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Psychic Blues: Confessions of a Conflicted Medium Paperback – August 7, 2012

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Editorial Reviews


"Mr. Edward is staking his claim to belong to a very special subcategory of magicians and mediums: those who both perform their crafts and debunk them. From Harry Houdini to James (the Amazing) Randi and the duo of Penn and Teller, there is a long tradition of magicians who believe that it is their duty to inculcate skepticism in the audience." - Mark Oppenheimer, New York Times

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 340 pages
  • Publisher: Feral House (August 7, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1936239272
  • ISBN-13: 978-1936239276
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #130,136 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Mark Edward is a professional mentalist who specializes in magic of the mind. He has spent over twenty five years in world class venues from high-end night clubs and theaters to hundreds of private party and corporate events. As one of only five specially chosen and trained mediums in the history of Hollywood's famed Magic Castle, he has performed fifteen years of seances that helped him perfect the role of spirit medium and psychic entertainer. During this time he wrote several books on these subjects and appeared on television as both primary consultant and on-air performer.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Notvinnik on August 20, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An interesting "tell a lot, but not all" memoir of a professional magician and psychic. Mark Edward moved from stage magic to seances and psychic readings, and the most interesting part, to me, was finding out what life is like for the working psychic. We see him working the 900 lines for the "Psychic Friends Network", and that brings up an interesting fact. I'd always imagined the workers for 900 lines as sitting in a call center in a boiler room somewhere. Actually, those calls were routed from the central numbers to the homes of the individual psychics, and we find Edward in his own bedroom, unable to sleep as his phone rings constantly through the late night and early morning. Later, he works "psychic faires", a couple of radio stations, and entertains at private parties. Those last can be a mixed bag, some clients polite and considerate, others rude and downright abusive.

The types of people who seek his services are an interesting range of types, from lonely alcoholics phoning from their trailers at 3:00 AM, to true believers in magic, to high powered executives looking for a little affirmation. A career like this must be interesting for that alone, seeing the sheer variety of humanity, if that is, you're interested in that sort of thing.

As for the tricks of the trade, there may not be that much here that is news, at this late date, for people who have made any effort to inform themselves. Has anyone really not heard of cold reading by now? Of course, actually doing it requires quick thinking, observational skills, and a gift of gab which most of us probably just don't have, but the principles are easy enough to understand.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Sara E. Davies on September 28, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I sense that a number of people were involved in the creation of "Psychic Blues," at least one of whom is an excellent professional writer. I read the whole thing cover-to-cover within 24 hours. Engrossing yet perhaps not exactly factual, the stories ring true emotionally, evoking the loneliness and futility of a search for meaning in our alienating culture. The core of this series of heart-rending tales is the author's supposed 20+ year struggle with the question: Is working as a psychic completely disgusting and unethical, or is it a legitimate form of performance art with the power to occasionally help others? I have to wonder if this is a question anyone could seriously ask himself for that long. With such a refined ability to read people and a desire to be treated with "respect" (which, by the way, almost no one is, no matter what they do) why not be a psychologist, teacher, doctor, hostage negotiator, etc.? The answer can only be that Edward simply enjoys being a psychic. If that's the case, why not relax and go with it? Such agonizing! "Psychic Blues" resonates for me because I spent my early years in a remote enclave of crystal-gazing, angel-channeling, guru-worshipping, b.s.-peddling & consuming, tarot-reading, fruitarian, yoga-pants-wearing moonbats who sought Enlightenment, hence consider myself a veteran (in a very post-traumatic sense) of the dynamics of mass hysteria. People will believe anything if they hear it often enough - or at all. So I get it. The tragicomedy captured in the lights, smoke & mirrors is that so many go through life seeking direction, and as a result fail to develop the clarity about their own values and goals that would empower them to do what matters to them. - Sara Davies, co-author of Great is Peace: A Modern Commentary on Talmud Bavli Tractate Derek Eretz Zuta
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Edward Gordon on July 19, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I first came across Mark Edward after looking for a YouTube video on how to give psychic readings. He was on a show with Jeff Probst (The guy who hosted Survivor) and was teaching Jeff how to be a fake psychic. I was intrigued enough to buy his latest book, "Psychic Blues: Confessions of a Conflicted Medium."

I realize that Edward's attempt with "Psychic Blues" is to show the con side of psychic practice and confess his participation in that industry, especially during the 1990's when he worked for many years and in many ways with the Psychic Friends Network. He shows how his career path was not that different from Stan's path in the 1947 movie, "Nightmare Alley": a movie about a carnival barker who becomes a psychic con. But I'm not sure that Edward is completely successful in his attempts.

In this book, Mark Edward comes across as anything but a con. He comes across as someone who cared about the work he was doing and the people he was talking to. He certainly shows how the "business" of psychic mediums is corrupt; he shows how people are ripped off and strung along to keep paying out more and more money, but he fails to show how the art itself, when practiced by an honest medium--one who is honestly trying to do his or her best for their clients--becomes part of that con. Edward himself, in his "confessions" does not strike me as a con man--far from it.

In fact, in the book, Edward seems a little naïve, but in the best way. He truly doesn't want people to get ripped off, but he, himself, seems to want to help people with his readings. What he no longer believes, and never really believed since his early days as a stage magician, before he became a psychic reader, was that he was supernaturally gifted.
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