Saturday, 18 August 2007

Tricks of the Mind by Derren Brown


First of all I must declare that I have never seen Derren on the TV and so came to this book "cold". Having said that I don't think it detracted from the book at all.

I enjoyed this read which seems almost semi-autobiographical and "preachy" but in a very polite way. He covers subjects which are close to his heart not just because he makes his living through them but because they are all to do with the way he looks at the world.

The amount of psychology/kidoogy/headology which can go into even the simplest trick was a real insight to me and the suggested simple card trick worked wonders on my nine year old daughter.

As an ex enthusiastic Christian, Derren brings an interesting perspective on such subjects as magic, memory, hypnosis, body language, anti-science psuedo-science and bad thinking.

Fascinating stuff. The view that people aren't just easily deceived but that they enjoy being deceived and many actually need to be deceived rings a very large bell (of agreement) with my naturally sceptical tendencies. This book has wetted my appetite for learning some card tricks, looking into the placebo effect a bit more and trying to get hold of some of his "really useful" further reading suggestions.

For me the book got a bit too bogged down in body language or I would have scored it higher.
Overall good fun and food for thought. My rating 3.5 out of 5.

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