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can anyone recommend a good book on mentalism?

Discussion in 'Magic' started by The Princess of Bozonia, Feb 1, 2007.

  1. The Princess of Bozonia

    The Princess of Bozonia Administrator Staff Member

    I saw The Illusionist tonight (fantastic movie, btw!) and was seized by a sudden desire to learn mentalism. I know many of you are into magic as well, can anyone recommend a few good books on mentalism?:)
  2. Jamz

    Jamz Moderator

    Great movie Im trying to figure out the orange tree
  3. GiGi

    GiGi New Member

    That's funny. I just rented it. My hubby is waiting for me to get of the computer so we can watch it.

  4. Fitzwilly

    Fitzwilly COAI Secretary

    Max Maven and Eugene Burger both are known for their Mentalism acts. They also both have had a number of works published that are highly revered.
  5. Saxlampouxlas

    Saxlampouxlas Active Member

    I have many ebooks on mentalism written by Bob Cassidy, Max Maven, Derren Brown, Richard Osterlind etc.

    Tell me if you want to upload some of these.
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2008
  6. Pobo the Hobo

    Pobo the Hobo New Member

    I have a book called "Practical Mental Magic" by Theodore Annemann. It is pretty good.
  7. V

    V Well-Known Member

    My Lovely Assistant has numerous mentalism reviews (as well as reviews on practically anything else magic)...
  8. Happy Chappy & Daisy

    Happy Chappy & Daisy Well-Known Member

    I knew you were going to ask for mentalism information!

    Kleanthis, I'd love the e-books, as long as there wouldn't be any legal issues with uploading them.
  9. Saxlampouxlas

    Saxlampouxlas Active Member

    I 'll pm you the link to get them.

    Eg:Anyone who wants them just send me a pm too.

    Last edited: Jan 11, 2008
  10. Fitzwilly

    Fitzwilly COAI Secretary

    Me too please.
  11. Miss Petunia

    Miss Petunia New Member

    UH, what's mentalism?:???:
  12. Saxlampouxlas

    Saxlampouxlas Active Member

    • Thanks Thanks x 2
  13. Harpoetta

    Harpoetta New Member

    If you are not oppesed to DVDs, my dad and his business partner own the Greater Magic Video Library. They have been converting all of the Videos over to DVD, as well as making new DVDs. There is a great DVD on Eugene Burger, I think he covers some mentalism in this DVD, there is also a Mentalism DVD that we just released a few months ago. It should be available through most magic stores, but if it's not available near you, you can order it from Twin Cities Magic & Costume. I would suggest phoning in the order if you go that rout, we've been having trouble with internet orders.

    The number is 1 - 651 - 227 - 7888

    I am not sure on the price, it is either a $25 Teach-In or $30 not teach-in. I don't know how much shipping is.

    Hope this helps.
  14. Twitch

    Twitch New Member


    Ted Anneman's books were considered essential for mentalism for many decades. I think "Practical Mental Magic" is the title of the book that was most common. Though old it still has enough to give you some great routines. You can normally find it in paperback cheap. Another is "Corinda's 13 Step to Mentalism". I would think either or both of these books would give you all the basics to take and run with.
  15. V

    V Well-Known Member

    I know this is a dated post, but I've some older gimmicks and systems as well as a new look at mentalism of late and have some suggestions for you Princess (and/or others if you've satisfied your mentalism query by now).

    Here are some gimmicks that generally fall within the realm of mentalism: These aren't books, but can supplement a mentalist act

    Superman Coin Bend or the Boa Coin Bend.

    Both of these yield the same basic result. Both gimmicks have their pros and cons, but I personally prefer the Superman. It takes a bit of strength, but with practice you should be able to get a result.

    Vernet Writer or Swami Gimmick

    I have the vernet writer and am happy with it. I've not used the swami gimmick that attaches to your thumb nail, but imagine it would be an option for those who have long fingernails that would make the vernet writer more obvious. I've heard good things about Lincoln's Best Boon but have not used it myself either.


    Sleight of Mind - Ian Harling and Martin Nyrup

    This goes into NLP as it applies to mentalism. The book is more for someone who wants to become a student of mentalism rather than a short cut for the mind controlling wannabe. If you're looking for copy & paste mentalism routines - this book isn't what you are looking for. If you want to develop a mentalist act - I'd pick it up.

    These guys have another book out on mentalism as well, I don't own it yet and not certain if/when I'll add it. I think the title is Geist if you end up finding their books to be helpful.

    Neuro-Linguistic Programming for Dummies

    Don't laugh at the title. I know the "for dummies" books tend to catch some flack at times, and it's probably not where one would generally go for their magic needs but I recommend you buy this book.

    You'll also hear the nay-sayers complaining about NLP. Some of their criticism will be valid, others are off-base. NLP may be complete Barnum bunkum, but so is "magic." ;)

    This book is pretty dull and reads like a textbook, but it will give you a better grasp of what many of the Mentalist texts are trying to project. It is also a good foundation for creating patter for your mentalism routine...

    Draw me a Tree

    There are text versions as well as DvD versions of this system. Pretty much cold readings, but allows you to get into mentalism and readings without having to get into Tarot, Runes, etc that have a certain taboo about them.

    Bionic Mnemonic

    Part card magic, Part mentalism. No sleight of hand or card control needed at all. You do need a partner.

    Some of these systems are out of print or in limited circulation. If you're interested I may be able t get a copy of one or more into your hands. If you have any questions, feel free to message me direct via clown mail.
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2008
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  16. homerdaclown

    homerdaclown Active Member

    As you and twitch said, it is a good book i got mine in some flea market items i bought which was about 20 boxes of stuff for 20 dollars and the book is a hard back copy in great condition and also the the paper cover, my some of the tricks are little harder to understand but i,m learning
  17. Ichabod

    Ichabod New Member

    I thought the definitive book on mentalism was "13 Steps to Mentalism" by Corinda.

    I never got into mentalism, so I wouldn't know, but I belong to a few forums where they talk a lot about that book.

    Magic Book: 13 Steps To Mentalism $23.00
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  18. Simply Knute

    Simply Knute Well-Known Member

    me three! por favor!
  19. V

    V Well-Known Member

    5 years later... (since my last contribution to this thread anyway).

    First, for curiosity - did you (Princess) ever look into mentalism past this thread? If so; your thoughts?

    Now, my proper revisit...
    I worked magic and stage well before I began any formal clowning, and still fall back to magic often. While I've had measured success in clown, I think I've always preferred magic in one form or another. Same with balloons really - enough artistic ability mixed with patience and practice to be able to twist at a relatively proficient level (via instructional Buster Balloon, David Brenion, etc dvds) but I don't really enjoy balloons so much as am willing to prostitute myself out to line work for an occasional payday. Something about magic (roots I suppose) that keeps me coming back. With that brief reflection out of the way...

    Mentalism - I'm a fan and have used it often this last half decade. Many systems require no props and the ones that do use props or gimmicks pack small and travel light. Mentalism forces are also some of the easiest forces in the industry and even lazy magicians can make a go and them. It may be the most diverse field of magic out there; from stage to comedy and anything in between, but to me - Mentalism truly shines in an intimate setting (parlor magic, etc).

    It evolves nicely and the minds behind mentalism are always producing new material, and it's possibly the easiest genre of magic to customize. Right now I run three basic sets - Tree readings as a vendor type setting; basically people pay me to draw a tree and have a reading done. Great for festivals and they don't require much effort - once you learn the system you're set. Spirit show - This books amazingly around halloween with seance and 'haunted' systems (penguin or magic geek can give you immediate results). People are always entertained by a good fright and if you're willing to develop your storytelling skills you can put on an amazing show that your audience will remember. A Debunk show, which is ironic since I also book a spirit show, but what can you do? This books well also and with the rise of Ghost Hunter type shows and groups popping up all over, there is no lack of an audience. This angle takes a lot of ego since you're essentially calling out the paranormal groups. Inspired I guess by Houdini's later years of challenging mediums, the show plays well to skeptics and believers alike. It's difficult to challenge someone's beliefs but if you have the confidence to play this to a "psychic," ''palm reader," etc - you can get some great results (and possibly burn bridges, create ill will, and so forth).

    I have a few shows available - the recycled show above, a traditional stage show, close up magic, and mentalism. While certainly some skills bleed over (I'll do some close up for mentalist shows for example to set up a card prediction); mentalism ios by far my favorite set and I would recommend people give it a go.

    That being said... I'm not a fan of most comedy mentalist acts (Celebrity Smart-Ass is great however), and greatly prefer a more traditional approach. I also think that any time you have a method that allows you to tell a story over a straight-up prediction, you produce a stronger show. Everyone and their brother does a card prediction of some sort but if you leave your audience with a memory; your performance only gets better with each retelling...
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2013
  20. Mr. Woolery

    Mr. Woolery New Member

    To answer the question about what is mentalism, it is a performing art closely allied with magic, but with a focus on mental abilities. Some people play it as psychic, others as psychological, still others as spirit theater (though not everyone agrees that spirit theater is mentalism). The same tricks can be used either way with different framing. On some levels, mentalism is easier that straight magic. It does not require a lot of fancy props, there are relatively few sleights used, etc. In other ways, it is much harder because it depends upon your acting skills rather than the tricks you perform. Look for videos of Bob Cassidy on YouTube for good examples.

    My contribution here comes with a mild rebuke. The creators who write the books are losing money every time you share a pdf and don't pay the guy who wrote it. This discourages them from making this information available at all. Please don't share them without the creator's permission.

    Best source for basics is Corrinda's 13 Steps. This covers most of the major tools and branches of mentalism. I resisted buying this for years because the cover is so stupid looking. Don't judge this book by its cover. It is gold.

    Other great materials:
    DVDs by Richard Osterlind (I suggest Easy to Master Mental Miracles vol 1-4), Bob Cassidy (Mental Miracles is great material from a working pro, but with stripped down presentations), and any reading system you like (I love Rudy Hunter's Draw Me a Tree).

    As always, be nice to your audience and have fun with it.

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