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How to Be a Mentalist: Master the Secrets Behind the Hit TV Show by Simon Winthrop
Review by Linda Marie Schumacher
Berkley Trade Paperback  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780425236512
Date: 04 January 2011 List Price $15.00 Amazon US / Amazon UK

Links: Author's Website / Show Official Info /

Have you ever seen a mentalist perform and wonder how he does it? How to be a Mentalist describes many of the techniques. It also makes comparisons to everybody's favorite mentalist Patrick Jane from the CBS television show The Mentalist.

How to be a Mentalist talks about the techniques a mentalist uses in entertainment. The book defines a mentalist as "someone who uses mental acuity, hypnosis and/or suggestion. A master manipulator of thoughts and behavior." The book also cites the most famous mentalist right now as Patrick Jane, the fictional character on the TV show The Mentalist. Jane uses his ability to read people in order to help the California Bureau of Investigation solve crimes. I chose to read How to be a Mentalist not to become a mentalist but to learn to be more observant in my daily life, and because I think Patrick Jane is cute.

You don't need to be a fan of the TV show in order to benefit from this book. The book uses examples from the show, but there is sufficient background to understand the point even if you are not familiar with the series.

Since the book is non-fiction, I will cover some the concepts in the book:

    Memory - The book goes over some tricks to improve memory. It is ironic that one needs to commit the memory tricks to memory in order to use them. The author covers techniques such as visualization where images and words used together are more helpful in remembering things than either one is alone.

    Hypnosis - Interesting to learn, but I would never try to hypnotize a person. Let a professional do that.

    How to detect lies by reading body language - For instance, the direction a person moves his eyes while speaking can indicate whether the person is telling the truth.

    Meditation - The author begins the book with a chapter on meditation. It primarily talks about focusing and relaxing to increase your receptivity for awareness and intuition.

Some of these techniques can be considered manipulative. You need to let your conscience be your guide over whether you apply them to your advantage in your job. The book also contains a great index to allow you to look up specific techniques and use them.

Now on to the TV show----WASN'T THAT THE BEST SEASON FINALE THAT YOU HAVE EVER SEEN! The season premier for the new season airs on September 24, 2011. I canít wait to watch. If you are unfamiliar with the series, I recommend that you watch a few random episodes of the show and get familiar with the basic characters before you watch the finale. The finale for the 2010-2011 season was excellent and I can't wait to see where the show goes from there.

Highly recommend How to be a Mentalist. It's fun to read, and very informative.

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