Looking for a Book Test

Instead of mentally projecting your mentalism thoughts, type them here.

Postby Gary Brown » 04/08/04 08:59 PM

In an antique expose book about psychics, I read about a book test used by some old phony spiritualists employed to fleece the faithful. In short, they had bookbinders manufacture a book in which every page was the same, though the page numbers ran consecutively. Thinking about it, it's a decent gaff from which one could get some mileage. Does anyone know of a commercially available effect employs this -- or a substantially similar -- principal?
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Postby Guest » 04/08/04 09:20 PM

make one at cafepress.com
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Postby Rennie » 04/09/04 07:01 AM

Originally posted by Gary Brown:
Does anyone know of a commercially available effect employs this -- or a substantially similar -- principal?
Hi Gary,
Yes the book is available as I have it at home and cannot remember whatit is called or if it is available. If you e mail me at rparcesepe@cs.com I will check it out tonight.
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Postby Guest » 04/09/04 09:53 AM

Good to see you around Gary!
Email me at: diegoresearch@aaol.com, I have some info, that may be of interest to you.
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Postby Guest » 04/09/04 10:57 AM

I work with a variety of book tests all the time, and although such a book could be useful, I would think it would have to be used in conjunction with other gaffed books.

One of the first things that volunteers think about is that the pages are all the same. However, if you acquired the books on the spot from a plant (to throw off suspicion), and if you were working onstage (so that other audience members couldn't immediately grab for the book to inspect it), and if you used other books beforehand that had different pages (to prove, by extension, that all the books had different pages), and if you had the volunteer set down the book and you confiscated it before you worked your miracle...then it could work reliably.

By the way, the same thing could be done with Ultimate Flashback by Larry Becker. He has a book in which all the pages are different, but the pagination of all the middle pages are the same--page 97, if I remember correctly. With that gaffe, you could ask one spectator to turn to any page in the middle of the (Ultimate Flashback) book, and when they call out "Page 97!", you say to the other spectator, "Turn to page 97 in that book." That's a miracle.

David Hoy's miscall method works in a similar manner, and can accomplish the same thing as a book with all the same pages. And my own book test, "Untitled Book Test," works in a similar manner, as does my book test, "The War and Peace Book Test," which uses Tolstoy's War and Peace.

IMHO, using a book that is gaffed with such an intuitively obvious method is problematic when such strong alternative methods exist for the exact same result.
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Postby Guest » 04/09/04 05:10 PM

It seems like it might be better to make a book (or three) in which every page was different, but each had a few of the same words in the same numeric positions, to be forced. For instance, the word "frightened" is the sixth word on the eleventh line of every page.

But I'm sure somebody must already make one of these?

- Jason Bay
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Postby opie » 04/09/04 06:34 PM

Martin Gardner already has a book out that has the same word in the same position at the beginning of every chapter....Everybody probably has a copy already.....opie
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Postby Guest » 04/09/04 07:32 PM

Yes opie, ungaffed books like the one you suggest are not hard to find. Try Harry Potter. That wasn't the question though.

I have a new theatre that I am renting. I think I might just do a show of just book tests, that would be kind of unusual, but I think it could interest a lot of librarians.
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Postby opie » 04/09/04 08:27 PM

A whole show of book tests? I think that would be boring enough to bore even librarians (who actually are quite sensual, at least some of the ones I have known)....and not at all into a lot of talk...

I just don't quite understand the relationship between long-winded and entertainment....

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Postby Guest » 04/10/04 09:40 AM

Steve Dusheck has his "Famous Quotes" book that does what you ask. A lot of magicians do not like it BUT it is simple, direct AND effective when performed by an experienced performer.

PSIncerely Yours,
Paul Alberstat
AB Stagecraft
http://www.mindguy.com/store
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Postby Pete Biro » 04/10/04 10:24 AM

The best I have seen is THE MOTHER OF ALL BOOK TESTS... killer... KOs the audience. No dupe pages... I think it sells for $350 but for a worker that is a bargain for the effect.

I know one guy that makes maybe 100K a year with it doing corporate shows.
Stay tooned.
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Postby Steve V » 04/10/04 02:35 PM

If you go to the Magictalk archieves and look for a post from Red Devil under book tests he made a very interesting post on current books that have certain attributes that are of value. Red Devil is an English Teacher and the info he has is amazing.
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Postby Kim » 04/11/04 06:30 AM

Originally posted by Steve V:
If you go to the Magictalk archieves and look for a post from Red Devil under book tests he made a very interesting post on current books that have certain attributes that are of value. Red Devil is an English Teacher and the info he has is amazing.
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I did this but had no luck.
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Postby Guest » 04/11/04 08:52 AM

I found the book I was talking about at home. It is titled " The Sherlock Holmes Force Book "A limited edition of 500 copies and put out by Magico Magazine in 1979.The book that comes with it is very nice and titled "The Hound of the Baskervilles " all the pages are the same and there are 2 force words one on the left page and one on the right page. I believe the purchase price for this book was $65.00.
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Postby Kim » 04/11/04 10:59 AM

There were actually several of those books put out.I dont know how many for sure, but I have 2 different ones,and I believe there was at least a 3rd out put out also.
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Postby Anthony Blake » 04/11/04 01:21 PM

Rennie...

The Sherlock Holmes force book may still be available... Earth's Largest Magic Shop is showing a copy available in its catalog: Book Test

One of the more infamous force books put out was Al Mann's "Houdini Bible" which is fashioned after the Thayer Bible, based on turn of the century spiritualist bibles... the Mann Bible contains four pages within two forcing sections with a red ribbon to separate them... each section is composed of one page (different page each section) repeated many times...

"Houdini Bible's" come up for auction every once in a while on ebay and because of their rarity often fetch upwards of $300-$500... I purchased mine for my Mann collection, in still sealed condition, about a year ago for a very reasonable price...

Success!!!

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Postby Rennie » 04/12/04 06:39 AM

Tony,
I checked out the book and there is something different, I do know Larry Becker had nothing to do with the one I got.If I remember ( I am at work )my book did not have page numbers, seems weird but do not recall any. Well now I have something to do tonight.
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Postby Guest » 04/13/04 05:10 AM

Hi Gary,

You might like to check out the book tests made available by Larry Becker and Lee Earle.

Flashback come in a pack of two, and offers many possibilities.

The Ultimate Flashback sadly seems to be 'out of print'... I too would like to get hold of a set.

The new book 'Double Vision' is also a fabulous find for anybody who wants to do a book test...

Visit:
http://www.lee-earle.com/esp/
http://www.mentalismunlimited.com/

To add: Of course, you might like to check out Max Maven's Autome - a book test with an unprepared book.
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Postby Steve Bryant » 04/13/04 08:43 AM

Purchasing a book test is a pain in the pocketbook (or thereabouts), as many cost in excess of $100 and I can't recall EVER seeing an ad that described the effect. Fortunately, Chuck Hickok tips (with permission) the methods of several of the top titles in the field in his recent book, Mentalism, Incorporated. (As with many other magic props, it's almost impossible to know what the effect is without knowing the method, as there are often forking paths.) At the low $$ end but one of the very best book tests, Ian Rowland praises the Val Andrews Unfaked Book Test on his web site. Only $10 and you can use any book. Check Ian's site for contact info.
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Postby Bill Mullins » 04/13/04 12:04 PM

Originally posted by Kim:
I did this but had no luck.
http://www.cs.wisc.edu/~roy/magictalk-wisdom/discussions/max_maven_books.html
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Postby David Alexander » 04/14/04 07:37 PM

James Randi produced two hardbound force books. The first forces one word, the second, two. I believe they are quite rare as a flood destroyed much of the print run.

Irv Weiner put out the "Anywhere, Any Time, Any Book Book Test," (or something like that) for $50 some years ago. Cheap at the quality of the effect and what you got from Irv. Worth hunting up because Irv gave the timing of the presentation and the proper handling.

Richard Himber produced several "gimmicked" magazines, originally sold on the street, they were gimmicked by his friends, the editors. Months later, he was selling the 25 cent magazines for $6 or $10. Clever man. Al Mann counterfeited the Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine a few years before his death in better quality paper than the original.
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Postby opie » 04/14/04 07:48 PM

Steve: There is no need for your concern...If you can find a copy of Christopher's Magic Book, there are six book tests in it. I paid a half buck for the book (paper back) at a garage sale...opie
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Postby Guest » 04/14/04 11:19 PM

Staying with low-cost book tests, some of the best I have come across are in Corinda's 13-steps and TA Water's Mind, Myth & Magic.

Also, the Silver Bullet gimmick as provided by Lee Earle seems to be a hot favourite... Although I have not yet used one myself.
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Postby Guest » 04/16/04 12:08 PM

The Humber magazine test has not been available for a long time BUT Jack Dean's "Fragments" is not a bad alternative to use with a readers digest.
PSIncerely Yours,
Paul Alberstat
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Postby Guest » 04/16/04 01:31 PM

If you cannot afford the expensive fake books there is a very fine substitute by Greer Marechal in his book "Magic for the Millions"

The person who got the most out of a book test was Chan Canasta. It was just about the only trick he did which did not use cards. Sensational. People would talk about it for weeks afterwards. I heard them.
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Postby Nicholas Carifo » 05/06/04 03:21 AM

With the proliferation of Book Tests in recent years, this may sound boring to many of the purists, psychics, and mentalists out there, but I used to regulary use a great book test marketed by Meir Yedid called "The W.O.W. Book Test".

It is two ungaffed books with simple, ingeniously gaffed dust jackets. Simple and straight to the point. Once you get the method down, it is almost failproof... allowing you to use your whole mind to work on PRESENTATION and ENTERTAINMENT.

Check Meir Yedid's site for more info...
www.mymagic.com


Hopefully he still markets it.

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Postby Guest » 05/09/04 03:01 AM

MY throw away book test is another cheap alternative to an ungimmicked book test that truly does do what it is supposed to do with no mess, no fuss, no memory work and they can keep the book at the end of the effect. It is in print in "Can you keep a secret?".

PSIncerely Yours,
Paul Alberstat
AB Stagecraft
http://www.mindguy.com/store
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Postby Guest » 05/09/04 06:34 AM

I second Paul's method from his book. It is clever and the principle will open your mind to more ideas.
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Postby Danny Archer » 06/02/04 03:12 PM

Becker and Earle are releasing a new version of Flashback that should be a winner!

For info on the upcoming MINDvention (mentalism convention), please visit lvmi.net
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Postby Guest » 06/02/04 04:10 PM

There are many force books & methodologies on the market, ranging in price from a few dollars to many hundreds. In fact, we used to have a section of force books in our store; but there are now only a few left.

I'll also second the recommendation of the Hoy test, called "The Bold Book Test," and described in "The Bold & Subtle Miracles of Dr. Faust." It can be done impromtu w/ any book.

I'm also personally partial to Brain Echo, which I've done professionally hundreds of times to great effect. I don't believe I've ever seen anyone else perform it. Check out the routine "Mental Echo" by Dr. Jaks & J.G. Thompson in the latter's "Miracle Makers."

Regarding the Sherlock Holmes force books. They were published by Magico in a limited edition. One was simply called "The Sherlock Holmes Force Book" and the cover title was "Hound of the Baskervilles." The other was called "TELEMENTARY, DR. WATSON," and the title was "Sign of the Four" (w/ routine by Larry Becker). I believe there was a third Sherlock Holmes force book published by Magico as well. We've offered the first two for sale a number of times & in fact consigned one to auction, where it fetched several times our price <g>.

Best,
Michael Canick
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Postby Guest » 06/02/04 04:17 PM

P.S. My problem w/ the Flashback series (at least the earlier incarnations) was that the gaffed books lacked a title page and/or copyright page. Since the covers were taken from actual published books, I was able to get those books & carefully tape in the missing page(s). Thanks go to Eugene Burger for this suggestion.
Michael
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Postby Guest » 06/03/04 03:30 AM

I did see Paul mention Jack Dean's name in this thread, but noone has mentioned his book (actually Fragments is for a magazine) test called "Predictation". It's the ultimate. A book is chosen out of 5 COMPLETELY UNGIMMICKED paperback books, the page number is completely a random choice (random choices are made using BIG cards 12" by 12" cards with random number spread over them, and 12" by 12" envelopes with little windows to show a few numbers), and the line is even chosen the same way. You've predicted in advance (Jack recommended a tape recorded prediction, but I always used a written one) what that line would say. Keep in mind that the book chosen is not gimmicked in any way at all. I don't know how many of these he made, but I have one, and cherish it. There was a lot of thought and work put into this effect.

Steve Thomas
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Postby Guest » 06/04/04 11:38 AM

I toss in my two-cents worth...

I've used the INSIGHT system (with the Fowler Force Bags) for several years now with tremendous success. I'll also encourage you to look at Cassidy's Mentalism CD. There are several excellent BT routines found therein as well.

For me, finding a BT that is simple to do, don't require all kinds of build-up and that's straight to the point, ain't easy! That's why I've kept with the same thing for so long... it works!

BTW... I've used both, Ted Lesley's Telephone Directory as well as the over the phone variant suggested in the Lewis Jones' book "Person to Person"... you may want to take a peek at those as well. I've gotten some great mileage out of them. Especially when using the Lesley routine in the club act and featuring the Jones version during a local radio interview.
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Postby Guest » 06/09/04 04:02 PM

Why not save some $$ and and make your own book test?

Three books the same size, they have the same cover, two other books equally the same size different covers, switch covers on two of the identical books and presto, three different books for more than a few differnt tests. Harlands Play Big, pack small DVD on mentalism has a rather good routine that can be used, I thouhgt the 1089 that he used while basic, certainly has possiblities. Richard Bush's Peek Performance has an excellent book test in it as does Annemann.

Ive got both Ultimate Flashback and Hidden Agenda, as well as the "More Europe for Less" that Becker and Earle did together. However I must confess that having a set of books that I spent 30 minutes putting together works a bit better. It helps that the covers on all of the books, both the original copies and the replacement covers are well used and well worn. They are more natural looking than the prestine condition of the commerically produced books.

The only draw back to this is that I don't dare do too many book tests, the punters can get tired of it rather easily.

Just my random thoughts on this late evening.

Regards
Reuben Dunn
Coventry England
www.magic-of-the-mind.com
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Postby Guest » 06/09/04 05:27 PM

Reuben, thanks for the suggested book test; there are many like that which can be made up....Do you have any good suggested patter/routine ideas? Most book tests seem rather boring to me...

opie
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Postby Guest » 08/02/04 05:44 AM

We just re-released Natural Force Books I in a printed edition, a few years back we released a handful of these as ebooks and they were well received. To explain them a little better Ill just say that with Natural Force Book I youll easily be able to perform book tests like Max Mavens Autome from Vol. 1 of his Videomind DVD series In fact this book came about in large part because of what Max taught in those DVDs It IS NOT a duplicate of his information - The idea of turning nearly any book into a force book was appealing, however the idea of searching books for commonalities seemed like it would be impossible or at the very least time consuming however while doing it a system was devised which helped in making nearly every book we opened a force book. Out of about 20 books we researched we were easily able to come up with 15 or 16 usable force books by changing the prediction, or as Max Maven recommended in Autome doing a simple drawing.

With this booklet you'll get a list of more than a dozen books, along with several suggestions for forcing the required pages, and a couple of routines.

As a bonus, youll receive our Canasta Re-Visited this is a book test type routine based on one of Canastas effect in which he would have audience members call up letters of the alphabet, after so many letter were called up, he and the audience would rearrange the letters to form a word then his prediction would be opened and the words would match, with our version a member of the audience calls out a three digit number ( this is truly a random number, no math is used to cut it down to the number you want. no stooge is used to assure it being the number you want, and there is no pre-show work the number is random and could be called out by anyone ) now you begin having letters of the alphabet called up to you as you write them on a board or pad. When the board/pad is filled with letter you and the audience begin searching the board ( like a giant word search game puzzle ) for any words that may have been formed randomly by the audience ( again the letters are called up randomly there are no stooges no pre-show work nothing is handed out to the audience they are simply asked to think of a letter and call it when you get to them ) as words are found they are circled and written in the margin now a member of the audience turns to the page number matching the three digit number previously called out by an audience member at the start of the effect and reads aloud the first three or four lines much to everyones surprise the words they formed match the words in the text on the page also randomly called out.

The booklet will be being released through Murphys and will be selling for around $20.00 if you're into book test this might be something worth looking into

Thanks

Ken
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