Mentalism. Which book to get?

Jul 1, 2009
648
1
27
Austin,TX
Hey,

So recently I liked Mentalism. I have seen a performance on TV last week and I was amazed of what he did, but for the reactions he got. So I want to start mentalism and I have been doing so research on which book to get. The first book that I thought up was 13 steps to Mentalism, but I heard from DICE R thats not a book to start off because it scares beginners because its too much to take in. Also there Fundamentals. I have done any research on that yet. Can anyone help what it actually covers? And then there's Pratical Mental effects.

So I'm really stuck on what to get. That well be great if yall can help me out with this decision. Right now I'm more to 13 steps to Mentalism. Wonder if yall can help?
 
Mar 28, 2010
36
0
Maryland
Hey Nino,

Funny you asked this because I just bought The 13 Steps to Mentalism today.
I have no former mentalist knowledge and so far (I'm only on step two) I think its great. I do agree with the fact that its a lot to take in but if you are genuinely interested I think you'll do just fine.

Hope this helps.
-manonthemoon
 
Jul 1, 2009
648
1
27
Austin,TX
Hey Nino,

Funny you asked this because I just bought The 13 Steps to Mentalism today.
I have no former mentalist knowledge and so far (I'm only on step two) I think its great. I do agree with the fact that its a lot to take in but if you are genuinely interested I think you'll do just fine.

Hope this helps.
-manonthemoon

Thanks man. I'll keep this in mind. If you don't mind where did you get yours at?

Bob Cassidy's "Fundamentals."

That's what DICE R will say. I promise.

I know that. He always say that.
 
Nov 20, 2007
4,410
6
Sydney, Australia
Sorry I didn't see this earlier Nino.

Well, there are always different opinions on this. I'll add my own of course, but before I do here are two others:

http://www.lybrary.com/thirtynine-steps-mentalism-a-10.html
http://gunnsight.blogspot.com/2004/08/gunns-beginners-guide-to-mentalism.html

I agree with certain parts of both guides personally, and disagree on some points too. Bob Cassidy's focus on the classics is well placed, and has chosen a very good selection of foundations of mentalism. As mentioned in the article, some modern ones are left out, so I'll leave it to you whether some "modern classics" should be included or not. Gunn's article makes the excellent point that the best mentalists have a good working knowledge base on which they can develop as well.

So, as for what I recommend for the very start... I mostly agree with Bob Cassidy on this point, but there's the obvious fact that it lacks his own works... Therefore, I have to agree with D ICE R in saying, and consistently saying for a while now, along with others, that the single best starting point to mentalism is Bob Cassidy's Fundamentals.

Why?

Fundamentals doesn't teach you mentalism so much as how to be a mentalist. It's brilliant because it teaches you about mentalism - what it is, what it isn't, and how to perform it - because mentalism is very different from normal magic, and succeeding in the two fields takes different skills. Mentalism is unique in magic as it is arguably the last remaining field of magic which can be considered "real" by objective, logical audiences. Then there is the fact that you cannot get more personal than reading someone's mind. Because of that, it is fundamentally (no pun intended) different to magic in terms of how it should be handled, and performed, for the best impact.

The reality is that people like Derren Brown, to name one famous example I hope you can relate to, take tricks that read boringly from books very few people read (Annemann's Jinx, for example) and fools the pants off 99% of magicians/mentalists and 100% of laymen. Fundamentals gives you the tools to do the same.

Mentalism for example places a much greater emphasis on persona. Another more specific example is shuffling. Many (but not all) mentalists shy away from things like faro shuffles, even tabled riffled shuffles, etc. Why? Because they realise that cards are associated with two things, gambling first, and magic second. Mentalism is meant to take place in your mind. Any allusion to some sort of dexterity or skill with the cards degrades it to the level of a card trick - and instantly, perhaps the single biggest strength of mentalism, the reality, is gone. There are a lot of keys to performing strong mentalism - and making it "real", in the sense that it should rise above being tricks. Fundamentals teaches you about mentalism, because without this understanding and internalising this way of thinking, it is impossible to get the most out of it - you will instead be performing mere tricks.
 
Jan 10, 2008
294
2
Welcome to the dark side Nino! J/K. Yes, absolutely three books you need to own if you want to experiment with Mentalism.

13 Steps to Mentalism by Tony Corinda: A must for anyone interested in mentalism. More than enough to keep you busy in here. I got shows via performance of the first effect in the book! Could be found at damn near any dealer or online shop that sells books. But here's a link: http://www.vanishingincmagic.com/magic/mentalism/13-steps-to-mentalism/

Practical Mental Effects by Theodore Annemman: Now despite the title of the book, you will find some crazy material in this book. Don't mistake the word 'practical' for 'easy'. It's easy in theory, but I guarantee that some of the methods involved will scare you because of how bold they are. This is my go to book for inspiration in anything dealing with the mind. http://www.penguinmagic.com/product.php?ID=575

Psychological Subtleties by Banachek: There are three parts to this series so far, however I would still recommend checking out the first one. You won't find hardly any effects in here, (with the exception of 1 or 2 items) for this is a book of psychological forces and strong bits of subtlety. When you combine these concepts with any effect, whether mentalism related or not, you add a lot to said effect. Hidden in the text of this book, are key points about multiple outs and how to make a force work, even when it fails. Very, very good read!
http://www.vanishingincmagic.com/magic/mentalism/psychological-subtleties-1/

Good luck with your study, if anything, just grab Corinda's book for now. It'll keep you busy for a good while!
 
Jul 1, 2009
648
1
27
Austin,TX
Welcome to the dark side Nino! J/K. Yes, absolutely three books you need to own if you want to experiment with Mentalism.

13 Steps to Mentalism by Tony Corinda: A must for anyone interested in mentalism. More than enough to keep you busy in here. I got shows via performance of the first effect in the book! Could be found at damn near any dealer or online shop that sells books. But here's a link: http://www.vanishingincmagic.com/magic/mentalism/13-steps-to-mentalism/

Practical Mental Effects by Theodore Annemman: Now despite the title of the book, you will find some crazy material in this book. Don't mistake the word 'practical' for 'easy'. It's easy in theory, but I guarantee that some of the methods involved will scare you because of how bold they are. This is my go to book for inspiration in anything dealing with the mind. http://www.penguinmagic.com/product.php?ID=575

Psychological Subtleties by Banachek: There are three parts to this series so far, however I would still recommend checking out the first one. You won't find hardly any effects in here, (with the exception of 1 or 2 items) for this is a book of psychological forces and strong bits of subtlety. When you combine these concepts with any effect, whether mentalism related or not, you add a lot to said effect. Hidden in the text of this book, are key points about multiple outs and how to make a force work, even when it fails. Very, very good read!
http://www.vanishingincmagic.com/magic/mentalism/psychological-subtleties-1/

Good luck with your study, if anything, just grab Corinda's book for now. It'll keep you busy for a good while!

Thanks industrialchild for the advice. It seems people have different opinoins on what book to get. But I guess I'll go with Fundamentals. I will pick up 13 steps later.

Sorry I didn't see this earlier Nino.

Well, there are always different opinions on this. I'll add my own of course, but before I do here are two others:

http://www.lybrary.com/thirtynine-steps-mentalism-a-10.html
http://gunnsight.blogspot.com/2004/08/gunns-beginners-guide-to-mentalism.html

I agree with certain parts of both guides personally, and disagree on some points too. Bob Cassidy's focus on the classics is well placed, and has chosen a very good selection of foundations of mentalism. As mentioned in the article, some modern ones are left out, so I'll leave it to you whether some "modern classics" should be included or not. Gunn's article makes the excellent point that the best mentalists have a good working knowledge base on which they can develop as well.

So, as for what I recommend for the very start... I mostly agree with Bob Cassidy on this point, but there's the obvious fact that it lacks his own works... Therefore, I have to agree with D ICE R in saying, and consistently saying for a while now, along with others, that the single best starting point to mentalism is Bob Cassidy's Fundamentals.

Why?

Fundamentals doesn't teach you mentalism so much as how to be a mentalist. It's brilliant because it teaches you about mentalism - what it is, what it isn't, and how to perform it - because mentalism is very different from normal magic, and succeeding in the two fields takes different skills. Mentalism is unique in magic as it is arguably the last remaining field of magic which can be considered "real" by objective, logical audiences. Then there is the fact that you cannot get more personal than reading someone's mind. Because of that, it is fundamentally (no pun intended) different to magic in terms of how it should be handled, and performed, for the best impact.

The reality is that people like Derren Brown, to name one famous example I hope you can relate to, take tricks that read boringly from books very few people read (Annemann's Jinx, for example) and fools the pants off 99% of magicians/mentalists and 100% of laymen. Fundamentals gives you the tools to do the same.

Mentalism for example places a much greater emphasis on persona. Another more specific example is shuffling. Many (but not all) mentalists shy away from things like faro shuffles, even tabled riffled shuffles, etc. Why? Because they realise that cards are associated with two things, gambling first, and magic second. Mentalism is meant to take place in your mind. Any allusion to some sort of dexterity or skill with the cards degrades it to the level of a card trick - and instantly, perhaps the single biggest strength of mentalism, the reality, is gone. There are a lot of keys to performing strong mentalism - and making it "real", in the sense that it should rise above being tricks. Fundamentals teaches you about mentalism, because without this understanding and internalising this way of thinking, it is impossible to get the most out of it - you will instead be performing mere tricks.

Thanks Prae you push me to get Fundamentals. I well buy a copy this weekend when I get paid.

One more question where can I get a copy of Fundamentals? I'll do some research and ask yall if this is legit price for the book.
 
Nov 20, 2007
4,410
6
Sydney, Australia
The only place that currently sells Fundamentals is Lybrary.com.

I know it isn't cheap either. It's probably not what you'd expect from a book on mentalism either. If you want to look at some other effects to apply the lessons to (which is more than understandable), then look up The Learned Pig Project. It has the complete Jinx, from which Annemann's Practical Mental Magic (aka Practical Mental Effects... same thing) was taken.

On the three books mentioned above, some thoughts...

13 Steps - Definitely a required read. It's a very comprehensive overview of a lot of areas of mentalism.

Practical Mental Magic - Bob Cassidy considers it a poor man's version of the Jinx. Well, I think it's probably a fair assessment from a professional point of view, but when just starting out I think it's a perfectly legitimate reference to some of Annemann's works. The Jinx is so massive and intimidating.

Psychological Subtleties - Excellent excellent book with a psychological focus, but probably better suited to a slightly more advanced student. You can never start too early, but at the same time there are things that require more focus, and better very first books.
 
Jul 1, 2009
648
1
27
Austin,TX
The only place that currently sells Fundamentals is Lybrary.com.

I know it isn't cheap either. It's probably not what you'd expect from a book on mentalism either. If you want to look at some other effects to apply the lessons to (which is more than understandable), then look up The Learned Pig Project. It has the complete Jinx, from which Annemann's Practical Mental Magic (aka Practical Mental Effects... same thing) was taken.

On the three books mentioned above, some thoughts...

13 Steps - Definitely a required read. It's a very comprehensive overview of a lot of areas of mentalism.

Practical Mental Magic - Bob Cassidy considers it a poor man's version of the Jinx. Well, I think it's probably a fair assessment from a professional point of view, but when just starting out I think it's a perfectly legitimate reference to some of Annemann's works. The Jinx is so massive and intimidating.

Psychological Subtleties - Excellent excellent book with a psychological focus, but probably better suited to a slightly more advanced student. You can never start too early, but at the same time there are things that require more focus, and better very first books.

Okay so I think I made a mistake. Is Fundamentals a ebook? If so might aswell get 13 steps to Mentalism.
 
Sep 24, 2007
417
1
I can't read the Jinx on Learned Pig though- the text font and unusual spacing makes the whole thing just seem like a bunch of random letters to me.
 
Jul 1, 2009
648
1
27
Austin,TX
I don't understand what you're trying to say the rest of your post, could you clarify? - But yes, Fundamentals is currently only being sold in eBook format.

Sorry Praetoritevong, I thought Fundamentals was a book not a ebook. I want a book so I can stay away from the computer and also to have with me when I'm on the go. So I might just get 13 steps to Mentalism then.
 
Nov 20, 2007
4,410
6
Sydney, Australia
I can't read the Jinx on Learned Pig though- the text font and unusual spacing makes the whole thing just seem like a bunch of random letters to me.

Definitely agree with you there buddy - and it's tough at the best of times!

Sorry Praetoritevong, I thought Fundamentals was a book not a ebook. I want a book so I can stay away from the computer and also to have with me when I'm on the go. So I might just get 13 steps to Mentalism then.

...

Print it out? Well, do what you want, I guess. They're all good books. I currently use the first trick in Corinda as a closer to one of my close up routines.
 
Jul 1, 2009
648
1
27
Austin,TX
Definitely agree with you there buddy - and it's tough at the best of times!



...

Print it out? Well, do what you want, I guess. They're all good books. I currently use the first trick in Corinda as a closer to one of my close up routines.

Thanks Prae for all of your help. I guess I'll get 13 steps to menatlism when i get the money(hopefully this weekend) or may get fundamentals well I will see what book I get. For right now it 13 steps to Menatilsm.

Thanks everyone for all of your help.
 
Jun 30, 2010
22
0
Hey,

So recently I liked Mentalism. I have seen a performance on TV last week and I was amazed of what he did, but for the reactions he got. So I want to start mentalism and I have been doing so research on which book to get. The first book that I thought up was 13 steps to Mentalism, but I heard from DICE R thats not a book to start off because it scares beginners because its too much to take in. Also there Fundamentals. I have done any research on that yet. Can anyone help what it actually covers? And then there's Pratical Mental effects.

So I'm really stuck on what to get. That well be great if yall can help me out with this decision. Right now I'm more to 13 steps to Mentalism. Wonder if yall can help?

i dont think 13 steps to Mentalism has too much to take in.... that was my first book for Mentalism.
 
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