Peek Performances

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Peek Performances

Postby Guest » January 1st, 2002, 7:58 am

Does anyone have any strong opinions on this book? one way or another. I heard both good and not so good and I'd rather not plunk down $65 bucks until I have more info.
Happy New Year to all!!!!!!!!!

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Matthew Field
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Re: Peek Performances

Postby Matthew Field » January 1st, 2002, 8:18 am

"Peek Performances" is poorly written, poorly produced, poorly illustrated and overpriced.

It does contain some good material, but it is not worth the money, in my opinion. Find another magician, buy the book together, and you will have your money's worth.

Matt Field


Re: Peek Performances

Postby Guest » January 1st, 2002, 11:03 am

Personally, I think it is one of the best books on mentalism I have.

However, if you are it will only be of use to you if you are a serious mentalist. It is purposely written to be inaccessible to the casual reader or hobbyist, which is probably why it attracts such mixed reviews. Lots of people just don't get it - that's not a criticism of those who don't, by the way.

It is expensive, but for me it's like a fine wine I don't mind paying a bit extra for.


Re: Peek Performances

Postby Guest » January 1st, 2002, 12:07 pm

Gee, this is getting complicated. Production value doesn't concern me much if the material is powerful. I read somewhere you will "start your own religion" with this stuff!! Factoring in the hype in this statement, is the material very strong, and more importantly, is it workable in the real world or are there complex set-ups involved such as those in Theater of the Mind.
What do you think of Alain Nu's book, Mind Over Matter?


Re: Peek Performances

Postby Guest » January 2nd, 2002, 6:09 am

Peek Performances is a good book for the serious mentalist. If you are just a magician wanting a good mental effect it will be no good to you whatsoever. It is a book that cannot be read quickly and appreciated, it has to be read slowly and studied. It is written to appeal on a number of levels and has dry humour throughout.

I assume Matt doesn't go out and do a mental act, and certainly Mike Close doesn't who trashed it in Magic, completely misunderstanding some of the moves that a trial might have put right.

It is a serious study of one area of mentalism that will be a good reference work for years to come.

For someone thinking of starting in mentalism, this is definitely not the book to start with though. 13 Steps to Mentalism or Annemann's Mental Magic are recommended first. Check out Tarbell where you will even find mental stuff from Vernon, including a magazine test and even handling for the centre tear (Tarbell Vol. 5).

Paul Hallas.


Re: Peek Performances

Postby Guest » January 2nd, 2002, 6:38 am

I agree with everything that Paul Hallas has said. Peek Performances is a brilliant book provided that it is read properly and not treated the way many magic books are. That is to say that it is skimmed through and only the few bits that may look interesting are read followed by throwing the book on the shelve, never to be looked through again except to impress visitors to their extensive library.

What Mike Close failed to appreciate was that in Mr. Busch's opening remarks in his forward, he explains that the book is written in a specific manner geared to aid in the learning of the material within but that to gain all the reader can, they must read from chapter to chapter (after grasping the earlier concepts) as each chapter builds upon what was learned in the previous ones.

If you want to develop your skills in the art of the peek, be it magician or mentalist, then this book is the ultimate in mastering this skill. If you prefer to learn your magic piecemeal or from videos alone, don't bother.

PSIncerely Yours,
Paul Alberstat

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Steve Bryant
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Re: Peek Performances

Postby Steve Bryant » January 2nd, 2002, 9:04 am

I disliked this book more than any in recent memory and couldn't wait to get it out of my house. First, the bizarre typography -- Mike Close was absolutely correct in saying it read like a 209-page ransom note -- makes it a pain to read at all. But I didn't like the billet methods, which relied on childish and suspect drawings to force the info into an off-center position, and which also required note cards. Some of the book tests were ok but I found better ones in another book that arrived about the same time. The book was vastly overpriced for both its contents and its production values. For an advanced book(s) on billets, I'd recommend the books by Gary Kurtz.

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Re: Peek Performances

Postby Jon Racherbaumer » January 2nd, 2002, 10:24 am

I think that the manuscript now being discussed is the kind that dyed-in-the-wool mentalists prefer for all the reasons critics have cited to denounce and trash it. Serious psychic entertainers tend to be more secretive, insular, and arcane. Like ancient alchemists, they write books that almost require a decoder. They do NOT want the essential "work" to be easily accessible. Any deep meanings and info must be slowly and laboriously gleaned. It is not quite as bad as reading legal briefs or The Congressional Record, but books about mentalism tend to be tediously contingent, vexingly tangential and habitually digressive. The student must loll about BETWEEN THE LINES.

Many books require a CONCORDANCE and, usually, such a companion book does not exist. (Consider the recent work regarding the work of Chan Canasta.)

PEEK PERFORMANCES is only a pleasure for those really, really "into" such material.



Re: Peek Performances

Postby Guest » January 2nd, 2002, 12:57 pm

Steve said:
"I disliked this book more than any in recent memory and couldn't wait to get it out of my house."

Well, I can honestly say I have NEVER had feelings like that about any magical/mental publications. There may be a few I wished I hadn't been tempted with, but bloody hell Steve, that is hatred with a passion, I don't even get so worked up over

You get any more you want to throw out, just post 'em me, I'll stretch to the postage.. :)


Re: Peek Performances

Postby Guest » January 2nd, 2002, 1:06 pm

I personally find that PP was a good book. It was my first book about mentalism and I found some good material in it. You can't use every thing in the way it has been written, but it is a good start for your own thinking.
To answer Chris: if you've got business cards on you (or index cards) then a lot of the material is impromptu!
That was for the plus…. the writing is a bit too much “Me me me” (which quickly gets on your nerves), the last part is very messy and redundant (but you can still find great ideas in it).
And maybe to be fashion, Busch has decided to use a lot of French in it… Even being French I had to pretend like it was: none of the name he gave was correct.
I also think that he forgot about an important point when you peek to something: the GLANCE. At which moment or how does he PEEK…
Even if you do the best center tear in the world (technically speaking), if someone see you starring too much at your hand then forget about mentalism.


Re: Peek Performances

Postby Guest » January 4th, 2002, 3:11 am

I've seen too many bad performances of peeks, especially centre tears.

BJ Powers - 35 seconds to tear up a little bit of paper, staring manically at it the whole time!

Barrie Richardson - 25 seconds, staring at it the whole time!

Maybe that's just it. There are few people who understand and can glimpse in split seconds.

I use the centre tear from "Mind, Myth and Magick". Not been caught. Why? Well, read the book and you'll get the little tips that make it so fooling. Anyone else use it, though? The info always seems to be upside down when I glimpse it. E-mail me if you can help!

Happy New Year!


Re: Peek Performances

Postby Guest » January 4th, 2002, 7:05 pm

Barrie Richardson is supposed to be an expert in his field yet you say his performance of the center tear (peek) is "bad"!? This amazes me. If you are correct, then what does this say about so called "professionals"?


Re: Peek Performances

Postby Guest » February 5th, 2002, 5:00 pm

Well, upon making the plunge and receiving the book recently, let me say simply, you critics are all nuts!!

This book is not only wonderfully written (Busch's prose is that of a real writer) but the material is first rate. Perhaps you own an earlier edition, Steve Bryant, because the book I own uses standard, clear type.

Do you hold value in the Tamariz books? Here is another writer who produces from the heart.

My personal feeling, not to sound conspiratorial, is that bad reviews were planted intentionally to keep people away from some real, reputation making, inside work.

There is no other explanation. The book is faultless!!!

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