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Topic: Becker - Stunner Plus
Message: Posted by: Ian Rowland (Sep 28, 2002 06:14AM)
Posting this here just in case it's of interest and you haven't already heard.

In 1992 Larry Becker released 'Stunners', which was effectively a distillation of all his best stuff. It was a much acclaimed book but it also sold out very quickly and since then has been hard (read 'impossible') to get a hold of (and I speak as one who has tried). Well, he's soon releasing 'Stunners Plus', which contains everything in the original, plus some new stuff. It's not a small book: 675 pages apparently!

Anyway, if it lights your candle, you can read more at:


Larry is also offering a 15% discount for early birds.

I promise I have ZERO personal or financial interest. I'm mentioning this here just because I think many mentalists (especially those here in the UK and in Europe) may not have heard about it yet.
Message: Posted by: max88 (Sep 28, 2002 06:55PM)
For those who have Old stunner, do you use the material in your performance? How is Becker's material different than Theatre of mind and PARAMIRACLES? Lots of people wanted this book before, maybe just because it is very difficult to find at that time, but now is there any strong reason to go for it?

Ian, I got some others' stuff which you highly recommend on your site and to be honest I'm very satisfied with all of them. But indicates in your post this time seems you do not have Stunner or you have read it but not own it?

Message: Posted by: AllThumbs (Sep 28, 2002 11:45PM)
It seems that many books of interest to the mentalist are hard to get hold of.

One notable example is "Full Facts Book of Cold Reading"

Is mentalism experiencing a rapid growth at the moment or is it just magic books are printed in such small runs as they are usually funded by the author who quite understandably doesn't want to make a loss.


Kris Sheglova
Message: Posted by: Ian Rowland (Oct 1, 2002 01:39PM)
Sorry for the delayed replies.

Hi max88 - I don't own the original
'Stunners' but I've seen much of the material in it. I'm a big fan of Becker's way of thinking, and I'd imagine most mentalists, if they peruse D Becker's output over the years, would find more than a few routines they'll actually use.

All Thumbs - thanks for the sideways ref to the FF Bk Cold Reading. Trust me, it will be out this year. Not all magic books are funded by the author, but yes, I fund mine, and it's always difficult to know how many to print. Too few - it runs out. Too many - no profit.

This is why many people write to me suggesting I use electronic forms of publishing (ranging from .pdf docments to e-Books) or I use a 'print on demand' system such as Docutech. I do know about these alternatives, and all their respective pros and cons, but they aren't suitable for me to use.
Message: Posted by: AllThumbs (Oct 2, 2002 01:53AM)
Thanks for the information Ian.

I dislike the electronic format. Reading from a computer monitor is far from ideal and there would be a very strong risk of your book being extensively pirated... and besides I prefer to read lying on my bed.


Kris Sheglova
Message: Posted by: Marcus Selle (Oct 2, 2002 10:12AM)
many thanks for this valuable information. I immediately ordered Stunners.

Message: Posted by: ESP Guy (Oct 16, 2002 10:47AM)
Someone has said to me that the original 'Stunners' was advertised as a limited release, and there have now been THREE different editions offered for sale?!

Is this true?!

What about those who purchased the original?

Message: Posted by: Larry Becker (Oct 19, 2002 12:28AM)
The original Stuners WAS a limited release. It was a hardbound edition that has never been reproduced in the original hard bound format. It sold out in 90 days. The second edition released four years after the first was a softbound edition. The third edition just released consists of the Stunners material, plus material developed over the next decade and also the instructions for most of my commercially marketed effects. A total of 675 pages. I rest my case!
Message: Posted by: AllThumbs (Oct 19, 2002 03:18PM)
Larry Becker has had a life-long career. Has contributed greatly to the field. Is polite. O.k, I don't know of any promise he made as far as exclusivity of his book was concerned...however if I was in the same position, having bought the original, I wouldn't be at all bothered. Why? Well first of all I would have had exclusive access to the book for quite a few years. Also, but secondary, I'd have a first edition. Larry does his own thing as far as his act is concerned. Sure some might not consider him as a pure mentalist and some of the things he devises can be seen as mental magic. However this does not mean what he has contributed is not useful, far from it.
Message: Posted by: michael640 (Nov 12, 2002 03:49PM)
sounds great, ive ordered mine!
Message: Posted by: Gary (Nov 20, 2002 06:55AM)
As I have posted elsewhere, this tome represents what is no less than an impressive body of work from one of the leading Mentalists of our time. Mr Becker has updated the 1992 Stunners by adding a host of new material and also features his commercially released products.

It's also nice to reflect that what could have been a Swansong release for Larry in 1992 became an ongoing work in progess.

So what do you get for the money? A series of slick, professional and importantly, highly commercial routines. This material has been refined, honed and polished by Larry over the years and while it is clearly his material, it is very adaptable and others will be able to incorporate many of these effects into their repertoires.

There is much good stuff between these pages and when one compares it with some of the other material currently on the market, it represents excellent value for money. No mediocre, half-baked or unaudience tested routines here. This is real world, mental magic at its best.

The book is well put together, although I would have preferred a hard cover for better durability.

Clearly, one to have. As Christmas is just around the corner, add it to your wish list without delay.
Gary Mason
Message: Posted by: John Kokot (Nov 20, 2002 01:32PM)
At last week's New England Magic Collectors Association Yankee Gathering, a first edition (1992 hardbound) of "Stunners" was available for $550.
Message: Posted by: Dennis Loomis (Nov 20, 2002 05:58PM)
There was quite a controversy on the Genii forum because some alledged that Larry's original ad for Stunners stated it would not be reprinted. I have on my desk right now, a copy of the ad. It's in the November 1992 Linking Ring, pages 14 and 15 is you want to look it up.
I does NOT state that the book will not be reprinted. It suggests that the high price, justified by the quality and quantity of the material, will keep away the curiosity seekers. In my view Larry did not do anything unethical and the ones that attacked him should have checked the facts.
Dennis Loomis
Message: Posted by: MikeTheRed (Nov 21, 2002 12:09AM)
The book is wonderful. I am enjoying learning from it, but since it's a Christmas gift my wife keeps trying to hide it from me.

I know a few people that sold their original copies of Stunners and used part of the profit to purchase the new edition...

Message: Posted by: sandman690 (Nov 21, 2002 02:08PM)
I am one of those that bought the original Stunners from Larry many years ago. The book is very good and I do use one or two pieces from it. My feeling has always been that if I can professionaly use just one piece, the money was well spent. As to the reprinting, I just looked at the original ad and the book is called a "Limited Collector's Edition". To me this suggests other editions as well... those not being limited collector's editions. Not to mention, Larry seems to be a good guy who has never been above taking a moment on the phone to answer a question or even make a suggestion on an effect when I asked him. Although I have not done so in many years his generous attitude and the impression that made stick with me.

Good material, great guy, and a true icon of our art. How could we not want to buy from him?!

Stan Alexander
Message: Posted by: jeline (Nov 21, 2002 02:18PM)
I received this book a week ago and I cannot put it down! Great stuff. While the routines are obviously worked out and perfected, I like all the nuggets spread throughout the book that you can take off and make your own.

For example, there's a radio effect that I've already re-worked into a close-up piece. Really gets the juices flowing!!
Message: Posted by: tiptophat (Dec 2, 2002 03:44PM)
I am one of the owners of the hardback edition of Stunners and was disappointed when it was reprinted in softback edition. Then came Stunners Plus and the "new" information in it that was updated or added continues to make it one of the best buys on the market today. I bought Stunners plus as well and am very happy with the purchase.