Confessions of a Conjuror Audio CD – Audiobook, 28 Oct 2010
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"There are certain things you know you want from a particular autobiography. The stuff you neither hope for nor expect - that's the author's real gift of self. Derren Brown - who reads his 'Confessions of a Conjuror' with the same elegance and warmth he brings to his mindboggling performances. The audio is a rich and easy joy from beginning to end." (Bella Todd Time Out)
The UK's best loved illusionist takes us on a journey to the centre of his brainSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
Derren is clearly a great thinker and there are some brilliant pages of writing, particularly when he describes being crass with someone due to lack of confidence. He manages to hit the nail on the head at times. Subjects such as Derren being irritated by losing his beloved pens in his flat or how he decides to take the lift or stairs in his apartment are covered. There are many funny anecdotes such as when Derren shuts his eyes and lets an old wheelchair bound woman freewheel down a hill in Croydon.
Unfortunately my motivation to finish the book waned due to the book's trivial nature. Much of the most trivial topics are placed in footnotes that run from page to page. One such footnote takes up three quaters of ten pages (believe it or not). At times, his thoughts go on and he simply puts a colon: and then continues the same sentence for the whole page which makes hard reading unless you are sharp as a razor.
To be fair, the book reads like a mind download from Derren, sitting or scurrying around his two apartments-knocked-into-one and putting those thoughts into writing (whether frivolous or not) and I suppose that was the purpose. Clearly no attempt to write down to the reader was made as Derren reaches deep down into his mental thesauraus to pluck the most arcane words from obscurity.
This book is certainly unique. I suppose you will love it or hate it. Derren is capable of much more than this effort however.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Really enjoyable biography. Perfect for anybody who is interested by Derren Brown.Published 11 days ago by Karl Talbot
I love Derren Brown anyway but his book is so well written full of amazing content! Would highly reccomend!Published 1 month ago by gch94909
This book is as charming, delightful, and interesting as Derren Brown himself is.Published 3 months ago by Kayleigh Marie Edwards
I love this book. You must like this book. All must read this book. All must obey the Derren. ALL HAIL THE...wait, what's happening? When did I buy this book?Published 5 months ago by Steven Caulfield
This book confirmed my theory that pens are very important.Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
An interesting and entertaining read, thoroughly recommended. Intelligent revelations, both personal and professional. Slightly self-indulgent, but this does not spoil the whole.Published 6 months ago by Caduceus
Love Derren, loved this book. Didn't like the weird format of "here I am doing a close-up magic trick, here is how I feel about everything, each feeling is a chapter intro"... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Daisy Vaughn