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Topic: The Beautiful Lie by Iain Dunford
Message: Posted by: Sid Helkule (Jan 12, 2010 06:43AM)
I thought that I would knock up a quick review for 'The Beautiful Lie' by Iain Dunford. I have been meaning to do this for a while now, not just because Iain is a mate but because I have read this book 3 times and never get tired of it.

Here is a list of the effects/routines/ideas:

SEALED THOUGHTS
SCARAB BEEF CLEFT
PIN BAR SAUNTERS
KINDER WISE EGG
DR BOOKWORM
ODDSORTMENT IDEA
ICUDOUCME
AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 SECONDS
ESPENVELOPES
THE BLACK AND WHITE PICTURE SHOW
SACAANDA
OBSESSION
AN OPEN PREDICTION
ADDACONFABLA
ICAIN
OUT OF THIS HOY
REDRODRAC
THE SWAMI-MAN
HAND THEN SOME
HEIGHTENED SENSES #1
HEIGHTENED SENSE #2
THE CHEAPSKATE MENTALIST - BILLET INDEX
AFFIRMATIVE/NEGATORY
ELINIMATE
THE CHEAPSKATE MENTALIST - BILLET ENVELOPE

I would love to be able to go through each effect/idea in detail, but we would be here all night, and I am running out of wine at an alarming rate. What I CAN say is that you will take something away from each and every routine or idea conatined within this little gem. Here are a couple of my favourites though:

SCARAB BEEF CLEFT:
I have only had the chance to perform this once so far, but I can tell you that it was incredibly fun to do and strikes fear into any scrabble opponent! The spectator has a choice of 7 tiles, they create a word from those tiles and you show your prediction which matches exactly!

KINDER WISE EGG:
This one is great. I did this at a friends BBQ recently for their whole family, and everyone was gobsmacked. Basically the spectator provides you with a kinder egg that they have purchased, and you leave a small box on the table while they open said egg. Once they have assembled the toy, they open the box and inside is the exact same toy only bigger, better and less sticky!

SACAANDA:
Iain states in the book that you will either love or hate him for this routine. Personally I love him because after I tried it I have never looked back! It is Iain's own ACAAN of sorts, and some will like it and some will not. I think it's a fun idea and it works well for me. And I hate mentalism with cards.

There is also instructions on how to make your own billet index on the cheap if you so wish, some routines by the wonderful Elliott Bresler... As well as so many other workable and truly devious effects. The ones I listed above are the ones that I have had the most fun with though!

One other thing I found was that this book really inspired me to add more intrigueing narrative into my effects and routines. Iain has a knack for creating some truly wonderful and imaginative stories which help sell the effects in this book ten fold (The Great Gallardini springs to mind). To be honest that is the most valuable thing I took away from this read, as well as some clever routines that I have found to get some great reactions!

All in all it's well written, full of great material and a steal at the price (don't steal it though, buy it Iain is a big ba****d)

Highly recommended.
Message: Posted by: Greg Arce (Jan 12, 2010 08:36AM)
Totally agree. Great book filled with many wonderful routines and presentations.

Greg
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Jan 12, 2010 12:54PM)
Aw cheers fellas...made my stone cold heart warm up that did...

oh before anyone climbs in with a cry of foul - Luke bought his fair and square even though he is my mate...its been out for a little while and I'm very grateful for all the kind and encouraging comments..very honoured indeed...*ends gush*

there are a few other unsolicited comments about this place, and a massive thank you to those people too...i'm glad I just did it as a physical book...
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Jan 13, 2010 02:46AM)
http://stores.lulu.com/store.php?fAcctID=753133

oh, and I would also like to thank Elliott Bresler for giving me a couple of routines from his files for The Beautiful Lie....
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Jan 21, 2010 04:38AM)
http://www.marketplaceofthemind.com/

hurrah! I've been reviewed (along with some other work) by Jheff (thank you sir, if you're reading)...
Message: Posted by: Bill Cushman (Jan 21, 2010 12:20PM)
I was just about to start a thread entitled, "I hate Iain Dunford's A Beautiful Lie" but with this one resurrected that seems pointless! Of course once you opened the thread I would have written how much I love A Beautiful Lie, not to mention everything else of Iain's that I've read.

I think the individual effects have been done justice above and my focus will be on the "larger issues" of Iain's way of thinking and constructing routines. Also, how clear and well written everything is.

Regarding the latter, I found myself reading slowly to savor every word. When I get into an exceptional book, I'll do one of two things. Read it over very quickly the first time and then read it again taking more time.

The second approach I take, and far more rare, is to read it slowly from the outset because I'm so taken by content AND style. This is the case with A Beautiful Lie. Sure, Iain can be a bit crass sometimes but he's also very funny and a real pleasure to read.

Onto ways of thinking about mentalism. Iain is a born storyteller. Not that his effects involve protracted stories. He knows how to get to the heart of the matter briefly, succinctly and with flair that keeps you interested from the moment he introduces his premise in each effect.

Iain hooks you in from the first sentence, a place all mentalists should pay more attention to. Here he sets up a meaningful premise and you just want to know where it is going. As I say probably way to often, one of my favorite quotes in mentalism is Kenton Knepper's "Meaning is the best misdirection." Iain grasps this as well as any performer who has published material I have read.

He continues to structure his effects in such a way as to be organic to the premise. Every step is justified without his having gone out of the way to do so. Nothing feels forced or convoluted. Quite the opposite.

Finally, Iain has a great facility at simplifying methods. Often, at least when I first began to read his work, when I read the effect I expected a much more complex method. But no, another reason to hate him :), Iain generally follows the straightest line between two points and provides a very simple method to accomplish his goals. He frequently had me laughing at his spot on solutions as they continuously caught me off gaurd.

Given the length of A Beautiful Lie, I kept expecting him to lose his momentum and provide an effect or idea that wasn't as good as the one before. Again, quite the opposite, the book just kept getting better and better, each new premise and method inspiring tons of ideas for my own repetoir.

That, too, is a sign of superb work. I know when what I'm reading kicks my brain into hyperdrive thinking of other applications and how to improve my currently performed effects I am reading something special. So lets leave it at this: Iain Dunford's work is extraordinarly unique and will serve as an inspiration to all mentalists wise enough to study his writings.
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Jan 27, 2010 04:41AM)
Thanks very much bill...

I'm very honoured to be included in Jheff's Best of 2009 list!

http://marketplaceofthemind.net/forum/index.php?topic=54.0
Message: Posted by: RicHeka (Feb 2, 2010 10:48PM)
I just purchased this,and two things have me waiting with great anticipation:

1.It's a real book!

2.It is written by an author whose creative thinking I like,and can relate to.Not to mention the 25 entree's....25!

Usually,I am satisfied if I can garner 1 or 2 routines that fit my style....somehow I believe I am going to get much more value than usual with 'The Beautiful Lie' because Iain Dunford performs in similar setting's that I do.

Looking forward to this book.

Rich
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Feb 9, 2010 03:14PM)
I'm very pleased with all the feedback so far, thank you kind people who have given a review or commented...

I'm pleased to say it'll never be made available as an ebook...

I was also very honoured that jheff reviewed and thought The Games People Play and THe Hateful Page booktest were of enough value to feature on his site too...

thanks to everyone...
Message: Posted by: Roth (Aug 22, 2010 12:18AM)
Just didn't work for me, but that's just my opinion. Nice book though.