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Mindsights by Doug Dyment

PostPosted: May 22nd, '09, 00:08
by Replicant

Mindsights: Tools and Performance Pieces for the Mystery Entertainer
by Doug Dyment

The Effect
Click on the link under Cost for a detailed description of the contents of this booklet.


from Deceptionary

(1=easy to do, 2=No sleights, but not so easy, 3=Some sleights used,
4=Advanced sleights used, 5=Suitable for experienced magicians only)

It's a bit tricky to rate this booklet on the usual 1-5 scale; I guess it would rate a 1, 2, 3 or 5, all rolled into one. The effects don't require sleights as such, although one of them uses a basic card sleight. Most of the material in Mindsights requires a confident entertainer who is skilled at participant management. It's all in the presentation here and knuckle-busting sleights are kept to a minimum. Not for the beginner.

Once in a blue moon, in this fascinating hobby of mine, something so special comes along that I just want to keep it to myself. Mindsights is one of those gems. This little booklet is so good I have been debating with myself for a while whether or not to review it. Luckily for you lot, I have decided to do so. ;) I was just going to say, "Buy it. Now." but I feel some elaboration would be preferable for the majority of you. So here goes.

Mindsights is an A5(ish)-sized, saddle-stitched booklet, containing 64 pages of sheer brilliance; five effects, three essays on the performance of mentalism, a full-deck memorised stack and a utility item. Plus a short piece which explains the finest optical illusion I have ever seen. Mindsights is also extremely well written and very easy to read and follow. Doug goes into detail here; not only is each item thoroughly explained, but he provides the reader with alternative presentational ideas and tips that really do encourage you to experiment and approach things from a different angle. Extensive footnotes throughout also add to the experience. (Ever wondered how "mnemonic" and "equivoque" should be pronounced? Check out pages 6 and 20, respectively).

Here's an overview of the contents with some of my brief thoughts on each item...

Flash Squared
The description on Deceptionary for this magic square routine is 100% accurate. Previous to reading this, my knowledge and performing experience of magic squares was pretty much non-existent. This section on magic squares is quite extensive and Doug's method is simple and clean. Includes a method for producing magic squares that add to a particular year. Two excellent and helpful appendices round off this great chapter. If magic squares has never been your cup of tea, then you really should read this for Doug's take on this fascinating subject.

The Cover Illusion
A short section explaining the famous Checkerboard Shadow Illusion which features on the front cover. Google it and prepared to be dumbfounded.

Major Arcanum
This is one of the reasons why I chose to purchase Mindsights and I was not disappointed. Read the description for the effect carefully and then read it again, because it's true. I love a good tarot effect and this is one of the best, if not the best, that I have come across. It doesn't play like a magic trick and you could incorporate a reading into it if you were so inclined. Absolutely no gaffs to speak of and remarkably clean. Again, Doug provides extensive performance options. This one is superb.

Premise NV
A useful utility item for multiple-out predictions. Very handy indeed and considering its simplicity, it's not something I have seen in print before.

Musings I
The first of three short, but interesting and thought-provoking essays on mentalism, this one concerns ESP.

Bob's Your Uncle
The other reason why I purchased this booklet. BYU is yet another version of the ESP symbol matching effect, but this one happens to be the best version I have ever performed. It requires only one simple sleight and uses just ten, normal ESP cards. No gaffs. This is superior to every other ESP matching effect I have ever seen, including David Britland's Zennerism (which is very good) and others. I have had great reactions to this and immediately added it to my limited repertoire.

Musings II
Predicting the future and time travel.

This is a great numeric prediction effect that has high audience participation and is ideal for large groups of people. Once again, Doug's eye for detail when explaining methods and presentational tips leaves me in a constant state of awe.

Musings III
Psychic guilt, Dionne Warwick and Al Koran....

QuickStack: The Half-Hour Memorized Deck
Yet another extensive chapter on Doug's memorized deck. Some people consider this to be "worth the price of the book" so who am I to argue otherwise? The method is great but will take some work and requires some mental agility and a sharp mind to get down. It took me somewhat longer than the advertised "half-hour" to learn, but better late than never. This will need frequent practice and performance use to get the most out of it. It is one of those things that will easily fade from the memory if not used often. Overall, QuickStack is a great memorized deck and easier to get the hang of than others I have seen.

The Immoderate Deception
The final item is a card trick that utilises QuickStack; TID is a nice effect that involves a few participants. Once you have learned QuickStack, this is quite straightforward as far as methodolgy is concerned. As ever, it is all in the presentation.

Mindsights may not look like much from the outside (little booklet of 64 pages), but the contents are absolutely first class and Doug has put pen to paper and given us what I can only assume is some of his most treasured material. Make no mistake, Mindsights is one of the best books/booklets I have read in recent years; coming from the likes of me, this may not seem like a particularly glowing endorsement, but I have purchased so much material over the years and very few have held me so completely spellbound as Mindsights. Put simply, there is not a single dud item in Mindsights; every one of the chapters contains high quality material. If only one of the effects sounds like it may interest you, then you need to buy this booklet. I simply cannot recommend Mindsights highly enough.

Score: 10/10

PostPosted: May 22nd, '09, 05:53
by DrTodd
Great review! Could not agree more...

PostPosted: May 22nd, '09, 13:33
by Ace of Shades
I'm glad Mr. Replicant wrote this review instead of me. Much better results, I think. :D

I perform Flash-Squared and BYU constantly. I'm sure the idea of using business cards as props is hardly new, although the context of Flash-Squared lends it an entirely new dimension. I also like Doug's commentary in the "Musings" sections. I'm greatly impressed by the thinking that went into Mindsights.

My head hurt the first time I read through the book, but that's just me. ;)

PostPosted: Jun 11th, '09, 14:34
by Johnny Wizz
I dithered over buying this. The review is excellent but I had to struggle with the idea that for £20 you are only getting 64 pages and I was not sure if I had room for the routines in my act.

But in the end, having reread the review a dozen times I caved in and ordered the book. I ordered it around 5.00pm last Friday.

Firstly a comment on service. Within hours of ordering I had an e mail confirmation from Doug telling me the item would be despached from the US on Saturday. On Wednesday lunctime I had a text from my wife to say that my package from Americahad arrived. Spot on service, Couldn't be bettered.

As to the book itself I have so far only had chence to glance through it - over dinner last night which earned a fairly hefty rebuke from Mrs Wizz for my anti social behaviour.

The first thing that struck me was that this is a little book with a lot to think about in it. It is academically set out and crammed with solid information.

I now have a two week holiday coming up and this book plus my new copy of Harry Loraynes Close Up Card Magic are packed next to my swimmers which I doubt if I will need as we are only going to Cornwall!

PostPosted: Jun 11th, '09, 15:16
by Replicant
Glad you decided to take the plunge, JW; I don't think you'll regret it. I also dithered for a while before ordering this and I wish I ordered it sooner. I now perform Major Arcanum and Bob's Your Uncle quite frequently and they always go down very well indeed. There's something about tricks with Tarot and ESP cards that the spectators usually find more believable than tricks with playing cards. Premise NV is also something that I have been playing around with and have used a few times. It's pretty neat.

In terms of value-for-money, this is great because I have gotten so much from it. Hopefully, you will have a similar experience. And yes, Doug's service is very prompt; I've had longer waits for items that were posted in the UK. And he's a nice chap, too; he even signed my copy when I asked. (Yes, I am one of those saddos that asks for autographs!)

By the way, Doug's other booklet, Stimulacra, is also excellent. Perhaps I will review it when I have time.

(Cornwall is a beautiful part of the country. I was in Looe a few years ago and it was stunning. I think I shall retire there).

PostPosted: Jun 11th, '09, 22:09
by DrTodd
Get this and Stimulacra,both are pure gold....Doug is a genius....he also has a lot of free stuff on

PostPosted: Jun 13th, '09, 14:20
by Lyndon Webb
Am I, the only one who finds Major Arcanum, a very average effect?

I bought the book for the work on Magic Squares and i was disappointed!

PostPosted: Jun 13th, '09, 22:46
by Replicant
Lyndon, judging by the feedback on Doug's website, you appear to be in the minority. It looks as if most people are buying this booklet for the magic square routine and info and most seem to think it is very worthwhile. Personally, I am somewhat ambivalent when it comes to magic squares, but I do like Doug's take on it. I think the OTL principle that he employs is a nice touch.

As far as Major Arcanum is concerned, I liked the sound of it when I read the effect's description, I really liked it when I read the method and now that I have performed it a few times and seen the reactions it gets, I like it even more. Of course, effects must appeal to you as an entertainer/performer first and foremost and they must also be in keeping with your style; if the effect also happens to delight and amaze your spectators, then so much the better. That pretty much describes me when it comes to Major Arcanum. But nothing, not a single effect on the market, will be to the liking of everyone for a variety of reasons. And that's fine. I just hope the review will help people decide for themselves if Mindsights might be for them. (And I hope my review doesn't sound overly enthusiastic (!), but I really do think Mindsights is the best purchase I've made in a long time). :)

PostPosted: Jun 14th, '09, 10:48
by Lyndon Webb
I do like the book, i was one of the first to buy it (i kinda know Doug - online) and i did one of the first reviews for the website.

I might have to take another look at the Effect as i may be missing something.

PostPosted: Jun 29th, '09, 17:40
by Johnny Wizz
Having had a couple of weeks to study this book I have a couple of observagtions to make.

Firstly, as I half suspected, most of the stuff is not suitable for my particular type of table hopping magice.

Having said thatt though Is till think it is a good buy packed with some pretty good stuff. Doug is obviously a mathematician, that comes through clearly in everything in this book. And it would be quite easy if like me you are number phobic to get put off some of the content. But in reality you do not need to understand the maths to make the stuff work, just follow the pretty clear instructions.

The magic square section which is a good chunk of the book is interesting and has given me some ideas for my act. I am thinking of throwing in a magic square on a business type card as an extra when my turn has gone dow well. It is not strictly magic but it is damned impressive.

As I said above I dithered about buying this book but on refelection I can honestly say that I have no regrets and know that it will help me with plans I have to expand my repertoire and working environments.