Neal Scryer and Friends

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Neal Scryer and Friends

Postby AtlasMentalism » Sep 7th, '12, 02:38

I haven't seen this discussed at all on this forum, so I thought I'd take a minute to review it.

I received Scryer and Friends within a week of its release, and have read it. Upon reading around the internet, I've seen this book hyped as the best minds in mentalism contributing their grade "A" performance material.

That was most certainly an exaggeration.

It is not full of their very best material - I expect that most contributors are canny enough to keep their signature creations close to their vests to prevent numerous copycats masquerading as being at the same level they are, or performing their work so shamefully that the method is obvious to the most casual observer.

BUT, having said that, the bulk of what is there is very strong and will be of use to most serious mentalists, despite the fact that many of the contributions are aimed at psychics. I was very put off by the fact that there was so much just aimed at psychics, and I was tempted to skip over effects that didn't appeal to me initially. In the end, I read every word, and I'm glad that I did.

In fact, a clever reader who may otherwise be put off by routines put across this way will often see ways to develop them to suit their tastes. I recently performed an effect that was described in about five pages, and I remember thinking how much I hated it as I read it (it was pure psychic stuff). However, at the very end of the section was a single paragraph that tendered alternative performance options. It was a throw-away, footnote sort of comment, but I could instantly grasp that the thing had potential and it is now a staple in my stage show. Clean, easy, baffling and impressive. I wouldn't go so far as to say that it was worth the price of the book, but it was a good start.

As far as price, it was expensive. Having said that, I feel that the book is neither a good deal nor a bad one. I just think that when one is a serious mentalist, certain items are priced to ensure exclusivity, and that is the way of things. Limited runs and high prices. Performing mentalists will see value in content that will improve the quality of their act, posers will stick to the video effects that they can find on youtube.

In fine, though not quite living up to all the hype that has been thrown around the internet, this is a worthy offering of some of the best brains around today.

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Re: Neal Scryer and Friends

Postby Part-Timer » Sep 8th, '12, 00:26

Thanks for this. I ummed and erred over buying this book, then PayPal messed up my account (again) and I had to leave it. It sounds like I might be better off putting my money elsewhere, not because this is bad, but simply because it's quite a chunk of money to spend on something that's good rather than great.

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Re: Neal Scryer and Friends

Postby Craig Browning » Sep 8th, '12, 13:58

Atlas. . . as I've pointed out on this and other forums for years, doing Readings has been a constant part of Mentalism for generations, it's "true" mentalism or what I call "Old School". If you read material penned prior to the current trend (prior to the mid-1990s) you will find an amazing amount of it deals with Readings and doing "the work". Dunninger being one of the first louder voices shunning this but even Corinda gives this art form/skill exceptionally high respect, pointing out that it is one of the few skills within Mentalism that can deliver one a very full and lucrative career.

In the 1980s and late 70's the most promoted books commercially were the many Richard Webster books on doing Readings as well as the more questionable Herb Dewey texts. Prior to that we had the Robert Nelson material which was likewise heavy when it came to emphasizing Reading skills. The older books, especially sources like the coveted Larsen Book on Magic & Mentalism, offered significant insight to "Cradle to the Grave" Readings.

I can assure you, much of what is offered in the Scryer books is top shelf material that the contributors use when they do Reading work, which is one reason the price was so high on the composition; the contributors didn't want just anyone to have this information and more importantly, they wanted it in the hands of people that would understand it and use it PROPERLY.

I would encourage you to download my two FREE PDFs (see links below) on Cold Reading & Mentalism, they explain elements of this particular side of the magic world certain factions wish to suppress (skeptics & cynics), leading Mentalism down the course of being little other than magic tricks vs. things miraculous and other worldly. Here in the states we are seeing a fast growing transition away from this colder mode of doing things and a reprise of the older traditions; a curious blending of Bizarre Magick, Mentalism, Storytelling and genuine Paganism as wrapped into a single thing being called "Shamanic Magic", "Urban Shamanism" and a number of other things.

FREE PDFs -- (2 & 3 titles down from the top)

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