Devious Realities E-book: By Peter Turner (with Kenton Knepper) Price: $30.00 Where to buy: WonderWizards Devious Realities is the debut E-book for an up and comer in the mentalism world, Peter Turner. This is an excellent resource that should be of good value to experienced and well read mentalists and it should be of great value to intermediate mentalists, but it may be a bit over the heads of most beginning mentalists and performers who only "dabble" in mentalism. For me this book has been a real eye opener and I am very excited to perform this material as soon as I get this stuff practiced and well rehearsed. For that reason I'm giving this book Five Stars! ***** Using this review: This review will be long so I recommend skipping to the end and reading my overall thoughts. If that strikes a cord then you may want to come back and read about individual effects. Each effect description will be color coded based on my personal favorites. ( Red)as in red hot! This is an effect that has a clever method and delivers a powerful effect. The kind of effect that most people will find a place for in their show. (Orange) Hot. This is an effect that either has a really clever method or delivers a powerful effect but perhaps not both. Most performers will be able to use at least some part of this effect and tweak it to their liking without much trouble. (Green) (this was going to be yellow but you couldn't read yellow) Warm. This is a good effect but neither the method or the presentation will likely "blow you away." It will be an effect that some people will get a lot of use out of and others will not. Most people will "like" the effect but few people will "LOVE" the effect. (Purple) Neutral. This is an effect that some folks might like and some folks wont. It will all depend on individual styles. (Blue) Cold! This is an effect that I estimate most people will not like. It either delivers an unimpressive climax or the method used is convoluted or just plain bad. Effects: No Brainer Calculation: This is less of an effect than a method that can be used in several effects. It teaches you how to program, or rig, most scientific calculators sold in England and the US to be used as a trick calculator. The basic effect would be to have several different spectators input different numbers in the calculator and when all is added up the numbers equal a number predetermined by the mentalist. And NO he is not just hitting the memory recall button! This is a great little discovery and if you can find the right type of calculator it is very deceptive. The great thing about it is sparing the mentalist from spending huge amounts of money on gaffed calculators. If you are someone who ever thought of buying one of those gaffed calculators you may want to pick up this e-book first as it may save you hundreds of dollars! Educated Guess, I Guess: This is an effect constructed using the “No Brainer Calculation Principle”. A jar full of different colored legos is placed on the table. A calculator is passed around the room as different spectators try to guess how many legos are in the jar. A judge (non-stooged audience member) adds up all the guesses and divides by the number of guesses. Once the number is announced the lid of the jar is unscrewed revealing a note that has the actual number of Legos in the Jar. The legos and the audiences prediction matches…or is “off by one” depending on your preference. There is certainly room to play with this presentation. For one, instead of adding up all the predictions and dividing by the number of predictions you could have each spectator call out their prediction of a specific color (i.e. Red) and then just add up all the predictions. You could also replace the legos with candy or some other object. Unscientific calculation: This is a way of using a standard calculator (this one doesn’t require a scientific calculator) to get a peek of the total from a series of spectator chosen numbers. This one is intended to be used with a swami gimmick or other method of secret writing. Several spectators call out numbers and remember them. The numbers are plugged in the calculator but before they are totaled the performer clears out the screen. He can also show that the numbers are not in the memory recall feature. He then hands a spectator the calculator and has him/her total all the numbers and get the answer. The performer instantly reveals the correct prediction from a sealed envelope, or box, or other “secure” location. This one is basically a peek, not a force, but the advantage over the No Brainer Calculation is that virtually any calculator will work for it. Multi Line Telepathy: This is more of a discussion of Ideas about how to use a multi-line style scientific calculator (the kind that types the equation out as you go) in performances. The two most clever ideas are first, a way of using the multi line in a similar way as the “Unscientific Calculation”, and second, a way of covering the screen with tape and have spectators punch in numbers randomly (without even looking) and when the tape is removed and the screen revealed you see that the sum totaled is the same as the prediction. Thoughts on the Calculator STUFF!: First off Kenton Knepper chimes in a lot in this section of the book. I know that Kenton has done some previous work with calculators but I have not read any of that. So if you have that previous work I cannot really tell you how different this work is from that. Hopefully by reading the descriptions you will get an idea but if there is further questions just ask and I will try to answer shy of exposure. In general this is not my personal cup of tea….Yet! Right now the "add a number" routines I perform are more for small groups and deal with numbers under 100. Obviously calculator tricks are not recommended for numbers that small because there are many folks who can add numbers that size very quickly. So if that describes you then just stick to your swami and secret writing techniques. Now if you work with bigger numbers calculators can be an obvious choice both for the mentalist (in terms of methodology) and the audience (in terms of justifiability. If that is you then I strongly recommend this book for the calculator material alone. After a quick internet search the cheapest gimmicked calculator was Richard Osterland’s and it appears to be discontinued. Another one still on the market was going for over $1000.00! Even if one can be found for under $50.00 it is still a gimmick. With the material in this book you should be able to recreate most calculator effects with even a borrowed calculator if necessary. The beauty of this section of the book is that it gives you effect ideas with the three most common calculators you will find on the market, Standard everyday calculators, scientific calculators, and multi-line scientific calculators. So no matter what you come across you should be able to tweak your add a number calculator routines to fit the kind of calculator you have.