We have a fondness for mentalism here at bicycle-cards.co.uk – and I’m so old it even pre-dates Derren’s revitalisation of the area – so we were pleased to take a look at MindSight by Andreu. This is a small book, which details a core principle/routine and then several variations on it.
It is always difficult to review mentalism since so much is subjective. Props – where there are any – are often fairly everyday; principles are rarely new; so you’re trying to evaluate something which is often less tangible – and to a very significant degree depends on the qualities of the performer.
But let’s have a go at a few observations. The core routine is a divination effect, where from a ’20 questions’ type card you are able to divine a word out of ‘almost 40’ after asking only 4 yes/no questions which they never answer verbally. This is what Andreu calls his Direct Mind Reading Masterpiece.
It is certainly a strong routine – in the hands of an experienced performer – like in all mentalism there are may other skills required to ‘sell’ the effect, beyond the bare mechanics. The ‘mechanics’ are straight-forward, but will require some study (and ideally memorisation) before you will be comfortable performing the routine – this isn’t something you will be able to do straight away.
It is also possible you may need to purchase an additional effect/gimmick to carry out this routine as suggested – though some variations are provided which may avoid this.
The remainder of the book consists of some variations or applications of this principle. One with ESP symbols (to my mind the weakest variant) and then two more powerful variations involving discerning emotions or star signs. I think these last two are particularly strong – and there are some extra subtleties built in to the routine which really add to it.
There’s no doubt that this is material that Andreu has used and honed in the real world – and the careful and detailed explanations are a clear indication of this. As with any mentalism effect, it won’t suit every performer – and you may need to do some tweaking to fit your style or emphasis – but there are some solid core ideas here to get you started.
The booklet itself is clearly printed and nicely bound. Andreu comes across as a very nice guy – and he is excellent at crediting ideas and inspiration from others which is something I feel is very important. You also receive a large and a small printed card for use with the original routine – they don’t look like they’ll last for ever – but should be fairly easy to replace/reproduce if you need to.
The final word needs to be on price – a subject on which there has been much discussion on different forums. In the UK the price is just high of £50, which feels like a large price tag for a small book. Price, as everything else, is subjective – and if you’re a pro who gets a 15 minute routine out of this, you won’t have a problem spending that amount. For the hobbyist it may seem like a large figure for a 74 page book. We recommend you read the description carefully and make up your own mind of the value.
Available direct from Merchant of Magic for £53.99.
Review copy kindly provided by Murphys Magic to whom dealer enquiries should be directed.