Ed's Reviews > Tricks of the Mind

Tricks of the Mind by Derren Brown
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's review
Oct 14, 2008

it was amazing
Read in January, 2008 , read count: 1

For those not familiar with him, Derren Brown is a British magician who has uses a variety of slight of hand, hypnosis, suggestion and misdirection for his shows. A few months ago while I was obsessed with watching every youtube video I could find of him, I found out that he had written a book and immediately ordered a copy.

The book discusses topics that are an integral part of his tricks, without actually saying exactly how he does his tricks. What he does is write about various psychology related topics he finds fascinating. The reason I love this book, is that I've always been interested in these exact topics, but have never really read about them in depth. I found this book perfect for me because it discusses main topics for each.

The main topics he covers are: Magic, Memory, Hypnosis and Suggestibility and Unconscious communication. There's way too much discussed for me to go into any depth here, but I think it suffices to say that if you have an interest in these topics, I think you'll enjoy the book. A bonus that I love, is that at the end of the book, Derren lists and summarizes extra reading for each topic for those that are interested in learning more.

If I'm to criticize anything about this book, I guess there are two points that stick out. I don't know if this is a result of Derren being British, but the book is pretty wordy. It's not necessarily bad, but can be distracting. Secondly, there is a last topic that he covers which is Anti-Science, Pseudoscience and Bad Thinking. This section discusses people who use poor logic, improper data or flat out self-denial to form and support personal beliefs. It's a weird section, and if you think of this book as a book for Derren to only discuss methods and techniques he uses for his shows, then it's definitely out of place.

Despite those two points, I love the book and would recommend it to everyone.

As a side note, as far as I know there is no US publisher for this book, so those in the US may have difficulty finding a copy.

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