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Book tests

Feb 16, 2015
45
16
hey guys,

I am looking into getting a book test. I was just wondering on your opinions of which is your favourite book test.

I have looked at MOAB

The ultimate book test

Babel

I am just looking for some of your experiences with book tests. Pros and cons etc

Thank you!
 

WitchDocIsIn

Elite Member
Sep 13, 2008
5,783
2,888
It really comes down to what your own requirements are, and the way you're presenting it.

Derren Brown did a book test as if he'd memorized an entire (fairly large) book in 20 minutes (I believe). That allows him some leeway in presentations that a psychic presentation wouldn't allow.

Personally, if I'm going to do a book test I want it to be very clean. I want the volunteer to be able to pick up the book, open wherever they like, and read silently, and I start to tell them what they are reading. Mind you, I would use another method that isn't my preference if it suited the show better.

No forces, no fishing, no anagrams. There's a series called Doppelgangers that allows this, and that is the only book test I really like and would feel satisfied using, I think. The downsides are that they are expensive, often difficult to purchase unless you know when they are being released (usually sell out fairly quickly), and there is some memory work involved. But aside from those aspects, it's the most clean and flexible book test I know of - the volunteer opens the book anywhere and reads silently, and you start to tell them what they are reading - and they can flip back and forth and you can continue telling them what they are reading.

Another good option is The Brook Test by Paul Brooks. You can use any book with minor preparation and it's pretty clean from there. But it's a single word reveal.

So what kind of book test are you looking for? What experience are you hoping the audience has?
 
Mar 4, 2018
101
85
It's not for everyone but a book test I'm really enjoying is The Gallows by Mark Shortland. It plays great for stage, allows for comedy that plays well with my stage persona, and it seemingly puts something at stake so there is more intrigue. I also prefer it over other book tests because it relates to a childhood game that most people are familiar with. I think you should check it out to see if it would be something you are interested in.
 
Apr 26, 2013
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The Dopplegangers series ChristopherT mentioned does look very nice. Too bad it is such a small run of each book in the series as they do sell out super quick when they come out.

That new book test Gatsby looks intriguing, and Theory11 has that other book test that allows you to use one of several different books. Shaun Farquhar released a comedy book test routine similar to what he did on Fool Us which plays out really fun in person (one of the gents in the local SAM assembly performs it in their current show).

There are several impromptu methods as well where you can use a random book on your friend’s shelf or even with a little forthought and planning you can do some interestingthings with a book people trust.

I personally like when the book is a real book that people might have held or seen or even read for class or fun, lol. I’m not a fan of book tests that involve books with “suspicious” titles. Or effects where someone could take the book home, read through it and never find anything suspicious - which is what the Doppleganger series can accomplish (so I have heard).
 
Feb 16, 2015
45
16
It is quite funny that theory 11 released another book test just after I posted this. They answered my call for help.

I tried to look up the doppelgängers series but I couldn’t find it anywhere not even any info on it but it sounds amazing. I will keep my eyes peeled because this is exactly the type of book test I was looking for. I am a little bored of book tests that you have someone look at the first word on the page. If it’s going to be a book why not read a sentence!

Gallows looks really interesting. I love the idea of hangman. Such a nice presentation for a book test. I am not sure how I feel about making the big set up and taking it with me just yet, maybe when I am a bit richer!
 

WitchDocIsIn

Elite Member
Sep 13, 2008
5,783
2,888
New It is quite funny that theory 11 released another book test just after I posted this. They answered my call for help.

I legit thought someone had sent me a PM when I first saw the email. Heh.

I tried to look up the doppelgängers series but I couldn’t find it anywhere not even any info on it but it sounds amazing.

https://www.lebanoncircle.co.uk/collections/profbc - This page shows several of them. In the bizarre world, products are often given more than one name, as it helps folks chat about it without being "google-able". Doppelganger is the term for most of Prof BC's book tests, like A Christmas Carol, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, etc. They are reproductions of those books, faithful enough that if someone isn't intimately familiar with the stories, they could read the book as a novel and not notice the gimmickry (probably).

There is also Fathoms and Spectre, but Spectre is different as it's more of an oracle book (And almost sold out at this point).

Here's an interesting concept, too: https://www.geminiartifacts.com/collections/prof-bc/products/the-most-haunted-house-in-england - DIY book test. I know some folks who have taken the concepts in this book and used it to make their own versions with different books.

Also in one of Luke Jermay's books he talks about writing out a journal himself to use as a sort of book test. Struggling to remember which one it was, though.
 
Mar 4, 2018
101
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Gallows looks really interesting. I love the idea of hangman. Such a nice presentation for a book test. I am not sure how I feel about making the big set up and taking it with me just yet, maybe when I am a bit richer!
Gallows is designed to be constructed in parts for the stage act so it's not that hard to store. If you hire a carpenter to assemble it for you, I would say it would cost around $50 for the assembly if you are from the U.S.
 
Aug 15, 2017
656
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Sorry for barging in, but I figured that this might help @TimW1 too...

Is there no really impromptu book test where no cards are involved?
Because, I personally love book tests, but it's just that I hate involving cards in it...somehow, it makes the whole thing less magical, at least for me (the audience usually forgets that anything other than the book was even used).

By 'impromptu' I mean it should involve only the memorisation of, say, the first word OR two-three readings of the intended page, for a presentation where I wish to give the volunteer a rough idea of the things on his page.

TLDR; I would like to learn a way to force a page in a book that does not include cards (or the number 1089...I am tired of that).
 

DominusDolorum

Elite Member
Jul 15, 2013
895
1,118
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Canada
Spidey has a download on this site for impromptu book tests called "Transcript." It's cheap and he covers three methods. I've even seen NPH do a variation on one of these on a television and it was pretty interesting.
 
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WitchDocIsIn

Elite Member
Sep 13, 2008
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On example given in this thread. Another rhymes with "Joy".

When you study the foundation skills you can make them up as you go, as well.
 

RealityOne

Elite Member
Nov 1, 2009
3,638
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I would like to learn a way to force a page in a book that does not include cards (or the number 1089...I am tired of that).

So, there are a lot of possible methods. Kranzo's Diction uses a method where the audience freely picks three numbers to get a page. I use the method with a book called Whoogles. Rachel Wild Colombini has a great Harry Potter book test that you could use on children's show where the audience picks the number. Steinmeyer has a three book test that is great for stage. Rich Ferguson has a completely impromptu method on This is Mentalism that can use a borrowed book. Rich also has a great method in Tagged. Rich's methods require the magician to touch the book. For every method there is a trade off.
 
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Mar 4, 2018
101
85
Is there no really impromptu book test where no cards are involved?
There are lots of book tests like that. I think one that you will like that is pretty much self working is the book test that Max Maven teaches on his Penguin Live Lecture. You won't need to have them write down anything or force any page numbers. The only thing I have to add is that there is a possibility of something going wrong (as per what happened during the live lecture) so I would suggest having an out to still land the effect. My recommendation is to have Nicholas Einhorn's One In A Million as a backup plan.
 
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