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Confessions of a Conjuror [Paperback]

Derren Brown
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (106 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
Price: 5.59 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

1 Sep 2011

The inside of Derren Brown's head is a strange and mysterious place. Now you can climb inside and wander around. Find out just how Derren's mind works, see what motivates him and discover what made him the weird and wonderful person he is today.

Obsessed with magic and illusions since childhood, Derren's life to date has been an extraordinary journey and here, in Confessions of a Conjuror, he allows us all to join him on a magical mystery tour - to the centre of his brain... Taking as his starting point the various stages of a conjuring trick he's performing in a crowded restaurant, Derren's endlessly engaging narrative wanders through subjects from all points of the compass, from the history of magic and the fundamentals of psychology to the joys of internet shopping and the proper use of Parmesan cheese. Brilliant, hilarious and entirely unlike anything else you have ever read before, Confessions of a Conjuror is also a complete and utter joy.


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Confessions of a Conjuror + Tricks Of The Mind + Derren Brown: Inside Your Mind [DVD]
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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Channel 4 (1 Sep 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1905026595
  • ISBN-13: 978-1905026593
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (106 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 19,622 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Weird, whimsical and, at times, uproarious... Brown takes us on a meandering pleasure cruise downriver. It is worth the journey" (The Sunday Times)

"It combines a playfully baroque prose style with pinpoint observation and almost excruciating levels of self-examination, if not loathing. It's a fascinating experience" (AL Kennedy Guardian, Books of the Year)

"A fantastic voyage into Derren Brown's intensely sharp brain... A deeply funny and eccentric triumph" (Heat)

"Closer to the work of someone like Malcolm Gladwell than to the... reminiscences of Brown's memoirs-writing contemporaries" (Word)

"A lovely kind of magic trick in book form" (Boing Boing)

Book Description

The UK's best loved illusionist takes us on a journey to the centre of his brain


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
69 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not for everyone 3 Dec 2010
By Dan
Format:Hardcover
I love this book as I have long been a fan of Derren Brown, and I'm very interested in the way he thinks.This book is entirely comprised of descriptions of his thought processes, insecurities and childhood memories, providing a very personal insight into his life.

Yes, as many negative reviewerss have pointed out, Derren tends to ramble on somewhat, making use of sometimes overlapping multiple-page footnotes, in which he will often go off at several tangents, necessitating a backwards traversal through both pages and thought processes, to find the place at which he left off. But rather than seeming unstructured, I think that this is part of the books charm and appeal.

And yes, Derren uses long words, but again I can't see how that is a negative, unless your vocabulary is somewhat below average. I for one find it refreshing to read a book by a 'celebrity' who has a good command of the English language and isn't afraid to use it. If you find that frustrating, perhaps something like Chris Moyles' autobiography would be more appealing.

If you like Derren's TV shows, but aren't particularly interested in the man himself, or magic/conjuring in general, then you may not get much enjoyment from this book. But if like me, you are fascinated by what goes on in the mind of such a person, then I think you'll find it an enjoyable and interesting read.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I liked it, but I don't know why... 9 Jan 2011
By Peter Lee TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover
This is one of the strangest books I've ever read, and believe me - I've read some strange books.

What this book isn't:
- An autobiography, although much of it is supposedly autobiographical.
- A book about magic, although magic appears in it.
- A "how I do my tricks" book, like his "Tricks Of The Mind" book.
- A TV tie-in.

So what exactly is it? Well, each chapter uses Derren's performance of a card trick as its opening, and then things kind of wander off in other directions, almost like somebody telling you a story and then heading off on tangents, eventually returning to the central strand before veering off once more. It's an amiable ramble, a bit waffly if I'm honest, and full of footnotes, graphs and line drawings to expand upon points mentioned, but by the end I was still confused, wondering what exactly I'd read as I didn't know much more about the man, his work, magic... or anything really, apart from his thoughts on "Monster Munch" crisps, mushrooms, and poached eggs (seriously). In a way it would be a bit like seeing a magician do a trick where he says "pick a card, look at it, don't tell me what it is, and put it back in the deck," before he shuffles the cards, burns the deck, places a glass sculpture of an elephant in front of you and says "I'll let you think about that one," before wandering off. It's enjoyable, but deeply mystifying, and I can't help but wonder if, should I read it again, it would all suddenly click into place and somehow it would all make sense.

Confused? You will be. I enjoyed reading this, despite how confused it left me, but if you want a straight autobiography or a book about what Derren does, or magic in general, you'll be disappointed.
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69 of 73 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A nice man 25 Oct 2010
Format:Hardcover
As befits an illusionist, Derren Brown is himself somewhat of an enigma. He obviously has a very quick mind, and an excellent grasp of human behaviour and how to manipulate it. As a performer, he offers his audiences an entertaining and potentially transformative experience without, apparently, exploiting anyone. A nice, self-assured man. However, the picture he paints here is of someone rather ill at ease with himself, subject (at least in the past) to compulsions ranging from the incovenient to the downright dangerous, and over-anxious to please. These are truly 'Confessions' (I wonder what other C word he considered before settling on 'Conjuror') and the degree of self-loathing he describes is surprising in a celebrity autobiography.

Not sure why, but I am reminded of Derren Brown's piece on 'Barnum statements' that seem very personal but apply to almost everyone. I am also aware that misdirection must be second nature to him. Perhaps the thing to do is leave the book for a while and then reread it with an eye open for alternative interpretations.

Overall. I think those of us who find Derren Brown interesting as a person - and there are plenty of them - will get most from this book, Anyone wanting to know how he does his 'tricks' should look elsewhere, and I'm not sure it quite stands on its own merits as a piece of writing. I hate to criticise a man who is more self-critical than the harshest of reviewers, but the verbose style, use of extensive footnotes and occasional pedantry can be irritating. Actually, thinking about it, it's reminiscent of Stephen Fry in lots of ways, including the self-revelatory tone, but without his light touch. Having said all that, it is very funny in parts, and Derren Brown IS a nice man.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Good Book 6 Jan 2011
Format:Hardcover
Because I payed considerably more to get this book in the US for christmas, the many reviews had me worried that this book, like a few others I've read, would give me the sinking feeling of disappointment and boredom. Of course this is made worse by an author I not only like, but have enjoyed reading and watching. So I entered the book not with lower expectations, but with a search to find what was so disliked by others. I found that I was once again nearly thwarted my own behavior of reading too many reviews before reading a book. Maybe it's a mistake in marketing, but people seemed to have expected something more straight forward from Derren, which is always a mistake. Even if I had expected something else, I don't know that it would be as annoying as I have read from others reactions.

Of course I cannot say the other reviewers are wrong, because this might not have been what engages them. But I not only was never bored, but can put this book in the page-turner category. A short and fine list among non-fiction in my reading world. More than once or twice I had to smile, knowing exactly what Derren was talking about, and pleased someone put it into words. The weaving around the story of the card trick was perfectly done. The trick itself was interesting and more so from the point of view of the one carrying it out. The pages of footnotes were far from annoying when one realizes that this is just comical or descriptive side story which allows more sight into his world. I didn't understand the frustration in other reviews, as I had no problem picking up where the footnote cut in. The writing itself wasn't as drawn out as I had read, though that could be a result of my own reading taste. If you're on the fence because of negative reviews, my advice is to go ahead and get the book,if you're a fan. Where as Tricks of the Mind is better (as a first read of his two) for those who aren't.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Confession of a Buyer... Who is really happy!
Spot on delivery, wonderful price and the book was near enough to new even though it was classed as 'used'. Read more
Published 3 days ago by Sara
5.0 out of 5 stars Train of thought
A highly enjoyable read in which Derren Brown describes a night performing a trick to some diners at a restaurant. Read more
Published 20 days ago by Christopher Lang
2.0 out of 5 stars Not what I was expecting
I was thinking this would be more like "Tricks of the mind" which I loved, this was more stories. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Andrew Shepherd
5.0 out of 5 stars Derren's silver tongue delights over several hours
Having already read Tricks Of The Mind, I decided to try one of his audiobooks as my job at the time involved quite a lengthy drive every day. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Squeebles
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read
Really enjoyed this Bill Bryson style in site into the thoughts of this amazing illusionist.
Very witty and full of in site
Published 5 months ago by Lou Read
5.0 out of 5 stars If you're a fan, this is for you
I love Derren Brown so for me, this book was a real treat. I guess it's not much more to say, I assume that any fan of DB will love this.
Published 5 months ago by Bullen
5.0 out of 5 stars Footnotes are the best part
Love this book. It's great to get some insight into the way this man sees the world and people around him, only to discover that he's just like everyone else and slightly... Read more
Published 6 months ago by socks
4.0 out of 5 stars Headline
I must write at least 20 words.

I enjoyed this book - Derren Browns card magic is well worth a look ( not easy to find)
Published 6 months ago by Andy Liddicoat
5.0 out of 5 stars Bought for other half
I bought this for my finace last year and he is yet to read it but I have! Loved it so it was a good buy for me overall!
Published 7 months ago by beckyjose
2.0 out of 5 stars Big fan of Derren Brown but this book was a big dissapointment.
IThis book is a sort of bigography, it takes place as Derren is working as an entertainer at a bar, he is explaining the scene. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Mike1865
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