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Mind and Magic of David Berglas, The Review

Official Review

December 14th, 2002 6:50pm
Reviewed by Brad Henderson
I'm going to violate one of my self imposed rules with this review.

First, I promised myself never to review a product unless I have read/viewed it in it's entirety or have actually performed the piece for real people.

Why am I violating the rule? Because news has reached me that the publisher is out of copies and that most of the distributor's shelves are bare as well. I wanted to get some information out there so those who were on the fence could make up their mind and still be able to find a copy.

First, the book is expensive. But wait until you get it in your hands. It's a very sexy tome. Is that Satin? Yummy.

Also the printing forays into full color plates, and the quality of the paper is first class. In short, Jim spent some major bucks producing this book, and you see where every penny was spent. This isn't one of those $200 Xeroxed, side stapled cold reading pamphlets. This is a book like books were meant to be.

As I said, I haven't finished the book (but I have skipped around a lot), and basically there are two key elements to its composition: biography/thinking and magic. What may be off putting to some is that the magic is presented within the frame of the biography. So, if you're only interested in tricks, you might become a bit disappointed having to wade through Berglas' life and times. HOWEVER, Berglas has lead a fascinating life and I found the narratives most enjoyable and very revealing. This is one of those books that the more I read, the more I want the chance to sit across the table with the man and really talk with him.

As for the material, I have to say that there are some gems in here. For example, the DIY routine could become a showstopping selling point for someone's act. All it needs is a "Trading Places" spin and you have a piece of gold. Another one of the tricks is very similar to a piece which I have been performing as my closer for over 12 years. I was kind of sad to see it in print, but such is life. Finally, the publicity stunts will make your head spin. If they don't get your creative juices flowing, call Ronn Popiel, you need a new juicer.

There is however one negative I should call attention to. At times the book is rather like a cock tease, particularly when it comes to the table levitation. I understand Berglas wants the history of his method/presentation established, and I also understand that he probably has some agreement with the Copperfield camp; however, I don't like being told how great something is and then informed that it will be withheld from me. I think that's bad form. Solution? Leave out the chapter? Maybe. Or just don't make it seem like I didn't get all I paid for when I bought the book.

That minor caveat aside, my expectations were totally exceeded by this book. "Ego books" chronicling one person's output are usually more miss than hit. In this case, however, we are treated to a body of work from an intelligent man who has been both diligent and passionate in his pursuit of the art. Couple that with the production quality and you have a winner.

If you think you might possibly be interested in this book, I guarantee you will find something that will exceed your expectations. Get it now, before it's too late.

Product info for Mind and Magic of David Berglas, The

Author: Britland, David
Publisher: Hahne Publications
Average Rating:  (2)
Retail Price: $129.95
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Manufacturer's Description:

As revealed to David Britland, The Mind & Magic of David Berglas might be the most eagerly-awaited book of the decade. Three years in preparation, The Mind and Magic of David Berglas is an enlightening account, spanning 50 years of miracles from the renowned, legendary man of mystery, including David's adventures on radio, television, in live shows, corporate shows, with stage illusions and consulting on major motion pictures.

And most amazing of all...The Mind and Magic of David Berglas contains his secrets! Carefully recounted and explained by David Britland, here are David Berglas’ techniques for his amazing phenomena, many of which appear here for the first time ever, including the Magic Square Routine, Newspaper Prediction, Blindfold Routine, ESPacology, Chair Balance Routine, The Vanishing Piano, Picture Post Challenge, Box Over Regent Street, The Ten Shilling Note and many, many others.

Written by David Britland, with introductions by Uri Geller and Paul Daniels.

Hardbound with satin and library fabric spine, 566 pages, full of color pages, hundred of black and white photos and diagrams, and a full index. Limited to one thousand copies.

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