Derren Brown - Confessions of a Conjuror

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Postby jim ferguson » Oct 18th, '10, 13:06



I wasnt sure about getting this at first. I have both Pure Effect and Absolute Magic and thought (after reading the OP) that it sounded like a re-hash of Absolute Magic. Anyway Ive decided to get it :) , my wife will be picking it up from my local Asda probably Wednesday. When I've read through I'll post my thoughts.
    jim


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Postby kartoffelngeist » Oct 19th, '10, 11:52

I used to find his writing (and performing) style witty and clever, but to be honest, I'm struggling to get through this one. It feels pretentiously intellectual, and full of waffling on about nonsense.

Comes across as a bit of a self righteous prick.

Maybe I just used to be pretentiously intellectual too, who knows...

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Postby Andyb » Oct 20th, '10, 07:12

Unfortunately it would appear that Derren has reached that pinnacle where it is better (dare I say Cooler?!) to dislike him than to like him (a road which Stephen Fry is headed down with blind abandon. Pretty much the way that Coldplay did!)

I personally like Derrens style - The devils picture book was a fantastic insight into what he does (did) and the attention paid by the performer to the performance improved my magic!

I have not read this book (Yet) and so cannot comment on the quality and content but I was reading the posts above and felt it necessary to post my feelings!

~ Jumps off soap box and scuttles away rapidly! ~

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Postby Starving Stu » Oct 20th, '10, 08:27

I brought the book Sunday and I must admit it's on odd one. It's not a book about effects, it's not a biography, it's not about the philosophy of magic or life, I'm not actually sure what it's about!??! Derren unfortunately does come across as pretentious in the book as stated by other people. Saying that I'm quite enjoying it but I have no idea why :?

I'm currently on page 100'ish as I haven't picked it up for a couple of days as I've been indulging in my favourite pastime. That of putting cucumbers through old age pensioners houses and shouting 'Look out! The martians are coming.' Everyone needs a hobby.

In reality I've been working.

I've looked at what the general public have thought of the book and it has the most mixed reviews on any book I've ever seen. There's no middle ground, people give 4 or 5 stars or 1.

In short Derren has created 'The Marmite of Memoirs' You either love it or hate it.

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Postby Grimshaw » Oct 20th, '10, 10:45

I agree with your post, Andyb. There is that kind of i'm-cool-because-i-dont-like-him-anymore air around Derren, more noticeable around magicians i fancy but still there in lay people too.

I was very certain i approached the book from a neutral ground as even though i haven't enjoyed his last few televisual outings, he still remains a huge influence on me from his previous work. If anything, i was more determined i was going to enjoy the book than to dislike it, and i realise that blows my 'neutral ground' claim out of the water.

I noticed kartoffelngeist used the same word as me, waffle. That's really what it does. I think he uses big words and pleonasm in an attempt to tickle the reader, but sadly it can come across as pretentious.

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Postby Trevor Roll » Oct 21st, '10, 08:29

Grimshaw wrote: I think he uses big words and pleonasm...it can come across as pretentious.


Zounds, the irony!

;)

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Postby dat8962 » Oct 21st, '10, 15:51

Didn;t realise that there was already a thread on this book.

Asda have it for under £9 if you've not yet got your copy. Guess you'll be a little peeved if you've shelled out the cover price of over £18 :roll:

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Postby Ted » Oct 21st, '10, 16:42

I'm enjoying it immensely. I can see that the style might not suit everyone, but I'm not finding it in the least bit pretentious or hard to read.

I actually think it's a pretty clever and novel device to use one scene to act as the hub for a catalogue of thoughts and experiences.

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Postby SamGurney » Oct 22nd, '10, 01:09

Trevor Roll wrote:
Grimshaw wrote: I think he uses big words and pleonasm...it can come across as pretentious.


Zounds, the irony!

;)


:lol:

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Postby jim ferguson » Oct 22nd, '10, 16:09

Got my copy yesterday (a day later than anticipated) and am just under half way through. I must say, so far Im really enjoying this. I agree with Teds post in that it may not be to everyones taste, but i suppose no book is ever going to please everyone. I'll post more thoughts on this when ive finished reading, but so far its all good :)
    jim


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Postby Dante2 » Oct 23rd, '10, 20:12

A brilliant book and a witty deconstruction of modern biography. Uplifting, witty and insightful.

Re the footnotes: I think he had tongue firmly lodged in cheek when extending these longer and longer as the book went on.

My favourite book of the year.

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Postby FRK » Oct 27th, '10, 19:26

Well.... I have not posted for ages but I feel I had to come back to the fold to release my true feeling about this book, I have pondered, thought, searched and wondered.....

And my final over riding feeling, which are very strong about this, are

It's Rubbish.....


But it's nice to be back :)

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Postby phillipnorthfield » Oct 27th, '10, 20:24

There was some good stuff in here, particularly in terms of performance, but unfortunately, this would fit in around 20 pages. The rest of things that were interesting made it a fairly good read, but I have to agree there is a lot of waffle.

P.S Who the f*** thought those footnotes were a good idea!, I had to hold about 4 finger breaks to keep track of which page I had to jump to and from, it was ridiculous.

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Postby A J Irving » Oct 27th, '10, 20:28

phillipnorthfield wrote:P.S Who the f*** thought those footnotes were a good idea!, I had to hold about 4 finger breaks to keep track of which page I had to jump to and from, it was ridiculous.


I would advise you to avoid The House of Leaves then.

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Postby Ted » Oct 27th, '10, 20:39

phillipnorthfield wrote:Who the f*** thought those footnotes were a good idea!, I had to hold about 4 finger breaks to keep track of which page I had to jump to and from, it was ridiculous.


It's just his subtle way of teaching readers how to control cards :)

Actually, I thought the card sleight illustrations were interesting. If you've not bought the Devil's Picturebook DVD then you might not get it, but the drawings are hints at how to perform the effect he writes about, even though it's not explicit in the text.

But then, if you've bought the DVD you would not need the drawings, so maybe it's a little too clever for its own sake...

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