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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Books, Pamphlets & Lecture Notes » » The Alchemical Tools - Paul Brook (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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MindSeeker
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WOW!

Just WOW!

Five words went through my mind as I closed the back page:

THIS IS A MODERN CLASSIC

This book offers just so much information on making magical performances stronger. This psychological information is very accessible as well as being easily applicable.

As with Pauls other works, his psychological background and knowledge shines through. He gives examples of how to apply the psychology as well as anecdotes from his past; some of which are just a great read on their own.

If this wasn't enough the effects that are included are awesome, they are strong, workable and as always Paul leaves no stone unturned. His thought of card effect is the cleanest that I have ever seen, and the thinking behind it is a thing of real genius.

A number of cold reading techniques are then included in the end, I don't use readings so this wasn't a selling point for me. But after reading through the ideas, I will definitely be trying them out.

Essays and thoughts conclude the book, which was nice to read and get another performers perspective on some of the common issues in our field.

This book is 400 pages (real pages) of utter delight.

I cannot praise it enough and have to give it the rating that truly reflects a product of this caliber:

10/10


You can buy this at http://www.paulbrook.co.uk/alchemicaltools.htm
fishwasher
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I pre-ordered mine and I am looking foward to getting my copy. I got a peek at a preview copy, from what I saw it looks very good Smile
Sayn lay narn, marli?

http://www.bizarremagic.net
Andy the cardician
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Thanks for the review
Cards never lie
Dr.J.Jameson
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I have only got about half way through this book, and I simply cannot believe the amount of material in it. The shocking thing is that in a book of this size there is no waffle, there seems to be a piece of gold on every page!

Once I have finished the book I shall post a full review!

Dr.J
I am currently studying:

-- Absolute Magic - Derren Brown
-- Naked Mentalism - Jon Thompson
Jon_Thompson
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Darkest Cheshire
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Wey hey! I'm thrilled to be name checked on page 301!
Dr.J.Jameson
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Where has this book been all of my life!

This is a real master class in how to get strong reactions from the people you perform for. The great thing is that the information also applies to everyday life as well as magical performances.

The performance specific psychology is really something else. I have applied merely one technique so far, discussed in the "Correct Use of Timing" chapter, and the difference in effect response is drastic. I have no doubt that the other psychological techniques will be as strong as this one once I apply them.

Paul also includes a four really great effects. Some of them are very simple in their method, whilst being shrouded in presentation. Paul mentions that this is to allow us as performers to focus on the presentation rather than the method.

Although the methods are simple, this by no means makes them weak effects, quite the opposite. I know for a fact that if, "The Doors of Perception" were performed for me, I would have had no idea of how it had been achieved.

I loved the profiling aspect of "Insightful Sequence", it will be entering straight into my repertoire.

"Deuterium", well, it is just great in my opinion.

"Killer-Hertz" is my least favorite effect, but it raised so many ideas in my mind that I love it for that alone.

The cold reading phrases are excellent, and you can see that Paul has worked these time and time again to iron out any possible creases.

The thoughts and essays section is great, if not a little short. The "Left Hand Ambiguity" and the "Your Number" subtlety were really refreshing to read.

There is just so much in this book, and it is all quality information. At the start of the book Paul states, "Something in this book will be gold to you, for some it will be a few nuggets, for others a whole mine!".

For me this was an entire collection of gold mines.

If you are looking to stimulate your mind, and challenge yourself so that you can really make yourself the best you can be, then this book is for you.

If you do not own this, then in about 10 seconds time you should be clicking on the BUY button on Paul's website.

A lifetimes worth of information in one tome.

Simply Amazing!

Dr.J
I am currently studying:

-- Absolute Magic - Derren Brown
-- Naked Mentalism - Jon Thompson
Colin
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It has been said before that mentalism can’t be practiced in front of a mirror. Quite simply you need to get out and learn through experience to improve and master what we want to perform.

What Paul Brook has written is the closest we, as mentalists, will get to that mirror we all require to not only improve our routines, but more importantly, ourselves as individuals in a professional performing context.

Paul has mixed the best techniques from all his real world experience and NLP/Therapy background to offer you a number of structured principles allowing you to examine everything you do, why you do it and where necessary how to improve it to get the most from your routines and yourself.

The book itself is a progressive journey and if you follow it from the beginning you are sure to develop everything about your performances.

I’ll be honest, I was expecting Paul to have written another manuscript detailing one of his unique effects, which would have been wonderful, I was truly shocked (in the most delightful way possible) to find he has compiled a true guidebook on how to be the best you can be at what we do.

Imagine being able to sit down with a true professional, in every sense of the word, and picking his brains about the real ins and outs of performing for real people in real situations, the rough with the smooth... this book would be the outcome of that conversation and so so much more. I am really struggling to put into words how impressed I am that Paul has taken the time to break this down into such a simple manor to allow anyone, who is willing to become the best they can be, to completely raise their game!

I am a little shocked that he has explained to many things, lessons which have taken me years to realise, and quite simply given you all the answers and solutions to make performing simpler and more enjoyable for you as a performer.

Don’t be mistaken, while it will allow your performances to feel much simpler and more enjoyable it will be a challenging and thought provoking endeavor. However for those of you willing to invest in this opportunity to open your eyes to our art, you will be rewarded by empowering your performances with a sense of realism because what you will be performing will be a true representation of you, and that is when you will connect with your audiences in the most powerful of ways possible.

Paul should be congratulated on taking the time to write for us what I truly consider to be a book which will long be remembered with the other classics of our art. It is the kick up the backside many of us have been needing for a while, and it’s inspiring that he just jumps straight to the point and covers every detail for your benefit.

I’ve said already I’m struggling to find the words for the book, I was truly blown away by it as it really is so different to everything I’ve read on these subjects before. He ties the techniques in beautifully with our art and I look forward to rereading it a number of times to constantly refresh the way I think and perform.

Quite simply... thank you!

Best wishes,
Col.
Check out Psych-Artist.com now for free essays and other resources.
Greg Arce
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I've ordered it. Can't wait to get it.

Greg
One of my favorite quotes: "A critic is a legless man who teaches running."
IAIN
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Quote:
On 2008-02-27 04:57, Jon_Thompson wrote:
Wey hey! I'm thrilled to be name checked on page 301!


Ditto! Top of page 153!
I've asked to be banned
Peo Olsson
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This book looks utterly interesting.. Ordered mine today, can't wait.
Pictured to the left my hero and me during FISM 2006 in Stockholm.
NeilS
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This book is crammed with excellent advice. In particular armed with its advice you will be able to establish better rapport with assisting spectators and your audience and this can only make your performance stronger and more memorable.

My only gripe are the many typos and hopefully these can be corrected in later editions. However the book is destined to become a classic and is a must read for serious performers.
muse
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I've just finished reading the 'Alchemical Tools', and I enjoyed the book a lot (I can never be bothered to write reviews on things I didn't like). I'm a hobbyist, not a pro, but the lessons, tips and insights in the book are by no means confined to being of use or interest only to a professional.

The best thing about the book, for me, is that it goes through a pretty massive range of information, mostly from a psychological perspective, and puts it into a very distilled form, clearly presented, so that you can grasp it simply. The danger of this approach is that it could be too simplistic for the professional (on which I'm not qualified to judge, but other reviews say that this is not a failing), or too scattergun to be of any use to those who don't have the time, inclination or talent to devote themselves full time to learning what it teaches. It seems to me to strike the right balance, and as I was reading it I was already dipping back into previous chapters, and able to find what I was looking for easily.

Paul's general theme throughout the book is that it's worth taking time to seriously consider how best to refine and present what you do, and as such it will sit more happily on your shelf beside 'Strong Magic' rather than, say, 'Stunners'. There are effects you can try, but, as other people have also noted, they are there as examples of how they are approached and presented rather than being 'best of' type effects. Not that they are poor effects by any means, but they are a primarily a vehicle to show his ideas.

The meat of the book is a mass of small observations about how people react, how you can influence them to react, and how you can mould what you do around such things. He goes through each of his points thoroughly, and he explains himself well.

There are some other directions to the text from time to time - for example, there is a section about mentalism in relation to talking to people who have been bereaved, which was very well considered, sensible (and sensitive) advice.

The writing style is quite informal and conversational, and I found it an interesting read. The only (minor) negative for me is that there are a few spelling and grammatical errors, and they niggle because the general thrust of Paul's argument is to attend to the details in trying to be as good as you can.

Overall...it's good!
MDantes
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Late but ordered...
S.A.N.C.T.U.M Chapter 18

Member 17
MDantes
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Day late and a dollar short...

(grins)

Story of my life...

(steps out cigarette)
S.A.N.C.T.U.M Chapter 18

Member 17
ferryascanio
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Still wait mine to come ...
MDantes
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Why is there not more talk about Paul's Material?

This is amazing.

From amateurs to professionals, you can learn from this.

I mean that.

Want to become a mentalist? Need to know the ends and outs of being a mentalist? You need this book.

This is THE mentalism book.

Fo real.

Get that.

http://www.paulbrook.co.uk/heknows/alchemicaltools.htm

MD
S.A.N.C.T.U.M Chapter 18

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ferryascanio
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At last ... mine already come ...
thanks Mr. Brook, for the good service ...
can't wait to read ...
Engali
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Of the over 50 psychological tools, does anyone care to list some of the most useful they've found or even just to categorize the purposes of groups of tools? The description is mildly vague...
PerryCarp
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Quote:
On 2009-06-02 09:07, Engali wrote:
Of the over 50 psychological tools, does anyone care to list some of the most useful they've found or even just to categorize the purposes of groups of tools? The description is mildly vague...


Just finished reading Paul's "Alchemical tools." The real standout (for me) was his discussion of reframing. In fact, he has THE best description and application of reframing that I've ever seen. The entire book is good stuff. I'm not sure that I'll use any of the effects that he gives... but I'll use the insight everyday. This book is foundational.
Magic-Daniel
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Can one benefit from this book even if you don't perform mentalism?
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