"Ah...erm thanks" was my response to a well meaning relative after opening the wrapping surrounding this book on my birthday.
For a start I'm not really sure if I even like Derren Brown all that much! - However reading is a great passion of mine - so on one dreary afternoon - and for lack of anything better to read - I took the plunge and began!
Firstly I was surprised by the wit and charismatic form the writing took. Derren is truly a gifted writer. This book is both enjoyable and well informed (Derren sights a wide range of references including Dick Taverne & Sam Harris - no less!).
Essentially the book is quite a bizarre mix of insights into how memory can be trained, the power of suggestibility, unconscious communication and other techniques employed by magicians, charlatans and Derren alike.
Part six of the book is, for me, arguably the most compelling section - in which Derren reflects on the current trends of anti and pseudo science. This was not at all what I was expecting from this book, and therein is why I feel it firmly deserves the 5 stars I'm going to award it.
I have no doubt that fans of Derren's shows will find plenty of material within they enjoy (and can impress their mates with) while people such as myself, who until reading this had no real opinion of the man, will be won over by his wit, story telling ability and (in the case of part 6 of the book) cool logic and respect for scientific process.
Right, I'm off to thank my aunt for such an (unexpectedly) brilliant gift.