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4.3 out of 5 stars
Practical Mental Magic (Dover Magic Books)
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
There are two books considered to be required reading for those new to mentalism. One is Corinda's 13 Steps. The other is Ted Anneman's Practical Mental Effects - reproduced here as Practical Mental Magic. The book is a compendium of effects that were first published in Anneman's magazine, The Jinx. It dates back to the 30s. The writing and presentation might seem a little dated because of this, but don't be fooled. Mentalism is mentalism is mentalism, and the presentation of 'psychic entertainment' hasn't changed that greatly over the years - especially when compared to other areas of magic.

Most of what you'll read here requires the bare minimum of props. And most of what it does require can be bought from Staples or Rymans stationers rather than specialised magic shops.

Practical mental Magic is a phenomenal foundation for those who want to learn some serious, working, time-tested mentalism.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 28 May 2011
If you're into mentalism it's one of the best books available its price is very low. It has many good effects on close up or stand up mentalism. The thing i didn't like was that some of the effects use stooges. Many effects also need the construction of gimmicks. But whatever style you have you will totally find sth you will like in this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 7 February 2013
I was so tentative when purchasing this text. I read of how it was outdated and more useless than a chocolate teapot. All I can say about these reviews are that they are rubbish. True some objects in the book are no longer accessible such as hat pins and woolworths but the amount of play and creativity this book encourages has made me see past the archaisms and allowed me to read numerous minds.

All in all, don't listen to the negatives and buy this book!
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 6 May 2009
Firstly, please ignore the bad reviews of this book.

Secondly, please understand the importance of this book.

This is a historical text. It wasn't in fact written as a book, but was a collection of articles written in The Jinx magazine, but Theodore Annemann, during his prolific reign in the 1930's.

Annemann was a ground breaking performer in the field of mentalism and whilst I agree that many of the described acts are dated now, it must be understood that when these effects were first produced in the 30's, they were groundbreaking works.

The mistake that could easily be made is to write this off as an outdated body of work that has no bearing on today's magic. Indeed I would think that any of today's performers of mentalism would agree that many of the routines described in the book, have formed the foundation of many acts currently being performed?

Saying that, if you only have a casual interest in this area, or you're just starting to look into this area, then this historical document may seem a little inaccessible. To this end, I would strongly advise you start with a more accessible work like Derren's Brown masterpiece, 'Tricks of the Mind'.

If you are serious about your craft, then I would definitely recommend this book as a research piece.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 7 January 1998
The book is literally packed with excellent routines and techniques, most of which require little or no sleight of hand skills. Though somewhat dated (you may have a litlle trouble finding some of the materials used) it is chock-full of "how'd he do that" stuff. The variety of material contained is wonderful also. From billets to cards to envelopes to codes to blind-folds to money routines. Just get it! You won't be sorry. I hear that Mark Striving has modernized some of it with a book "Annemann Updated" or something to that effect. I would be interested in that but can't find it
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 26 April 2012
This, along with the Thirteen Steps to mentalism is really all you need for a long and satisfying career in Mentalism. It's not the presentations that are important but the wealth of methods.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 2 February 2011
A great book, every now and then I read through and see something new. I even saw Derren Brown use a small routine from this in his recent Enigma live show!!
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on 18 October 2010
along with corinda's 13 steps, this is one of mentalisms must-reads. it feels like you're really dipping into the source, complete with slightly arcane language and references to all sorts of conjurisms and old time technology. i don't have a stationer to make up 7 dozen business cards measuring 2 inches by 3 and 3 quarters and my trousers aren't wide enough in that 1930's way to make pocket writing viable BUT...
read annemanns book slowly and you start to spot the seeds of many a modern routine. getting this book made me feel like i was stepping into the inner sanctum and in a way, you are. annemann's head was a fertile and inspired place and its a place i'll be popping in to regularly!
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on 31 July 2015
If you are after a book of up to date relevant tricks to perform on family and friends then there are probably more accessible tomes out there.

If you are seriously into developing your own mentalism act and want a strong foundation then this book is one of the building blocks you need.

Much of today's mentalism is built on the stuff of Corinda and Zimmermann. They've changed the language a bit and the technology but you can save a fortune on some of the stuff on offer out there by just going to this book as the source.
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on 9 January 2015
Written in the curious language of its time which makes the substantial content hard to follow.
Maybe the first lesson of mentalism?
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