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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Sherlock Holmes book test (5 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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micromega123
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Just wondering what people have found to be the most effective way to use this book test. I know there are at least several methods available to obtain the required information, but I'm curious if anyone has found one method to be better than the others?

Many thanks!
CAROLINI
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Talk a little about SH and his powers of deduction. Give the book to someone. Have them insert a book marker wherever they please. Without speaking have them show the page to another person who will look up that page in another book of their choice. You will then describe what they are reading.
micromega123
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That you Carolini! I have been thinking that the book mark idea if a great strategy, I'll give it a try!

Many thanks!
Dick Christian
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Which Sherlock Holmes book test are you referring to? There are at least 8 or 9 of them that I am aware of and there may well be more that I've missed in my haste to reply. Some of them are better than others and they depend on a variety of methods. The most effective way to present them often depends on the particular method the test employs. Offhand I can say that none of them are high on my list of those I would personally use as none meet the rather stringent criteria for use in my book test routine; however, if you'll let me know which one you have in mind I'll be happy to offer my thoughts.
Dick Christian
eSamuels
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Dick, my deductive powers would suggest that he is referring to the "Sherlock Holmes Inductive Book Test."

http://themagicwarehouse.com/BK7099/Sher......Test.htm
micromega123
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Eric is right one the money, I am referring to the Sherlock Holmes Inductive Book Test.
Dick Christian
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Micromega123,

The use of a bookmark as suggested by Carolini is certainly an effective approach. If you thoroughly understand the method -- which is adequately described in the instructions -- script patter that suits your performing persona and devote just a few minutes to pre-show preparation you should have ample information to give you considerable flexibility in your presentation.

For Eric (a.k.a. Stan): yes, that's the book test to which I suspected he was referring. Unfortunately it, and one of their others, are two of the weakest of the many book tests produced/marketed by Black's Magic Group. I think Holmes was their first and, among its other shortcomings, they failed to credit the originator of the method from which it is "derived." The omission of attribution notwithstanding, the fact that the book provided -- while nicely produced -- is really only incidental to the effect itself and that, as Black and Cherry make clear, it will not withstand other than the most cursory handling/examination by an audience member -- a deficiency which is adequately addressed by Carolini's bookmark ploy -- still cause it to be listed (along with the other one I alluded to) near the bottom of the list of those I would recommend even though I HIGHLY recommend the basic effect which is still readily available in its original form and can be found in various later sources as well.
Dick Christian
eSamuels
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Best advice is to follow Carolini's thematic suggestion, and use a second, ungimmicked book. you can then leave the ungimmicked book with them (with your business card/contact info inside). You can rest assured that they'll show the book to others and tell the tale!
Dick Christian
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Yes. Indeed the method DEMANDS a second, hopefully ungimmicked, book. Better yet, forget the bookmark and the Holmes book. Use the original method, TWO ungimmicked books -- which allows you to do an immediate repeat -- and give BOTH books away.
Dick Christian
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Just caught your silmuntaneous post, Dick. Don't entirely disagree...I suspect the'other' Black's book to which you refer is "War Of The Worlds," and if so, on that we agree!

But, with a little audience management, the Holmes book is quite effective at doing 'its one thing.' No question, however, that it won't hold up to significant scrutiny...but then again, few gimmicked books will, providing sufficient curiosity & time!
micromega123
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Thank you Dick,

my plan is to hand the book to someone, have them turn to the last page and note how many pages the book has and then hand it back to me. someone else will place a book mark somewhere in the book and then I will open it and show them the page that they have marked. This way someone has handled the book, but I have maintained a great degree of control. My only conern now is how to make sure I know which page number they are looking at (if you know what I mean). Would you favour a method in which they openly state the page or in which they never say a word?

Thank you again for your reply,

Bryant
eSamuels
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Bryant, the ideal circumstance is that Spec #1 tells Spec #2 what page they have 'randomly chosen,' so that Spec #2 can go to that page in another book.

Given this, why not simply have Spec #1 confirm the 'length' of the book prior to their randomly placing the bookmark (if you want to add this component). Adding a further handling/inspection/participant, seems an unnecessary and suspicious overkill.

But as an aside, knowing which page a person is looking at is almost always given away by watching their eyes. It shouldn't be necessary in this routine, however.
Chad C.
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I really think this is being over-analyzed. I use the Sherlock Holmes and Houdini books (both are the same method) at back to back shows about 200 or so times a year at least. There is no heat on either book as all the heat is on the ungaffed regular book that you are actually having them look up the page and the word, paragraph, picture, etc. No one has ever questioned either book - only the one that is being used to read their mind - and it is always normal. The beauty of both of those books (Holmes/Houdini) is that they are so far away from what appears to be the main part of the effect no one ever even remembers them.

That's been my experience with them.

Chad
micromega123
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I'd just like to thank everyone who helped me out with this. I performed it tonight for an audience of about 20 people and it absolutely fried them! To be honest, after tonight, I think that I prefer this now to the Dracula book test, as I was able to reveal an entire paragraph from among six books without them saying a word, it was fantastic Smile

Thanks again!
daghank
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Can someone help me with this? It might be because of my poor english but I didn't get how this can be adapted to any book,even the spectators book as advertised.

you can PM me also,thanks.
lozey
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I got this Blacks booktest after buying War of the Worlds and Dracula. I was really dissapointed with it Im afraid. Its a shame it doesn't work on a similar principle to the others
Reuben Dunn
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Quote:
On 2008-11-17 17:33, Eric Samuels wrote:
Just caught your silmuntaneous post, Dick. Don't entirely disagree...I suspect the'other' Black's book to which you refer is "War Of The Worlds," and if so, on that we agree!


Which books then are better to use?
Good Thoughts.


Reuben Dunn


www.reubendunn.com
Andi Peters
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Quote:
On 2008-11-17 17:22, Dick Christian wrote:
Micromega123,

The use of a bookmark as suggested by Carolini is certainly an effective approach. If you thoroughly understand the method -- which is adequately described in the instructions -- script patter that suits your performing persona and devote just a few minutes to pre-show preparation you should have ample information to give you considerable flexibility in your presentation.

For Eric (a.k.a. Stan): yes, that's the book test to which I suspected he was referring. Unfortunately it, and one of their others, are two of the weakest of the many book tests produced/marketed by Black's Magic Group. I think Holmes was their first and, among its other shortcomings, they failed to credit the originator of the method from which it is "derived." The omission of attribution notwithstanding, the fact that the book provided -- while nicely produced -- is really only incidental to the effect itself and that, as Black and Cherry make clear, it will not withstand other than the most cursory handling/examination by an audience member -- a deficiency which is adequately addressed by Carolini's bookmark ploy -- still cause it to be listed (along with the other one I alluded to) near the bottom of the list of those I would recommend even though I HIGHLY recommend the basic effect which is still readily available in its original form and can be found in various later sources as well.

Sounds like you need to work on your routining if this one is near the bottom of your list. A bit of audience control and you've got yourself a miracle mate.
Dick Christian
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If you are still referring to the Sherlock Holmes Inductive Test, I stand by my previous comments. IMO the major deficiency with the test is that the book cannot be left in the hands of a spectator for any longer than necessary for him to note the page number. Since the only purpose of the book is to direct the spec's attention to the page number should they turn one or two pages in any direction they will notice that a block of pages are all numbered the same which immediately screams "TRICK BOOK" which should the last thing you want them to be aware of.

In a book test routine any time you hand the book to a spectator and immediately take it back you draw attention -- AND SUSPICION -- to the book. The attention should be on the performer, not on the book. As soon as the attention is on the book, the question in the minds of the audience becomes "can he do that with ANY book?" To subtly anticipate and answer that question the wise performer will use multiple books and only those which will withstand more than a cursory examination.

The second issue is that there are several other books on the market (e.g., one of the books provided with Larry Becker's Ultimate Flashback and The Harry Houdini Book Test -- also by Blacks Magic -- as well as several others that do exactly the same thing), so such a book is nothing new. The final factor is that you don't even need a specially printed book to do the same thing. The basic method is derived from David Hoy's Bold Book Test first published in his booklet The Bold and Subtle Miracles of Dr. Faust in 1963 and which uses two ungimmicked books. Josh Zandman's IBT (Impromptu Book Test) takes Hoy's test one step further to allow both ungimmicked books from Hoy's test to be "in play." So with just minimal audience management skills you don't need a specially printed book to accomplish the effect.

A book test routine involving multiple books, multiple methods and multiple audience participants has been one of the significant features of my mindreading act for nearly 20 years and hundreds of performances. Depending on the time available for the routine I may use as many as 10 different books (unsually only 4 and never more than 5 of which are gimmicked in any way) and any book I use must be able to withstand the closest scrutiny by audience members as I leave them in the hands of the audience for the duration of the routine (which can be from 3 to 8 minutes) and usually for the duration of the entire 40-60 minute performance.

Accordingly, IMO any book that will not withstand more than a cursory examination by an audience member is at best a "second tier" candidate for a book test and a book that is both unnecessary and unable to be examined without revealing its secret is near the bottom rung on my ladder and hardly qualifies as a "miracle."
Dick Christian
Chad C.
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I understand where you are coming from Dick. However, I will say that having performed with this and the Houdini book, as I do multiple shows and a few of the audience members are repeats. No heat is on the Sherlock Holmes book - ALL the heat is always on the book that you have the volunteer use to turn to the page that is called out, and that book is usually completely normal - or almost normal - like Dracula, where I divine an entire paragraph.

Your point is well taken that there are other ways to do it to force a page, but this let's you force the page with the volunteer choosing to stop anywhere and them getting to call out the page number.

The way I handle it is like this: I hand out the book to my volunteer on stage with me that will be used to do the actual revelation of a paragraph. Then, I pick up a random book "Holmes" and walk to the front row and hand it to someone and say, "Would you just open the book up somewhere in the middle? What page is that? Thank you so much!" Then I take the book and as I'm walking back on stage I say to the first volunteer, "Would you please turn to that page in your book."

All the heat is on their book, no one has EVER mentioned anything about the "Holmes" book and I leave them all sitting out after the performance.

That's been my experience with it and Houdini.

Chad
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