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Topic: Secrets of a Psychic Reader, by "Charles Garner"
Message: Posted by: ddyment (Mar 28, 2009 05:54PM)
[i]Secrets of a Psychic Reader[/i] by "Charles Garner" (published by Brookfield Press, Auckland, New Zealand). Softcover, perfect bound, 6ื9 inches, 87 pages. Foreword by Richard Webster. US$45 postpaid (available directly from Richard, via [url=http://www.deceptionary.com/webster.html#garner]The Deceptionary[/url]).

Pretty much any book on becoming successful can be relied upon to make three tried and true suggestions:

(1) Make a plan, and execute it.
(2) Look successful, so people will think you are.
(3) Seek out those who are successful in your field, and learn from them.

Reading this book easily qualifies as an example of (3) for those with an interest in doing private readings. The (anonymous — "Charles Garner" is a pseudonym) author is a wealthy — by most standards — southern California psychic reader who has made a career of reading for the famous and wealthy.

This entertaining, highly readable book is divided into two distinctly different parts. Chapters 1–6 comprise an autobiography of the author, tracing his life and development as a psychic reader from his early days with his family in St. Cloud, Minnesota to his eventual great success as a reader to the stars and dealmakers of Hollywood. Along the way he pitched horoscopes, conducted s้ances, did stage hypnosis, presented spook shows, and worked as a professional magician. But mostly, he did readings. There are lots of personal insights into his friends and lovers, and some great stories about why he settled on doing readings as a career.

Chapters 7–9 offer up his methods and secrets (and, in doing so, debunk a lot of what magicians think is common wisdom). A number of mentalists — Bob Cassidy and I being but two examples — have long recommended that mentalists restrict the number of capabilities claimed. As a working psychic, "Charles" offers exactly the same advice (allowing himself a maximum of five "talents", he details these and why he chose them). Additionally, he enumerates the core requirements of a successful private reader, and offers advice on the reading process, people's major areas of concern, their wants & needs, how to deal with repeat bookings, and publicity & promotion.

Also included are an introduction by the author, and four pages of suggested reading.

This is only the second book that Richard Webster's Brookfield Press has published that is authored by someone other than Richard; it's easy to see why it was selected. Anyone wanting to become a successful private reader should read it.
Message: Posted by: Logan Five (Mar 29, 2009 01:08AM)
That sounds very interesting. I gotta get my hands on it...

Message: Posted by: Jerskin (Mar 29, 2009 01:58PM)
Thanks Doug, sounds good.
Message: Posted by: max88 (May 15, 2009 11:07AM)
Anyone got the book has some review on it? Sounds good but not sure how better than other books on reading topic published before.
Message: Posted by: Jerskin (May 15, 2009 01:55PM)
It's more of an autobiography, not much in the way of technique.
Message: Posted by: sgrossberg (May 15, 2009 05:37PM)
I agree that it contains autobiographical information. That being said, I have always believed that you can save yourself years and years of struggle and frustration by studying those who have already succeeded and modeling their success. If you want to give readings, this book will provide you with a model that has proven very successful for Mr. Garner.

The fact that Richard Webster deemed this book of high enough calibre to publish it, himself, also speaks volumes.

Just some thoughts. Enjoy. - Scott
Message: Posted by: Jim Reynolds (May 16, 2009 09:12PM)
On 2009-05-15 14:55, Jerskin wrote:
It's more of an autobiography, not much in the way of technique.

Which is why I love this book. From one of the few people who actually walk the talk in terms of doing readings. A very entertaining and inspiring read. I hope to hear more from CG in the future.

For those who are looking for new effects, 'cold reading' junk, new methods, then there is nothing for you here.

Message: Posted by: Jon Stetson (May 16, 2009 11:09PM)
I loved it!
Message: Posted by: jameme (May 19, 2009 04:27PM)
Thanks for your review
I gotta get that book

but does it teaches a little bit of cold reading? or not at all?
Message: Posted by: Jerskin (May 19, 2009 08:24PM)
Not really. There are better choices if you're looking to learn technique.
Message: Posted by: robinr (Jun 23, 2009 05:21PM)
I found the book totally fascinating. One thing I liked especially is that the author believes in what he's doing. Re cold reading, he views most of the canned cold reading information as silly and useless and instead believes in actually relating to the client. As a therapist, I certainly agree.
Message: Posted by: julieannjohnson (Nov 17, 2009 08:34PM)
Charles Garner is supposedly the pseudonym of an old-time Minnesota-born psychic reader now living in Southern California with a vacation home in Hawaii. Perhaps. Perhaps not quite so.

Authorship aside, this book is fascinating and well written. I will note that I actually was so entranced that I read it straight through TWICE during the time I spent in my local hospital's emergency room suffering through my body's eventually successful attempt to expel a kidney stone. Between the morphine and "Secrets of a Psychic Reader," I was in another world.

More than just a personal memoir, this is a book that seeks to present and thereby preserve a slice of American history. There is very little given here about reading techniques per se, but the author tells a tale of what life may have been like for a private reader in the USA from the 1940s through the present, complete with many references to long-gone psychic entertainers and readers of the era.

I would compare this book to "Carney, Pitchman, Indian Chief" by Carl Herron / Brother Shadow. Both are interesting memoirs and both cover roughly the same time period, from the late 1930s to the present, but the Garner book is a bit more inspirational to me because the author is not only spinning a comelling personal tale, but also instructing the reader in American history while discussing the moral issues that are a pasrt of the business of reading.

My thanks to Richard Webster for the care he put into this project. I daresay it will not eclipse the justfied success of his faboulous books on the psychic entertainment business, but I enjoyed it more than his recent forays into angelology for Llewelyn Publishing. :)
Message: Posted by: JoeBlack (Nov 17, 2009 08:41PM)
Does anyone know where I can get this in Europe? Thanks.
Message: Posted by: julieannjohnson (Nov 17, 2009 11:08PM)
It was published in New Zealand, but I got my copy from an online dealer in the USA who ships all over the world. Try a google search -- a number of dealers carry it.
Message: Posted by: ferryascanio (Nov 17, 2009 11:32PM)
At chapter 7-9 he reveal his method & secret ...
what method he use? palmistry, cold reading or others?
Message: Posted by: julieannjohnson (Nov 17, 2009 11:39PM)
Yes, ferryascanio, he describes those, and he was a 'scope worker for a while too during the early 1950s -- a cog, as it were, in the great Nelson Enterprises Horoscope Supply Chain Machine. :)

Like his publisher, Richard Webster, he seems to be the kind of person who could produce a credible reading by arranging the lettuce leaves in your refrigerator crisper.
Message: Posted by: ddyment (Nov 18, 2009 10:07PM)
Richard ships his products worldwide; you can order any of his self-published books (including the Garner work) [url=http://www.deceptionary.com/webster.html]order directly from him[/url].
Message: Posted by: ferryascanio (Nov 18, 2009 11:18PM)
Thanks for the info, Julieannjohnson ...
it will be my next list to buy ...
Message: Posted by: Savels (Nov 19, 2009 12:02AM)
This book is a very enjoyable read.

I was curious, I'm not sure if the author mentions it , but I don't recall the author talking about what he saw in his own palm. After all the years doing readings and specifically reading palms successfully.... it would have been cool to hear what he thought about his own palm and how it reflected all the events that took place in his life.

I read this book in one sitting...thumbs up
Message: Posted by: mota (Nov 19, 2009 12:13AM)
You guys are killing me...I absolutely loved "Carnie, Pitchman, Indian Chief" and now this comes out. Maybe it is time to give myself a Christmas present. I made a resolution my last book on readings would be the final one...I got too many already. This book sounds like a resolution buster though.

Doug, do you know of any plans of the author, Charles Garner, to write anything else?
Message: Posted by: julieannjohnson (Nov 19, 2009 01:31AM)
Mota, trust me, if you loved "Carnie, Pitchman, Indian Chief" you will love "Secrets of a Pyschic Reader." It's a bit different, but oh, so well written. I have a theory as to the identity of the author behind the pseudonym, and will gladly discuss this via PM with anyone who has read the book.
Message: Posted by: ddyment (Nov 24, 2009 10:53AM)
Mota asked:
[quote]Doug, do you know of any plans of the author, Charles Garner, to write anything else?[/quote]
Richard is trying to talk "Charles" into doing one more, and I believe that he is having some success, but I don't think anything is yet cast in stone. I would certainly be a customer, though.
Message: Posted by: julieannjohnson (Nov 24, 2009 02:28PM)
I would definitely and enthusiastically buy another "Charles Garner" book. I would also offer my services as a free sub-editor to pre-read it before it goes to press -- there are some odd little glitches in the writing of the first book, and another pair of American eyes might help. (Note, I am not trying to be arrogant about this; just realistic and helpful.)