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Profile of Cornelius
What do you think of Derren's book?
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Profile of debaser
Love it, one of the best books I've read recently. However it's not much of a mentalism book. It's more straight magic from Derrens earlier days.

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1253 Posts

Profile of Schaden
I love it. I wish I lived in London so I could do the perfect coin reading. Other then that there are very impressive things in this book. He has a few essays that will open your eyes. He has an amazing handling for watch stop and coin thru cig. I love his Smoke effect and Transformation. Hard to say if you will like it. But there is a good chance you will.

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Profile of Lior
Very good book.
Derren knows how to sum up many important things and most important, he gives you real food for thought.
This book is in the top 10

The best workshop for the professional mentalist

Talk To The Screen. The best effect for professionals

The Invisble touches , spoon bending, PK combinations
8 loops from Yigal Mesika

Penguin Live lecture
PEA Dave Lederman Award 2009
PEA Dunninger Award 2001
Life Time Achivmeant IUPA 2016
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Shrunken heads atop
1939 Posts

Profile of markthorold
Excellent book and a thoroughly enjoyable read, very flowery in prose. The psychological card forces near the end of the book are a wonder to read and perform. If only Lift and Reminiscence had not been omitted in the hardback edition, then it would have been perfection! Smile
Bob Baker
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Profile of Bob Baker
I agree with all of the above. I think "Absolute Magic" is even better. Unfortunately, both are currently out of print.

Try H&R Books or eBay.

Lee Davies
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Derby, England
136 Posts

Profile of Lee Davies
Pure Effect (Third Edition) is still available here:
I will not cease from mental fight,
Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand...
The Paranormalist
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Profile of The Paranormalist
IMO, the most important chapter you will ever read is on page 113, 'You're Supposed to be Reading Minds.' This is 'Pure Gold.' Priceless.

Franklin - The Paranormalist
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Profile of Rick
What can I say? This book has given me new sight on my cig. through quarter. And page 155 with the two verbal card forces is awesome.
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Profile of brownbomber
... and it's so rare to read a book on magic with such beautiful thought-provoking and inspirational prose. It's often said gratuitously, but this book really has certain bits that are indispensable to the mind-reader.

BB Smile
Winston Smith
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Profile of Winston Smith
I don't know why its so rarely mentioned, but his second book, Absolute Magic, is a much better read and gets his views and opinions over much more succinctly.

The first edition of Pure Effect, in which he tells you how you can *actually* walk on water and break your own fingers without feeling any pain (these were later excluded in subsequent editions) was a much more balanced read than the later editions, but this book still deserves some attention. I just think that you get it 'twice as good' in Absolute Magic - imho.

-- ws
Dr Omni
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Profile of Dr Omni
"Absolute Magic" has been self-published by the author himself and copies are (or were) available only from him ( and are not available in magic shops or other retail outlets. I agree that it is superb.

I think that the video "The Derren Brown Lecture," available exclusively from the London magic shop, International Magic (, is even better than the book "Pure Effect." The effects described on paper in the book are actually performed live, so you get much more of the "spirit" and style of them. (Lift and Reminisence are both performed, but not explained, on the video, while they have been removed from the book and replaced with some witty magical satire.)
Hypnotist and mentalist.
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Profile of flash_kid
I have to agree, Absolute Magic is a Superb book. Certainly forces you to consider your presentation and approach from the ground up!

The Lecture video is worth money for the last 5 minutes alone. Derren raps up his lecture with what is essentially the drive of the 'Absolute Magic' book.
Jim Reynolds
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I guess I am in the minority here as I found the book to have very little to offer the mentalist. Yes, there are some good thoughts in the book, but the bulk of the book seems to be geared toward the strolling/resturant/card magician.

Perhaps I missed something and need to re-read it.

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Profile of 1908
I agree with you Jim but I will also read it again...

Ok I was wrong. I re-read it and found some great ideas I will use, especially for better presentation of mind reading.
Don't wait for the perfect moment...Take a moment and make it perfect!!!
christopher carter
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I don't do card tricks much anymore, but, Dang, some of the card tricks in Pure Effect are impressive! Like most have already said, the essays are really inspiring. I would have liked to see some mentalism routines illustrating some of the points he made in the essays, but maybe the essays have more power on thier own because they force us to work in our imaginations. To me, Derren is one of those guys who can make you really excited to be in mentalism.

A l a i n B e ll o n
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Profile of A l a i n B e ll o n
Absolute Magic is the good book. The other... well, it was interesting.

The first edition of Absolute Magic has a few gems, like coin in hand, and Dark Fog (a great effect of almost frightening results).

Although I already had a similar (and possibly superior) routine to dark fog, Derren's way of telling the story is quite amusing.
A l a i n —— B e ll o n
christopher carter
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On 2003-05-06 01:07, Alain Bellon wrote:
The first edition of Absolute Magic has a few gems, like coin in hand, and Dark Fog (a great effect of almost frightening results).

What is the effect of Dark Fog, and how does your effect differ?

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Profile of myshadow
Yes indeed a great book - it will cause you to re-examine the way you approach presentation of effects and how you treat your audience.

Harvey Nerzof
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Profile of Harvey Nerzof
HN Review 8: Derren Brown - Pure Effect

Derren Brown, the most radical and original
new thinker in the world of mentalism, will take you from excellent close-up magic to the most powerful mind-reading you have ever seen. With flamboyant wit, Derren explains the secrets and techniques that he uses to amaze the experts, drawing from hypnotic skills and breathtaking psychological artistry. This is brand new mindreading without compromise; no use of billets, envelopes or nailwriters will be found within these pages. This is a book for the
serious thinker who would normally disregard
99% of a magic book's contents.


Much ado about an average book, and too much card work and futile linguistic flourishes for what is supposed to be "Direct Mind Reading". Part I includes Mr. Brown's interesting thoughts on mentalism, invisible compromises, anchoring etc. Part II is only devoted to card techniques (totally useless if you don't do cards), Part III are mainly effects with - guess what - cards.

Overall rating: acceptable

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