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Mischief Review

Official Review

April 25th, 2011 9:47am
Reviewed by Christian
Mischief is an impressively large tome. It weighs in at over 400 pages. It is written by Harling and Nyrup, which I have to say, I know nothing about. This is an excerpt from the first paragraph of the Introduction in the book.

“We were lucky in that both of our books, ‘Sleight of Mind’ and ‘Geist’ were exceptionally well-received and became regarded as required reading within the Mentalist community.”

I consider myself a fairly well read mentalist and I have neither heard of the authors or their books? So, I found this sentence rather odd. I called a couple of my contemporaries who I would consider extremely well read in the field of mentalism and they also came up blank. It could be, perhaps, that Harling and Nyrup are popular in another part of the world. (I live in the USA)

The book is an expanded compilation of their two previous books, “Sleight of Mind” and “Geist”. They have also added additional material as well. Their two prior books are at the time of this writing rare and very difficult to find. For that reason alone, there were people who were looking forward to the publication of this book. The book cost $55 which seems fair to me as I look at the size of the book. Sure the font is a little large but I think that is a bit of a style preference.

“Sleight of Mind” centers around NLP techniques. This can be slippery ground for many people in mentalism as there are those that feel NLP is pure bunk and others that swear by it. I tend to only care what will work with an audience. For this part of the book, I did not find much that I would use in a theatrical show. There is a large section on body language which I would consider to be simply touching the basics. Nothing exciting here.

As we move through the book, there is a chapter on Memory Techniques. It is seven pages long. Entire books and courses are written on Memory Techniques. Seven pages simply is not taking this seriously.

Next comes a section on Hypnosis and Suggestion. There are some interesting points made and even some tests to perform. However, these will not help you much if you are working toward creating a show.

The section of the book we will call “Geist” was much like the first section. There are lots of definitions and explanations of ideas of how/why people believe things. This reads more like a college text book of belief systems rather than a book on performing.

Finally, near the end of the book, there are some effects. “The Beast” is a type of living and dead test that does not quite make it to the finish line. The explanation of the trick is a little fuzzy as target cards with names are used…but a different card with all the names on it is placed in the “card case”. What card case? A needle is then pushed through the card case and (hopefully) pierces one of the names. You then go through the envelopes to determine which one matches the name that has been pierced. You never show which name has been pierced but use a subtlety to let the audience know that you know. My problem is that I don’t think most audiences will buy into that subtlety.

Available at your favorite Murphy’s Magic dealer

Product info for Mischief

Author: Nyrup, Martin; Harling, Ian
Publisher: Spellbound Publishing ApS
Average Rating:  (1)
Retail Price: $55.00
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Manufacturer's Description:

Top-selling books, "Sleight of Mind" and "Geist" were milestone titles for every mentalist who has an interest in using NLP, suggestion and Hypnosis in their performances. Now authors Martin Nyrup and Ian Harling have revised both books and combined them with over a hundred new pages of additional material. Harling & Nyrup's writing is honest, entertaining and to the point, pulling no punches about what works and what does not in the world of psychological manipulation.

An absolute goldmine of ideas on performance and the development of original material, containing over 25 original effects and hypnotic routines, complete with detailed scripting, "Mischief" can not be missed.

"Mischief" also brings stage-craft into use in daily life, and shows how to interact successfully with others - how to appear more likeable, confident and perceptive: on- and off-stage, with remarkable ease.

Pages: 438 - Softbound

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