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Lexicon Phenomena Review

Official Review

July 28th, 2009 9:24am
Rating:
Reviewed by Jeff McBride
I'm a fan of Al Mann, mostly as an inventor, rather than a performer. I never did get to see him do a formal show. In the mid-70s, I would frequent Larry Weeks' one day magic convention at the Diplomat hotel in New York City. Al Mann had a dealer's table there. He would stand behind his table, and speak in a low, gentle voice. He never seemed to "demo" anything, but, to the guys that were into mental magic, he was "The Man."

It's only been in recent years that I've gotten to know the writer and inventor behind the person. I collect Al Mann manuscripts. All of his writings inspire creativity and open my eyes to the astonishing methods that he would utilize in the creation of his routines. Now, Devin Knight has updated his Lexicon Phenomena book test.

Here's what you get:
16 pages of instructions, including a working script
Five pieces of light posterboard that are 8.5 X 11 (these will be used to write on during the course of the book test)
A 753 page Webster's New World Dictionary
And, most importantly, a 56 page softcover booklet, called EFFECTIVE WORD POWER.

Here's the effect:
You explain to your audience that you have been working to increase your vocabulary, and to this end, you've been studying with a book that gives the reader a forty week program of giving the reader two new vocabulary words a day. You hand out your EFFECTIVE WORD POWER book to two members of the audience. One participant selects a week, the other selects a day. They both choose one word from that day, and are told to look this up in the dictionary to learn its meaning. With no pumping or fishing, you name both words.

This is truly an amazing book test, and Devin has done a great deal of work to refine and improve the original method. I was very excited about this when I first started reading the manuscript and experimenting with the method. I performed it in my home, for my wife (as many mentalists do). I was unsuccessful my first few practice attempts, but with continued practice, I found that the method is effective, and indeed, there is no fishing or pumping.

Here's the rub. I consider my wife, Abbi, to be quite a good judge of material. She sees all of my works in progress, and witnesses many of the students here at our Magic School. She helps Eugene Burger and I develop material for our shows. Abbi has also spent much time with many of the world's top mentalists, including Max Maven, and Ross Johnson. Oh, and Abbi has been my "practice helper" on countless book tests over the years.... She asked me why this would be any better than the Hoy book test, where you can walk into anyone's home, and grab a few books off of their shelves to divine a thought-of word? I thought about Abbi's question, but didn't really have an immediate answer. I then showed the Lexicon Phenomena routine to Eugene, and our friend Jordan Wright. I nailed both words. Eugene was very impressed with the method, but he was not fooled.... Well, he is Eugene!

I talked with Eugene at length about this book test and its place in history. Both Eugene and I agree that Al Mann's thinking is inspirational, and Devin has done a great service to the magic community by resurrecting and refining this book test. It may not be a very easy working-man's book test, but it does deserve a place of honor on your book test shelf. I, like you, dear reader, have a special place in my heart and a special place on my bookshelf for special pieces of magic like this.

Available at your favorite Murphy’s Magic dealer

Product info for Lexicon Phenomena

Author: Devin Knight and Al Mann
Average Rating:  (1)
Retail Price: $150.00
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Manufacturer's Description:

Two participants secretly choose words from a "real vocabulary book" containing hundreds of words. There are no duplicate words in the book's word list. The two participants then look up their respective words in an ungimmicked dictionary. The performer, who can be 15 feet or more away, divines both words. He does this without touching either book or asking any questions. The performer REALLY does not know what words or page the participants have chosen until he reveals the two chosen words. The participants need not write anything. The participants say nothing. Each person need only silently read the definition of his or her selected word and think.

This is not a first word on the page effect. The participants do not use any mathematics to arrive at their words. They simply open the vocabulary book to any page and freely choose two words from anywhere on the page. No forces of any kind are used. Both the 56-page vocabulary book and the dictionary may be read from cover to cover.

There are no stooges or instant stooges. No pre-show work of any kind is used. This is a one-man effect that can be repeated instantly using different words. Both books can be examined and nothing will be found amiss.

"One of mentalism's most prolific and talented creators, Devin Knight has once again created a mind-boggling effect that FOOLED everyone at Mindvention 2008. It's a hands-off, totally examinable book test that requires no memorization or sleights and is VERY impressive."
- JHEFF

"Clever, concise and clean! Al Mann would be proud of the clever improvements Devin has incorporated into this fine effect."
- Docc Hilford

"I've admired Devin Knight for more years than I care to remember. That he is 'clever' is an UNDERSTATEMENT. Devin is the real deal and his latest testimonial to Al Mann is as clean as it gets. Even Al himself, would be blown away!"
- Larry Becker

"BRILLIANT!"
- Christopher Taylor

"Simple, direct, and well thought-out. All the work is in and the fun begins NOW!"
- Lee Earle

"Devin performed his "Improved Lexicon Phenomena' for me at the Vegas Mindvention and fooled me completely. As is typical with Devin, often his methods are even more interesting than the effect, which is the case here (though the effect IS very strong). You would not believe the thinking behind this. Devin was fooling everyone with this. Highly recommended!"
- Tim Trono


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