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Topic: Which Aronson book?
Message: Posted by: Josh Chaikin (Jun 19, 2011 11:39PM)
I use Mnemonica as my memorized deck and there are a lot of geat effects in Mnemonica, some stack-specific, some not; naturally, the case would be the same with Simon Aronson's books. To those who have them, which Simon Aronson book has the most memorized deck magic that is not specific to his stack, or is it fairly even across them all?

Message: Posted by: MagicJuggler (Jun 20, 2011 05:04AM)
I only have bound to please, and in that most of the tricks can be done with any stack. Of the mem deck tricks in that book my favorites are the variation of shuffle board that adds two selections to the mix, and Histed Heisted, which is a fantastic multiple "thought of" card revelation (up to ten spectators)
Message: Posted by: Nicolino (Jun 20, 2011 05:11AM)
Get all of his books! Period.
I'm serious about it, with time you'll read them over and over again and every time you learn something new! You may currently be "in mem deck work" but his other stuff is awesome as well. Do yourself a favor (hey, it's Father's Day anyway) and follow my advice.... :)
Message: Posted by: Zedd (Jun 20, 2011 06:38AM)
Yes - get them ALL!!!! You'll not be disappointed!!

Best regards,

Message: Posted by: Steven Keyl (Jun 20, 2011 01:32PM)
Josh, yes they are all excellent. Let me provide a few amplifying remarks about the various Aronson books:

[*] Bound to Please - Contains an excellent cross-section of mem deck effects and as alluded above most of them are not stack dependent.
[*] Simply Simon - This book contains a lot of both mem and non-mem deck effects. The mem deck effects that are in the book are all excellent and I believe all of them are stack independent
[*] Try the Impossible - This book is really an IN-DEPTH look at the UnDo Influence Principle (not a mem deck related idea) and 25 different mem deck effects. These are all stack dependent and require the Aronson stack to use. There are also a few miscellaneous effects in there as well.
[*] The Aronson Approach - I do not have this book and have never read it.

Agree with the above statements you should get them all. Hopefully this list might help you prioritize which one to get first, second, etc. Good luck.
Message: Posted by: Vlad_77 (Jun 21, 2011 09:32AM)
Well Steven, I will fill in the gap with regard to The Aronson Approach :)

This book is a nice collection Aronson effects ranging from completely impromptu stuff like Under Her Spell (a GREAT effect BTW), to stacks, gaffed effects, mem deck work, and perhaps the BEST part of the book: the complete manuscript of the VERY powerful "Simon-Eyes." The effect for this is too long to post here. All I can say is that this routine is incredibly powerful and appears like genuine mindreading with nothing but a pack of cards and two spectators.

A note about Simon Aronson's writing I believe is appropriate here: Mr. Aronson's prose is not brief. In fact, his descriptions are EXTREMELY detailed. This is a very GOOD thing as he prepares you for ANY contingencies that might arise in the effect. He frequently offers alternate handlings/approaches for a given effect and believe me, the man worries an effect to death - another GOOD thing.

IMHO you simply CANNOT go wrong with ANY Simon Aronson book unless you hate to read ;)

Message: Posted by: Nicolino (Jun 21, 2011 10:43AM)
So true, Aronson has two mentalism routines in his books that both are as close to the real thing as possible (and -in that regard- surpass current 'thought reading' productions that do claim the same thing! :D).

[b]Histed Heisted[/b] and [b]Simon's Eyes[/b] are both worth the submission of the books alone!

(As a sidenote, Jan Forster once showed how it's possible to adapt Simon Eyes to a more streamlined level for anyone finding the original routine too long and time consuming.)

Are you still listening...?
Or already on your way to the bookstore...?
Message: Posted by: Josh Chaikin (Jun 21, 2011 09:27PM)
Thanks for all of the feedback everyone, it was very helpful. It looks like I really can't go wrong with any of his books; I have to be careful, though, I need to get caught up on all of the books that I already have!

These will definitely go on the short list. :)


I do have Michael Close's [i]Workers[/i] series, and the effect "Myopia" is in volume 5, which, he says, is based off of "Simon's Eyes." It really does seem like a powerful effect, and one that I've not tried out yet, maybe some day...for those with both, how does Michael's handling differ from Simon's original?
Message: Posted by: Nicolino (Jun 22, 2011 04:15AM)
Josh, Mike actually pretty good sums up in the foreword to [i]Myopia[/i] what the main differences are - the long dealing is omitted. [i]Myopia[/i] has the chance of producing two No's in the worst case which isn't the case in the original, IIRC.
If you have Barrie Richardson's Act Two, you might want to check his [i]Final Ecstasy[/i] as well - another brilliant approach to the same basic idea which employs a little sleight of hand but is worth considering as well.

But since we were talking about Aronson's books after all - I stand by my point that's it's always a good idea to start at the origins and then explore the variations. Besides, you'll learn a lot from Simon (Shuffle Bored, for example...)
Message: Posted by: JCheng (Jul 5, 2011 08:20PM)
I'm also interested in buying one Simon Aronson's book, but I don't know which one to get first. I already know the mnemonica stack, so which one is recommend for me to read first? and please don't say "get them all." I just want to know which one to START first.
Message: Posted by: Vlad_77 (Jul 5, 2011 09:55PM)
On 2011-07-05 21:20, JCheng wrote:
I'm also interested in buying one Simon Aronson's book, but I don't know which one to get first. I already know the mnemonica stack, so which one is recommend for me to read first? and please don't say "get them all." I just want to know which one to START first.


Really any one of them would be a great choice. But, if pressed, I would say start with Try the Impossible. And when you get the book learn Prior Commitment which is the very first effect in the book. I really think you will like it ;)

Message: Posted by: landmark (Jul 5, 2011 10:48PM)
Since JCheng is looking for independent memdeck stuff, I would say Try the Impossible is not the first Aronson book to try. It has wonderful non-mem deck routines, but the mem-deck stuff, except for Twice as Hard, is Aronson dependent.

I would start with Simply Simon if you already know a memdeck. The memdeck stuff there is not Aronson dependent and is killer.
Message: Posted by: JCheng (Jul 7, 2011 11:16AM)
Thank you for your answers.
I'm also curious why you recommend Simply Simon to read first, instead of Bound to Please or the Aronson Approach.

Thank you.
Message: Posted by: landmark (Jul 7, 2011 08:18PM)
They're all terrific--but since you said only one, and if you're not looking to learn a new stack, and if your main motivation for buying an Aronson book is for the stack effects, then I would pick Simply Simon as having the strongest memdeck routines. It's just personal preference. They are all great.
Message: Posted by: Dennis Loomis (Jul 7, 2011 11:41PM)
For those that have not yet memorized a stack, Bound to Please is the logical first book since Simon teaches you how to do that. And, it has some great mem-deck effects. If you find that you enjoy doing mem-deck magic, you will ultimately want to have all of the books. So, if you can afford to, just jump in and get them all. Then start reading and studying and pick just a few tricks that you really like and work hard on them.

If money is a problem, I have quite a few mem-deck routines on my web site at no cost. See the link below.

Dennis Loomis
Message: Posted by: mrehula (Jul 8, 2011 02:35PM)
Having all of Aronson's books, I too find it difficult to recommend one over another. I use routines from Try the Impossible more than any other, but I do so primarily because they're EASY! But all of the other books contain excellent -- and essential -- examinations of the stack. It's impossible to know what you will resonate with the most. Thus the recommendation to get everything!

My wish (only one among many!) is that ALL of the Aronson stack routines and essays would be collected into a single volume, like Mnemonica. I've had to dig around through all kinds of material (Michael Close, Norman Beck, Eric Richardson -- his excellent 'Oasis' was just published through Vanishing Inc!) to find additional Aronson stack routines. O to have all of this material in one volume!!!
Message: Posted by: JanForster (Jul 8, 2011 04:57PM)
"Oasis" is really great! But nevertheless, if somebody wants to start exploring Simon Aronson's work and MD work in general he should start with "Bound to Please" and then move over to "Simply Simon". Latest by then he wants to read "the rest" anyway. I have :) Jan
Message: Posted by: Zedd (Jul 9, 2011 07:16AM)
As you mention it: where can I get books/ebooks from Norman Beck??

Best regards,


P.S.: Yes, Oasis is awesome!!!!!