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Stunners! Plus! Two Decades of Mental Magic
by Larry Becker


(2 reviews, 9 customer ratings) ★★★★★

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Stunners! Plus! Two Decades of Mental Magic by Larry Becker

#3 in Mentalism & Spiritism hot-list

Larry Becker's magnificent opus, Stunners! was first published in 1992. In 1993 at the Society of American Magicians annual convention in New Orleans, Larry Becker received the Milbourne Christopher Foundation Literary Award for this outstanding contribution to the art of Mentalism and Magic. The first hard bound edition sold out in 90 days at a retail cost of $235. So did the soft cover edition in 1996 at $100. Stunners! has become a collector's item bringing anywhere from $300 to $500 and more on eBay.

After ten years it was expanded so that you were able to delve into the many variations, improvements and new effects that were created during the decade following the publication of Stunners!

Stunners-Plus!, which in the meantime is out of print, contains every word of the original Stunners for a total of more than 100 killer mental routines using books, coins, paper currency, cards, pencils, pens, watches, newspapers, boxes, props, no props, and so much more. You'll get some of the most baffling and entertaining mental effects ever created, all bearing the Becker hallmarks of maximum entertainment potential and simplicity of working. These inexplicable mental mysteries are guaranteed to catapult you to a higher plateau as an entertainer. In addition, this exciting new ebook also includes the instructions and presentations for many of Larry's commercially produced effects. Even though some use apparatus which are probably too complicate to rebuild on a DIY basis, the explanations, secrets, and performances are highly educational and will make you so much more mentalism-savvy.

You also get the history, secret and performance of Larry's original presentation of his death defying "Russian Roulette", an effect that has almost cost Larry's life, an effect that baffled some of the most knowledgeable mentalists. Larry doesn't hold anything back in his detailed descriptions. It is fascinating to read how some of his most famous effects evolved from great effects to outright miracles. Interspersed between those miracles you will find Q&A from an interview with Larry. The wisdom will change your life, and if it doesn't change your life it will certainly make you a better magician and mentalist.

Stunners! Plus! is packed with major improvements to such effects as Casino Royale, Ultimate Flashback, Serial Killer, Sneak Thief and so many other powerful effects created over the decade following Stunners! Outstanding professional stage and close-up material is explained in great detail by their originator. And as if that isn't enough to whet your appetite, imagine peering into the inner workings of Larry's many commercial effects. The presentational ideas alone would make this one of the greatest educational journeys you've ever taken. Effects like Chameleon Chest, Versadex, Blockbuster, Incredible and Insight wallets. PsiClops, Casino Light, Zenneristic and more.

The Stunners! material is re-typeset and all original art and illustrations are preserved and updated. Stunners! Plus! is a must for mentalists from amateurs to professionals and for magicians who want to make the transition, there's no better place to start.

1st edition 2003; 680 pages.

Foreword by Larry White

("Foreword" is not a Larry Becker Book Test, it's about Larry Becker)

Approximately ten years ago, just before heading out for a "get away" weekend at a motel overlooking a beautiful New England beach a friend handed me a copy of Larry Becker's World of Super Mentalism and said, "Just in case you get bored with the beach."

He should have warned me. I never put it down. In fact, I never saw the beach!

That weekend Larry Becker became my hero - Annemann, Dunninger and Al Koran rolled into one. To my mind he's fully as entertaining and mostly more clever than all three. Larry's brilliant effects, all wonderfully-simple and simply-wonderful, have earned their deserved place in the genre of "miracle class" mentalism.

A few years later fate chose that we should meet and become friends. Our friendship has only deepened my admiration. And, when Larry invited me to write the foreword for this, his most prodigious and, alas, final book I was deeply honored. So, it is now my sincere pleasure to introduce, or probably in most cases, re-introduce you to - with some embarrassment to him I'm sure - my friend, the diabolical Larry Becker.

First, Larry Becker is not an earthling! He comes from Jupiter, or more likely from someplace more than 20 light years beyond. How else can we explain him?

Larry Becker, you see, knows too much about the elementary human mind and uses these "powers" to totally confuse us Earthlings. (And, although it hurts to admit, "us Earthlings" includes us knowledgeable magicians and mentalists!)

I think, most likely he's a descendant of one of those "Ancient Astronauts" - but then, perhaps he disembarked from one of the more recent "saucers" or, might it be that, "They chose him to be an instrument of their purpose," as Uri Geller once claimed "they" did for him?

All kidding aside, and getting "down to earth," although he and his lovely wife/assistant/confidante, April, are quite emphatic that they are of mortal origin and that Larry possesses no extra-terrestrial, extra-psychic, extra-mental, extra-ANYTHING powers, in this book, you'll come to realize that Larry Becker is indeed "Extra-Ordinary!"

Since the late 1940's Larry's joy in life has been to create "mental illusions," and he has become a world-class master of the art. Like an Academy Award winning actor has mastered the art of convincing us that he or she is the character they portray, Larry has mastered the art of convincing the public that he is a "mentalist" as we envision one.

Larry's "tricks" work fast, are powerful, dramatic and decidedly entertaining. He combines such effects with his engaging personality, dynamic presentation, immaculate dress, and command of language to create a criterion for preforming mentalism we must all strive for.

And, that's what this book is all about! Larry is about to share what his fifty years in the business has taught him and to teach us what he has created. The Becker brand of mentalism. Magic that "might be real" and definitely looks like it!

Finally, for his creations you are about to encounter, Larry has received worldwide accolades. He has presented them personally, in England, Spain, France, Switzerland, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Sicily, Canada, Japan, Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong and throughout the United States. Regardless of language, culture, or customs, these original and refreshing mental effects have captured and captivated everyone, knowing magicians, mentalists and lay-people alike.

His chilling "Russian Roulette," the highlight of his act (the method revealed in this book for the first time) is internationally known and acknowledged as one of the finest versions ever performed. And, if you question the price of the book you're holding, I will tell you that Larry has several times been offered more than a thousand dollars for exclusive rights to this one effect - but, he's been saving it for you.

So, I hope I've convinced you that you have a real treat in store as you open the following pages. In the foreword of Larry's first book, Al Cohen wrote, "Once you've delved into the brilliant usable too will become an avid fan of Larry Becker." I, with thousands of magicians and mentalists around the world, plus those on Jupiter and light-years beyond, know you will! In fact, I'm so certain I'll leave you with a final warning:

Choose carefully when to turn the following pages.

Because...’re never going to see the beach!

Larry White
Stoughton, Massachusetts
April 1992

As a special Bonus you will receive with this PDF the complete contents of Larry's Russian Roulette DVD as WMV video files. This includes a life performance, full explanations and the pre-show interview to prepare the helper who will fire a gun into the side of the performer's head.
  1. Acknowledgement
  2. Dedication
  3. Foreword
  4. Preface
  5. Introduction
  6. Life on the Wrong Side of the Brain
  7. Monte Crispo: An initialed $100 bill is sealed in one of several envelopes. After a spectator eliminates all but one, the discarded envelopes are destroyed in a paper shredder. The remaining envelope is opened and the $100 bill is NOT inside. The initialed bill is discovered in an insurance policy under the spectator's arm.
  8. Digitellus: Two freely selected digits are transformed into ten numbers, none of which are known to the performer. The spectator totals all ten numbers only to discover the performer had correctly predicted the answer.
  9. Bear Minimum: An entertaining game of chance is won by the performer, but the spectator takes home an adorable consolation prize.
  10. The Berlin Bears: Germany's Ted Lesley baffled some of the world's leading mentalists at the 1992 Psychic Entertainers Association convention with this clever effect.
  11. Sneak Thief: One of the boldest "Psychometric" routines ever created. Four spectators draw whatever they wish on blank file cards. The performer correctly identifies who drew what, and brings the demonstration to an exciting climax by duplicating the final drawing while it is still laying face down on the table. Also included is "Sneaky Too", a devastating card routine that goes one up on the original.
  12. Intuition: An invisible "hold-out" that enables you to perform a myriad of puzzling effects. Included are two routines, one for close-up and the other presentation for stage use.
  13. Get The Picture: Larry White's "X-ray vision" design duplication using two opaque manila envelopes. Also included are variations by Larry's friends; Steve Dusheck (Playing Cards & Book Test), Alan Wassilak (Brain Wave), Dan Tong (Prediction) and Larry Becker (Wordarama & Stand-up).
  14. The $99.95 Miracle: A high-tech miracle revolving around a "Dick Tracy" type pen/corder and some of Chester Gould's dastardly villains.
  15. All-Star Miracle: Larry Becker's commercial hit. A spectator freely selects one of eight Baseball trading cards. Believe it or not, the chosen player's autograph is found on a regulation baseball that's been in full view throughout. Also included is an entertaining presentation by Roger L. Omanson.
  16. Gaff-Free Duo: Two great mental effects, Ned Rutledge's "Minding the Store" and Don Wayne's "Room Service", are simplified and practically duplicated using a clever principle.
  17. Hypnotic: Two spectator's are laughingly "hypnotized" into believing they are the world's greatest losers. Despite some very fair mixing and dealing, the performer wins every hand and correctly predicts the outcome of the final hand.
  18. Midnight Miracle: The ingenious principle of Larry's early commercial success, "Hare Mail" is transformed into one of mentalism's most lethal weapons. Two outstanding uses are included, "Pre-Vue" and "Switcheroo."
  19. The Becker Bevel: An unpublished, easily executed sleight that enables you to cleanly force a playing card even though the spectator's choice is extremely fair.
  20. The Revenger: An entertaining routine using the well known sound effects device widely sold in variety and novelty shops.
  21. Bank Night Baffler: Lee Earle modernizes "Bank Nite" with an ingenious method you'll love to use.
  22. Casino Caper: The performer correctly (and cleanly) predicts the outcome of three games of chance, Roulette, Black Jack and Craps.
  23. Casino Royale: An unpublished effect inspired by David Copperfield's "Blackboard Illusion." The performer without ever touching a large, covered display board, correctly predicts which casino a spectator will visit, how much he'll wager on a game of chance, and the outcome of a Black Jack hand freely dealt by the spectator.
  24. Some Total Radio: Richard Osterlind's clever adaptation of Larry Becker's "Some Total" designed for radio talk show use.
  25. The Borgia Bash: A zany prediction woven into a tale about the deadly Borgia family.
  26. Shuffler II: A sneaky update to the original "Shuffler" that enables you to maintain a card stack despite repeated mixing in an electric card shuffler.
  27. The RothBeck Box: Larry Becker and Roy Roth combine their talents to produce a die divination box that duplicates everything the expensive electronic models can do, without the use of electronics.
  28. X-The Unknown: Leo Boudreau's ingenious close-up mental effect complete with the artwork you need to do-it-yourself.
  29. Triple Threat: "Laser Gazer" is a devilishly clever effect. Also included are two additional and different climaxes entitled, "Crystal-Eyes" and "Witch-Watch."
  30. Flush & Headliner: Two highly entertaining presentations that share a not-so-common principle. One of Larry Becker's most diabolic ideas.
  31. Power of Suggestion: A second look at one of the finest mental card effects ever to appear in the International Brotherhood of Magician's fine publication, Linking Ring.
  32. The Howard Hughes Headline Prediction: An outrageous concept for the "Headline Prediction" effect with more twists, turns, and laughs than you can imagine.
  33. Mail Mental: A baffling variation of the Koran Gold Medallion effect using a cardboard carton and a locked box.
  34. Match Game: It started with Larry's "Will The Cards Match." Now see where it all ended up with two previously unpublished routines including "Punch Lines", a very funny variation and the "Ultimate Match-Up" with a surprising and baffling climax.
  35. Psycho II: Larry Becker's umpteenth improvement on his first commercial success.
  36. Terminal Psycho: The definitive effort that finally puts an end to the "Psycho" saga.
  37. Kliptomaniac: A baffling mental coin effect with an extra added "attraction."
  38. Game Show: A very entertaining routine constructed around television's popular "The Price is Right" television show.
  39. Clearly Predictable: The unbelievable "Headline Prediction" that baffled over 2500 magicians and mentalists throughout England and Europe.
  40. The Nostradamus Prediction Chest: A newspaper headline is predicted on a signed, audio cassette locked inside two nesting chests retained by a dignitary. No electronics or switching. The cassette the spectator removes from the chest is the one he actually signed and locked inside days or weeks earlier. Three different presentations are included.
  41. Club Kicker: A significant improvement to one of the strongest mental card effects in Book Two of Larry Becker's World of Super Mentalism.
  42. SlopPsi Turvy: A common card "move" becomes an excellent and effective mental card force.
  43. Mind Probe: The improved version of Larry's original divination of a thought of digit in the serial number on a dollar bill.
  44. Two O'Thoughts: The age old "clock" principle is elevated to mental miracle status with two outstanding stand-up presentations, "Mind Mirror" and "Cardology."
  45. Hour of Destiny: The ingenious extension of the "2 O'Thoughts", now commercially sold and featured by Ted Lesley's Wonder Workshop in Germany. Two fabulous routines. One is light entertainment and the other a more serious presentation.
  46. Boxxed: The inside story of Larry's improvement to the "Spectramental" effect in Book Two of World of Super Mentalism.
  47. Serial Killer: Originally sold for $135.00, this unbelievable effect uses a new principle in mentalism. Three volunteers randomly create a "phantom serial number" by calling off digits from three freely selected dollar bills. An absolute miracle.
  48. The Diffusion Principle: A unique principle that enables you to duplicate paper currency, legally, to achieve an uncanny display of "teleportation."
  49. X Rated Stuff: One of the finest mentally selected card routines ever devised. Including an entertaining variation entitled, "My Favorite Card."
  50. Coin Purse Mysteries: Larry Becker's great utilitarian mental device and the routines it spawned. Everything from the Bank Nite and Mental Safari routines to two "killers", "Descripto" and "Divination," disclosed here for the very first time.
  51. Unbalanced: A tricky Tarot routine using a well known card flourish.
  52. Super Reflecta-Thot: Richard Stride and Larry Becker team up to elevate a great effect to "miracle" status. A spectator freely selects one of 500 different words. Immediately, the performer reveals not only the word being thought of, but its definition as well.
  53. What Goes Around: After pioneering the zip-code principle in the July 1958 issue of Genii, Larry reveals five of the many devastating routines and variations he's created over the ensuing years: "Mini-Deck", "Jeopardy Zip", "Zip Lock", "Lock-up" and "Emotional Zip."
  54. Ultra Coinetic: The original "Ultra-Coinetic" sold for $60 and required a specially constructed leather case. Now, Larry transforms it into a do-it-yourself project that can be made up in five minutes from a couple of manila pay envelopes.
  55. Subliminal Persuasion: The performer demonstrates the persuasive power of subliminal suggestion using a portable tape recorder.
  56. Transparen-See: Obtaining a spectator's innermost thoughts has never been easier or more diabolical in concept. Describes Larry's brand new "Blockbuster Wallet" and how to perform the effect using something every mentalist is sure to have.
  57. Ultimate Flashback: A sneak preview of "Son of Flashback," the fastest, simplest Book Test ever created. Soon, if not already available, with exciting new improvements.
  58. Test Conditions: A close-up mental card effect. A spectator shuffles the deck. The performer makes a prediction. The spectator cuts the deck into three piles and freely selects any pile. The top three cards are shown to be different from one another. When the prediction is read, it correctly matches the freely selected card.
  59. Russian Roulette: One of the most baffling and sought after effects ever conceived. Featured on stage and TV throughout the world by Larry Becker. The ingenious secret is revealed at long last. A death-defying demonstration that is totally original and requires absolutely no gimmicks. More than an explanation, this is a chronology of the development of a spectacular mental illusion and the many close calls Larry experienced while performing it. This effect is worth ten times the cost of this ebook to an experienced, working professional mentalist
  60. Appendix I: The Double Undercut
  61. Appendix II: The Charlier Shuffle

    The Post Stunners Decade

  62. Performance and Lecture Reviews
  63. Ace Revisited
  64. Invisible Coinetic
  65. The Force Be With You
  66. Sweet Intuition
  67. Tribute to Stewart James
  68. Lightning Thot*
  69. Extra Sensory Deception
  70. Crowd Pleaser
  71. April's Not-So-Magic Square
  72. Al Zymer Graphology
  73. The "F" Gambit
  74. The Power of Suggestion III
  75. Zenneristic
  76. Paper Fortune Cookie
  77. Star Struck
  78. Lucky Digits
  79. Super Serial Killer
  80. Sneak Thief Supreme
  81. Some Total UpDate
  82. Mensa-Mental

    Ads and Instructions

  83. Insight Wallet
  84. Ultimate Flashback
  85. Out Of Body 2
  86. Blockbuster Wallet
  87. The Chameleon Chest Instructions
  88. Improved Universal Coin Purse
  89. Versadex Wallet
  90. The Flasher
  91. The Incredible Wallet
  92. Here, There and Everywhere
  93. Casino Light
  94. Marker Mentalism
  95. The Infallible $5000 Challenge Prediction
  96. The Infallible Prediction
  97. Boxxed
  98. Incredible "Audio Prediction"
  99. PsiClops
  100. Virtuosity
  101. Visual Aid
  102. The UTC System

Reviewed by David Burmeister (confirmed purchase)
★★★★★   Date Added: Saturday 20 January, 2024

What can I say? Larry Becker's material speaks for itself. I bought most of his books during the 80's and a LOT of material from Larry and Lee Earle not to mention SYZYGY Manuscript which I still have copies of the original manuscripts. All I can say is anything from them is easy to do and well worth the money. I even bought all of Larry Becker's ebooks. I give ALL their material a FIVE STAR rating.

Reviewed by Alexander Wolf (confirmed purchase)
★★★★★   Date Added: Thursday 25 June, 2020

This is creative thinking plus. A beautiful written book about this man's life and his way of thinking. Every Mentalist should read this.