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Tricks Of The Mind Paperback – 8 Oct 2007

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Tricks Of The Mind + Confessions of a Conjuror + Derren Brown Live Collection [DVD]
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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Channel 4; New Ed edition (8 Oct. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1905026358
  • ISBN-13: 978-1905026357
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.7 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (251 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,781 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"Tricks of the Mind exposes Derren Brown as a master manipulator, with not a cauldron or genie in sight" (New Statesman)

"Clearly the best dinner party guest in history - he's either a balls-out con artist or the scariest man in Britain" (Charlie Brooker Guardian)

"If you see anybody with this book, go the other way" (Hilary Mantel Guardian)

"Lifting the lid on some of the darkests secrets from the world of magic, Derren reveals with brutal honesty how some tricks work, how to perfect particular techniques and how to spot lies through people's behaviour. You'll be reading minds in no time! ****" (OK!)

"Will delight anyone with an interest in the weirder things people think and they they think them" (Independent on Sunday)

Book Description

The definitive book by Britain's favourite illusionist...

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

174 of 180 people found the following review helpful By Dr. George L. Sik on 1 Dec. 2006
Format: Hardcover
Needless to say, anyone in Derren Brown's profession who wrote a book reavealing everything about how they work wouldn't last very long. What is remarkable about this book is that it actually reveals quite a lot. No, he doesn't explain how each trick works (as if!) but there is plenty here to interest the curious among us.

If you want some tips on hypnotism, which he describes as the product of effective suggestion rather than a unique trance-like state, feats of memory or straightforward conjuring (something I suspect he uses much more of in his routines than he'd like you to think), there is a great deal of information provided. If we read it and practise what it reveals (that's the bit most of us are not prepared to do because it takes for ever), any of us could invent some pretty neat tricks of our own. Insofar as anyone will write a 'how to' guide on hypnotising your friends, this is probably as close as we're going to get.

Some may not like the book's mixture of tips, autobiographical anecdotes and polemic about how easily fooled people are and how they really will believe almost anything. Admittedly, these elements don't always come together all that smoothly, but they do all reveal a lot about the man, his view of the world and what he thinks of the whole school of 'you can fool most of the people a lot of the time' opportunists (hucksters, charlatans, salesmen and camp Northern psychics of every stripe).

The book's structure may be flawed, but its honesty is the ace up its sleeve - not bad in a profession based on fooling people.
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143 of 152 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on 28 Nov. 2007
Format: Paperback
In which the celebrated TV showman and 'mentalist' reveals (some of) the tricks of his trade, plus a selection of tips and mind hacks that anyone would find useful.

Along the way he gives us a whistle-stop tour of magic, memory techniques (an excellent introduction), hypnosis (with a bit about NLP), unconscious communication and 'cold reading, and pseudo-science and sloppy thinking.

Naturally, being an NLP trainer, it was the bit about NLP I turned to first. Derren attended a large course on which Richard Bandler was one of the trainers (with 'four hundred or so delegates, some of whom were clearly either unbalanced or self-delusory') which he found 'highly evangelical'. He says it was a four-day course so it can't have been Paul McKenna's (unless Derren developed amnesia for some of the days) as this lasts for seven, as far as I know. Nevertheless, he likes NLP enough to include some nifty NLP self-help techniques (subtle mirroring and various submodality interventions including the phobia cure, mapping across and a couple of variations on the swish pattern for motivation and confidence) with step-by-step instructions.

By the way, if you only read one bit of the book, make it the 'Confusion and Self-Defence' section at the end of the hypnosis chapter - not only is it very funny, it could save your life some day.

The underlying attitude running through the book is one of skepticism - particularly about professional psychics and mediums. Given his background - an evangelical Christian in his teens, becoming disillusioned with it as he got into stage hypnotism and magic - it's not surprising that he's a skeptic.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mr. S. T. Parry on 19 Jun. 2008
Format: Paperback
Delivered in Derren's usual style of a mix of serious points with a tendency to show that he's not prepared to take himself too seriously this is an easy and enjoyable read. Starting with an introduction to the tricks that have been part of his stage show, it quickly moves into looking at the workings of the human mind and progresses to give a philosophical treatise that is as intelligent as it is readable (if only most philosophy books could convey their ideas like this instead of trying to tie themselves up in complexity and linguistic gymnastics). More than anything Derren shows that if you don't have a sense of humour about yourself and your own ideas then you're unlikely to really be open to understanding the nuances of human behaviour and the inner workings of the mind
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Lily_M on 4 Feb. 2007
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book about a week ago and within a couple of hours had finished it. I find Derren's tv shows fascinating so was eager to find out more about the methods and the man behind the mindbending.

I wasn't expecting him to reveal all about how he performs his tricks; to do so would be to do himself out of a career, but I was intrigued as to how he had ended up as a mentalist and what his belief systems are, and this book answered those questions for me.

I liked that it is written very much for the more intelligent of readers; Derren doesn't dumb down his vocabulary or opinions in order to access a wider audience, this book is firmly targeted towards those who have a serious desire to learn more about his profession.

Whilst I agree that the memory tricks aren't anything special (having already learnt the pegging system and other techniques from a memory improvement book as a child) I did enjoy the insights into how Derren achieves his cold-reading, and how he views hypnosis and the paranormal.

And the style of writing in the book is brilliant- the man is not only very clever, he also has a magnificently witty sense of humour- several times I found myself laughing out loud at his self-deprecating and sarcastic remarks.

Overall, I really liked this book. It has allowed me to get a deeper look at a public figure who appears shrouded in mystery (and hype) in the media, become educated about a few things I hadn't encountered before, such as NLP, and prompted me to re-evaluate my own beliefs and experiences in a more balanced way.

I definitely recommend it.
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