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Topic: Sherlock Holmes
Message: Posted by: gmeister (May 19, 2010 10:52AM)
Hi All:

A two-part question if I might. I've always felt that the Sherlock Holmes canon should be essential reading for mentalists (and especially essential reading for readers). In fact, this figures into my current book-in-progress. I just wondered what some others think, yeah or nay, and why.

Second part: I've only seen (that's seen, not read) one work that seems to touch on this -- Richard Tenance's "The Sherlock Holmes Approach to Reading Everybody." However I've done my due diligence by searching here and across the Net and have found almost no reviews/comments. Any one here have some thoughts on this work?

Thanks as always!

gary
Message: Posted by: cpbartak (May 19, 2010 11:14AM)
Here are Jheff's comments on this work: http://www.marketplaceofthemind.com/SherlockShells.html

If you peruse amazon, you will find a few books not geared towards mentalists that you might find beneficial reads as well if you choose to go down this path, such as 'You Can Read Anyone' by David Lieberman, and 'The Book of Tells' by Peter Collett.
Message: Posted by: gmeister (May 19, 2010 11:37AM)
Thanks!

Jheff's review is, in fact, the only one I saw when I say "almost no reviews/comments." I was curious why this is, especially in a forum that looks at almost everything and where everyone has an opinion either pro or con.

As for the non-mentalist books, I do know a number of them. What makes Holmes so fascinating is both the fact that it's literature and the marvelous contradiction in Conan-Doyle (rationalist/spiritualist), which of course his friendship/break with Houdini points up in fine fashion.
Message: Posted by: muse (May 19, 2010 01:22PM)
[quote]
On 2010-05-19 12:37, gmeister wrote:
What makes Holmes so fascinating is both the fact that it's literature and the marvelous contradiction in Conan-Doyle (rationalist/spiritualist)
[/quote]

If you're interested in background to this, and you enjoy reading, try Julian Barnes' book "Arthur and George". It's very slow and meticulous, but it's a masterpiece of a book in my opinion, and it centres around this very thing.
Message: Posted by: gmeister (May 19, 2010 02:01PM)
Thanks Muse!

Know Julien Barnes's work and have heard of the book but not read it. I will now.
Message: Posted by: BryanKelly (May 20, 2010 03:08AM)
As brilliant as Doyle and his work is, I doubt a study of Holmes would be of any value to a mentalist. Holmes’s observations are kind of anecdotal and pretty exaggerated.

Holmes would best serve as a source of inspiration. Or an illustrative tool to explain to lay people how we do what we do. But trying to find anything of value for us in the books is kind of like a forensic investigator studying CSI.
Message: Posted by: Jon Hackett (May 20, 2010 08:12AM)
Unfortunately, BryanKelly, you have it the wrong way around.

Methods are for magicians, inspiration for presentation is all that mentalism is.

"As brilliant as Doyle and his work is, I doubt a study of Holmes would be of any value to a mentalist."

I mean no disrespect Bryan, and I hope to cause no aggravation, (thusly I am wording this as sensitively as possible); that is the most un-true statement I have seen in Penny for some time.

Jon Hackett
Message: Posted by: BryanKelly (May 21, 2010 02:23AM)
[quote]
On 2010-05-20 09:12, Jon Hackett wrote:
Unfortunately, BryanKelly, you have it the wrong way around.

Methods are for magicians, inspiration for presentation is all that mentalism is.

"As brilliant as Doyle and his work is, I doubt a study of Holmes would be of any value to a mentalist."

I mean no disrespect Bryan, and I hope to cause no aggravation, (thusly I am wording this as sensitively as possible); that is the most un-true statement I have seen in Penny for some time.

Jon Hackett
[/quote]

I appreciate your candor, but when I say "of no value" I purely mean conserning methods. I think that's what the original poster was concidering its usefulness in. I could be wrong though.
Message: Posted by: Jon Hackett (May 21, 2010 02:59AM)
Of coarse, very true!

However, his methods (Sherlock) are very useful, especially in terms of the S.H.A.R.E, combine this with Dan Korems book 'Art of Profiling' (yes I believe it is the same Danny Korem from the Marlo tapes) and System 88 from Docc Hilford and a little of Joe Navarro's 'What EveryBODY is Saying.' And you have the ability to sell your self as a profiler, lots of money!

Jon Hackett
Message: Posted by: dylan magic (May 21, 2010 03:01AM)
If memeory recalls banachek mentions the canon of doyles work in psychological subtlties volume 1.
he mentions noticing little things such as how someone fastens their belt can show if theyre right or left handed etc. subtle things like that thrown in at the right moment in a rouine can be strong. the thinking quite similar to the "dunninger ploy". this fits with holmes deduction skills etc.
The cannon is inspiring for its presentation angles, but if youre looking for conan doyle to detail a confabulation routine youre looking in the wrong place.
just my two cents..
Message: Posted by: Necromancer (May 21, 2010 06:57AM)
You're on the right track, Gary. T.A. Waters has a thought-provoking essay on this subject as it relates to psychometry in Mind, Myth and Magick.

Read the classics, people. :)

Best,
Neil
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (May 21, 2010 10:54AM)
[quote]Dylan Magic wrote:

If memory recalls banachek mentions the canon of doyles work in psychological subtlties volume 1.[/quote]

Would that be the canon of conan?

:)
Message: Posted by: gmeister (May 21, 2010 11:00AM)
Ouch!!!

But then Holmes might have seen that coming . . .
Message: Posted by: celebrity (May 21, 2010 02:27PM)
Just purchased - Richard Tenance's "The Sherlock Holmes Approach to Reading Everybody." will post my comments once I've read it!
Message: Posted by: ElliottB (May 21, 2010 02:46PM)
I purchased it a while ago. I did not post a review because I only had a chance to give it a quick read, and have not yet even attempted to master the techniques taught within. However, I can say that I found the e-book incredibly fascinating, and would love to give it the attention it clearly deserves, if I can find some time.
Message: Posted by: magicnewswire (May 21, 2010 03:52PM)
Slightly different, but there is also the [url=http://www.blacksmagicgroup.com/store/products/Sherlock-Holmes-Book-Test-2.0.html]Sherlock Holmes Book Test[/url]
Message: Posted by: mormonyoyoman (May 21, 2010 06:08PM)
[quote]
On 2010-05-19 11:52, gmeister wrote:
I've only seen (that's seen, not read) one work that seems to touch on this -- Richard Tenance's "The Sherlock Holmes Approach to Reading Everybody." However I've done my due diligence by searching here and across the Net and have found almost no reviews/comments.
[/quote]

It was reviewed in *the Magic Touch* -- I believe it was issue #2.

*jeep!
--Grandpa
Message: Posted by: BryanKelly (May 24, 2010 01:31AM)
To illustrate my point would anyone like to post a single observation that holmes has made that would be useful to a working mentalist? They are simply over exagerated and unrealistic.

Yes his methods are useful because he self-professes his methods as being sound logic, science and reason. But Doyle's examples of Holmes using these methods are vastly over exagerated.

You simply can't deduce that someone is a carpenter by observing that his muscles are more defined in one hand than the other. (as in the red-headed league).

Yes, use Sherlock Holme's approach to reading people. But you're not going to actually find any useful ways of doing so from Sherlock Holmes himself. You'd be best to read Richard Tenance's book for that.
Message: Posted by: celebrity (May 24, 2010 01:55AM)
Just finnished Reading Richard Tenancs' book and highly enjoyed it's contents. What I liked most were the tools/skills provided which allow you to personalise your cold reading lines based on general observation.

Whilst the skills taught may NOT be those which were used by Holmes it is very easy to see a link between the two.

Rather than relying on stock lines and barnum statements this book teaches you to open your eyes and use the information that the spectator is providing you.

I firmly believe that whist the Sherlock books may not give you tools that you can use they do teach us about observation and there in lies their value.

Best Wishes Michael
Message: Posted by: Jon Hackett (May 24, 2010 03:00AM)
Ok, so Holmes is a fictional character in a fictional world, observing fictional events.

Yet it is all totally believable because the beauty of the language suspends our disbelief.

Starting to see the value yet?

Jon Hackett
Message: Posted by: James Munton (May 24, 2010 08:27AM)
Daniel Stashower wrote an excellent autobiography of Conan Doyle, Teller of Tales. You'll find a lot of material for a Sherlock Holmes presentation in this book.
Dan is also a very serious amateur magician.

Best,
James
Message: Posted by: DrTodd (May 24, 2010 11:40AM)
A pipe
A hat
A walking stick
A pocket watch

......Holmes is very inspirational but the whole story is so much deeper....
Message: Posted by: George Hunter (Jul 27, 2014 10:50AM)
AND . . .

A magnifying glass.

A tape measure.

A microscope.

George
Message: Posted by: IbiMania (Jul 27, 2014 11:26AM)
While Sherlock Holmes presentation can be fascinating, there are a lot of very valuable resources on tells and observation part of cold reading that have nothing to do with sherlock.

This thread touches a great subject and I do believe, as mentioned earlier here, that using a small tell at the right moment can be very strong; However by limiting it to one author's mind and how others perceive it, are we not limiting the potential of a great topic?

I will mention some resources that do not associate with sherlock by name or mention but have some valuable insight into tells and observation.

1) Ian Rowland's Full Facts book has a portion on tells
2) Reading People by Joe Ellen
3) Unmasking the Face (I cannot recall the author at the moment but ill look through in a bit a post)

I mentioned the three above because they take different approaches to finding out different things about people.

I believe you can deduce in a sherlockish way by studying literature on this matter.

Another way would be to just apply good old cold reading and appear like Mr. Holmes.
Message: Posted by: Davidzajac (Jul 27, 2014 02:36PM)
Not that it matters but when I started doing mentalism, when I broke both my legs two years ago, I came across a book called mastermind and in it was the essential art of deduction. Since then I bought Sherlock Holmes, the completed works by Doyle. At the store when I bought it recalling what I had read I thought this is perfect for anyone who wants to learn how to read people. At the same time I noted a certain mentalist on television who could recall some of the classic stories. I thought it was essential and I think the common perception is that these things are exceptional. That is how as a neophyte I have come to view anyone who uses his mind in this way. And I ask myself what would Sherlock Holmes do. Oh and if you wanted to appear to be on your guard all the time it requires a lot of practice but you can learn by that. Oh and your wrong it's a thought process that was invented in the Victoria era based on scientific deduction.
Message: Posted by: MrRyanD (Jul 27, 2014 05:01PM)
I think all mentalists would like to have the amazing powers of deduction that Sherlock Holmes possesses, however I feel they are a little farfetched. I take great pleasure in reading the works of Conan Doyle and the adventures that the World Famous Consulting Detective has but I do think that they should be staple reading material for mentalists. Not for the fact that we expect to learn how to become deductive masters but that we might take more information from the tales. I do think that mentalist can learn a lot about becoming more observant about people. In some small aspect I think that becoming more observant we can see things that other people may not notice and state them as almost a mind reading feat. (I have had success on this before noticing a particularly shiny charm on an otherwise dull bracelet and clairvoyantly asking what the special occasion was recently. - Turns out it was her birthday). Also asking questions as a mentalist and taking in all the facts and deducing what the person was thinking of, something Holmes does himself and we would be able to do as well (Again I have a high success rate of working out what people want to study at Uni or do as a future career from what they are studying/studied at school or college). Of course this would all be mixed with reading of body language and little cold reading in places to get a more effective hit, but even without the cold reading they are still quite effective.
So maybe the works of Sherlock Holmes aren't exactly a guide book for mentalist's and mentalism but I defiantly feel that with some hard work and trying to embody a realistic Holmes we would be able to become more observant and deductive experts to add a little flare to our routines and repertoire.
Thoughts?
Message: Posted by: IbiMania (Jul 27, 2014 10:40PM)
I believe, as a mentalist it is much more about appearing to be as sharp as sherlock than to actually be sherlock.

Work smart not hard ;)

I would prefer to appear to have a photographic memory than to attempt to get one.

Similarly, I would find information from obvious tells, and then attribute them to minor tells in order to appear sherlockish.

Of course I would need to have an understanding of the art of observation but I would attempt to magnify it.

Maybe apply a H^t Rea#$*( to find out about their recent visit to Hawaii then attribute it to say their skin texture.

saying something along the lines of "your skin texture suggests that you have recently been to a place with the weather quite opposite of the weather here...You are not a business man so I would eliminate a business trip that means the possible locations of your travel are vacation destinations. And if you have been outside of US, I would believe you visited Egypt, however there are problems there so I am thinking you went to some place within the states. One can think that California would be an option but you have to stay longer for a skin texture like this, and since it was a short vacation, I would say you went to Hawaii"

^Sherlocked!

If this post was too long my point was: appearing to have sherlock like skills is easier and more effective than trying to get his skill which is fiction and thus an exaggeration.
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Jul 27, 2014 10:49PM)
Very nice, Ibi!
Message: Posted by: IbiMania (Jul 27, 2014 10:51PM)
Thanks Mr. Cassidy, coming from a performer/creator of your caliber, it really means a lot.
Message: Posted by: Suffolk (Jul 28, 2014 01:36AM)
Colin (Mc) Cloud has created his current show around the premise of being "a modern day Sherlock Holmes" & Alex McAleer had a couple of routines in his last few shows that used this premise.

I'd be shocked if others hadn't done so before them.

It's a well trodden path.
Message: Posted by: Martin Pulman (Jul 28, 2014 01:59AM)
[quote]On May 24, 2010, Jon Hackett wrote:
Ok, so Holmes is a fictional character in a fictional world, observing fictional events.

[/quote]

Sherlock Holmes is fictional!!!!
Message: Posted by: IbiMania (Jul 28, 2014 02:30AM)
There's a graphic novel Sherlock Holmes vs Houdini coming up in print. No idea if its great news or bad news XD
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Jul 28, 2014 03:46AM)
If you like Sherlock, watch Murder By Decree, all star brit cast from the 70s, James mason as Watson, and Donald Sutherland as Robert Lees...

its Sherlock Holmes going after jack the ripper...excellent plot, a bit unsettling in places, and From Hell borrowed some of its art direction from it...
Message: Posted by: harris (Jul 28, 2014 07:36AM)
Regarding the upcoming novel.

Wasn't in Doyle and Houdini?

Does any one out there use a Holmes persona as their
Character portrayed on stage.


Harris
"New kid on this block "
And
Still too old to know it all
Message: Posted by: Davidzajac (Jul 28, 2014 07:54AM)
I agree with you Ryan. In the book I mentioned, the author describes how you could use the thought process to become like a genius at anything you do. Plus it's worth mentioning that my opinion was based on the idea of one day being a detective of sorts myself. Plus working smarter in detective work means thinking like Sherlock Holmes all the time. However, working smarter in mentalism means...
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Jul 28, 2014 08:14AM)
...you copy whatever the flavour of the month is? ��
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Jul 28, 2014 09:13AM)
My good friend and early PEA member, Elliot Black, was doing a complete Sherlock Holmes mentalism act back in the early eighties, so we're really not talking about a new concept here. (And the theme was around way before that. Dai Vernon's "Fingerprint Card Trick" is a good example.)
Message: Posted by: voh002 (Jul 28, 2014 09:28AM)
[quote]On Jul 28, 2014, Harris wrote:
Regarding the upcoming novel.

Wasn't in Doyle and Houdini?

Does any one out there use a Holmes persona as their
Character portrayed on stage.


Harris
"New kid on this block "
And
Still too old to know it all [/quote]

I know Colin Cloud uses Sherlock Holmes as a running theme in his show, and relate to him in some of his effects, but he does not portrayed him on stage.
Message: Posted by: harris (Jul 28, 2014 09:31AM)
Thanks.

Another example of what's old is new.

Seems like years ago I read about a
Clue based themed routine.

Harris. ....
Message: Posted by: Joe Atmore (Jul 28, 2014 09:34AM)
Also PEA member John Sherwood was performing with this persona for well over a decade.
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Jul 28, 2014 09:42AM)
Yes- I remember John doing it as well. I wonder if he was inspired by Elliot or just came up with it on his own, as many seem to have done over the years.
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Jul 28, 2014 09:44AM)
[quote]On Jul 28, 2014, Harris wrote:
Thanks.

Another example of what's old is new.

Seems like years ago I read about a
Clue based themed routine.

Harris. .... [/quote]

In the original edition of my second book, "The Art of Mentalism," I wrote a routine called "Clue" that was based on the game. That was in 1982 and I believe it was the first published routine based on the game.

That book also included the first published routine using NLP as a premise. It was called "Neuro Linguistic Thought Reading."
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Jul 28, 2014 09:54AM)
I must dust off and revamp my psychic hangman routines...keep meaning to...
Message: Posted by: IbiMania (Jul 28, 2014 10:52AM)
[quote]On Jul 28, 2014, Harris wrote:
Regarding the upcoming novel.

Wasn't in Doyle and Houdini?

[/quote]

It would make sense since both at least existed. BUT where I heard from "The theory 11 magic news podcast: Expose", it was said to be Sherlock vs. Houdini.
Message: Posted by: Ben_cardall (Jul 29, 2014 03:58AM)
I really enjoyed Richard Tenances book, and personally have spent a great many years making as many of the skills as much a reality as possible
Message: Posted by: MrRyanD (Jul 29, 2014 04:07AM)
I too have tried to make some of the skills that Sherlock possess reality Ben. Only over the past 2 years though. How far have you managed to get wight he skills? Which ones are possible?
I myself have been working off of the book "Mastermind: How to think like Sherlock Holmes" by Maria Konnkova. The book is mainly psychology based but has some great insights on how to make such skills reality.
Message: Posted by: Ben_cardall (Jul 29, 2014 04:23AM)
Most to be honest, at the moment I'm working on experiment to test what I know, the video responses have been quite favorable . Its a personal preference but I just prefer to work hard and smart. Reading people, reading objects, memory work, deduction, observation. I really enjoyed the mastermind book too! excellent read!
Message: Posted by: Davidzajac (Jul 29, 2014 11:17AM)
Now heres the question, what other books are available to read other then studying the book itself?
Message: Posted by: TonyB2009 (Jul 29, 2014 04:14PM)
I have just reread most of the Sherlock Holmes stories this summer, and I agree with Bryan. They are great for inspiration, for persona, for atmosphere. But that is as far as it goes. Sherlock was not a mentalist, and his methods - chalky clay on your shoes, etc - are not really practical, except in very limited circumstances.

However the stories are still great reading.
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Jul 29, 2014 04:18PM)
[quote]On Jul 29, 2014, Davidzajac wrote:
Now heres the question, what other books are available to read other then studying the book itself? [/quote]

Just go to Amazon and do a search on "Body Language" or "How to Read a Person Like a Book." You'll get plenty of suggestions in addition to those titles.
Message: Posted by: Alwow (Jul 29, 2014 04:21PM)
[quote]On Jul 29, 2014, MrRyanD wrote:
I too have tried to make some of the skills that Sherlock possess reality Ben. Only over the past 2 years though. How far have you managed to get wight he skills? Which ones are possible?
I myself have been working off of the book "Mastermind: How to think like Sherlock Holmes" by Maria Konnkova. The book is mainly psychology based but has some great insights on how to make such skills reality. [/quote]

I actually didn't get as much from Maria's book as I hoped. I much more enjoyed What Every BODY is Saying by Navarro. I suppose because I was looking for more of a direct approach to the skills set I'm looking to acquire vs. maybe more theory in Mastermind. Which even as I type it feels a little strange being a mentalist and "theory" feels like the entire premise of which our world consists of.

I think those of you who have read the book may get what I mean.
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Jul 29, 2014 04:39PM)
Personally, I've always found sir arthur conan doyle the more interesting character to study...

i think considering his mindset of being able to work/write in such deductive ways, YET! still believe in what he did - I think that's a more interesting jumping off point, personally speaking...
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Jul 29, 2014 04:44PM)
Here's an interesting premise- Ignoring the crazy stuff like the Cottingham fairies, what if Doyle, using the basic skills of Holmes, was actually right about spirit communication?
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Jul 29, 2014 04:47PM)
Maybe he knew science at the time wasn't consistent enough to be able to test what he knew...so he blew a bit of smoke and went with the fairies?
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Jul 29, 2014 04:58PM)
That would work. Doyle could be presented as being much shrewder than he's often given credit for. It could also make a nice tie in to Edison's later work on the so-called "telephone to the dead." (Was he inspired by Doyle or in contact with him?)

[quote]The “Telephone to the Dead” is the name that was given to the device Thomas Edison was working on in the last decade of his life. In multiple essays on spiritualism written during the early 1920′s (all are available in the book The Diary and Sundry Observations of Thomas Edison by Dagobert Runes, 1948*), Edison tried to grapple with the concept of how the spirit could exist after death. He thought that the “life units” that were unknown by science joined together to create every animate (and possibly inanimate) object. Upon death, these life units broke up into their respective individual units and joined another form after human death.

This is a theory which is obviously unproven and may even be considered patently false because of the technology that has been advanced by ninety plus years since Edison espoused this theory. Edison knew of electrons, and he figured that the life units were even smaller than electrons. Edison based this theory upon the physics concept of energy interchangeability: “I believe, rightly or wrongly, that life is undestructable, it is true, and I also believe that there has always been a fixed quantity of life on this planet, and that this quantity can neither be increased or decreased.” On Edison’s Earth, nothing, not even life, could be created or destroyed; so he therefore assumed that life units changing from one form to another were responsible for all life on this planet.[/quote]

See the complete article at: http://itcvoices.org/thomas-edisons-telephone-to-the-dead-myth-or-fact/

IMPORTANT NOTE: Before the skeptics jump in and take this off topic- keep in mind we are talking about fictional premise that may or may not have any basis in fact. It's just an interesting story line for a presentation.
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Jul 29, 2014 05:09PM)
You could also express it as borderline schizophrenia - one side is Holmes, fighting with/against the spiritualism side...so maybe presentationally speaking - where a Holmes answer isn't forthcoming, the opposite side steps in to provide one...and vice versa...

so really, the angle is the fight within oneself...or maybe the rational mind vs the shadow self...
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Jul 29, 2014 05:12PM)
So to calm it down a little, the baseline angle/question is "how far would you go to find the truth about yourself?"...makes it a little more open, maybe?

do we go with answer that soothes and softens, or deal with a harsher reality - which is better? is it always just "the one way" each and every time? plus, where could you go if you unchain your imagination and just go with it?
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Jul 29, 2014 05:16PM)
...what difference is there in the wisdom between studying an entire book on philosophy vs closing your eyes, expressing a question and then placing your index finger inside the pages and seeking an answer that way?

do we read those kinds of books with the same question in mind? do we want the same answer?

"i want to expand my cognitive thinking, I want to consider who I am in a different way...what can I learn from this book?"

"i seek an answer to a question, I will consult the book and trust that I shall find my answer"...

*my note - these are just concepts floating into what passes for my brain*
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Jul 29, 2014 05:24PM)
...and as for the telephone of the dead - you could argue that Doyle saw psychic ability working like batteries - some people are simply more charged up than others..bigger the voltage, the stronger the abillity - having to be over a certain voltage to work and so on...

...plus, I really like the visual of having someone's head covered in wires, with elements of the telephone in the mouth and ear, like a character from Hellraiser almost...

"He thought that the “life units” that were unknown by science joined together to create every animate (and possibly inanimate) object. Upon death, these life units broke up into their respective individual units and joined another form after human death." - would also be an interesting setting for psychometry too...
Message: Posted by: Bill Cushman (Jul 29, 2014 07:06PM)
Here is another interesting premise - Ignoring the crazy stuff like spirit communication, what if Doyle, using the basic skills of Holmes, was actually right about the Cottingham fairies?

Sorry Bob, the devil made me do it! :devilish:
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Jul 29, 2014 07:14PM)
The telephone thing reminds me of the Twilight Zone episode in which Billy Mumy talked to his dead grandmother on the toy telephone she had given him for his birthday.
Message: Posted by: harris (Jul 29, 2014 08:37PM)
I wonder if
Bill Finger and Bob Kane read
Doyle's work before creating another detective
The Batman?

Both Batman or Holmes could be part of a persons portrayed.