Atlas Brookings – Train Tracking (out of print)
If I had to list my top 5 mentalism releases of 2014 then Train Tracking by Atlas Brookings would certainly be in there and very close to the top.
Train Tracking, for anyone who hasn’t heard of it, is a method of being able to reveal a spectator’s thought of word. This can be ANY word, and the word is NEVER written down. It’s about as close to real mindreading as I think you can probably get.
The method for Train Training is printed inside a nicely produced hardbacked book which runs to 175 pages. The method is nothing short of genius but I do have to say that it’s not something you will be doing as soon as you have read the book. This is something that is going to take a lot of work to get right. But, if you put in the effort to learn it properly, you have something that very few other people will be able to do, that is completely unbelievable. Something that can be done at any time, any place with no props at all.
The book is broken down into sections, or tracks as they are referred to in the book. Atlas starts off by explaining how the idea came about, and how it developed into what it now is. This isn’t something that Atlas simply thought of in the middle of the night. This is something that has taken years to develop. Some of the early examples explained are not that difficult to do and are actually very good in themselves. It is advised that each section be read, and learned thoroughly before moving onto the next.
As you progress through the book you learn techniques which help you build up the thought of word, through a series of seemingly innocent questions. The first couple of chapters start of relatively easy, but It does get progressively harder as the the book goes on. I have read the book several times now and I have the first couple of chapters down. I am still working of the final puzzle that completes the method though. I am just about to start reading it again from the beginning. At the end of each section there are diagrams which will help you visually see how each process works. These at first do look a bit complicated but once you have studied them for a while you soon see how they work, and they are actually a real help. A I read each section I found myself smiling when the methods were revealed
As a bonus, at the back of the book, Atlas has included his ‘Wish You Were Here’ routine which is a holiday prediction type effect that is brilliant. The video clip at the bottom is of Steve Haresign (who printed Train Tracking for Atlas) performing own his version of it. It really is a brilliant routine and worth a read.
One thing I really admire about Atlas is that he didn’t print thousands of copies of the book and sell them cheaply. He limited the numbers printed and set the price so only people really interested in it would buy it. If Atlas didn’t know the person who wanted to buy a copy he would find out about them and if he felt that Train Tracking wasn’t for them then he would not sell them a copy. These are the actions of someone who really values his magic.
It is always difficult trying to review and explain something without giving away too much of the method. All I can say is, that if you are lucky enough to have been able to get hold of a copy of this and you are willing to put in the effort it deserves then you will have a real miracle in your arsenal. This is a book to read, absorb and keep in your magic library for ever!