Review: Paralies

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Review: Paralies

Postby Eshly » Jan 10th, '10, 01:46

by Joshua Quinn

This book is NOT for beginners in Mentalism. But dear lord is it good. For $80 it is excellent value for money, and I shall be using several of these effects in my stage effects. Though please note; as usual these Mentalism effects are mostly for stage.

I am going to name a few of the effect in detail, and (without giving away the methods ofcourse) describe EXACTLY what the spectator sees. I won't leave anything out; I'm not in it for advertising or anything, so you can make up your mind yourself how powerful these effects are.

While I think this is a very good book, and well worth the purchase, I do not think its as good as it is hyped up to be. So I can never give this a 10/10 purely because the effects are difficult, or not practical in some cases. However having said that... such effects like the ESP card routine are EXACTLY like real magic.


A spectator's coin visually bends between your fingers, with no cover. If you learn the right handling, the coin may be signed, or marked with an 'X'.


The performer writes a few words down... they are words, but look odd and like nonsense. A spectator mentally selects a card in a SEEMINGLY free-choice. (the choice is not free at all, but it is quite subtle, and the mental force Deckquivoque is used) This card name is said aloud, then the magician turns the paper upside down... the words he wrote before the effect began when read upside down, name the spectators card.
It is an ambigram - apparently influencing the spectators subconscious choices.
This effect can even be done over the phone.

My Zeneration

An amazing effect, perfectly magical.
This is an ESP matching card routine. There are ten cards, five for the performer and five for the spectator. Five pairs, so a square, triangle, cross, wavey lines and so on...
The performer lifts up a card, but does not let the spectator see it yet... he says to choose a card that the spectator thinks will match. The spectator does this, and the magician lays down his card on top of it. (i.e The magician chooses his selection before the spectator does)
This is done all five times, then the spectator may turn the ESP cards over... they all match.


A much advanced form of Equivocate; to select a card from a deck of 52 mentally. It is much more subtle and clean than you might expect.

The Billion Moneys Book Test

This has been massively over-hyped for anyone not in America in my opinon... as it does not work on anyone who does not know the vast majority of the states of America, which most of do not.

Basically a spectator thinks of a word... then is asked if that word has a state matching its last letter... and this string is continued until the spectator is thinking of a fruit, or an animal, or a president, and then the name of THAT fruit/animal/president or such is revealed.

Overall I think its been massively over hyped, and it has a low accuracy rate for a Mentalism effect.


Overall I can highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in Mentalism, but not for beginners I think. It has some brilliant ideas... and some that seem less brilliant; for example there is a section on how to make a TT-style sharpie swami gimmick - this may be handy to some people, but not to many.

I am glad I bought this book, and I can give it a solid 9/10, it looses a mark for the MASSIVE over-hypement of some of its effects (Billion Monkeys and Thought Chunnel), and because some effects seem a bit "filler", but overall very, very useful and a great buy.



Postby .robb. » Jan 10th, '10, 17:33

How many paid stage gigs have you had?

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Postby Eshly » Jan 11th, '10, 14:34

Paid gigs? None.

I've done a few shows here and there, but I am not a working professional. If you feel this makes my review useless, then feel free to ignore it.



Postby TheBlackBandit » Jan 12th, '10, 23:35

Tom, I can only echo your thoughts here, this is in incredible book, and a wonderful purchase.

I got it when I was unfortunately relatively new to mentalism and it was a bit of a rude awakening, however coming back to it as my skills are improving I see so much potential in it.

The work Josh has done here is staggering, and well worth the price.

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Postby pmc magic » Mar 1st, '10, 15:26

I agree, a great book!

In regards to the original poster's comments on the "Billion Monkeys Book Test", I believe he is actually referring to "Though Chunnel", which, as the author claims is mainly for use for those in the U.S., but can easily be adapted to other countries.

The effect is pure, impromptu mind reading, and is great!

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Postby Vanderbelt » Jul 23rd, '10, 15:45

More consensus from me as well as a bit of disagreement! This is a fantastic book, and yes it has had hype but I don't believe for one minute that it's been undeserving.

Much of the book, as is, will be of most use to today's 'modern' mentalist rather than an old-school psychic such as myself. However Joshua's writing is excellent, giving you plenty of thoughts regarding the mechanics of each effect which leave you with plenty of food for thought on how to develop them into your own.

If you'll indulge me, I'll go through some of the effects:

Metal bending has never been my thing so I can't rate this in comparison to other coin bending methods but out of curiousity I practiced it (didn't need much) and performed it to a few work colleagues and it hit home just as you'd expect it to.

A nice little ploy to play in whatever card force takes your fancy, be it psychological or mechanical. Can be used as a reveal on its own or as an 'explanation' as to how you made your prediction.

A spec is shown a piece of card/business card etc. The audience are shown the exact same card. The spec names out loud what he/she saw on the card. The audience all saw something else. No switches, the audience sees the card at the same time* as the spec.
One of the effects in the book that leave you marvelling at Joshua's thinking and ingenuity. This is definitely one for the stage and a LOT of rehearsal to get just right. I've been playing with this one in my rehearsal studio (aka living room) and have had it work and miss. Nothing wrong with the effect, it just needs a lot of practice.

*I emphasise that part heavily for a reason, most of us know of (a few) methods to produce essentially the same effect, but none that I know of where the spec and audience see the card at the same time. I know, I did it again.

Fate Rules
A gem, an absolute gem. Love love love this effect. Can you tell I'm a bit fond of it? A True/False game using simple props from an old board game, Quizzled. (American readers might not know of this game, nor younger ones, but it's great fun, I used to play it as a kid all the time :lol: )
A spec answers random questions with either a truth or a lie and you (or another spec) calls her/him out correctly every time.
There's SO many ways to utilise this effect. You can present yourself as a Truth Wizard, impart that ability to a spec etc. Once you get to the secret of the effect your mind just races with possibilies. Genius. Pure genius.

My Zeneration
The effect is as Tom described, 5 ESP cards each for performer and spec. The performer makes his selection first and the spec next, each pair placed face down. They all match.
An excellent ESP routine which satisfies my psychic ability claims. Can even (and really SHOULD) be performed quite impromptu, I've done this one down the pub after a few..... shandies.

Deckquivoque and Verbal Forking
Not just an effect (which ties in beautifully with Xijatsey) but a treatise on using equivoque beautifully. I can't help but think Joshua should release this as a pamphlet in its own right as non-mental performers will get value from this.

I truly despise this effect, I really do. Why? Because it's so utterly brilliant and I'll never use it as it is so thoroughly 'modern'. One for the psychological mentalists, it's very Derren Brown and it's very very very clever! Joshua starts by stating that this effect is very hard to summarise, so what hope I've got I don't know, but I'll try.

Four specs: 1 is asked to think of a random, 2 digit number. No forces, it's a true free choice. The number is written down and countersigned by the 1st spec. The card is then shown to the subsequent specs and countersigned each time. A comical prediction is then displayed which leads to the specs all naming the number they countersigned, and they're all different! The performer shows the card with the correct, freely thought number, then goes onto explain WHY they saw a different number (Think of the 'Inluential' finale from Derren's Something Wicked). As an added (optional) kicker the performer displays a prediction of the original, freely thought number.

Invisible Brushes
A performance idea for those people who own Lior Manor's Invisible Touhes

One of the deal clinchers that made me purchase Paralies. Not an effect but instructions on creating a brilliant utility device that is, IMHO, far better than some of the commercial and overly expensive ones out there.

Actual Proof

A wonderful effect that involves an entire audience becoming mind readers. An age old idea brought right up to date with some brilliant nuances from Joshua on how to maximise the impact to get a huge majority of the audience 'hitting'. It's a brilliant closer, especially I thought for a corporate gig, this would not look out of place at the end of Chuck Hickock's Mentalism Incorporated routine.

There are other effects which I simply haven't yet studied and really shouldn't review because of that, I don't believe in reviewing something I've just skimmed over.

And if all that wasn't enough ( and really, it is) the various sections are peppered with a few 'Pasteboard Interludes' where Joshua treats us (and they do feel like a treat) with some of his favourite card moves and tricks.

9.8/10 ;) As I said, modern mentalists with the psychological thing going on will get more value from this than those who are partial to a reading or two or enjoy the dark side of life. Don't let that put those old-school performers off though, there's some genuinely brilliant thinking in here, Joshua has a very brilliant mind.

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Postby Craig Browning » Jul 23rd, '10, 18:41

Josh is the kind of guy that actually works things out, field tests everything in his own shows as well as those of various friends and then appeals to his peers for critique LONG BEFORE PUBLISHING. For that reason his material tends to be top notch and viable. I love absolutely everything I've ever seen from him. :wink:

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Postby Vanderbelt » Jul 27th, '10, 18:18

Craig Browning wrote:Josh is the kind of guy that actually works things out, field tests everything in his own shows as well as those of various friends and then appeals to his peers for critique LONG BEFORE PUBLISHING. For that reason his material tends to be top notch and viable. I love absolutely everything I've ever seen from him. :wink:

While I don't know Joshua nor have communicated with him, that statement is absolutely self-evident in this work.
We've all come across effects from time to time where if we get overly analytical of them (and we really ought to if we intend to perform them) then you start to see flaws should they be played to an audience rather than be theoretically good.
I defy anyone to find such flaws in Joshua's work.

Eshly wrote:Though please note; as usual these Mentalism effects are mostly for stage.

Two points...
As usual? As usual with what? Joshua's work? Mentalism?
If it's this book you're referring to, well... slap me with a wet hanky, I can't see a single one you couldn't perform in a cabaret or parlour setting. Most are effective for close-up too.

Eshly wrote:or not practical in some cases

:shock: These are some of the most practical, workable and performable effects I've read in a single collection in .... a long time (When one considers I'm relatively new to the art)

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Re: Review: Paralies

Postby Magic1Jim » Oct 27th, '16, 16:12

I've been having great results with thought chunnel recently, I'd been going over it for weeks in my head and writings to make sure it was smooth. I was kind enough to be told how to make the necessary changes for this to be UK friendly which takes this to a whole new level

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Re: Review: Paralies

Postby FTHO » Oct 30th, '16, 19:15

I spent hours and hours working on a uk friendly one. And never came up with something I was 100% satisfied with.
I'd be curious to hear who came up with the uk version you are using.

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Re: Review: Paralies

Postby Magic1Jim » Oct 31st, '16, 09:34

PM'd you

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