(Close Window)
Topic: "Mentalism With Cards" :: by Paul Hallas
Message: Posted by: ddyment (Jun 20, 2012 04:13PM)
[i]Mentalism With Cards[/i], by Paul Hallas

154 pages, 911 inches, hardcover, privately and handsomely published (2012), USD$45 + shipping

I can't say that I have read [b]all[/b] of Paul's books, but I have certainly read most of them, and can honestly report that I have never regretted a moment spent in his textual company. Mr. Hallas is simultaneously erudite, accomplished, and discerning, and his writings are always worth reading, this latest volume being no exception.

Subtitled "Discussion, References and Experiments in a Controversial Subject", this is an unusual and necessarily idiosyncratic book. It can't be truly encyclopedic, as given the topic that would be pretty much impossible. Given that restriction, however, it is certainly encyclopedic [b]in spirit[/b], tempered with lots of Paul's well-considered opinions, and peppered with a healthy sampling of some twenty fully-explained effects.

Twelve chapters bring us quite thorough coverage of mind reading, predictions, rapid memorization, gambling, participants-as-psychics, blindfold experiments, and more. It's not all playing cards either (the usual source of the controversy): close to half the book explores the uses of symbol, Zener ("ESP"), alphabet, number, and tarot cards.

The general approach is a broad and detailed examination of each topic in turn, with fairly extensive coverage of what Paul considers to be noteworthy (and relevant) additions to the genre, all amply sourced, and with lots of explanation of his thinking. You're unlikely to agree with all of his conclusions, but you won't fail to be impressed with his scholarship.

Many of us know where "the real work" is to be found, and that there are few gems to be extracted from today's outpouring of hastily-produced DVDs and e-books. Paul has the antidote, and I'd be astonished if you didn't unearth some really terrific effects here that have simply escaped your notice!

[An aside: Richard Webster and his family were visiting with me when this book arrived, and I noticed that the book quickly gravitated to Richard's reading area, where it remained for the rest of the week!]

This book is a true labour of love for our art, and unlikely to be challenged as the singular best reference source for its topic. Consequently, [i]I highly recommend it to all serious mentalists.[/i]
Message: Posted by: brehaut (Jun 20, 2012 04:35PM)
I just received it and have started to make my way through it. I agree that it may be the best reference source for this topic. I highly recommend it.
Message: Posted by: Blindside785 (Jun 21, 2012 09:46PM)
Where can you order this?
Message: Posted by: ash2arani (Jun 22, 2012 02:21AM)
I found this link:

Message: Posted by: ddyment (Jun 22, 2012 09:28AM)
I would be surprised if you couldn't get it directly from Paul (always a wise idea with these small-print-run books, as it returns more money to the author).

e-mail: info@PaulHallas.com
Message: Posted by: Jerskin (Jun 23, 2012 01:05PM)
Thanks Doug!
Message: Posted by: brehaut (Jun 23, 2012 05:58PM)
Yes, I ordered directly from Paul
Message: Posted by: Paul (Jun 26, 2012 01:44PM)
Yes, the book is available from me, direct, but if you're in the area of Mel's Magic City in Scranton PA or Mingus Magic in Reading PA feel free to drop in a brick and mortar shop and buy a copy. No-one else other that these relatively 'local to me' shops have them, and they are not likely to. Just 90 copies remain for sale. I should have some left for the S.A.M. convention in Las Vegas next month.

Message: Posted by: ParaLabs - Thomas (Jun 26, 2012 02:35PM)
I had the pleasure to find the time to study Paul's book in the latest days (delights of holidays :) ).
And I agree with Doug's remarks on some terrific effects that somehow escaped my notice when they were originally published. So Paul's references generously drew my attention to some wonderful gems. This alone is more than valuable for me.

But to be completely honest, even more valuable for me are his references to the origins and the history of particular types of cards, plots or approaches. More than one time I wished that I had this book accessible when we were working on particular projects of ours. Now Paul collected many references that will be definitively a great help for us in the future.

So any mentalist who is in need for research on the topic of this book - for one reason or another - should definitively get "Mentalism With Cards". The references in there will ease your work as a matter of fact.

A great work, Paul.
Thank you for making this accessible to the mentalism community.

Message: Posted by: AngeloR (Jul 8, 2014 02:33AM)
I am glad I got mine when I did! It is a great read and quite informative. It is my first exposure to Paul's work and writings.
Message: Posted by: Paul (Jul 27, 2016 09:42AM)
Now available again in print form, though this time in softcover. The original hardcover version quickly sold out in 2012. In 2014 I did make this available as an e-book exclusively through www.lybrary.com and had no intention of releasing a print version again.

Since the book has been pirated, I decided I might as well make it available once more and give people more opportunity to support me rather than the copyists. The new edition has a few extra references and some corrected typos. This is a large book, 11 inches x 8.5 inches, 155 pages. LOTS of information contained here, see the comments earlier in this thread. I was told by a friend in New York this is a perfect companion book to Ben Blau's new book "Asynptotes", though I confess I haven't read Ben's book myself yet.

This edition is print on demand and only available here: