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Topic: Favorite mentalism authors?
Message: Posted by: crossroader (Jun 24, 2005 12:12PM)
Which is your favorite mentalism author ? I'm speaking about writing style here not quality of material, effects etc.. Quite a few writers of mentalism books are very inventive but very few of them are also good authors. Most of them tend to be very pompous I think -I don't want to give specific examples. Others are so dry.
My favorite is Cassidy. It's a joy to read his books, he is very entertaining and humorous sometimes. He seems not to take himself too seriously nevertheless he knows how to "transmit" his ideas in a very efficient way.
Message: Posted by: sarcophilus (Jun 24, 2005 01:12PM)
I will second Cassidy as my favorite author. With Maven/Goldstein coming a close second.

Message: Posted by: scott b. (Jun 24, 2005 01:35PM)
Cassidy has some good moments in his books, but must go with Derren on this one.
Message: Posted by: 1908 (Jun 24, 2005 02:29PM)
I know exactly what you mean telling that are pompous...Even in the best mentalism books that I love writing style is not so special maybe because writing is not their skill and most of the times are trying to write more about secrets than presentation and they do not think how to write it in better style.
My favourite is Eugene Burger but he studied it!You can find better writing style in bizarre-story telling magic books.Also I will give a vote to Cassidy.
Message: Posted by: Burnt (Jun 24, 2005 03:57PM)
Ian Rowland has written some good books along with Luke Jermay. However there are so many old authors who are no longer on the market who have written some great work - Micky Hades for example.
Message: Posted by: kuffs (Jun 24, 2005 06:05PM)
The late Al Mann was my favorite... Reading is "exclusif" manuscript, was like reading some Super-Hero adventure...

Message: Posted by: Kephri (Jun 24, 2005 07:39PM)
I also agree on Cassidy, always enjoy reading his stuff...
But must say I also enjoy Larry Becker...especially in
his Stunners Plus where there are, apart from all the
marvellous routines, many fun and hilarious stories...
among them I like the one about the big hidden away
dice the best...belive he mentions that on one of his
recent DVD:s also.

All the Best

Message: Posted by: czero (Jun 24, 2005 08:49PM)
I think Barrie Richardson has a very enjoyable writing style. It's almost literary. Small wonder he's able to frame his routines with such wonderfully imaginative patter. Something about the quality of his writing reminds me a bit of David Lodge. I'm not quite sure why.

Richardson's writing style is just the icing on the cake though. The effects in Theater of the Mind are all terrific. I can hardly wait to get my copy of Act Two.

Message: Posted by: scott b. (Jun 24, 2005 09:13PM)
On 2005-06-24 21:49, czero wrote:

I think Barrie Richardson has a very enjoyable writing style. It's almost literary. Small wonder he's able to frame his routines with such wonderfully imaginative patter. Something about the quality of his writing reminds me a bit of David Lodge. I'm not quite sure why.

Richardson's writing style is just the icing on the cake though. The effects in Theater of the Mind are all terrific. I can hardly wait to get my copy of Act Two.


Richardson is definetely up there with enjoyable writers. Act Two is going to be (when it comes) phenomenal.

Do you have yours pre-ordered Mike?
Message: Posted by: entity (Jun 24, 2005 09:57PM)
I enjoyed the works of Tony "Doc" Shiels. He was a bit of a rascal, and most if not all of his works are out of print, but his books were exciting reads and full of wonderful ideas and very useful concepts.

- entity
Message: Posted by: czero (Jun 24, 2005 10:18PM)

I didn't preorder, figuring to just get it as soon as it's officially out. That's what I did with Prism, which is still available despite being wildly popular. I figure I'll be able to get my mitts on it before the first printing sells out. :)


Have you ever heard the recording "A Session with Tony Shiels," released by Martin Breese? It's been re-released on CD. Quite a kick hearing Shiels himself narrate his adventures. Fortunately, many of his books are still pretty easy to find for reasonable prices.

Message: Posted by: TGENTLE (Jun 24, 2005 10:41PM)
Becker. Earle, Hilford and Busch.

Message: Posted by: landmark (Jun 25, 2005 01:28PM)
Derren Brown and Cassidy--both of them cheeky, cynical, and fun;
Richardson--gentle humanism;
Maven--erudite, clever;
Busch--rambling, New-Age-y, gushy;
Becker--slick, mainstream, clear.

All really different as writers, but all enjoyable reads (and useful!) to me.

Jack Shalom
Message: Posted by: mormonyoyoman (Jun 25, 2005 07:08PM)
Richard Osterlind -- Improved my act in the first few pages, though his trilogy might be considered too "crossover" with magic. On the other hand, his *Very Modern Mindreader* is snappy and clear.

Banachek -- His *Pre-Thoughts* is very honest and direct. *Psychological Subtleties* is stripped to the very basics, as if only action words were left. "What's there is cherce," as Spencer Tracy said. Scores of effects possible in that li'l book.

Barrie Richardson -- Now here's a guy whose words can be funny, honest, and tasteful. Even when the "secret" isn't his invention, he shows (by example) how to make a routine into one's own.

Message: Posted by: Traveler (Jun 26, 2005 03:36AM)
Osterlind for the mood, Cassidy for the fluency, Brown for the wits, Rowland for the no - nonsense approach...
Message: Posted by: emesp82 (Jun 26, 2005 11:47AM)
My favorite to read is AL MANN
my favorite to watch is RICHARD OSTERLIND
Message: Posted by: mjvermaak (Jun 26, 2005 11:49AM)
Hello emesp82 it seems you have the same interest as me. Can you direct me to some shop or what ever to get al mann manuscripts?
Message: Posted by: scott b. (Jun 26, 2005 11:59AM)
On 2005-06-26 12:49, mjvermaak wrote:
Hello emesp82 it seems you have the same interest as me. Can you direct me to some shop or what ever to get al mann manuscripts?

Definetely would also like to know this, I've searched all over and have yet to find Al Mann manuscripts or booklets.
Message: Posted by: RLFrame (Jun 26, 2005 02:52PM)
There was some talk a while back on this board about someone collecting and re-releasing the "Al Mannuscripts." I remember them being somewhat expensive but irresistable the way his catalogue described the effects. And wonderful mysterious names too. I wish I could have afforded more of those manuscripts at the time.
Message: Posted by: aaguilar007 (Jun 27, 2005 10:31AM)
Bob Cassidy, Richard Osterlind, Steve Shaw, Borodin and Max Maven.
Message: Posted by: sjdavison (Jun 27, 2005 10:42AM)
Osterlind. then Brown, Busch, and Lesley (considering a translation, very good!)

Message: Posted by: spook (Jun 27, 2005 02:08PM)
Big thanks are in order to:

Burger for making me think about the right things.
Cassidy for being a smartass. Waters for teaching the why instead of the how. Jermay for pushing limits. Brown for laugh out loud funny. Knepper and Hillford for continuing to ensure my eye-rolling muscles do not atrophy. And a certain Patrick G. Redford whose written works pulled me back from the dead.
Message: Posted by: dcullen30 (Jul 2, 2005 11:40AM)
Richard Osterlind
Message: Posted by: RickDangerous (Jul 3, 2005 09:39AM)
Derren Brown's stuff is just hilarious! I love that guy
Message: Posted by: Sven Rygh (Jul 3, 2005 10:34AM)
Osterlind, Busch, Maven, Cassidy, Banachek, Richardson, quite a few others and last, but absolutely not not least, Tarbell.
Even though they up to this day have written one book each, and of course have a couple of fields to work on and improve, watch out for the Katzjammer Kids :)
What they [i]have[/i] written is very impressive, and I for one will be among the first in line if/when they release their next books

Message: Posted by: ksalaz1 (Jul 5, 2005 07:32AM)
Cassidy is enjoyable. I also have to say I enjoyed the humor and ease of style by James Biss.
Message: Posted by: JamesBiss (Jul 11, 2005 08:54AM)
Thanks Ksalez1'er...

Personally I'm a huge fan of Mssr. Richardson and can't wait to see Act II after reading Brad Henderson's review in the current issue of MAGIC! Lee Earle's efforts (and to some extent Larry Becker), have had a big impact on my thinkiing about Mentalism over the years. Lee's whole "Contemporary Mentalism" philosophy has elevated our art and hugely influenced the way I perform.

Luke Jermay does little for me... but I find Derren Brown delightful to read! His wit is incredibly refreshing.

For pure inspiration, I agree with Sven, Tarbell and of course, Corinda, get my mind racing.



P.S. Three cheers for Patrick G. Redford too!
Message: Posted by: Slim King (Jul 11, 2005 09:10AM)
Fulves! He just puts it out there and YOU do the rest!
Message: Posted by: J ack Galloway (Jul 11, 2005 03:11PM)
Steven King, if you have not read the stuff you will not understand why.


Message: Posted by: Snail (Oct 6, 2005 08:03PM)
It's tight, but between Banachek and Osterlind.
Message: Posted by: Thomas Rudolfo (Oct 7, 2005 02:14AM)
I just can second all the above mentioned authors. Though there are many others two more come to my mind. Ted Lesley and Borodin whose stories alone often are worth his books.

Message: Posted by: tincture (Oct 8, 2005 08:49AM)
I'm humbled to be included on the list above. Thank you.
Message: Posted by: beyrevra (Oct 8, 2005 01:13PM)
Message: Posted by: squando (Dec 7, 2005 11:16AM)
Message: Posted by: Christophercarter (Dec 7, 2005 11:52AM)
John Riggs is both a very fine writer and a terrific creator of effects. Easily one of my favorites.

Message: Posted by: mormonyoyoman (Dec 7, 2005 12:07PM)
Now that I've had a chance to sample his wares, I have to add Greg Arce to my earlier list.

And I'd tried to keep with living authors, but if we're adding the breathing-challenged then I have to include:

Annemann (I've oft referred to Osterlind as "today's Annemann, without the disorders")

Tarbell (I can't think of how often I find Just What I Need in Tarbell, either the books or the original course on CD)

Gibson (Walter Gibson seems to have written about everything, and he did it under everyone else's byline as well as his own)

Message: Posted by: Logan Five (Dec 7, 2005 02:43PM)
I cannot believe that no one mentioned T.A Waters.
Message: Posted by: Greg Arce (Dec 7, 2005 07:49PM)
On 2005-12-07 15:43, MindPhantom wrote:
I cannot believe that no one mentioned T.A Waters.

T.A. Waters.

Message: Posted by: Samuel Catoe (Dec 7, 2005 11:36PM)
Ken Weber

Chuck Hickok
Message: Posted by: rrubin98 (Dec 8, 2005 02:49AM)
Two of my favorites are Osterlind and Banachek.

Message: Posted by: Lord Of The Horses (Dec 8, 2005 07:56AM)
Without a doubt, Phil Goldstein and T.A. Waters.
Message: Posted by: sjdavison (Dec 8, 2005 08:21AM)
Brown (entertainment value too!)
Message: Posted by: mindmagic (Dec 8, 2005 09:35AM)
Waters for common sense.
Corinda for an entertaining read, coverage and for the most structured approach.
Fulves for sharp intakes of breath at his inventiveness.

Message: Posted by: zgecko (Dec 8, 2005 09:40AM)
I agree with Kuffs and others who mentioned Al Mann. His encyclopedic knowledge and thorough, disciplined research were truly impressive!
Message: Posted by: davybabybrazil (Dec 8, 2005 11:44PM)
Message: Posted by: magic4545 (Mar 5, 2006 02:41AM)
The mentalism chapters of Amateur Magicians Handbook affected me deeply, but I haven't really read enough other works to have that much cred... I can still go back and read Henry Hay's writing, and it makes me want to become a magician all over again.
Message: Posted by: coupcoupdaddy (Mar 5, 2006 04:59AM)
Richard Mark's Mind Warp is a wonderful book. I also have very much enjoyed Lesley, Waters ,Richardson and Maven. Up and coming Scott Xavier's work is clear and enthusiastic.
Message: Posted by: tian_ci (Mar 5, 2006 08:31AM)
I will agree with the banachek/osterlind combo.

Pre-thoughts was the booklet that inspired me to get into mentalism. Osterlind was the one who inspired me to love it like an art.
Message: Posted by: mackmania (Mar 5, 2006 08:52AM)
I am really enjoying The Mind and Magic of David Berglas by David Britland. Maven and Brown are my other favorites. My favorite pieces of writing by Maven are Verbal Control or the Color Series.

Message: Posted by: Jay Are (Mar 5, 2006 11:54AM)
I LOVE Osterlind, Banachek, Becker, Casidy, Jas Jakutch, Waters, Maven, Dewey and Knepper...

I almost feel bad, cause I love the guys I left out too!

Message: Posted by: merlin1979 (Mar 5, 2006 02:54PM)
Derren Brown and Barrie Richardson to me have the best balance of coherent description and humour from my reading so far.
Message: Posted by: enigmaticmagic (Mar 6, 2006 08:10PM)
Cordina??????????? Maybe... Sort of...
Message: Posted by: entity (Mar 7, 2006 11:48PM)
Derren Brown is quite brilliant, writing intelligently and entertainingly from the perspective of a professional Performer.

- entity
Message: Posted by: Piers (Mar 8, 2006 12:40AM)
Chuck Hickok
David Berglas
Doug Dyment

Piers :)
Message: Posted by: Jay Are (Mar 8, 2006 07:48AM)
Almost forgot Mr.James Randi!
Message: Posted by: Jim-Callahan (Mar 8, 2006 08:07AM)
And also Uri Geller

Best Wishes,