Josh Zandman’s A Christmas Carol book test is a simple, easy and effective mindreading tool. The book itself is a paperback that measures a touch more than 4 inches by 7 inches. It looks like a paperback that you would buy in an airport in a paperback book rack. It has 168 pages and can be read and thoroughly inspected. At $49.95, the price is right.
With this book test, you hold the book up to someone at eye level and riffle through the pages until they say stop. You stop when they stop and there are no forces. You can even keep going once the spectator tells you to stop because the page is truly a free choice. Once you stop, the spectator looks at the first word on the page that is to their left. They remember that word and the book is closed without the performer seeing it. Then, as these things go, with a bit of brain flexing, the performer is able to divine the word from the freely selected page.
The trick is very easy to perform and a cinch to learn. It may take a few minutes to get the handling down, but it is something you can do a minute after reading the instructions. The instructions consist of two pages of text without any diagrams and takes about two minutes to read.
Every page has a different first word. In fact, the entire book is readable and there will be no blocks of text that are repeated. The method is inspired by and properly credited to Larry Becker, but tweaked in a way that makes the book inspection proof. There is no need to memorize anything, there is no fishing, no need for clues and no cheat sheets.
My only criticism is that the book seems to be seasonal. I wish it were a book that wasn’t centered around Christmas. Great for the Holiday season and not so great, in my opinion, for the rest for the year. The only things missing to my eye was a price on the back of the book and a quote from some literary person. I hope that Zandman takes the time to put out a series of books that are constructed exactly the same way.
I really love this book test. It looks real, is amazing and will fool the hell out of anyone.
This book test is available at any Murphy’s Magic dealer.