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Dunninger Knows Review

Official Review

January 2nd, 2013 6:39am
Reviewed by Christian
This is an impressive looking tome laid out in a large format of eight and half by eleven inches. It weighs in at 398 pages. All black and white with multiple pictures and large easy to read type. There are basically two parts to this book. The first part is a ten installment column that Mr. Atmore did for the PEA's monthly magazine Vibrations in 2004.

These columns were written in the first person as if Dunninger was currently living and giving his thoughts and answers to questions we might ask him today. The author acknowledges it is his interpretations of Dunninger's thinking, but since Joseph Atmore is most likely the best authority on Dunninger and we might even say a little obsessed with him, I think he did a great job. I enjoyed reading the columns and thought he did a great job of capturing Dunninger's personality and most likely his thoughts on various subjects.

The second part of the book is a historical look at the Dunninger television shows from 1948 to 1967. Mr. Atmore examines each show with a script (when possible) and feasible answers to how Dunninger might have accomplished his miracles. Mr. Atmore also sprinkles bits of history and anecdotes about Dunninger along the way.

As I read through this book, I wonder, who is this book for? It is not an easy reading historical perspective nor is it a book of tricks that are laid out, ready to be dropped into your show. I would call it a scholarly analysis of a past mentalist's work. This book is for those that want to peek into the mind of a past master of the art. Perhaps by scrutinizing the scripts of his shows you will be inspired, generate new ideas, find a little gems, or learn a valuable subtlety that you will incorporate into your own show.

It is not an easy read, but I don't think it was intended that way. I believe that if I were to really dive deep into this book, I would be making notes in the margins. (Mr. Atmore has provided enough space for that) The book is intriguing. You want to examine some of the ideas and methods that are laid out for you in the scripts or post show analysis that Mr. Atmore gives you. I believe this would be a fun book to dissect with a few friends, reading, talking, and analyzing the material.

Available at your favorite Murphy’s Magic dealer

Product info for Dunninger Knows

Author: Atmore, Joseph
Average Rating:  (2)
Retail Price: $70.00
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Manufacturer's Description:

Dunninger Knows provides a rare opportunity to learn about the incredible Brain Busters Dunninger performed as well as providing the information to incorporate them into your own act.

In 2001, Joseph Atmore authored Dunninger's Brain Busters which covered primarily Dunninger's radio work. In the ten years since publication, Atmore have collected a huge amount of TV scripts, researched the popular and magic press, conducted interviews with cast and crew and located film footage of his television work. Heck, he even recreated his radio show This new book covers all of his television series in chronological / airdate order and some of his guest appearances on other shows. The "in between series" years are also covered. There is quite a lot of the behind the scenes history into his four series and rare and unique photographs and documents are included to tell the story. While consulting on Uri Geller's show in Germany a few years ago, he even tracked down a 1955 television film in Europe.

Over 100 Brain Busters are examined by not only me, but Banachek, Jan Bardi, Stuart Cumberland, Ken Dyne, Lee Earle, Mathias Fischedick, Nicolai Friedrich, Devin Knight, Looch, Drew McAdam, Colin Mcleod, Max Maven, Richard Osterlind and Marc Paul. The foreword has been written by the International Man of Mystery, David Berglas who can truly understand Dunninger's impact to the world of mentalism. Methods are provided and in some cases, multiple methods are developed for the routines. In cases where a routine would need to be modernized for today (which actually is the rare exception), that information has been provided.

"For the last 5 years, Joe has been a consultant on my international live television series, Phenomenon aka The Next Uri Geller. Almost immediately when he joined the team, I learned about his fascination with Dunninger. We've had many conversations about Dunninger's impact on mentalism and his creativity and boldness. Dunninger Knows presents a scholarly look at his television work. I usually never read magic books but Dunninger always fascinated me, so I couldn't resist! After reading the routines in Joe's book, I now know why he was always trying to incorporate some of Dunninger's routines into my show!"
- Uri Geller

" This book is the result of years of passionate research, giving us an insight into the life and career of Dunninger. Most of these anecdotes would have been lost to our history without Joe Atmore's meticulous work. This is a rare opportunity to get inside the mind of Dunninger."
- David Berglas

Pages: 398 - 8.5" x 11" - Hardcover - Black and white photos

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