by The Amazing Kreskin
[A review in the style of Dave Barry]
Okay, listen up everybody: I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore. Apparently, some of you (and you know who you are, so don't try to deny it) have been running around the country telling people that Kreskin is not a genuine, dyed-in-the-wool, honest-to-goodness, for real mentalist with near borderline, mystical, psychic powers. You've been saying that he's just a clever and entertaining magician who accomplishes his effects through ("say it ain't so!") trickery, rather than through the use of the aforementioned borderline, mystical, psychic powers.
This was a dumb thing for you guys to have done, because now Kreskin is mad as hell, and he's not going to take it anymore, and so he's done the only thing he could do, which was to write a book called How to be (a Fake) Kreskin, in which he proves that he does have borderline, mystical psychic powers by exposing a lot of methods for tricks that he doesn't even do.
And that was a dumb thing for him to have done, because a whole lot of trees died needlessly, and I had to waste ten bucks and an hour of my life on his book.
Kreskin reveals methods for doing pseudo-hypnosis stunts, spirit manifestations, blindfolded divinations, simple mental oriented card tricks, and predictions. Most of this stuff is old news - simple tricks which have been exposed many times before in many other books. Some information, however, I have not seen in a general public book, for example, Bruce Elliott's "Finger Finger." Kreskin also mentions that when others attempt to duplicate his well-known effect of linking borrowed finger rings, these magicians use "arthritic rings that can be snapped open to allow them to pass on and off the deformed fingers of the severely arthritic." Gosh, I'm sure glad Kreskin cleared that up for everyone. (By the way, and I'm not making this up, Kreskin mentions that the first time he tried this effect, at a private party back in 1962, it took him fourteen minutes and he linked together eighteen rings. Now I'm only guessing here, but I'd bet that the party was at Richard Himber's house.)
Throughout the book are sprinkled anecdotes of Kreskin performing on various television shows and for various celebrities. He recounts his exploits playing simultaneous blindfold chess with Soviet defector Korchnoi and the chess columnist for the New York Times. He also details (and I'm not making this up) how he once found his hidden paycheck above the upper plate of a gentleman's false teeth. (And I thought my bank teller got steamed when I tried to cash a check that had only been folded in half.)
Kreskin also encourages you to drop his name liberally whenever you perform any of the stunts in this book: comments like, "Kreskin has developed an advanced form of mental exercise," "[I am] now going to use a Kreskin technique," and "[I] ask that the spirits join the gathering to produce the kind of activity that Kreskin demonstrates." This is a worthwhile ploy, because if the Neanderthal biker that you're performing for is not amused by the demonstrations of your near borderline, mystical psychic abilities, you can always demurely suggest that he go beat the snot out of Kreskin.
Do you need this book? Probably not, unless you do some mentalism in your act and you want to be prepared for any challenges which may arise from someone who has read this book.
How to be (a Fake) Kreskin is blatant self-promotion, and there's certainly nothing wrong with that; it's what made America what it is today. I feel that there is another purpose, however. I think that Kreskin is trying to establish his name in the public consciousness in the same way that "Houdini" has entered the vocabulary as a generic term for a magician. And to this end I'm going to help out. From now on, if I'm driving and somebody cuts me off, I'm going to stick my head out the window and yell, "Thanks, pal. You're a real Kreskin!"
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