"PURE EFFECT opens a rich and significant new chapter in the progress of magical performance and mentalist technique. From the threads of his unique excursions into performance psychology, hypnosis, art and deception, Derren Brown has woven a breathtakingly original and compelling tapestry of magical excellence which could, and should, transform not just contemporary magical performance but also the way that books in this genre are henceforth written and presented. The ideas, approaches and routines in this book are to my mind the most captivating, and disturbingly persuasive, pieces of magical mentalism currently on offer to the deceptive trades. This is a stunning debut, and a brilliant new landmark in the navigation of supreme magical artistry."
"Over the years Derren Brown has consistently fooled me with his material and I'm genuinely relieved that this book is now available as the situation is becoming embarrassing. PURE EFFECT is a beautifully written book containing an exceptional blend of close-up magic and mentalism. I believe that PURE EFFECT will have a profound influence on magicians as it will turn close-up experts onto the power of mentalism and vice-versa. I hope that this book is the first of many from Derren Brown. "
This is, stated baldly, unquestionably the most provocative magic book I have read in a very long time. If I believed in spirits, I could almost hear the gleeful cackling of the late and foresighted Tony Andruzzi. What we have here is an obviously skilled conjuror who stands perched on the cusp of our art, and of the issues facing those conjuring artists who are most demanding, above all, of their art and of themselves. And he is posing the question: How does magic take its place in the cosmopolitan world of the arts and entertainment - not in the abstract sense, but in the bottom-line, real-world sense of arresting the attention of sophisticated, adult audiences, and ultimately of achieving the kind of impact that something loosely called 'magic' should probably hope and try to achieve? And the answer appears to be: By Any Means Necessary.
The one trick that many will be talking about... entitled "Smoke"... I have described to a number of colleagues, who have been captured by its elegance and mystery - as well as by its methodology. That synthesis - of effect and method - creates something larger than the whole - something beyond a simple pairing of known methods for a though t-of-card and cigarette transformation. Whatever that larger thing is, it is what this book is about. And there's a small but significant chance that thing might turn out to be called The Future of Magic.
Jamy Ian Swiss - from a lengthy review in Genii (March 2000)
This is a book for the serious thinker who would normally disregard 99% of a magic-book's content.
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