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ParaLies by Joshua Quinn (Book + bonus) Lies, damn lies and mentalism! An incredible collection of psychological mentalism, absurdly creative tricks of the mind and a touch of sleight of hand.
List price:$80.00
Price: $69.95
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Listen to Joshua Quinn talk to Alvo Stockman about ParaLies

SPECIAL PENGUIN BONUS: Everyone who purchases ParaLies will receive a special bonus PDF called "The Rachel Papers" in which Joshua goes step-by-step through his on-air performance for Rachel in the Alvo Stockman interview!

"This is one of the BEST books I've read this year! If Joshua asks $ 200 for this book... it is still a low price for it. Just one routine (and here I'm thinking about the Billion Monkeys Book Test) can have an awesome impact if inserted (in the right place) in your show." -Paolo Cavalli

"There is a TON of wonderful thinking and great material in this book. I completely enjoyed everything I saw (and used it!). Besides very solid, working material there is plenty of deep thought, new tools, applications and techniques (psychological and mechanical) that will be of tremendous use." -Jerome Finley

"One of the most clever and fun collections of ideas I've read in a long time. The thinking is devious and sometimes borders on twisted. There's something for everyone here. Except Greg Arce. There's nothing in it for him. Absolutely nothing." -John Riggs

Imagine being able to...

  1. Divine freely thought-of words which have never been written down, whispered, pointed at, picked from a list or book or stack of cards, or otherwise physically manifested in any way; words which exist solely inside someone’s mind.
  2. Visibly bend a signed coin which has genuinely never left the audience’s sight since being shown, in its entirety, to be unmistakably, perfectly straight.
  3. Make someone unable to see a picture drawn on a card at the same time the rest of the audience sees it clearly—and then show her a video of herself looking at the picture but not seeing it.
  4. Subliminally influence someone’s mental choice of a playing card with a hidden-in-plain-sight prediction that’s on display all along, but that no one notices until you point it out.
  5. Surreptitiously learn the favorite colors of up to three audience members with absolutely no writing or speaking on their part, and then use the info in your favorite chair routine, one-ahead, Q&A, etc.
  6. Let your audience experience a powerful and incontrovertibly real manifestation of their own mental abilities by successfully duplicating a picture drawn by one of their own.

These are only a few of the highlights from ParaLies, the highly-anticipated, first full-length book by Joshua Quinn. At 257 pages, the book contains 21 items in three sections: Pareidolia, Paronomasia, and Paraphraseology (plus two Pasteboard Interludes, for those with an interest in things card-related). It’s brimming with solid, workable material and fresh, bold ideas representing the best of Joshua’s creative output in mentalism—from stage and parlor pieces, to close-up effects, to impromptu demonstrations, to over-the-phone routines, to utility devices. Some of these secrets have been quietly creating a buzz for some time among the few who knew them, while prompting eager inquiries from those who had heard about them. Now for the first time, they’re being released to the community at large. See the complete contents here.

Manufacturer Says

257 pages, paperback. Contains 21 powerful tricks.

What You Get


Effects that rely on making people see things, patterns, and causal connections that aren't really there or occasionally vice-versa.


A coin which has genuinely never left the audience's sight since being shown to be clearly, unmistakably, entirely straight, visually bends in your hands. It's then immediately handed out with no switching. Oh, and did I mention it can be signed?


A hidden-in-plain-sight prediction of a mentally chosen playing card, which can serve as a revelation, a means of subconscious influence, or both. Can be performed in virtually any situation, large or small, in person, over the phone, on the air, or online.


A demonstration of invisibility through suggestion. A card with two images drawn on it is shown to a volunteer and to the rest of the audience simultaneously. Everyone can see both images, yet a moment later, the volunteer insists that there was only one image there. She's then very surprised when she sees the second image, more surprised when the rest of the audience backs up your story that it was there the whole time, and even more surprised still when you show her a video of herself looking right at the image but not seeing it.

Fate Rules

A pair (or more) of ungimmicked cards from a popular party game, which can force a positive or negative outcome as many times as you wish. A true utility item, these can be used in a liar/truth-teller routine, as a forcing tool, in readings, living-and-dead tests, etc.

My Zeneration

An ESP card-matching routine that meets the following conditions: you and a spectator each have five (and only five) cards; you always choose your card first, and she then lays down the card that she thinks will match it; the cards are laid out into rows, not stacked on top of one another; once they're laid down, they're never touched again until the spectator turns them over to reveal the matching pairs; and everything can be examined. Alternately, you can also reveal matching pairs as you go, or involve multiple spectators, having them each match one pair of symbols.


A pair of refreshing color changes to cleanse the palette.


Effects accomplished through well-chosen words, shrewdly fashioned phrases, and convenient idiosyncrasies of the English language.


A well-honed system for using equivoque to force one card out of fifty-two, plus thoughts and strategies for using equivoque with large numbers of objects in general.

Verbal Forking

Some useful bits of equivocal phraseology for those who perform spontaneous, cutlery-based metallurgical transformations in the wilds of the real world.


An experiment in "memory misdirection." To begin, a spectator freely names a two-digit number. You write the number on a card, and have it verified and signed by three other "witness" spectators. Finally, after much buildup, the first spectator opens a sealed prediction, on display from the beginning, which reveals... nothing but a bad joke. However, in the aftermath, the real purpose of the procedure comes to light: each of the three witnesses remembers seeing a different number on the card, and they're all wrong. The scene is then replayed to demonstrate how you subtly manipulated their memories while making them think something else entirely was going on. As a kicker, you reveal that you did correctly predict the number after all.

Invisible Brushes

A way to turn a potential hazard in an Invisible Touches-type routine into a strong asset. (Requires knowledge of the original Invisible Touches effect.)

The Billion Monkeys Book Test

An impromptu, any-book routine that elevates the standard book test plot into something more logical and more impossible: rather than revealing a word chosen from a book, you reveal a word that exists solely in someone's mind. The word selected from the book serves merely as a random starting point for a series of free mental associations, all of which could go in any number of different directions, and which are never written down, verbalized, or communicated in any way. The result is a 100% mentally-selected, wholly arbitrary word which, even if you had learned the original word, you now couldn't possibly know, which makes it all the more incredible when you reveal it.

Thought Chunnel

Like the Billion Monkeys Book Test, but without the book. Someone merely thinks of any random word (yes, really), changes her mind a few times, and you tell her the word she's thinking of. Useful as a show piece, an impromptu demonstration, an over-the-phone deal closer, or the perfect response to the "Okay, then tell me what I'm thinking" challenge.


Further remnants of the author's former life as a card junkie: a low-maintenance, high-impact moving hole effect, and a quirky, unexpected twist for a grizzled old warhorse.


New methods for classic plots, novel applications of known principles, and improved designs for utility devices.


A perfect closer for after-proms, weddings, or any couple-themed event, this triple prediction sends the VIP couple on a spontaneous movie date. You bring the couple onstage and hand them a large folded card to hold (no box or envelope, just the card). Members of the audience then call out a random day, time, and current movie title. With no assistance from you, the couple then opens the card to reveal exact predictions of the movie, time and day printed in large letters inside, plus a special surprise kicker that will turn the prediction into a memorable, real-life event.

The Word To Your Mother Book Test

A DIY gimmicked book that allows for the cleanest, most "inside their head", single-word revelation around. While your back is turned, the spectator opens to any page, thinks of any word, then concentrates on any letter in that word. You first reveal the letter she's thinking of, then go on to reveal the rest of the word letter-by-letter (or in any other way that will bring joy into your heart).

The Uncertainty Principle Book Test

Another DIY gimmicked book which allows you to reveal three different thoughts. The spectator mentally chooses three items from anywhere on her chosen page: first a word, then a single letter, then a second word. You write down your impressions of each of them, and then before the spectator says a word, you show your impressions of all three of her choices to the audience. She then reveals her thoughts, confirming that you got them all right.


A practical, reliable Sharpie thumb tip writer that you can make in about five minutes, using items you probably already have around the house (provided you're a magic geek who has a spare thumb tip lying around).


While talking about colors and their meanings, you secretly learn the favorite color of at least one, and possibly up to three audience members. You can then use this information in your favorite chair routine, one-ahead, Q&A, pendulum effect, or anything else that will help further your dastardly agenda.

Actual Proof

A way to let your audience experience a powerful and incontrovertibly real manifestation of their own mental abilities by successfully duplicating a picture drawn by one of their own. This unforgettable routine is specifically designed to send everyone home with a documented, tangible reminder of the incredible things their mind can do.

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Customer Reviews (showing 1 - 10 of 12)
5 of 7 magicians found the following review helpful:
Book is way too expensive Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on May 28th, 2010
They say if you want to double your price as a magician, you should be a mentalist. Well seems that this is true with books too. I have over 250 books on magic and mentalism and this book is just way too expensive for what it offers. Maybe if you don't have many, this would be a 4 star evaulation, but when taking into account all one has to choose from for mentalism, you would be better off with many other books that will give you a lot more for less money.

What I did like with the book was Joshua's very creative ideas and his thoroughness in explaining his routines. His writing is very descriptive and you would be hard pressed not to find something of value in this book that you can use and easily understand.

So my main issue is with the price. If the book was priced at half of what he is asking, 1: he would sell a lot more books and 2: it would more fairly represent the true value of this book.

In hindsight, I would not buy this book again.
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2 of 2 magicians found the following review helpful:
Mentalism for the soul Report this review
Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on April 3rd, 2010
This book is expensive but well worth it. One thing I want to bring up is Deckquivoque. It's worth the price of admission. With no deck you take a spectator through a journey and in the end they name a card. You will know what that card is and you can reveal it any way you want. It's killer and I use this with Watermark if I have no deck on me. Forget Kolosal Killer! Spend 80 dollars to look Like Derren Brown or Criss Angel. Joshua Quinn also has visual and psychological mentalism. His first trick to boot is Bendito which is a great way to bend a coin in their face. There are also great new ways to do a bunch of classic plots at the end of the books and don't overlook these. Joshua Quinn is here to stay guys
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2 of 2 magicians found the following review helpful:
Good, but not $80 good Report this review
Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on April 2nd, 2010
Normally, I'd try to separate price from quality when writing a review, but $80 for a book is just too much. I could justify it if this book were chock full of mindblowing workable routines, but for me, it's not. What it IS full of is some fantastic creative thinking... but unfortunately, "creativity" doesn't always translate into good routines.

For example, Deckquivoque is some of the finest writing I've ever seen on equivoque. I really appreciate Quinn's logic and honesty when it comes to explaining the difference between good equivoque and bad equivoque. That said, I don't think I'd ever be in a situation where I'd ever want to equivoque one card out of 52. Even though Quinn demonstrates it can be done in such a way that's not completely obvious, I'm not sure it's really necessary. Just because you CAN do something and probably get away with it, doesn't necessarily mean you should try.

Likewise, Thought Chunnel represents some fantastic creative thinking. But I think I look at this the same way I'd look at a Rube Goldberg machine. I admire the inventiveness of the construction, but it feels far too complicated for the task it's trying to accomplish. And I also suspect that anyone who's ever done the "Elephant in Denmark" thing (which is a LOT of people) will feel, either consciously or subconsciously, like they're being led in the exact same way.

This is typical of much of the book... excellent thinking, but questionable usefulness. At half the price, this would be a great purchase for its thought-provoking essays. But for this much money, I'd have hoped to find effects with more immediate practicality.
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2 of 2 magicians found the following review helpful:
In the right hands, this book is a gem Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on April 2nd, 2010
This book is a page-turner, written in very catchy prose, and will definitely get you thinking. For me and many others, the most inspiring part of the book is Joshua's "Billion Monkeys Book Test." The work Joshua has done with "Billion Monkeys" takes one of the most troubling problems with book tests (why do you need a book? shouldn't someone be able to just think of a word and then you "read their mind?") and offers a very clever solution. Potentially, you could even do this with a caller over the phone, radio, etc. This technique alone is worth more than the price of the book, and will make it look like you can really read someone's mind. Combined Joshua's "Billion Monkeys" with Banachek's "Brain Game" at the right moment, and someone could walk away thinking you have supernatural powers.

That being said, some of Joshua's ideas may not always come across as the most practical. You might find yourself saying "That's nice, but it would never suit me.." But, if you put the necessary time, effort, and inspiration into making Joshua's ideas work for you, then you will be rewarded many times over. In the right hands, this is a book that will serve as a constant spring of inspiration and a model for how mentalists should continue to think, play, and work into the 21st century.
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2 of 2 magicians found the following review helpful:
Wonderful, practical mentalism Report this review
Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on April 2nd, 2010
If you're one of those folks constantly amazed by Derren Brown and how he does what he does, this book is a great taste of what goes on behind the scenes. Joshua Quinn has armed you here with a ton of effects that you can use as-is or modify to your own liking. This book is packed with practical information, and even though it's a little pricey for a softcover it's actually worth the investment.
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2 of 2 magicians found the following review helpful:
Excellent book for advanced mentalists Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on April 2nd, 2010
This book is not meant for begginers in Mentalism, but for those with a bit more experiance this is an absolute goldmine. The ESP card matching routine in particular is a really clean and amazing effect, and is probably as close as we will ever come to real mind reading.

There are too many things in this book to talk about, its that good. All I can say is that its well worth the $80 price tag!
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1 of 1 magicians found the following review helpful:
Expensive but rightly so. Report this review
Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on April 4th, 2010
It is a lot of money but I think it's probably for the right reason. If you're looking for a nice, easy and amazing mentalism effect then look elsewhere. If, however, you're looking for very well thought out effects where the entire routine has been scrutinised and designed to perfection- then this gem of a book is for you.

The effects are not easy but it was a joy to read Quinn's writings and insights into his effects. He is obviously very passionate about his art and it was inspiring to read his book.
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1 of 1 magicians found the following review helpful:
Great Book Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on April 2nd, 2010
This is an incredible book. One filled with so many practical ideas you will not know where to begin. The chapter on equivoque with cards has resulted in one of the strongest routines I perform. Also, the effect ESPNOWVIP is an incredibly devious and practical mental demonstration. The coin bend described is phenomenal, and I have found that combining it with Roy Kueppers "Superman" coin bend has made for an incredibly baffling demonstration.

Great book, highly recommended.
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A different way of thinking Report this review
Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on July 23rd, 2011
I never write a review. EVER. But...I had to for this book. My wife is rarely fooled by anything. I tried Xijatsey on her and she was completely floored. Her attention span is so short when it comes to me trying out an effect on her, but she was captivated throughout this entire routine and couldn't believe the ending. And there's so much more in this book I haven't even gotten to try out yet. Just buy it.
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WOW!!! Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on April 7th, 2009
All I can say is that this is the best book on the subject iv ever bought! I wish no one had access to it! It should have come with some of the props needed for the price, but if you can afford it, it is totally worth every cent!
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