Derren's legions of fans, and pretty bloody irresistible even if you don't like him that much..

Expectations: I'm a huge fan of this man's work on television, and what he does is seemingly impossible sometimes, so I was expecting to get a few answers, especially on how to do certain tricks so I can do them! The Coin in hand trick was one I was especially hoping to pick up. I love that although he always makes sure that everyone knows he does not claim to have paranormal ability, the cover insinuates that he does have some occult connections.

Review:
Again, I am such a fan, that reading so much about his thoughts and views on religion and humanity - although seemingly out of place in a book that purports to tell us how he does what he does - was fascinating for me, and changed a few long-held opinions of mine. I think it does ultimately relate to getting into how he thinks, and delving into and trying to understand why people hold superstitions and evangelical beliefs is a way to show how easily people can be manipulated which is a major trick of the mind. The actual reveals on card tricks, memory tricks and hypnosis are interesting, but not as thorough as I had hoped. The real trick to these things are hard work and practice and unfortunately no book can give you an easy way to learn them. In the end the memory tricks felt most useful to me, and could have quite astounding effects if one practices. The book felt like an overview for the interested, and that makes sense as Derren Brown is still practicing his craft and he can't give all his secrets away. This was an enormously entertaining read though because of Derren's writing style, and I would recommend everyone to check out his work on youtube and then buy all of his DVDs. It is unfortunate he is not more well known in the States.

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