Other "Classic" Mentalist Books

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Other "Classic" Mentalist Books

Postby Guest » April 25th, 2005, 4:27 am

Other "Classic" Mentalist Books

I understand that in order to learn mentalist magic, the magician must first read the 13 Steps to Mentalism by Tony Corinda and Practical Mental Magic by Ted Annemann. These two basic, but supposely dated, mentalist books are important to a mentalist because they teach the basics that you will need as a mentalist. Once these two books have been read and understood then what is the next important mentalist book to read?
I keep hearing about Mind, Myth & Magick by TA Waters, that this book is the next mentalist classic to read because it is more advanced than the 13 Steps to Mentalism or Practical Mental Magic.
I want to learn more about mentalism but I have too many other types of magic books now and I can't afford to buy 10 or 20 more mentalist books. There are just too many mentalist books out there. Which "mentalist classic" books will I really use and which ones do I really need to buy?

I have these two:
13 Steps to Mentalism - Tony Corinda - Mentalist Classic
Practical Mental Magic - Ted Annemann - Mentalist Classic
What Next???

There are so many mentalist authors and books that I am not sure where to turn to next. Here is where I am confused, now after these three mentalist classics, what are the next "Mentalist Classics" that a mentalist magician must read?

Mind, Myth & Magick - T.A. Waters?
Anything and everything written by Max Maven, Steve Banachek, Derren Brown and Richard Osterlind?
Prism: The Color Series of Mentalism by Max Maven?
7 Deceptions by Luke Jermay?
Absolute Magic by Derren Brown or Pure Effect by Derren Brown?
Psychological Subtleties by Steve Banachek?
Gems of Mental Magic by Authur Buckley?
The Handbook of Mental Magic by Marvyn Kaye?
The Mental Mysteries and Other Writings by William W. Larsen, Sr.?

Thank you for your advice and help.



Re: Other "Classic" Mentalist Books

Postby Guest » April 25th, 2005, 11:19 am

"Mental Magic", by Al Baker. This is certainly a cornerstone of any good library. You can find it, and Baker's other material, in one large volume from Todd Carr. Originally published by Carl Waring Jones in 1944, I think it was. Certainly worth the investment in whatever form you find it...

Best, PSC


Re: Other "Classic" Mentalist Books

Postby Guest » April 25th, 2005, 12:06 pm

While just a tad juvenile, Marvin Kaye's Stein and Day Handbook of Mental Magic is a great introduction to someone with no experience in the field whatsoever. The classic Annemann book, at heart, is really just a book of tricks clumped together by category (not that there isn't a lot of gold to be found) whereas Kaye's book offers an overview of the various phenomena you're trying to recreate as well as the various ways in which the stuff can be presented to an audience. What you get are the very basic building blocks that constitute the classic effects of modern mentalism; as I say a great place to start for the absolute beginner.

For a beginner who'd rather start his own church than put on a show, get Karl Fulves' Confessions of a Psychic and Further Confessions of a Psychic . Both books are really funny and have more genuine-seeming material (as opposed to magic-tricky stuff) than the Anneman and Corinda books combined. It helps, though, if instead of morals you have "guidelines."


Re: Other "Classic" Mentalist Books

Postby Guest » April 25th, 2005, 12:21 pm

It depends what you are trying to do.
Find out about?
Learn a routine?
Close up?
Convince people you have psychic abilities?
Work out how a particular performer does some of his tricks?
Add a mental routine into your act?
Learn something surefire, or something psychological you are willing to take risks with?

Pretty much all of the books mentioned by you - and the other contributors - are good.
I'd add Bob Cassidy's Artful Mentalism.

Erik Hemming
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Re: Other "Classic" Mentalist Books

Postby Erik Hemming » April 25th, 2005, 12:39 pm


I think the best advice on this topic is probably to be guided by your own choices and interests. You seem to have a fairly clear idea of what is out there. Annemann and Corrinda are GREAT places to start, and once you have plowed through those texts, and played with them, and begun to apply and perfect aspects of them that suit you, your choices will lead you on to other substantial texts.

That being said....

Bob Cassidy has a thorough, thoughtful, wonderful essay on this subject on his site. The essay is on the protected side, (For Mentalists Only) but folks sufficiently down the road to need the essay will find their way in without a problem.

His web site is here:
The Crow\'s Nest

The essay is in the section called "The Library."

Hope your trek is a productive one....


Brian Marks
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Re: Other "Classic" Mentalist Books

Postby Brian Marks » April 25th, 2005, 2:26 pm

I highly recommend Prism & Verbal Control by Max Maven. There are enough routines to come up with a whole act. Despite being written in the 1970's could not be more relevent. As I go through Prism this week I have gotten 2 routines that I am working on.


Re: Other "Classic" Mentalist Books

Postby Guest » April 25th, 2005, 6:48 pm

I'm not buying books just to buy books but I want to learn more and books are the only way I have to learn. Aren't there several other classical mentalism books that SHOULD be read after the 13 Steps to Mentalism and Practical Mental Magic? It seems like after these two books mentalists go off into different directions...

I want to thank everybody for their advice and help. There are just so many classical mentalist books out there that I'm not sure which one to purchase. I wish that I could just sit down and go through several of the new popular mentalist books but that is not possible. That would probably be the best way to make a decision but I'm still not sure which direction to take.

Thanks everyone.



Re: Other "Classic" Mentalist Books

Postby Guest » April 28th, 2005, 5:13 am


I would suggest the works of Bob Cassidy too... May be you could look at his book Art of Mentalism, which is now back in print.

Again, as Gordon says, a visit to mastermindreader.com would surely help... :-)

One of those die-hard Cassidy fans,

A related note: If you order anything from Bob, make sure you have accumulated a hefty share of patience... With Bob, things will come, but more than a little delayed :-)

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Barefoot Boy
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Re: Other "Classic" Mentalist Books

Postby Barefoot Boy » November 25th, 2009, 11:54 pm

I got a very sincere mail from somebody here who wanted to know what my top 5 fav. books are. I'm asuming he means only magic related books and not personal books, like novels and such.

My first choice would ALWAYS be Corinda's 13 Steps to Mentalism! One needs no other book at all on the subject! There is some good tricks and treasures in the book however THAT is not its greatest strength. If one reads between the lines with Corinda, one will obtain a VERY well rounded education about what being a Thought Reader is supposed to be about! The book is humourous, intelligently written and is THE best book on the topic. Period!

Now, you'll need some material, Annemanns Practical Mental Effects is my second choice. Also quite an educational book but filled with direct and strong mental tests that continue to play well even today! With a wide range of contributors, a Mentalist can create several acts from the material in these two books alone.

3rd, I would suggest the color (his spelling) series on Mentalism written by Max Maven. Recently, it has been released as a hardcover book known as PRISM! Although a foundation of Mentalism is required for this particular work, it provides the perfect balance between REALLY strong material and Terrific Advice as to the correct mindset of a Mentalist! DON'T underestimate this book! It is, with all due respect, the best Phil G. has ever written. (And he is a tremendously creative individual!)

Now you need a book by one of my Fav. people on the planet... Go out and buy THE AMAZING WORLD of Kreskin. Clearly no effects are explained here but the information between the lines can only be obtained from this book! Kreskin is one of my idols and his work even today keeps Mentalism the Art that I think it should be!

Finally, Dunninger's Secrets! Similar in style to the Kreskin book above, it is a must read for anyone who needs to know what being a Mentalist is all about!!

Those are my top five Mentalism books. Several others should be considered (Al Koran, Lee Earle, Cassidy, etc.) but all you really need are the ones I've mentioned.
Outward sunshine; Inward joy,
Blessings on thee, Barefoot Boy.

Ted M
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Re: Other "Classic" Mentalist Books

Postby Ted M » November 26th, 2009, 1:10 pm

Whatever else you choose to do, obtain and study Verbal Control: A Treatise on the Under-explored Art of Equivoque by Phil Goldstein/Max Maven. Equivoque is a foundational tool for the mentalist, so you will find never-ending applications for the practical techniques described here.

It's $5 at H&R Magic Books:

http://www.magicbookshop.com/product_in ... ts_id=1097

You're welcome.

Dick Christian
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Re: Other "Classic" Mentalist Books

Postby Dick Christian » November 27th, 2009, 11:41 am

While the works of Corinda, Annemann and Maven others have mentioned should certainly be on any serious mentalist's reading list they are probably not the ones that should be at the top of the list. The list suggested by one of the top mentalists, Bob Cassidy, can be found in his "The Thirty-Nine Steps: A Mentalist's Library of Essential Works" which is part of his larger "Fundamentals, A Guidebook to Professional Mentalism" which is available from www.Lybrary.com. "The Thirty-Nine Steps" extract is available FOR FREE from the same source.

As an "anonymous" poster suggested earlier, I would add the Marvin Kaye book to Cassidy's list.
Dick Christian

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Re: Other "Classic" Mentalist Books

Postby Mark.Lewis » November 27th, 2009, 1:12 pm

You know I think the work by Karl Fulves on mentalism deserves a place somewhere. I have always been a great believer in beginner's books. That is often where the most practical stuff lies. The more advanced a book often the more twaddle there is in it.

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Re: Other "Classic" Mentalist Books

Postby Dick Christian » November 28th, 2009, 6:55 am

Fulves' "Self Working Mental Magic" is, as Mark suggests, another beginnier book that certainly deserves to be added to the list. In addition Fulves created or contributed to a number of mental effects, including book tests, that appeared in other sources.

I'm sure that if Cassidy were to update his list he would add Banachek's "Psychological Subtleties 2 and 3," but they were written long after he published "The Thirty-Nine Steps."
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Re: Other "Classic" Mentalist Books

Postby Mark.Lewis » November 28th, 2009, 7:18 am

Karl Fulves also had a book on number magic which could well be classified as mentalism. Incidentally I havc never believed in the daft concept of "mental magic" being in a different classification from "mentalism". Mentalism is bloody mentalism and has been for the last 150 years or so until all the daft people from the Psychic Entertainers Association came along and decided to call it something else.

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