What Readers Say

Obviously, before you buy this book you want to know if it’s any good, and if it’s worth the asking price. Well, these people have already bought it and read it. See for yourself what they think!

See this page for formal reviews and critics.

"A superb book, relentlessly intelligent and fiercely methodical! Its pages systematically unravel every deceptive strategy of thinking and rhetoric in 'psychic' character reading"
Teller (of Penn & Teller)
"The definitive work, and long overdue. Has many applications to mind magic, close-up, and any inter-active performance"
Derren Brown, author of 'Pure Effect'
"The most comprehensive book ever written on the subject"
Marc Salem
"I can't say enough how much I enjoy this book. It is so far the best I have read on the subject. I was impressed by the incredible amount of detail, groundwork and explanation of the psychological ploys used, and the way you have laid out each and every direction a reading can take, and categorized each method. I will treasure it and recommend it highly"
Banachek, 1998 APCA Campus Entertainer of the Year
"I have recently purchased your book on cold reading. It is fascinating! Your book is absolutely worth every penny I spent on it. I will add it to my growing collection and I thank you for taking the time to share your experience with people like me"
Lewis D. Chaney, IBM
"Hi Ian, I just wanted to thank you for your super quick delivery of the materials. I was pleasantly surprised to see the package in my mail box so soon. As for the material.....the Full Facts Book of Cold Reading greatly exceeded my expectations. I'm one of those people who have such a large and active imagination that usually when books and the like come I'm dissappointed because my imagination has built it up in my head. Not so this time.....!!!! One of the most useful bits comes on page 94, the neverwas principle. This is one of the most powerful principles in all the world. The only problem is if it is used properly one never has to have fun doing cold readings ever again. This is how legends are born"
Jason Messina
"Thanks again for the book. I'm quite well versed in our art, and your contribution to cold reading is, in my estimation, the definitive work on the subject"
Larry Becker
"This book is an extraordinary find for improvisers. I run my own improv company and the links are amazing. I'm used to making up stories out of thin air, thinking on my feet and responding to what others give me. This book showed me how I could use all those skills in cold reading. Like all the best insights after I'd understood it, it seemed obvious and easy. After just one reading (and I stayed up till three in the morning to read it cover to cover) I was doing what appeared to be convincing "physic" readings on friends. When I revealed I was applying what I'd read in this book some were so convinced I was reading their minds they still maintain I'm psychic.

I think it's a wonderful tool to develop for improvisers. It makes you listen and build - just the skills you need for impro. Throw in some showmanship and it could make a really spectacular audience pleaser in an improv show. The biggest "wow factor" I've found in any book since Keith Johnstone's "Impro". If you are even slightly tempted - buy it! You will read it over and over again. There's a gem on every page!"
Deborah Frances-White, Founder, The Spontaneity Shop
"Ian Rowland has produced a product that, like a scalpel, can be used for good or for evil. I read it with increasing fascination. I saw revealed before me, for the first time, a truly scholarly approach to this rarely-handled subject. There have been many other treatments, most of them mimeographed onto newsprint or otherwise cheaply and ungrammatically produced. Ian's effort is clearly organized and very well printed and produced. I'm not sure that mentalism can be taught. Instructions can be given, refinements can be made, but if you don't "have it," in my opinion, you'll never get there. It takes a special frame of mind, a particular character-set. Thus provided, any reader can benefit hugely from this book. I only hope it doesn't create more monsters. Ian put a lot of work and inspiration into the work. I think that it will become the reference volume whenever the subject of "reading" comes up"
James Randi
"Your cold reading book is superb. Probably the best that has ever been done on the subject"
Ray Hyman
"I just wanted to thank you for the items you offer on your site, I have bought your fantastic items, you are a wonderful role model for all magicians and mentalists alike. I was originally a tarot reader and runes etc and only descovered later that I was actually cold reading, but when I was 18 to 24 I really thought I was genuine. I have an open logical mind and have since reformed my beliefs. I am trained in hypnosis so I can appreciate how people get taken in by suggestion. I just wanted to say thanks again. I've almost completed compiling my mentalism act and charactor and your encouragement through your books and site were an inspiration as I started. Your friend..."
Eamonn Sheridan
"Rowland has produced the most comprehensive and useful book on cold reading so far available. Unlike many compendia of lines and spiels already available, this is a careful analysis of the fundamental principles (psychological and Machiavellian) available to the pseudo-psychic reader. This book should be of even greater value to the "psychic" counselors themselves, many of whom could learn much new to them from Rowland's practical treatise. Rowland has written a first rate "how to" book for those wanting to learn the skills. Ironically, it will probably become the leading underground manual for any would-be psychic reader"
Marcello Truzzi, Director, Center for Scientific Anomalies Research
"A brilliant work worthy of all the praise it's received"
Darwin Ortiz
"Ian - I'm just writing to say how impressed I have been by "The Full Facts Book About Cold Reading". After several years of tinkering with the idea of doing cold readings (I bought Lee Earle's introduction to the subject several years ago) your book finally spurred me into having a go. Last Friday after performing my usual after-dinner mentalist routine I borrowed a side room from the organiser and started doing tarot card readings for charity. Three hours later I was still in full flow long after the guests had left - this time doing readings for the bar staff and waitresses.

I still find it difficult to believe the impact the readings had. Every single one scored highly with the "customers". One man declared himself "completely gob-smacked". "I always believed fortune telling was a load of rubbish," he said. "I just can't believe what you've told me about myself. It's like looking in a mirror."

Last night, talking to a fellow magician and conspirator, having explained a bit about how cold reading worked I then did a reading for him. He said it was so accurate that- although he knew what I was doing - the hairs stood up on the back of his neck. If I didn't know a lot better I could easily convince myself that I had "the power". It has taken a long time to pluck up the courage to have a go but you spelt out the techniques so clearly that it was like having a tutor whispering in my ear throughout. For that, many thanks."
Nick B
"I took your cold reading book with my and read it while I was in Bali...a fun read with lots of interesting views on the subject, and very funny. I especially like your moonlight Jaqueline Bisset ritual...it worked for me!"
Jeff McBride
"Ian, I just received your book the other day. I was surprised to get it so fast. Because I live in the U.S. I thought it would take weeks. I just ordered it last week. I am already half through it and I have to say this is in fact the most complete book on cold reading I have ever read. Your book makes all my other books obsolete. I only wish I would have heard of you before, I could have saved a lot of money. First of all this book is the perfect size. I carry it around with me, It's not too big and bulky. The font and the size of the letters make it vary easy to read. And the layout is perfect, It's vary easy to understand"
Barry Williams, Abracadbra Ents
"Hi Ian, I have just finished reading your book on cold reading. The information is terrific. I plan on studying your book a great deal and taking notes on all the methods described"
Wallace Gluck
"Hello! Your book on 'cold-reading' really is splendid, and it offers a marvellous insight into psychology and the way that so-called ' psychics' really work. I thoroughly enjoy reading it"
Christopher
"Your book arrived here on Tuesday. I dove right into it. I lost a night's sleep, and a day's pay but absolutely worth it!! I almost want to laminate the pages because I know I will read this time and time again! I have bought many, many books in my 20 odd years in Magic, and this is without a doubt one of the finest. Period."
Mark Ellis
"Hi, Just a quick note to say thanks for the quick delivery of the book. I did think that £35 was a lot for a book, but having got it, I feel that it was worth every penny. I am going to get back to reading it now, I just wanted to say thanks."
Ken Tregenza
"I've now read your cold reading book from cover to cover, and it's really great; the best single volume ever. As much information between two covers as $1,000 of Richard Webster books, which is not to disparage Webster."
Bill Taylor
"I just received 'Cold Reading' yesterday. Not only is it brilliant, but it is hard to put down due to your subtle sense of humor. I have already pruchased "Passages" per your recomendation and it too is precious in both insight and delievery"
Randy Alexander
"I love it! Well-written, clear, beautifully-presented. Contains everything you could want to know about this fascinating subject"
Graham Jolley
"I received your Full Facts and Sense of Touch books. Thank you for publishing such quality items. I am truly impressed."
Scott Grossberg
"Dear Ian, I don't usually write emails at random to authors, but this one is to thank you for writing your book, The Full Facts About Cold Reading. / I discovered your book when I was researching an idea for my latest novel. It arrived one afternoon when I was home from work with the flu and I picked it up and started reading and couldn't put it down. (Well I might've got up to get some tissues, but that's all.) The subject is fascinating and you explain it so clearly and with such a lively style. As a teacher I was impressed by how you break down the different elements and keep on coming back to review and pull them together. I read it straight through that day and have read it at least four times since. So thank you for an entertaining, informative, inspiring read. I've recommended the book to many friends.Your book was the single most important resource I found. I'm unpublished in novel-length fiction, but I've just signed with an agent. Who knows if it'll sell - so much of this business is luck - but if it does, I'll be acknowledging you and your book. I'll let you know how I do. Thanks again."
Julie Cohen
"The book lives up to its title and covers every aspect of cold reading. If you've ever wanted to know how psychics, astrologers, mediums, graphologists and others get such impressive results then this book is definitely the one to get. I have numerous books on cold reading which I purchased at considerable cost from various magic suppliers, but Ian's book covers the subject in far more detail than anything I've seen to date"
Tony Youens, review for ASKE (Association for Skeptical Enquiry)
"Just wanted to say that I found your Cold Reading book exciting and utterly fascinating. Not to mention witty! I've recommended it to my students. I teach a university undergraduate class in science and pseudoscience and we discuss psychics and cold reading techniques. Your book is the most thorough discussion of technique I have seen - an instant classic on this topic. Thanks for your efforts to put this information together. This will help those of us, like me, who try to explain how and why people fall for this stuff."
Cloyd Hyten, Ph.D.
"Cold reading is one of those subjects that crops up everywhere, and your book sheds new light on many items I've come across in my research. I doubt the subject has ever been better explained"
Dr. Chris Willis. Ph.d, researcher and lecturer
"I received your book on Tuesday and it quickly supplanted my other reading material. If you ever publish other books with the same depth and breadth of information (and with the same dry humor), I'll certainly be near the front of the line to buy it. Good work. Cold reading is one of those subjects that crops up everywhere, and your book sheds new light on many items I've come across in my research. I doubt the subject has ever been better explained"
Kevin McGroarty
"Since reading your book, I've been trying cold reading for myself. So far I've never been rated less than 80% accurate, and I've even been rated 96 and 97% accurate on occasions! To my mind, your book is not just for mentalists - anyone who wants to know how to really hook an audience and win them over cannot afford not to study it."
David Penn
"Your Cold Reading Book is the best I got - and I got many!"
Toni Forster
"It is a wonderful book to read and in my opinion it is by far the best book on the subject. I shall continue to recommend it to users of the Magic Circle library."
Peter Lane, Magic Circle Librarian
"No mentalist can afford NOT to have this book, for this is the REAL stuff. Ian is a unique and brilliant exponent of this art, and this manual can only pay big dividends for ANY performer"
Alan Shaxon, M.I.M.S.
"Your 'Full Facts Book of Cold Reading' arrived on Saturday, and it is even more than the reviews prepared me for. I haven't yet have time to begin reading it in earnest, which I will do shortly, but just a stroll through the table of contents leads me to believe you have written the book on cold reading that has been promised by other authors in the past, but was never delivered. I already know I'm going to enjoy your book thoroughly, and I now have the anticipation of that pleasure being fulfilled."
Stephen Minch
"Just wanted to let you know that I reference you in a psychology class I teach that focuses on critical thinking skills, heavily emphasizing the psychology of self-deception. I've shown the students your book and they're amazed that this form of communicating is so sophisticated as to merit an entire book! I thought you might appreciate knowing you are impressing a number of psychology students in Arizona. It's an excellent book, and I've found nothing that comes anywhere near matching it in the area of mentalism."
Dave McElfresh, Certified Professional Counselor, Certified Substance Abuse Counselor, University Instructor
"What a brilliant book this is! I recently did a reading for a friend, using some of the tactics in your book. She said I was 99% accurate!"
J Ben Whiting, gothic magician
"Let me tell you just a few words about your book, “The Full Facts Of Cold Reading”: it is by far the most complete and practical treatise about the subject, well written, clear, analytical, and excitingly stimulating. I’m a professional mentalist who does a bit of cold reading to enhance some of my routines; until now I let me guide by my instinct and experience. I did rather well, but now that I’ve read your book, it is far more easier to get started and my readings have gained in directness and in efficiency. Thanks a lot!"
Wolf Waldbauer
"On behalf of Australian Skeptics, allow me to send you my most enthusiastic congratulations for producing what is with out doubt the greatest book on Cold Reading ever written. Since ordering your book, it has been read and is in the process of being read by all our committee. We even gave it a glowing review in our journal and have mentioned it on radio. Your book is an invaluable addition to our library."
Richard Saunders, Australian Skeptics
"As far as I'm concerned, there is only one REAL book ever written on Cold Reading, and that's yours. You have an amazing mind and typically intelligent English wit"
Curtis Foster, Psychic Entertainer
"Thank you very much for your book. It was exactly what I was looking for. After reading it just once I was up last night and caught the end of Miss Cleo's infomercial for her tarot psychic readings and it was fascinating to watch her as if she were just trying to show off every aspect of your cold reading book. I am still interested in applying some of the same principles for dealing with medical patients. Anyway, I have studied magic and associated things for over 35 years and your book is really very well done. Thank you."
Chad Thompson, MD
"This book contains the most (a) literate (b) informative (c) interesting (d) intelligent material I've ever come across on this subject. I couldn't put it down. An excellent job"
Lewis Jones
"Your book is MAGNIFICENT. The best book I have ever seen on the subject. Solid, practical information which is a joy to read. Truly superb"
Graham Reed
"I have started to e-mail you seven or eight times this week about your book. I can never just find words to describe how much I enjoyed the book and to describe how well you have covered the topic. I had it read within a couple of days, I just couldn't put it down. I am now on my second reading and am enjoying this just as much. Excellent work. I can't see you writing a third edition as I can't see what you could possible add or change."
Mark McDermott
"Received the book and THOROUGHLY enjoyed it. An outstanding exposition and at times very funny. I'm looking forward to the arrival of 'Sense of Touch'. Thanks for a great book"
John Pointon
"SPEND THE MONEY!!! SPEND THE MONEY!!! Seriously, it's an awesome book. The book is setup so that you are lead through the process from the time *before* you see your client to the end of the reading and then some. There are things mentioned there that I noticed about some of the TV psychics but couldn't figure the general concept out..."forking" for example. I have a "mind map"(if you don't know what these are...it's like taking notes but visually and with links to relationships between items in the notes..ask if you want to know more) of the elements of cold reading that Ian mentions so I can have a mental picture of what I might want to say/do next but it's hardly needed once you read it a couple times. Anyway, spend the $$$ it's a good read and will give you some names, and some formulae, for the stuff that you already do and stuff that you will soon be doing..."
Eric Haddix, moderator, Yahoo Cold Reading forum
"My Cold Reading book arrived only a week after I ordered it, and it is simply brilliant. Page after page I read and think, "Of course" and yet nobody else has pointed these things out before. Thank you so much for a highly entertaining and informative book. I can hardly wait for the Spoon Bending book."
SF, Illinois
"Mr. Rowland I have recently bought your full facts of cold reading and would like to congratulate you on an amazing book. It is fantastically written and I learnt a lot from it. You also have a great sense of humour"
Vantonio
"I just received "The Full Facts book of Cold Reading," having seen the mention of it on James Randi's site. Thank you for the extremely prompt delivery. I just finished an hour of skimming through it, intending to give it a serious read shortly. Based on my quick glance, I wanted to thank you in advance for an excellent, well-written book. Your writing style is absolutely wonderful. For a long time now I've enjoyed reading the works of James Randi, Martin Gardner, Penn and Teller, and other fine skeptics. As a physicist, I find that my own work is measurably improved by having studied these books. Thanks again for a brilliant addition to my library"
Dr. Jeffrey Chilton, Center for Naval Analyses
"It will be difficult telling other magicians of this book. It is one of the best books I've read so far on the subject. The best. It's so good you just want to keep the information close. When I read a book that's this good I always try to figure out why the author was willing to part with so much great information. Oh well. Any ways , I will pass the word out"
E Leoni
"I received my copy of your guide to cold reading and have greatly enjoyed reading it. As an aspiring mentalist I can see lots of opportunity to use the techniques, but what I found most interesting is that I see ways to adapt the techniques to use in my day job. I find the whole subject fascinating."
GC
"Dear Ian, I wanted to add my comments regarding your book, the Full Facts of Cold Reading. Suffice to say that once picked up I could not put the book down. It is absolutely fascinating. It was also interesting to read the ways in which we give away information without even realising it. Brilliant! I also liked the way that the author does not try to blind with science, or confuse the reader. It is very straightforward and leads you on from page to page. I think every woman should read this book, as we tend to be the most gullible. I intend to lend my book to all my girlfriends! Overall, it is an excellent read, highly recommended."
Anne Bennett
"Thank you very much for sending me a copy of your Full Facts Book of Cold Reading. I can't believe that I only recieved it two days ago, and have finished it already! Without a doubt, it is one of the most absorbing and well-written books I have had the pleasure of reading. You can thank Derren Brown for recommending it so highly in his own book, 'Pure Effect'! "
T Lowman
"I received my copy of the cold reading book this morning, Many thanks. I have already started to study it and am very impressed at the detail and content, I am also impressed that you speak in terms everyone can understand. Keep up the good work and once again many thanks"
Mark Ashby
"I've been reading your book today, and this by far the best book I've read about this subject, much more modern and valuable in my opinion than the others I've read."
J Ortin
"Your writing style, knowledge and humor are fantastic! If you are ever in the States and are near the Cincinnati, Ohio area, please look me up."
Darren Hopkins
"Your book is excellent. I was delighted to receive it in the mail (in about a week - excellent service!), and positively jubilant after reading it. The book is fascinating, humorous, and wonderfully detailed. You have provided a great service with this book, Ian, and I tip my hat to you for it."
Matt Hovde
"Dear Ian, I'm still trying to digest the wisdom of your splendid Full Facts Book of Cold Reading. Certainly it deserves more than one read-through, and no doubt a bit of "reference consultation" besides. Although it may seem little more than a side note, I must also comment on how pleased I am with the physical quality of the book. Typography, paper, printing, and binding are all well above what I'd expected from a self-published work. Kudos!

My interest in your work is mainly professional. Actually, I am a Pharmacist. Here in the States, fairly recent (last 6-7 years or so) changes in pharmacy practice laws have turned us into voluble talkers, but thankfully not outright showmen--yet! We were always available for free advice whenever patients asked questions, but the new laws go well above and beyond all that. Now we are required to give a little speech about medicine on each new prescription we fill.

Accurate, clear communication is key. And spouting a bunch of medical babble, however accurate it may be, goes right past most people. Many of the patients are embarrassed about their problems, and justifiably afraid for their health in the future. I often sense that a empathetic response to their emotions is of much more practical value than quotations about clinical trials in the New England Journal of Medicine. I find your book provides excellent advice about establishing rapport and seeking and using feedback. I intend to put some of it to practice immediately! And you wouldn't believe it, but I'll also try some techniques of covertly extracting information from the patients. So thank you for your engaging book! Cheers!"
Al Placette
"Just a quick note to say I am hugely enjoying your book on Cold Reading. Very well written with lots of "ah ha!" moments."
Lewis Barlow, President, Edinburgh Magic Circle
"Just a quick note on your "Full facts book.." I have read your book. Re-read it. And fine-tooth combed it... I found it quite awesome indeed. In fact - I will go so far as to say that it is one of the best books I have ever read! Thank you for this... Cordially"
Dr Ryan Blumenthal, Senior Registrar, Department Forensic Medicine, University of Pretoria, South Africa
"I bought your book on cold reading last week, and have read it cover to cover. I found it absolutely fascinating!"
Fi Craig
"I love your cold reading book. I'm so glad I glad I purchased it!"
JM
"I received your book about a week ago. I really didn't have time to read it in one go... but did so nonetheless. It was the most intriguing and captivating read so far this year. Absolutely superb! But then again that should come as no surprise as I always find fellow Jacqueline Bisset fans to have excellent taste."
Holger Haase
"Just wanted to let you know that I've read The Full Facts Book Of Cold Reading twice. It's a gem. Thank you"
T Powers
"I recently ordered your Cold Reading book and found it to be thorough, concise, and straightforward. I think it should be required reading for anyone who attenpts to entertain with magic, even if they are not interested in the "psychic" side of things. I do not know why you have been attacked by the "magicians" you quote in your website, but I have found nothing in your offerings that would be considered "exposure" of secrets or disbelief in psychic phenomena. On the contrary, anyone who has taken the time to produce the work you have must genuinely be open to such things. As far as magic secrets go, any 6 year old can research how magic works... I certainly did! And that was thirty years ago without the internet! Keep up the good work and let's hope those critics will stay in front of their mirrors fooling themselves."
Michael Carter
"Thank you, thank you, thank you for republishing your 'Complete Facts of Cold Reading'. It truly is fantastic. I must apologise for how late after my purchase this message is but I've only really just been able to read the book and reread the book in enough detail to start building a working understanding of cold reading (an area which I've never previously felt at ease with). You gave a prompt delivery and value for money, for which I am widely and greatly appreciative. It's delightful to read and very clear whilst still giving the necessary detail when covering topics."
Martin Colclough
"The Full Facts book arrived today and it's clear I have a lot of very enjoyable reading ahead of me. Thank you for this great work"
Craig Chamberlain
"Ian, I just received your book. I am very pleased I found it helpful and thought provoking. The book was everything I expected it to be, and some more. I read the bulk of it in one day - but of course it will take many readings to digest the information"
Tom Goad
"First I have to say how much I loved the cold reading book. Very interesting reading. I'm a psychologist, used hypnotherapeutic techniques (inspired by Milton Erickson) and worked mostly with people with psychiatric problems. I'm sure that in therapeutic work a lot of cold reading techniques can be used - although I'm afraid that a lot of my collegues don't agree with me, partly because they have no (conscious) knowledge about the techniques, and partly because they like to think psychotherapy is something very special, :-)"
Rob Hahlen
"Just wanted to say that I found your Cold Reading book exciting and utterly fascinating. Not to mention witty! I've recommended it to my students. I teach a university undergraduate class in science and pseudoscience and we discuss psychics and cold reading techniques. Your book is the most thorough discussion of technique I have seen - an instant classic on this topic. Thanks for your efforts to put this information together. This will help those of us, like me, who try to explain how and why people fall for this stuff."
Cloyd Huyten, Associate Professor, Dept. of Behavior Analysis, University of North Texas
"My Cold Reading book arrived only a week after I ordered it, and it is simply brilliant. Page after page I read and think, "Of course" and yet nobody else has pointed these things out before. Thank you so much for a highly entertaining and informative book."
Sandi Fraction
"I'd just like to say that the book is fantastic. I knew a bit about cold reading before but the detail here is incredible - informative and entertaining."
Clive Beale
"I am a huge fan of your work. I purchased your The Full Facts Book of Cold Reading book. I can't even begin to describe how incredible the work is!"
Richard Sanders
"I have recently purchased your "Cold Reading Full Facts" book and read it from cover to cover in one evening. FASCINATING reading and I thoroughly enjoyed it."
Chris J Traynor
"I used your book as the primary source for a lecture to Mental Health Counseling students in a class on assessment and testing. I gave a nice Tarot reading using as many of your features as I could. The students were stunned and amazed. Then I explained how it was done, and how they could use many of the same techniques 'for the good' in exploring the results of valid and reliable assessments. It was a great hit, although one of the students maintains that she knows a 'real psychic'. I plan to do this lecture on a regular basis, and credit you fully in my lecture and in my handouts. Thanks for writing the book. It will remain on my shelf of 'great books' and required readings along with my Tarot cards."
Will Barratt, Ph. D.

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