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John Kokot
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Of the following six Neal Scryer books, admittedly not his entire oeuvre, which one, if any, has the least number of card routines and the most amount of material that could be adapted to a close-up or a parlor venue?

Carnival of Secrets by Scryer + 7
Neal Scryer & Friends
Scryer’s 13
Scryer’s Band of Readers
Scryer’s Black & White
Strictly Scryer

Thank you.
MatthewSims
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I think that would be kind of hard to say, as each one is respective of its own and depends on what exactly your looking for.

Band of Readers for example is devoted to specifically for readings..

Scryer and Friends has a well rounded bit of everything. It's also a great place to find numerous works from different people.

Strictly Scryer is work specifically from Neil.

I'm not sure if you've ever read any of Neil's work. It's unique, and not for everyone. Some things I like of his, others not so much. I guess that's the way with everything though Smile

If you've never read any of his work, my recommendation would be Scryer and Friends. It's a nice introduction to his material as it has lots of his own work in it, but also several works from other people that is more "traditional" mentalism if you decide Neil's work is not for you.

Also, try to approach things with an open mind.

I know you said you're not looking for card material, but many things you read in terms of "effect" can be adapted to other things instead of cards.

A quick example might be...

Spectator picks a card from a shuffled deck, seals it in envelope. You then proceed to hold the envelope up to your forehead and get impressions of the color, suit, and finally value. You remove the card to show that you are correct.

Another way to perform this might be to have the spectator write the name of a loved one on a billet, and then seal inside of an envelope. You then hold the envelope to your forehead and get impressions of the sex, age, and then finally reveal the name.

In both examples, the method is the same, W*nd*w envelope. You are just adapting the workings of the method and creating a new presentational twist.

That's half the fun for me, and what keeps me coming back to the same old books over and over again. I always discover a new way to present something every time I read Annemann, Cassidy or Corinda. I've never understood why someone would want to perform an effect out of a book the exact way it is read. (Not saying you are. None of this is directed to you. I'm just speaking in general terms).

Hope I didn't ramble too much. I hope this helps.


Matthew
tincture
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I enjoyed the & Friends book very much. Some great contributions in those pages and it's a lot like a collected work of magazine articles from days gone by.
maggus
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I have a similar question, so I use this topic to ask.
I've never read a book from Neal Scryer, basically because the prices are very high. However, due to the high amount of good comments I read from him, I decided to buy some of them to get introduced to his work and thinking.
However... which one do I buy?
I'm a mentalist, mainly performing on parlor (sometimes close-up) and I try to avoid using cards as much as possible.
Any recommendation?
SamNJ
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The Black and White books contain some really wonderful material. They are now available together in a single volume. I would purchase that dual volume first.
Amirá
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In my opinion, it really depends in your style as performer. It is no secret that Neal´s work is simple in terms of methodology, solidly enough to let the performer to print his own personal character. Leads toward psychic themes but the creative "psychological" performer can find ways to fit more his approach to Mentalism.


I must say that if you want to read a general view in Scryer´s mind (for pure entertainers but also readers) get the "Black & White" . If you are not interested in the psychic readings get "Scryer & Friends".

I am sure that you enjoy the material on those books, you will make more gigs just for the sake to get the money to get the other books. They are all fabulous sources of inspiration.


Best
Pablo
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George Hunter
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I have read the Black and White book, and the Carnival of Secrets. To say that Scryer's books "lead toward psychic themes" is a vast understatement. These two books are full bore into a wide range of New Age spiritualities and much more--including communicating with the dead and other nineteenth century psychic themes.

The books do teach some effects that the less venturesome among us can perform; some of those are interesting variations on several classical methods. But Scryer's Black and White leads the reader eventually into an eclectic paradigm of Cosmic Reality, and that realm is regarded as the theater of REAL mentalism. The book ends with a threat: one who copies or pirates the book will receive "bad karma."

George
Amirá
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Quote:
On Dec 10, 2014, George Hunter wrote:
I have read the Black and White book, and the Carnival of Secrets. To say that Scryer's books "lead toward psychic themes" is a vast understatement.
George



Sorry George but that isn't correct. Check the material again and you can find some pieces that are written using "psychological" themes. Maybe my statement wasnt correctly phrased, but I was refering to most of the material as "psychic", but not all.


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Pablo
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www.mentalismcenter.com

Arkanosophy: The Boutique for Mystery Performers
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George Hunter
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Amira:

Thanks for your response.

George
Heywood
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The four truths of Scryer's work:

-The performers will always learn more.
-Amateurs risk improving.
-The philosophers will be lost.
-Bad Karma is in fact a pseudonym for Neil’s Lawyer.
Isper
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All of them have card effects. All of the contain close-up and parlor. Thow the bones, roll a die, take a chance, you will not lose.
Martin Pulman
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I have been disappointed with most of the Scryer material I have read. I thought it was thin stuff, presented with an air of pseudo-profundity, with an oddly unsophisticated idea of sophistication; so many roses were being presented to "ladies" and "royalty" I started to imagine the psychic readings were taking place in a Ferrero Rocher ad.

I am, however, not a fan of the school of mentalism as "real" psychic reading, so those more inclined in that direction may love this material.

For me personally, the Scryer books have proven to be the emperor's new clothes.
TimonK
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You'd probably be looking at Scryer & friends or Scryer's 13. You're likely bound to find something to your liking in the former one due to its sheer size, while personally I found Scryer's 13 to accomodate two or three really strong parlour routines.
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George Hunter
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Heywood:

In response to "Bad Karma is in fact a pseudonym for Neil’s Lawyer," consider the following.

1. In the sentence that follows that warning, Richard Webster assures us, "Neal is a strong believer in karma." That would suggest that the previous sentence is NOT meant as a mere metaphor.

2. If a lawyer became involved, it would have to be Webster's lawyer, since he is the actual author.

George
hashtagmagic
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Quote:
On Dec 11, 2014, Martin Pulman wrote:
I have been disappointed with most of the Scryer material I have read. I thought it was thin stuff, presented with an air of pseudo-profundity, with an oddly unsophisticated idea of sophistication; so many roses were being presented to "ladies" and "royalty" I started to imagine the psychic readings were taking place in a Ferrero Rocher ad.

I am, however, not a fan of the school of mentalism as "real" psychic reading, so those more inclined in that direction may love this material.

For me personally, the Scryer books have proven to be the emperor's new clothes.


Really? I'm a bit disappointed. I wonder why his products are so hyped up?
Martin Pulman
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Quote:
On Dec 11, 2014, hashtagmagic wrote:


Quote:
Really? I'm a bit disappointed. I wonder why his products are so hyped up?


I think it may be one of those times when if people connect with the material, they really connect with it-in an almost religious way.

Personally, I'm always just a little wary when I smell incense in the air.

I didn't feel the material was either inspired or inspiring, but obviously others have the polar opposite opinion.
RedDevil
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Martin,

Have you performed his stuff to see the audience reaction? I don't mean this in a sarcastic or debating type way because I totally get if people don't like a book or a person's work, they just don't. Why convince them?

What I am saying is really more of a question to all of us: do we read a person's stuff and judge it by our reaction to the manuscript, description, tone, or themes? And could this be incomplete if we do?

We have all bought effects in which on first impression we thought "Awesome!" (that's for Bob C), but then found out they don't perform quite as well as they read. And I suspect that it is also likely the opposite also happens a lot: that some effects don't read well, but audiences love them.

Anyways, this isn't really directed to your dislike of Scryer at all, and I am in no way critiquing your thinking personally (I know you do your homework). But it just made me think a little, so I thought I would ask for a more general discussion that may not belong in this thread. A line from an email I got a few months ago from a highly respected pro peer on this board keeps ringing in my eyes: "Opinions don't matter; audience reactions do." Is this the ultimate test?

(It's hard to judge tone from a post, but this was written in a demeanor like I was sharing a beer with you and jamming on some philosophy)
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Martin Pulman
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RedDevil,

I haven't performed any of the material in Neal Scryer's books, and I never would. I found most of it thin, unoriginal and, in a lot of cases, somewhat ethically dubious. Most of it I wouldn't actually categorise as mentalism, but I don't want to open up that can of worms again Smile

I am aware, however, that I appear to be in a definite minority, so I would always recommend people make up their own minds.
RedDevil
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I have only read the black book, but I really like the simple Living and Dead test (very Larry Beckerish to me). The "dreams" effect takes t*&e m*&^%$#T*n to a new level, and I really, really like the idea of the reveal (though I could think of other themes than dreams to use for the reveal). And P#T&* and the Paper Bag I thought was a very nice use of the principle involved.

All the ritual and cleansing stuff is not for me at all, but that is just a performance-character issue.
RedDevil's 5th Book of Close-Up Mentalism is here...
Pre-Order "FAUXLOGICAL" at www.reddevilmentalism.com

F-F-U-L-Ri-F-F-Li-R-U-F-F
Darrell Mac
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Martin, you have made you point. And if this type of material does not intrest you, as that you have stated your opinion. (which you are entitled to)
There's no need to be abusive. For a place that is suppose to be helping each-other there seems to be a lot of bashing of the craft. (If it's not for you then don't study it) I think I might be taking a break from this place for awhile. For those of you who have been very helpful to me I am thankful.
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