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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Books, Pamphlets & Lecture Notes » » Absolute Magic and Pure Effect (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Profile of jo
You either love him, or hate him... or so it seems. I read many threads here at the Café about Derren Brown and decided to check it out for myself.

Absolute Magic was my first buy from Derren. And it was great reading! Granted, it took a while to get accostomed to his pen-style, but I endured and in the end rushed out to get Pure Effect. I also suggested to my girlfriend to read Absolute Magic so that I could have someone to talk to about some of the ideas. Strong magic in the correct contextual setting I can relate to. "No more bad magic". "Let's elevate the art". And here is a good starting point. Absolute Magic provides a model with which to enhance your performance and make your magic more believable. Coupled with what Chuck Hickock has to say in Mentalism Inc regarding levels of believablity, you're stepping up your performance levels manyfold (or as much as you care to dare).

However, Pure Effect, for me, doesn't live up to the expectations that Absolute Magic caused. Derren describes card effects and some interesting sleights which makes me yet again assess the impact of focusing on what it is you want to achieve in magic. I have nothing against card magic, but it seems out of place here. But then again Pure Effect was written before Absolute Magic, I think.

But none the less, Absolute Magic, as I have said, will get you thinking and reviewing your own performance and motivations (I'm looking at an entire new show and format). It's a good read and a must for the serious thinker. But do have an open mind.

Pure Effect? I don't know what to think as yet. But there are some gems there that can be expanded and incorporated allowing your magic to be stronger. And that's what it's about!

Jo Smile
mike stevenson
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I prefer Absolute Magic as well, but nevertheless I feel that Pure Effect is very very good. Maybe because it might have been my first "theory based" book, and it was a nice change from the magic books I usually read. But I just really enjoyed it and thought it worthwhile.

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Profile of playzure
I think these books are more for advanced people but pure effect has a few nice card forces.
Zach Allen
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Profile of Zach Allen
The card material contained in Pure Effect is material that Derren first performed before moving on to mentalism. He is now completely focused on that aspect of magic, and I believe his "elevating the art" writings (I have not read Absolute Magic yet myself) deal more with the mentalism than the card magic. Just my two cents.

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Starlit Circles
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Profile of Neil
Bear in mind that in Absolute Magic, DB is describing a model for performance. He's not saying don't do card tricks. He's striving to produce "real magic" but that might not exclude absolutely every card trick. In fact he describes new emotional angles on presenting two common effects.
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Profile of invalidity
I have Pure Effect and it's a roaring good read. I really enjoyed Derren's writing style. Very chatty, and plenty of dry English wit. He has some very thought provoking suggestions for the presentation of magic and mentalism in it although most of the effects in in are not pure mentalism.

Come to think of it, many of the card effects probably aren't very practical for the majority of people but the book is still worth a look at, nonetheless. Maybe one day I'll actually get down to trying out the card effects for myself.
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Profile of Gordon
I'm about halfway through with Absolute Magic. I'm really enjoying it. So far, the highlight has been Brown's thinking about presenting the Ambitious Card. For me, it really underscored the difference between being clever, and being magically entertaining.

On a picky note, the production value of the book could be better. The paper, printing, and binding is OK, but not "library quality".
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