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Tricks Of The Mind Paperback – 8 Oct 2007

4.2 out of 5 stars 306 customer reviews

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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 2.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (306 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 11,137 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

"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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you are new to memory techniques then this book is not for you. Derren seems to forget that us mere mortals are reading this as an insight in to his weird world but throwing people in at the deep end is not really what I would regard as in introduction but nonetheless entertaining if not a little egocentric.

Essentially what you are telling us in the Memory Chapter is in the Episode of Trick or Treat where you got the guy to read a library of books by running his finger down each page for a week was complete BS? Of course there is speed reading then there's taking the piss!

There seems to be a lot of self-opinion here. If indeed the speed reading episode of Trick or Treat was 'showmanship' then what was the point and what was the point in introducing an actual method into the book?

Then we move on to NLP which is pretty much dismissed by Almighty Brown though not completely as that would understandably peeve a lot of NLPers off especially in the posh London areas where many have made businesses out of this farce :P

Maybe next time Derren a little more of the technique and less of the opinion on the stunted growth of the world through religion.

Also probably not noticed by everyone but the image of Derren on the spine has two hairs stuck up in a Derren with horns look :P
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Format: Paperback
Like most people, I have a vague interest in the coulisses of stage magic, but no wish ever to stand up and do it. However, I'd rather like to know how it's done. Derren Brown, for his part, makes a living as a professional conjuror, and therefore depends for his continued livelihood on not giving too much away. Still, he wants to entertain us, and sell his book. How far does he succeed?

Pretty well, on the whole, is the answer. "Tricks of the Mind" is part confessional/autobiographical, part meditation on the many perennial ways a brain can be fooled, and part description of the mental arsenal that a conjuror must acquire - a chapter leading by degrees through useful and easy memory tricks up to the focussed discipline by which a conjuror can, ultimately, memorise the order of an entire shuffled pack of cards. Which goes to show us that some effects can't be picked up from a pamphlet in the course of an evening, but, on the contrary, are - in the words of the professional gambler - "damned hard money."

Brown's early steps into conjuring, we learn, came at university. A bright, maverick, restless student, he was given to anarchic hoaxes which can't have helped his coursework much, but which have proved a great rehearsal for his career. He started trying to hypnotise his friends. For my money this is the best part of the book.

Have you ever wondered what goes on in the mind of a stage hypnotist? Here's the answer. Brown seems at once fascinated, conflicted, and slightly paranoid at the thought that people do seem to grant him (or at any rate act as though they'd granted him) a surreal degree of control. Are they winding him up? Is it his Svengali-like influence? A heightened sort of role-playing?
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The back cover of this book says in part: “Now, for the first time, he reveals the secrets behind his craft … .” That is because I would imagine that the biggest market for this book is people wanting to know how he does his tricks. That is why I bought the book. If you’re the same – don’t buy it, you will be disappointed.

The book is however well-written and presents some excellent material. There is far too much jokey prose for my liking, but then I guess this is aimed primarily at the under-30’s (which I am not by a long way) and who no doubt appreciate that sort of language. The odd sentence here and there is fine, but Derren goes on for whole paragraphs in purely jokey style, which in my view adds nothing to the book, but no doubt helped to keep him sane while writing this ‘worthy’ tome.

It is actually (in my humble view) 5% autobiography (which was interesting enough), 5% how to do the odd very basic card trick, and 90% discussing the basics of perception, memory, hypnosis, NLP, psychic readings and so on. All this is worthy enough and probably absolutely fascinating if you’ve never come across any of this before. It’s all good, basic stuff. You will learn almost nothing however about how he does his most famous tricks. There is for example a tantalising photo in the book showing a table levitation, presumably faked in some way by Derren (that was actually my clincher to buy this book), but that’s all you get – just the photo, no explanation, no discussion, nothing. In my view, that’s naughty marketing, although probably his publisher’s fault rather than Derren’s.
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Format: Paperback
If you are even slightly interested in the methods Derren uses in his shows then you should give this book a read, of course he doesn't reveal everything the book would be huge!

He covers simple card and coin magic, memory, hypnosis, unconscious communication and pseudo-science and branches into various categories within these chapters. He tells you everything you need to know on a basic level but then gives a reading list if you are particularly interested in finding out more information which I think is very good as my general search on here found quite a few disappointing looking books and I wasn't sure where to find reliable and decent information.

He gives you tricks to try as well as a lot of history and stories from his own life, I found the book incredibly interesting and saw myself taking time out of my day to read it until I had finished it cover to cover. He does all this with good humour and I found myself laughing out loud at certain points throughout. Ultimately you find out how hard he actually has worked in researching and developing the skills he has and how with enough effort put in other people could pick these skills up too, he isn't some sort of creepy magician always trying to read people, he is an ordinary guy who really has worked at this and has amazing talent at it.
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