Top 5 Best Books to Learn Mentalism


The first book on our list is an inspiring read for any mentalist. It provides insight into the psychology of trickery and how to create moments of surprise among your spectators.

Mental magicians need this book. It teaches many psychological principles that can be implemented into routines ranging from mind reading and reaction prediction.

Derren Brown: Tricks of the Mind

If you want to learn how to become a mentalist, this book provides invaluable resources. With engaging autobiographical anecdotes from his life as an entertainer and mentalist, Derren Brown opens up the world of mentalists – showing audiences of all sizes his techniques and secrets for excelling them with his tricks.

The first part of this book covers the fundamentals of mentalism, providing readers with essential knowledge for understanding psychological manipulation. The second section delves deeper into advanced methods for using comprehensive understandings of human behavior to craft effective routines.

Contrary to many mentalism books, this one was written by a working performer for other performing magicians – making it more of a toolkit than a textbook. Readers gain access to many practical effects they can incorporate into their performances, as well as a thorough exposition of the Nikola Card System, which has achieved almost legendary status among mentalism practitioners.

This book is essential for mentalists of any skill level and experience, providing critical instruction in paper-and-pencil routines as well as more complex effects using envelopes, books, coins, or blindfolds. The text is highly detailed yet easy to understand – an indispensable resource both beginners and more experienced mentalists will find invaluable.

Maven is an expert practitioner of mental magic, and this book showcases his groundbreaking approach. Filled with psychological insights, thematic depth, and creative mechanisms sure to enthrall any reader, this work also features practical instruction on how to practice mental magic effectively.

This book brings the art of memorization to an all-new level, making it essential reading for any mentalism enthusiast. With everything a mentalist could need – from the Loci method to mnemonic repetition – for rapid memorization effects such as apparent mind reading, psychometry, and fast calculation, this book contains everything mentalists could need for immediate memorization effects and takes their performances to another level.

Richard Osterlind: Mentalism for the Stage

As its title indicates, this DVD set features Richard Osterlind performing stage mentalism. It includes some of his signature effects, such as metal bending and center tear, as well as teaching how to present mentalism before an audience. Though expensive, this investment in yourself should prove worthwhile if your goal is mentalism.

Theatrical mentalism is an art that blends magic, psychology, and audience participation into one performance. Mastering theatrical mentalism takes years of study, practice, and dedication – but its rewards can be immense. Successful mentalists create magical experiences that transcend mere tricks or illusions – leaving their audience believing they possess psychic abilities or otherworldly powers. Uri Geller’s spoon-bending in the 1970s was a famous example that inspired both believers and skeptics alike.

Mentalists typically avoid mixing conventional magic tricks into their mentalism routines, as this links their performances too closely to stage magicians’ tricks. However, the mentalists featured on this DVD set do not adhere to this strict rule and instead use classic tricks with psychological overtones for maximum impact.

Osterlind’s advice may be sound, yet it should be noted that his style can be seen as bland or lackluster to some. Additionally, his presentation may seem dry or technical for some individuals – though his method remains worthwhile and worthy of investigation.

This DVD presents the idea that mentalism can be performed successfully on television without camera tricks, editing tricks, stooges, or pre-show work without becoming boring, unique, or entertaining – something which certainly holds – yet requires an exceptionally talented performer to pull off. Audiences generally find it hard to suspend belief when faced with something so unlikely as an event like this one; thus, its advertisement makes for more of a compelling editorial in a magic magazine than it does as an actual DVD.

Max Maven: Prism

Bob Cassidy recommends reading one of 39 books essential to becoming a mentalist: this comprehensive tome contains publicity effects, books, codes, envelopes, money, and cards, as well as various mind-reading tricks – not for everyone – although providing many invaluable lessons that any performer could use today.

Originally published in the 1930s, this resource for modern performers remains invaluable. An excellent guide for understanding nonverbal communication as well as creating stories and suspense, it also contains practical advice on creating rapport and building trust with an audience.

This compilation from top mentalists features an array of effects spanning everything from simple mindreading to more complex propless tricks, making this an invaluable collection that can be performed close-up, parlor, and stage performances alike. All the effects have been carefully designed with honest audience feedback in mind and are easy to learn and perform.

Maven’s Color Series presents five booklets in one convenient volume; these make PRISM. Packed full of both practical information and philosophical reflection, PRISM should be essential reading for all mentalists of any experience level.

This book delves deep into the psychology behind psychological subtleties. An intriguing read, it will help you comprehend why specific effects succeed while others don’t and how you can create your products to get the most from performances. It is a must-read for anyone looking to make their effects.

Banachek: Psychological Subtleties

This book by legendary mentalism performer Roger Deakin should be read by anyone who is serious about performing mental magic. Not only is it full of self-working effects, but its emphasis also highlights the power of performance to touch minds and hearts – failing to read this book could result in self-defeating acts by mental magicians. Though recommended to beginners, its most entire benefits will only become evident once an experienced mind magician has had plenty of practice performing mentalism.

Banachek provides readers with an exhaustive collection of psychological illusions and mind-reading techniques designed for use in any performance setting. He instructs his readers how to harness their imaginations and creative abilities to create effects that are unique and powerful; also included are tips that aid their interpretation of people’s emotions and actions as quickly as possible, thus sidestepping hidden snares.

As opposed to many of the books on this list, this book does not focus on providing step-by-step instructions for learning specific tricks. Instead, it offers an entertaining read that provides a break from formal and scientific approaches to mentalism, packed with fun stories of mentalists’ craft, and includes plenty of ideas on putting on an engaging show.

At a time when magicians tend to focus more on the mechanics of magic than ever before, we must remember that incredible mentalism goes beyond trickery to engage and inspire audiences. Banachek’s book does an exceptional job of providing both theory and practice of mentalism in an approachable fashion for readers of all backgrounds.

If asked, master mentalists typically advise beginners to start by reading 13 Steps to Mentalism as their initial step toward mentalism. This volume provides a thorough introduction to the principles and subtleties that form the basis of all successful mentalism performances, making it the single best resource on this topic I have found so far.

No matter your skill level or experience level, these three books should be on everyone’s must-read list when it comes to mentalism. Add these essential texts now, and you will gain invaluable sources of guidance, inspiration, and advice over time.

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