Paramiracles by Ted Lesley
This is a mentalism book which covers so many different aspects of mentalism. I am going to list and describe some of the standout effects in this book.
Chapter one contains a few methods for allowing a spectator to shuffle a deck of cards as much as they want, cut the deck, and the card they cut to is still somehow forced. You immediately know what card they cut to.
The Kismet Connection:
This is a great method for constructing a three way out envelope. Everything looks so clean and smooth. You can easily dump out any of the three cards from the envelope at any given time. I'm not much of a card guy, but he has some nice effects using this envelope. The envelope alone is great though.
The Out of Sorts Variations:
This is a card effect that was originally created by Max Maven. A spectator removes eight cards from a shuffled deck and only thinks of one of them. All this is done while the mentalist's back is turned. No fishing needed. There is a slight set-up needed, but you can do it in front of the audience. I usually hate effects like this, but the way the spectator is told to look at the eight cards is justified here. Can't say more than that.
Seer of the Trivial:
This is another awesome effect. I don't know if I will ever use this, but some great thinking went into this. Essentially, a spectator grabs a stack of Trivial Pursuit (a game) cards out of the box. He grabs about a 100 or so. The cards are all different, the spectator shuffles them, and selects one. He then selects one of the 6 questions listed on his card. The mentalist opens up a large envelope that contains another smaller envelope, which is revealed to have the answer to the question. No swami writing, etc. Great effect.
A nice way to learn the word that someone wrote on a business card. This is pretty clean and his "crystal ball" idea is really clever. A slight set-up is required, but you can do this in about 2 seconds.
Dissertation on the Center Tear:
Awesome! I was one of those people who hated the idea of using a center tear because I thought the method was too apparent. This 10 page writing on the center tear has really changed my view. Lesley gives you a basic outline of what questions you should ask the person. These questions make the effect really strong.
The Working Performer's Switch Pad:
This is basically a add-a-number pad. I like this much better than the typical index card pad. Though, I might be a little scared to have a spectator handle this one.
A neat little idea on making a crib sheet for a pad. The spectator could examine this and find nothing.
Another effect I use to stay away from, however, Lesley's presentational idea has changed my mind about this one. I always found the revealing of the people's items to be quite boring, but Lesley makes it exciting for the spectator by doing each reveal in a completely different way.
A neat method for a psychometry routine. Very different from the standard method. I like this, but I would probably just stick with nicks, etc. instead of using this method.
The Teleport Envelope:
This one if worth the price of the book. A spectator can examine a envelope, see nothing inside, seal it himself, and then open it himself only to find that his thought of card, word, etc. is now inside the envelope. This takes a bit of time to make, but is definitely worth the effort.
A method for predicting a spectator's zodiac sign. I like this, but you are doing to have to do a bit of set-up for this one. The method is old, but I had never thought about using it for a zodiac revelation before. The method works well with a zodiac sign instead of revealing a random word or a card, which is how it is usually done.
$33.00 at http://www.penguinmagic.com/specialorde ... hp?ID=3360
Everything is really easy to understand. This was an enjoyable read.
You are expected to have some knowledge of mentalism. You really need to know how to do a CT and perform a Psychometry routine, otherwise you are missing out on two of the best parts in the book.
This is mentalism, however, Lesley's envelopes can be used for magic tricks and would be worth the $33.00.
A great read. This has moved up to the top of my list as one of my favorite books/items I own.