While one ordinarily reviews a product, and this will address one momentarily, I'd like to take a moment to publicly thank Ben for his generosity, and, as we say around here, "brag on him a bit". I don't know Ben, our correspondence has totalled a half dozen private messages, but in gratitude for a few moment's work to clarify some infelicities in the recently re-available Barfly's Billet Test, he sent me "something you'll enjoy". I was humbled and astonished to find a copy of "Conversations with Mindreaders" in my mailbox the following week. There are not words of gratitude adequate for such a gift, so the best I caan do, in addition to this "thank you", is to encourage you to make an investment in his work.
I have not listened to all 38 hours yet, but believe I can safely call this one of the most useful products on the market. Gabriel Marcel, that gentle foil to the cowardly Sartre, writes about those life-changing meetings that happen, seemingly at random, but leave us changed. I've been privileged to have a few of those. Such opportunities are to be found in these recordings. You get to listen to 32 minds who have "made it" as performers of mentalism hold forth on how they did it, not their secrets (though there are a few), but those internal resources that are only learned in the furnace of 1,000 eyes watching you expectantly, night after night.
What's more, even if I had the chance to spend an hour or so with each of these thinkers, the experience would not teach me that much. I don't know the questions to ask. Like the boy on South Park asking God why he hasn't had his period, I could easily waste my chance. Ben Cummings has the knowledge and experience to ask useful questions. Good interviewers are rare, and Ben is an excellent interviewer. This is no Entertainment Tonight puff piece, but detailed exploration of the real work. (And yes, there really is "real work", but it is rarely labelled as such.)
So, to sum up, Ben, thank you for your generosity. Everyone else, this is the good stuff. (At this point Ron Popeil insists that I mention there are not that many left. Yes, it's fairly expensive, but you can sacrifice a half dozen ebooks for an entire day and a half of chances to be a truly better mentalist.)