What is the most deceptive Book Test?

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

Postby Guest » 01/03/07 09:17 PM

Hi. I want to add a Book Test to my routine and would like your opinions on which one is the most entertaining and deceptive. Price is no issue. Happy New Year to all!

Greg300
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Postby Guest » 01/04/07 03:00 AM

boring answer - but in part it depends on your routine - stage v close up; magic v mental magic v mentalism.
The best tool depends on what you want to achieve!

But there are some damn good ones out there...
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Postby Guest » 01/04/07 11:10 AM

A Book Test, like any other effect in Mentalsim, is completely dependent on the personality of the performer.

Al Koran had a simple and direct method that he scored well with, but he was Al Koran.

David Hoy had a ballsey version, but he was David Hoy. It is rarely the prop or the method that makes or breaks the effect, but the performer. Focus more on developing a strong and likeable performing persona. When you have that, methodology will become less important.
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Postby Guest » 01/04/07 11:18 AM

I agree with the prior posts; it depends on how and where you want to use it. That being said, a very good stage/platform routine can be found in Chuck Hickok's books, using different book tests.
Bob Taxin
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Postby Guest » 01/04/07 11:23 AM

Greg300,

To add to the (fine) advice you've already gotten...I'd suggest that you're looking at things backward. You're asking which is the best method, and then, presumably, you're going to tailor your act to the method.

It really should be the other way around. Decide for YOURSELF what would: A. fit your act and persona; B. fool YOU the most. That is: what would be a most entertaining, impressive, and logical book test to YOU? Something where a number is chosen from a phone book? A word from a dictionary? A sentence or paragraph from a famous work of literature? Something with a book furnished by the spectator him/herself? Maybe something from an atlas, a travel guide, or a thesaurus?

If you can decide what you want to accomplish, and what the conditions must be, chances are you can find a method to do it, and people here can undoubtedly help.

ESPECIALLY if money is no object. :-)

--Josh
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Postby Fred Zimmerman » 01/04/07 03:20 PM

My major concern about book tests is the "WHY" of them.

I think if you can find a good "why" for doing them, apart from "simply because I can," then it doesn't matter what version you use.

If you do it well, for a reason that resonates with the audience, pick a book test, any book test...

Fred Zimmerman
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Postby Guest » 01/04/07 11:08 PM

Ok. Thanks for the kind advice. What I want are specially printed books where when I know the page number I will know the word on a certain line or maybe even more information about what is on the page. I want the page to not be forced, and the book to do all the work, so I can concentrate on my performance, which I do realize is the most important thing.

I know there are many systems out there to pull this off. I want it simple and direct. A spectator names a number and goes to the page. From that number or maybe a little fishing I would like to know a word or phrases on that page.

Thanks to all..
Greg300
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Postby Guest » 01/04/07 11:14 PM

The method of the test is unimportant. The important things are:
1) justifying a book test.
2) presentation of the book test
3) making it look like you read their minds instead of just guessing a word.

There is a big difference between guessing a word and reading thoughts.
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Postby Fred Zimmerman » 01/05/07 09:46 AM

Here'a a more logistical answer to the initial question, rather than philosophical.

I like to use the Hoy version, with some embellishments. You can use any books (almost), and allows you to focus more on the specific time, place, and theme of the performance.

I guess this maps back to where, when, and why you'd do a book test in the first place. That's why I like Hoy - it's totally adaptable.

Fred Zimmerman
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Postby Guest » 01/05/07 11:50 AM

Man, get the Larry Becker European Travel Guide book test. I forget the marketed name of the effect, but it's around $100 and you can tell them tons of information about any page they're looking at. The book looks like a real pocket travel guide and there is nothing to hide. They can look through it all they want. Nothing suspicious.
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Postby Guest » 01/05/07 04:33 PM

Hunt up the Irv Weiner "Any Time,Anywhere, Any Book" book test. It was $50 when I bought it from the now-late Irv many years ago. It allowed you to use books brought by the spectators. Works great and Irv gives you all the info necessary, including the presentation and the timing, which makes it even more useful.

Bob Cassidy's latest book has a nice method that is somewhat Chan Canasta-like. Takes practice and nerve, but most really good things in mentalism do.
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Postby Guest » 01/07/07 06:14 PM

If you simply buy a book test you have one effect, and you are going to have to bring that book with you to your shows, which could be construed as suspicious or not, depending on how you perform. I think your best bet would be to get a good book on mentalism which has an impromptu test explained, such as "The Artful Mentalism of Bob Cassidy". There is a very good book test in there, plus a ton of other great effects, and, most importantly, some excellent thinking on presentation and mentalism in general. Lots of bang for your buck.
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Postby Guest » 01/07/07 08:43 PM

Bedford,
I have Bob Cassidy's book.
Do you recall the name of the Book Test? I have not read the entire thing and it is LOADED with stuff.
Just thought you might be able to help me locate it quicker.

Amazing book.
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Postby Guest » 01/08/07 02:31 PM

Travis:

It is called the Monserrat/Cassidy Booktest. You can find it on page 94. It is very easy to do, but don't let that throw you. It plays very well for audiences. I have used it while working a citywalk here in Louisville. I was outside a Borders book store and specs would come out with a book and ask me to do something. It knocks them over.
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Postby Timothy Hyde » 01/08/07 03:23 PM

Originally posted by Travis Winkler:
Man, get the Larry Becker European Travel Guide book test. They can look through it all they want. Nothing suspicious.
What, apart from the instructions?

Timothy

PS. I actualy like the book and use it in my luxury cruise ship work.
The Secret Notebooks of Mr Hyde - Vol 1 & 2 - http://www.MagicCoach.com
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Postby Guest » 01/08/07 03:36 PM

Nice. I forgot they were actually a part of the printed book.
Funny.

And Bedford, thanks!
Going to read it right now.
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Postby Guest » 01/18/07 06:47 AM

I will tell you of a few good gimmicked book tests that are out there currently. I suggest you learn a good riffle force test and the Hoy test as well, but that is not what you asked for.

First up we have Double vision. This is the Larry Becker test that is made to look like a travel guide. Yes the instructions are bound in the book, but I have never had anyone notice or even care about this. Don't let them take the book home and you have no real worries. Knowing the page number is not neccessary but can be used for additional effect.

Next up is MOAB. The entire idea of this is the spectator opens the book and just looks at the word. Nothing more, nothing less. You reveal the word to them. Nothing more, nothing less. One question must be answered to do this, but it is a small and insignificant one when phrased right.

Last is Harvey Berg's book test Ne Plus Ultra. I have no experience with this item and can only suggest you ask someone who has used it for a real review. As I understand it, the test is such that you reveal information that they are reading on the page they chose. No page number necessary. This is a revamping and improvment on Harvey's Final Exam which is an excellent test in its own right.

There are several others out there that I am not familiar with, are not very good, or are rip-offs of someone else's work. I either cannot or will not discuss those products.

I hope this helps.

Samuel
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Postby Guest » 01/18/07 07:02 AM

Don't forget one very important work on book tests, "Skullduggery" by Leo Boudreau. Very subtle method which is applicable to many variations. The book is a gold mine for ideas.

Best,
Chris....
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Postby Geno Munari » 01/20/07 07:44 PM

Without giving away the secret, electronics is the best test of all. Go figure.
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Postby Pete Biro » 01/20/07 11:48 PM

I have seen a couple of trade show workers use the MOAB and kill with it. No force page, punter opens book to ANY page and you nail the word.
Stay tooned.
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Postby Guest » 01/21/07 12:25 PM

Originally posted by Geno Munari:
Without giving away the secret, electronics is the best test of all. Go figure.
Electronics are great! Especially when you forget to replace the batteries.
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Postby Guest » 01/21/07 10:14 PM

We've had this discussion on the Forum several times. Simply put, electronics can be great, until they don't work, and then they aren't. Like most electronic devices, advance warning is not often given. You know when they fail, when they fail. If you're in front of 500 people expecting a mindreader and the device fails...too bad.

In my view, low tech is best for this sort of thing.
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Postby Guest » 01/21/07 11:23 PM

The most deceptive book test is the one you pay a fortune for with the expectation of being able to appear to be a mindreader without actually having to do any work.

Unfortunately, it's not your audience who is deceived.
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Postby Guest » 01/21/07 11:49 PM

Thanks for all the suggestions. One possibility is the Dynamite Book Test by Dennis Loomis. One version has 3 books and the other one book. Can anyone give me a review on this? I was told they were good but I have not seen them performed.
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Postby Guest » 01/22/07 12:34 AM

I'll ride along with Bill Palmer on his opinion. Chan Canasta did a fantastic book test with a freely chosen book fron a shelf of unprepared books. He used skill and a lot of nerve and got the public talking. I'm told Derren Brown does a nice version of this.

I remember reading once that Potter's Index had a huge listing of Book Tests...one of the categories with the greatest number of items listed. There are, literally, dozens and dozens. You could spend thousands of dollars collecting them, but you'd be better served by just buying one or two and learning them thoroughly instead of endlessly chasing the "best" method.
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Postby Guest » 01/22/07 05:48 AM

David, you are correct, the Potter Index lists 31 pages of book test references and then there are other categories with other type book tests as well, so probably close to about 40 to 50 pages of references. Why hasn't anybody written an 'Encyclopedia of Book Tests'? There are encyclopedias of all other kind of categories.

Best,
Chris....
www.lybrary.com
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Postby Guest » 01/22/07 06:15 AM

Originally posted by Chris Wasshuber:
Why hasn't anybody written an 'Encyclopedia of Book Tests'?
C. L. Boarde's MAINLY MENTAL Vol. 2 is such an attempt, though it was written in the 1950s, so it lacks some of the more recent approaches. But still a very useful collection of information and still in print in the Magico reprint edition.
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Postby Guest » 01/22/07 09:20 AM

magicscene, published here in the u.k, had a good list of book tests,complete woth pro, and con comments.it is in the november issue with Paul Daniels on the cover.

http://www.magicseen.co.uk/issue11.html
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Postby Guest » 01/22/07 10:42 AM

To throw my own horn into the mix and blow it, I have two really good ungimmicked book tests in Psychic Psingularities{I/} , one using [I]Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire , one by Jack Dean which uses three books and lots of subtleties. I found the Goblet of Fire presentation very useful in house parties where the book was already there.

John R
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Postby Guest » 01/22/07 04:05 PM

"Thanks for all the suggestions. One possibility is the Dynamite Book Test by Dennis Loomis. One version has 3 books and the other one book. Can anyone give me a review on this? I was told they were good but I have not seen them performed."

Greg,
If you are looking for a deceptive test, this will not meet that requirement. This test cannot be examined without giving away the gaff. This means that as soon as the volunteer opens the book, they know how it works. The audience does not, but every person you use this test with will know the work on it. I hope this helps.
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Postby Guest » 01/22/07 04:49 PM

Bill Goodwin, librarian of the Magic Castle, does a "Trick of the week" every week. A few months ago he did a book test, the name of which escapes me for the moment, from The Bold and Subtle Miracles of Dr. Faust. This totally killed me.

It can only be done for one person, but it requires no preparation whatsoever and is a masterpiece of psychology. Regardless of what method you choose for professional work, you should know this one!

IMO the tests based on MOAB, which -- if I understand Max Maven correctly -- are all derived from U.F. Grant's Dynabook test, are by far the best. The spectator opens the book to any page and thinks of any medium-length or longer word. The magician then divines the word. If the book test you do doesnt' allow the spectator to open to any page and think of any word, you really should check out MOAB.
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Postby Guest » 01/23/07 02:40 AM

The Dynabook test worked completely differently from MOAB. MOAB is based on Terri Rogers' "The Key."
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Postby Guest » 01/23/07 09:57 AM

Whoa Horsey!
Yes you are right , The Dynamite book test aint based on MOABT It's based on David Hoy's Dyna!
A magazine test which Dennis updated to a book test If you are a magician wantting to add a mental magic effect to your repertoire And don't mind at least one person from the audience knowing how it's done Dynamite would fill bill nicely
MOABT had no relation to the original KEY put out by Breese If it had a grandparent at all, it was True Yest ny UF Grant Brilliantly upgraded from a so so magazine test to brilliant "near perfect book test" by Ted Karmilovich Jr, Marc Sky with input from the rest of the 13
After MOABT basically killed sales of the key, b ecause IMO the method was so much better The Key was improved to include
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Postby Guest » 01/23/07 09:59 AM

Whoa Horsey!
Yes you are right , The Dynamite book test aint based on MOABT It's based on David Hoy's Dyna!
A magazine test which Dennis updated to a book test If you are a magician wantting to add a mental magic effect to your repertoire And don't mind at least one person from the audience knowing how it's done Dynamite would fill bill nicely
MOABT had no relation to the original KEY put out by Breese If it had a grandparent at all, it was True Yest ny UF Grant Brilliantly upgraded from a so so magazine test to brilliant "near perfect book test" by Ted Karmilovich Jr, Marc Sky with input from the rest of the 13
After MOABT basically killed sales of the key, b ecause IMO the method was so much better The Key was improved to include a MOABT like method as well as the original method So if anything was the basis it was MOABT
from
Ford
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Postby Guest » 01/23/07 12:16 PM

Thanks for clearing that up.
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Postby Guest » 01/23/07 07:05 PM

I have to say though that, in my opinion, the addition of the U F Grant test to The Key did not enhance it. In fact, I found the books to be virtually unuseable in my area due to some problems with the vocabulary of the people I was performing for. Many of the words either were too many (owners should understand what I mean here) or incomprehensible to the audience. What can I say, some people just don't know what juxstaposition means. MOAB is much better for me. Much easier to visualize and more familiar verbiage.
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Postby Guest » 01/23/07 08:01 PM

While famiar with the Key and it's methoology, I never owned one So it's hard to comment on the "words"
I do know, however, that a lot of time and effort went in to the composition of MOABT and word selection
from
Ford
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Postby Guest » 01/23/07 08:44 PM

I have used the original version of The Key in numerous shows almost since it was released and found it works just fine. While I have the second version, I have not yet used it in professional performance.
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Postby Guest » 01/24/07 10:17 AM

Bear in mind that I am not talking about the original The Key. I am talking about the UF Grant principle in The Master Key. The Key was and still is a great test and a wonderfully thought out idea. The Master Key resulted in too much crammed between two covers.

Just my opinion though.
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Postby Guest » 01/24/07 10:54 AM

Sam-
I've used the "Master Key" with great success for years. However, I only use half of the book, the aspect which was in the original "The Key". I agree - there's too much crammed between two covers in the Master Key. Ironic that Martin Breese and Terri Rogers thought they'd be giving us more for our dough and (for some of us) we got less.
Bob Taxin
btaxin@mindspring.com
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