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Topic: "The Real Thing" Extended
Message: Posted by: ash2arani (Feb 17, 2013 12:52PM)
I do not usually start review threads. I actually have not done so here on the cafť before. But there is a first time for everything. And I thought Atlas Brooking's manuscript: 'The Real Thing' Extended deserves a thread.

The blurb can be found at: http://www.atlasmentalism.com/AtlasProductsCatalog.html

Let me begin by saying that I do not know Atlas. I however do own The Prodigal which I find fantastic and I know it was endorsed by many names in the field.

A word of notice before the review, The Real Thing was part of Liber Mentis (http://www.lulu.com/shop/steve-drury/liber-mentis/hardcover/product-20461426.html), but since then, Atlas added new things and compiled in a dedicated and extended release. It does share updated handling of the effect and a dynamite book test.

A final important point is that this manuscript is based on the English Language and will require some specific cultural background. UK and the US are no problem for sure. Other places, beware. I suggest you check with Atlas before buying it. That is what I did.

And by the way, that is not to say it will not work in other languages or different countries. But you will be on your own in figuring how to make it work. You have been warned before investing in this manuscript.

With that said, here are my thoughts on 'The Real Thing' Extended:

The first effect discussed is a very direct, impromptu, almost no-prop (I will get back to 'almost' in a bit) piece of mentalism. The premise is truth-detection. I can call it lie-detection but I prefer truth because that is how I perceive it. The participants write nothing down. Without the performer looking,one of the participants reads a sentence. The performer confronts the participants and is able to 'propless'ly deduce the truth. That is the basic premise. And no, there are no logic puzzles.

The truth-detection is actually a springboard to the mind reading premise of the manuscript which is brilliant. It can be done 1-on-1 and it can be done impromptu. Write out few sentences on pieces of paper and let someone mix them up and choose one to look at. You reveal their thoughts. You do not handle anything; not even offer the participant a choice of papers. The papers are in their hands while your back is turned and after they make their choice, they can hide everything. You reveal their thoughts!

Of course, just like his previous work, The Prodigal, Atlas provides templates to use immediately but one can also develop their own and unique effects from this.

'Almost' propless: you will need a single piece of paper that you write on and hand to the participants and that is it. They do not write anything down. No stooging. No dual reality.
For the mind reading effect, you will, as already mentioned, require to write on few pieces of paper, which again once handed to the participant, they are out of play.

I thought I mention this for the perfectionists out there that are on the hunt for 100% no props whatsoever (more of: think of something, and BAM! You are thinking of...). But trust me when I say that The Real Thing is what I consider propless. No secret writing. No stooging. No forces. No stacks. No peeks. No tears. No dual reality. No fishing. I am sure the 'No...'-List extends further but I think this is enough for now. I am happy with my definition of propless and The Real Thing to me is just that.

As for the book test, where can I start?! Simply put, it is just a heavy layering of a variety of methods that leave no room for backtracking. The book test actually is a lesson in routining on its own. The built-in misdirection, the patter, the timing, the premises, the justifications, all are covered in this effect. And yes, the ad is true. No fishing. My advice is read the blurb again. And again... And again....

(Assuming you are back)

Now imagine if I tell you that the ad is not revealing everything about the effect. That is, it only shows a single revelation. The manuscript details more juice to be squeezed via this book test. Do not get me wrong, you can very well just do what the ad states, and you can do more. The reason Atlas did not mention the more you can do is because it requires knowledge about another published effect which I will not disclose for obvious reasons. But do not worry, that other effect is well within reach and after reading the Real Thing, it would be crazy not to invest in that (and it is waaaaay under-priced).

Now do realize that this is not a 'any book, anywhere' book test. Just like the MOABT and AREA, it requires a special book. You can make your own (and Atlas does address that) and he does offer a ready-made one (for what I think is very affordable price given what it contains and that is more then The Real Thing). The reason you may want to develop your own is so that you can apply your own unique twists to it. In fact, I would want to add few other things to my 'own book test' and that is very doable.

I think I rambled a lot. It goes without saying that I LOVED this manuscript. It does bring about lots of ideas and premises and trust me when I say, it can be developed further. What Atlas offers is simply the tip of the iceberg, albeit very solid one!

And as already shown in the blurb, the introductory price is $20. I am assuming just like The Prodigal (which I missed the introductory price for), it will be bumped up soon.

So with the current price, it is one very good deal!

Well done Atlas!
Message: Posted by: Funnybaldbloke (Feb 17, 2013 05:07PM)
I bought the ebook this morning and have already read it end to end twice so I came on here to put up a review but what more can I say, ash2arani has done a fantastic job with his review and there's not much more I can add!

It's another great product from Atlas and well worth the money, especially at the current price.

If you own The Prodigal (and if you don't, why not???) then you owe it to yourself to get this. There's another (brilliant) marketed effect that goes hand in hand with this which I'm sure Atlas will reveal if he feels happy to do so, and if he does, and you own it, then grab a copy of this immediately.

As stated in the review, be aware that this is aimed at people who use the English language but I'm sure it can be adapted to your native tongue with a bit of work.

In short I think this is fantastic and I recommend it highly.

Another great job Atlas.

Message: Posted by: seamagu (Feb 18, 2013 03:19AM)
I agree with the above posts. I'm a big fan of Atlas' work. Like the prodigal this manuscript teaches you how to apply a technique that every Mentalist should know. Note, the technique/method is completely different then that used in the prodigal. The book test is superb. It combines a number of techniques to give an amazing demonstration of mind reading. I have always been averse to gimmicked book tests but I think I am just going to have to try this one out because it looks like so much fun!

In true Atlas style the book also gives you tables of information with which to build your own effects. In fact, once you learn one or two of the effects you will have most of that knowledge at your disposal.

Just like the prodigal, this book has my mind racing with ideas (which is a good thing!).

Message: Posted by: Atlas (Feb 18, 2013 11:19AM)
Let me begin by first extending a tremendous 'Thank You' to everyone who has emailed me and posted kind words here - I truly appreciate your feedback and enthusiasm. I am never sure what sort of reception my contributions to our art will receive, especially as there is such a vast array of performance styles out there to ensure that what appeals to one person will not necessarily make it into the repertoire of another. I am touched, therefore, that so many people have reserved so many kind words for me. Again, thank you.

Now, I did want to take a moment to address a few things that were alluded to in the earlier posts.

The first has to do with FunnyBaldBloke's allusion to another effect that works alongside the book test. I appreciate his discretion, but it really wasn't necessary.

The other effect referenced is Steve Yachanin's excellent "Thought Association Card". Steve is a man who greatly deserves my appreciation and, along with Looch, was extremely helpful to me in the creation of the portion of this release that I am the most proud of - the 'Real Thing' Book Test. I cannot thank them enough.

So what does this book test allow you to do? Well, there are two portions to it that draw from different methods. One section relies on the "Thought Association Card" method, and the other section relies on the "Real Thing" method. Anyone familiar with Yachanin's work will know what his section allows you to do, and what you can do with the "Real Thing" section is described below:

"Imagine being able to have someone choose a word from a book, close the book and set it aside, and then change their word to any other word they can think of (and I'm not talking about a different word from the book, or a word from a category, but any other word they can think of) - only to have the performer subsequently reveal their new word with NO fishing!"

You can use anywhere from one to four different participants with this book test and reveal a different thought for each, climaxing in the revelation that is based on the "Real Thing" technique.

And as others have mentioned, this is just one application of the "Real Thing" method.

I did also want to echo the warning that this is an English only release. I am sure that it could be altered for other languages, but that some work would be required.

As I initially announced this release in an email, I've included the description of "The Real Thing" below for those who have not yet seen it.

The Real Thing (Extended Version)

When this routine was first released in the Pyscrets publication 'Liber Mentis', it created quite a stir. It offered a means of performing both a lie detector type routine as well as an incredibly clean and direct mind read, devoid of any standard form of method. At the time, the text was only available through the Psycrets publication, but, after the widespread approval it received, the text has been reworked and dramatically extended, offering 22 more pages of additional material. This new material not only contains another means of performing a clean, impromptu, and apparently impossible mindread, but it contains instructions for a book test that is unlike anything you have ever seen before!

Imagine being able to have someone choose a word from a book, close the book and set it aside, and then change their word to any other word they can think of (and I'm not talking about a different word from the book, but any other word they can think of) - only to have the performer subsequently reveal their new word with NO fishing!

For the first time, this extended version of 'The Real Thing' teaches you how to do this and much more!

Released publicly through this site for the first time, this text contains an astonishing array of impromptu routines! Any time you are asked to perform a feat of mind reading, all you need is a pen and something to write on.

For example:

On five (or more) different pieces of paper (business cards work well) you write a unique sentence, folding each card as you finish.

The participant takes all five pieces of paper, and while you turn around (or leave the room), opens one and reads it.

Once this is done, the Mentalist has a short chat with the spectator, and then tells them the sentence they were thinking of. The papers stay in the participant's possession the entire time.

No peeking, no confederates, no dirty work - Just REAL psychological Mentalism.

What do other Mentalists think?

"At last a routine where you really are doing what you claim! This is a fantastic concept that Atlas has expanded greatly. It has the feeling of real mentalism because it IS real mentalism."
- Marc Paul

"Page seven of your manuscript is worth whatever you end up charging for it."
- Dave Arch

"I really enjoyed 'The Real Thing'...The core of the effect uses pure psychology which is just the ticket. The way in which this has been used to create a nice little lie-detector routine is very clever indeed."
- Derek Heron

"Rather than a physical peek, your method is kinda like a mental peek!"
- Seamus Maguire

"I must say I really enjoyed reading 'The Real Thing'. If nothing else, it has gotten me thinking and that's when I know I'm taken by an idea."
- Nique Tan

"Thank you for making my copy of 'Naked Mentalism' relevant again!"
- Aaron Alexander

"Atlas has open up a world of possibilities here. Using this knowledge you can play mind detective and catch your criminal every time. Very sneaky stuff. Excellent."
- Greg Arce

"When I first released Naked Mentalism back in 2007, I hoped that others would run with it and create simple, subtle, yet powerful effects that really do feel real. With 'The Real Thing', Atlas has certainly done that. It's a tour de force; intelligent, clean and yet very reliable. Lovely work."
- Jon Thompson

And all of the above feedback was given BEFORE the additional material was added to the text!

The book is 40 pages long and offers a means of entering the human mind unlike anything you've ever seen before! It gives you the chance to perform the REAL thing!

Price $20.00 for INSTANT download! (This introductory price is only good for a LIMITED time!)

Available at:

Again, thanks to Ash, Tony, and Sea for their reviews and a huge thanks to Steve and Looch for their kindness and consideration.

I am keeping the introductory price until midnight on Wednesday, and then the price will revert to $32.00 - so anyone who is interested has some time to see other reviews as they come in before the price climbs.

I hope that helps to answer any lingering questions!


Message: Posted by: yachanin (Feb 18, 2013 11:06PM)
Hi All,

Atlas contacted me some time ago about a book test he was developing and I became more and more intrigued as he described the nature of his effect and the method behind it (and privately thinking, "****, I wish I had thought of that). :) He continued and proposed how he would like to incorporate the ability to perform "Thought Association Card" in the second half of his book. It was immediately clear that Atlas had developed a very powerful routine with the combination of the effects and methods. Needless to say, it didn't take long for me to agree to his proposal.

I won't bother repeating what ash2arani, Funnybaldbloke, and seamagu have said about the routines in the manuscript: I concur wholeheartedly with those reviews. I will, however, tell you a little about the actual book that Atlas has created. I received a copy of the book and it looks like any book you might find in the paperback section of a bookstore. Open it to a random page and there's nothing remarkable to see, just some dialogue and story narration. Well, that's what it would look like to a layman... just a book. I, on the other hand, realized what I was holding... the ability to know what people are thinking!

There is one thing that has not been mentioned as yet, but I am happy to do so now. I have begun putting together another supplement to "Thought Association Card" and Atlas has very graciously created a special TAC-based routine within his book that will be exclusive to those who have Thought Association Card (don't worry... all those who already have TAC will be sent the manuscript containing the second supplement as soon as it is finished).

If you're looking for some direct, clean, and convincing mind reading material, get "The Real Thing." 'Nuff said.

Regards, Steve
Message: Posted by: BenCummings (Feb 19, 2013 10:57AM)
Hi -

Well, I was going to write a brief review but it seems that you guys have already beat me to it!

I will echo what others have said: "The Real Thing" Extended is simply a-w-e-s-o-m-e. Just like his previous work on anagrams, this latest work is one that I find myself re-reading because there are numerous gems that Atlas sprinkles into this work.

It comes down to this: If you could REALLY read minds, you should be able to literally toss someone a book, and just guess their word. It should *appear* that clean, right? That forms the basis for The Real Thing and is what the spectator will remember. It's simple, clean and direct in method and approach.

I will write more about this later when I have a chance to perform this several times, but unfortunately my business finds me slammed with work right now, and the mentalism has taken a back seat for the last few weeks. I will reprise my review a bit later - but for now, let me just say:

Highly recommended.

For what it's worth -
Ben Cummings
Message: Posted by: Atlas (Feb 20, 2013 01:42PM)
Ben, thanks for your feedback, I am glad to see that you enjoyed it!

To anyone else who may be interested, I just wanted to post a reminder that at midnight tonight, the introductory price of $20 will no longer be available and the cost of this book will revert to $32.

Thanks for your interest!


Message: Posted by: Atlas (Feb 20, 2013 11:26PM)
I just wanted to drop in and post a reminder that at 12:00 am Pacific time, the introductory price of $20.00 will expire and the cost will revert to $32.00 - so there are just a few hours left at the lower price!


Message: Posted by: aalexander (Feb 21, 2013 08:51PM)
I'll try to give a review that doesn't just repeat what is said above me, for anyone who's still on the fence.

Full disclosure: I got a review copy of The Real Thing before it was released. Even so, yesterday I bought a full-priced copy of the extended version to review without having been asked to do so. I did not know Atlas well enough to like him at the time I reviewed the original, so these will be the last unbiased thoughts about his stuff that I can share.

[b] Review [/b]
A lot of things get hyped, and sometimes buying an effect feels like being let into the other side of a dual reality where you can see how everything said was technically true, yet still feel let down. Although people above me sound pretty excited, I find it all their comments to be pretty close to the mark. The most simple way to put why I liked this effect is that you can say exactly what your method was, and it's still a great effect. For anyone who wants a show where they actually do what mentalists prenteded to do back in the day, the basic effect behind The Real Thing is a great way to go. Beyond being able to do the effect as described, it describes a performing spirit that is a breath of fresh air.

I would say that what I described above is both its strength and its weakness. The Real Thing is not a panacea of mentalism, but a very straightforward idea that does exactly what you want it to. It seems fitting that in the extended version, Atlas shows that the principle can be extended to create a range of miracles, though I still feel that the real innovation lies in the basic idea itself. I cannot comment on whether the new material works as described as I only just read the thing, but also because it's very likely that I will not do the prep work that would be required- given that I am fairly impatient and have never felt that books fit my performance. For anyone who takes the time, the new stuff looks like it would definitely pay off.

At $20, it seems like a steal. As for the full price, I know that I have gotten plenty more than $32 in milage out of this, but perhaps not everyone will feel the same. In any case, the buyer has plenty of information if they've gotten this far, and all proceeds go to a good cause. Well, a good guy's wallet, anyway.

Message: Posted by: Atlas (Feb 26, 2013 09:22PM)

Thanks for your review. It is interesting to see what you mentioned about being able to tell someone exactly how the result was achieved - only to have them believe in your abilities even more. That theme actually popped up in this thread (along with other reviews of The Real Thing):


As I mention there, I would not condone this in every situation, but it really has a tremendous impact if the circumstances call for it.

Anyway, I'm glad that you've gotten a lot of mileage out of what you've learned in The Real Thing. It is the sort of stuff that can have broad application, from impromptu work to stage performances, and can even spill over to real life.

Again, thanks for the kind words.


Message: Posted by: Atlas (Apr 6, 2013 03:10PM)
I just saw this review by Paul Romhany in Vanish Magazine (available at http://www.vanishmagazine.com) and thought I'd share it here:

"Is it really possible to read minds? After reading this e-book I believe I can, at least thatís how I felt. Inspired by Jon Thomsponsí Naked Mentalism, Atlas has taken the method to another level. I have been doing this and it really works, so itís not some pipe dream. It is very easy to understand and this book is well written so you donít have to be afraid of psychological thinking. I couldnít wait to try it out on friends after reading and it blew them away. The great thing is once you have learnt this youíll have some incredibly powerful impromptu mentalism that will fool people badly.

The method can also be applied to a book test. There is a gimmick book involved which is described how to make, or you can order one online from the author. I would probably just order one because itís not expensive and save yourself a lot of time and trouble. I would say itís easily one of the strongest book tests Iíve seen in some time.

For close-up performances there is a great routine with business cards using the method. You can perform this on one person or several. There are a lot of variations explained in this e-book. Itís the method that really impressed me because I hadnít come across it before, and my mind was alive with ideas on how to apply to other effects.

This is some of the best psychological thinking Iíve read, because itís not hard to understand and even easier to put in to practice. If you could really read minds this might be the way to do it."
Message: Posted by: Jacob Smith (Apr 11, 2013 07:34AM)
Hey guys,

I picked this up recently and have been digesting it over the course of the past few weeks, Atlas has something really unique here. It's based on a principle that I have never seen anywhere else and it works like a charm! I am not really a psychological approach person, so it isn't entirely for me but at the same it's a fascinating principle to add to my Mental Bat Utility belt and it really shines in impromptu situations. This is equally as great of a read as The Prodigal, great work Atlas!

Message: Posted by: magicman29 (Apr 12, 2013 06:44AM)
I have this now with a few weeks and it works like a charm for me, I highly recommend it!

Message: Posted by: Atlas (Apr 14, 2013 04:47PM)
Jakob and Kieran,

Thanks very much for your feedback! This is one of those things that I am very proud of and I'm glad to have shared and have others use.

The approach is very versatile and I am pleased that it has spurred thinking in others - Paul Romhany contacted me recently and asked to use it in a project of his - and I have to admit that it is as clever an application of the principle as I have seen anywhere. I can't imagine that I would have thought of using it in that way.

What I'm saying is this - while I am pleased that so many people are excited about this, I think I am the one most benefitting from the subsequent outpouring of creativity from other minds - and I am extremely thankful for this!


Message: Posted by: Atlas (Apr 22, 2013 10:30PM)
For anyone interested, I recently performed "The Real Thing Book Test" on a local radio show.

As I've received a lot of questions about this over the last few months, I've included a link for the clip below - though I should mention that it only represents the portion which relies on the "Real Thing" methodology.

Here is the link:



Message: Posted by: yachanin (Apr 25, 2013 11:58PM)
Hi Atlas,

Very cool... loved the reaction at the end :)

Regards, Steve
Message: Posted by: Atlas (Apr 30, 2013 10:05AM)
Hi Steve,

Thanks very much, it is a fun test to perform!

That was actually the last thing I performed on the radio show before our hour was up. The hosts of the show were flabbergasted, and grilled me about it after we went off the air - THAT was the part that would have been fun to share!


Message: Posted by: Mind illusionist (Apr 30, 2013 10:36PM)
I have a few questions regarding The real thing:

Is the methodology of the effects mainly based on memory work? Or is there psychological forcing/suggestion involved?

For a mentalist with some performing experience, but not full time pro how easy/hard would it be to learn and perform the "clean, impromptu, and apparently impossible mindrea" as stated above in the ad?

Is this something you can practice at home, or is it only something psychological which only improves the more you perform to a live audience?

I hope my questions have not offended anyone in any way, and if this leads to exposure, I would appreciate it if a PM answer was given instead. Better yet, hopefully Atlas himself can give me a better idea of this ebook he is selling.

Kind regards,
Message: Posted by: Atlas (Apr 30, 2013 11:43PM)
Hi Jordan,

Thanks for the questions, and do not fear - I don't think anyone could be offended by them. To answer them in order:

There is memory work involved here for each of the effects, but thankfully, how much is involved is entirely up to you and what is remembered may be tailored to be unique to you - this helps to make it easier for you to recall when you need to. At least, this is the case for most of the approaches taught.

I would not call what occurs psychological forcing or suggestion, but it is based on the mind and its functioning and limitations.

As with any endeavor, what you get from it depends largely on what you put into it, but the system is not hard to memorize - and you can pick and choose what you like from it. I'd recommend learning the lie detector first (maybe an hour of off and on thought) and moving from there.

You can learn at home with family and friends, and your confidence will improve as you perform, but as others have stated (Paul Romhany, MagicMaddy, Magicman29), once you understand what happens and why, it works from the get go.

I think I have answered all your questions, please do let me know if there are other points that you'd like clarified. And anyone else that can share their opinion is also welcome to do so.


Message: Posted by: magicman29 (May 1, 2013 09:12AM)
Mind illusionist, my memory isn't the greatest so I took my time and practised the memory work over and over, if I cando it then anyone can do it! Trust me it is worth the small bit of effort!
With "the real thing" you really do what you are claiming to do.

Message: Posted by: Mind illusionist (May 1, 2013 09:56AM)
Thanks for your Answer Atlas, and Keiran also.

I will be honest and say that I am very interested in the ebook, but mainly for the "incredibly clean and direct mind read, devoid of any standard form of method."

The lie/truth detecting routine for some reason reminded me of Patrick redfords Prevaricator routine (although I'm sure your method is entirely different) But I suppose it has the same psychological feel to it, which is why that came to my mind.

Anyhow if the memory work for that which I am mainly interested in, is achieved with sufficient practice and effort, I will think the ebook is worth the cost of that alone.

kind regards,
Message: Posted by: richard_mentalism (May 7, 2013 04:02AM)
I have started to read The Real Thing and have read in the meantime the Lie Detector and the Mind Read.
The concept is very special, very clever and ingenious and very interesting. I liked also the fact that you have to make your brain work while using it, which is an additional benefit. But this does not mean that it is difficult. It requires a certain effort, but VERY minimalist, everyone can achieve it very easily IMO and the result justifies it.
The intersting thing (for me) is that I am using it in a language other than English, I have just made the adequate adaptation and I will start now to enjoy performing it.
Atlas, it seems that you have invested a lot of study and work in developing this "tool", well done!
Message: Posted by: tricky360 (Sep 8, 2013 04:55PM)
Absolutely loved The Real Thing ebook, it does require some memory work, but it's certainly worth putting in the effort and learning for what you get out of this. I have by no means got a brilliant memory, but I got this down in a few hours.

What really intrigued me was the actual booktest so I ordered the book from Lulu, and I'm so glad I did. Atlas has pushed the boundaries with The last thing booktest. The secret behind this effect is so clever, and the method is hidden from the spectator through layers of deception.

How this appears to the spectator and onlookers, is that the spectator can choose any word from any page and even change his mind to a different word, not even in the book, and you not only get the word from the book but also tell them what word they changed their mind too. All this with no fishing.

Tried this out and it worked like a dream. Highly recommended. :)
Message: Posted by: intheillusion (Sep 14, 2013 06:14AM)
This book test is now my favorite test to date. With up to five specs and five different word reveals I can't put the book down! Thank you Atlas!
Message: Posted by: Atlas (Oct 6, 2013 04:27AM)
Thanks very much for your feedback gentlemen! And I agree, the book test is excellent - it combines a lot of approaches with the "Real Thing" method and therefore gives you so much versatility. I also like that it can be scrutinized thoroughly by a skeptic and, because of the sectional layout, it will withstand their investigations.

But, to me, the best part is that when they change their word to one they've only thought of - and you name it. That moment is really nice because it is so impossible.

Anyway, thanks again gents. This is one of my efforts that's really flown under the radar and it is nice to see that the routine has found a home somewhere.


Message: Posted by: bond19 (Oct 7, 2013 05:20AM)
HI Atlas,

Is the Real Thing, especially the book test, US specific. Or is suitable for a UK audience??
Message: Posted by: Atlas (Oct 7, 2013 07:00AM)
Hi Chris,

It is an effect strictly for english speakers and works in the UK - though one word needs to be handled differently.

I hope that helps.