‘Deeply informative, moving, wise and full of love’
Alain de Botton
Everyone says they want to be happy. But that's much more easily said than done. What does being happy actually mean? And how do you even know when you feel it?
Across the millennia, philosophers have thought long and hard about happiness. They have defined it in many different ways and come up with myriad strategies for living the good life. Drawing on this vast body of work, in Happy Derren Brown explores changing concepts of happiness - from the surprisingly modern wisdom of the Stoics and Epicureans in classical times right up until today, when the self-help industry has attempted to claim happiness as its own. He shows how many of self-help’s suggested routes to happiness and success – such as positive thinking, self-belief and setting goals – can be disastrous to follow and, indeed, actually cause anxiety. This brilliant, candid and deeply entertaining book exposes the flaws in these ways of thinking, and in return poses challenging but stimulating questions about how we choose to live and the way we think about death.
Happy aims to reclaim happiness and to enable us to appreciate the good things in life, in all their transient glory. By taking control of the stories we tell ourselves, by remembering that ‘everything’s fine’ even when it might not feel that way, we can allow ourselves to flourish and to live more happily.
The inside of Derren Brown's head is a strange and mysterious place. Now you can climb inside and wander around. Find out just how Derren's mind works, see what motivates him and discover what made him the weird and wonderful person he is today.
Obsessed with magic and illusions since childhood, Derren's life to date has been an extraordinary journey and here, in Confessions of a Conjuror, he allows us all to join him on a magical mystery tour - to the centre of his brain... Taking as his starting point the various stages of a conjuring trick he's performing in a crowded restaurant, Derren's endlessly engaging narrative wanders through subjects from all points of the compass, from the history of magic and the fundamentals of psychology to the joys of internet shopping and the proper use of Parmesan cheese. Brilliant, hilarious and entirely unlike anything else you have ever read before, Confessions of a Conjuror is also a complete and utter joy.
Derren Brown's television and stage performances have entranced and dumbfounded millions. His baffling illusions and stunning set pieces - such as The Séance, Russian Roulette and The Heist - have set new standards of what's possible, as well as causing more than their fair share of controversy. Now, for the first time, he reveals the secrets behind his craft, what makes him tick and how you can adapt his techniques for use in everyday life.
Three extracts from Tricks of the Mind take you on a journey into the structure and psychology of magic.
Magic: Derrren guides you through a coin and a card trick, revealing how you can instantly transform a simple trick into a convincing illusion.
Memory: Some simple, fun systems to improve your memory, transform aspects of your life and wow an audience with your amazing powers of recollection.
Hypnosis: Learn the key techniques behind successful hypnotism, including the preparation of your subject, inducing a trance and awakening your subject.
Derren Brown's television and stage performances have entranced and dumbfounded millions. His baffling illusions and stunning set pieces - such as The Seance, Russian Roulette and The Heist - have set new standards of what's possible, as well as causing more than their fair share of controversy. Now, for the first time, he reveals the secrets behind his craft, what makes him tick and just why he grew that beard.
Tricks of the Mind takes you on a journey into the structure and pyschology of magic. Derren teaches you how to read clues in people's behaviour and spot liars. He discusses the whys and wherefores of hypnosis and shows how to do it. And he investigates the power of suggestion and how you can massively improve your memory. He also takes a long hard look at the paranormal industry and why some of us feel the need to believe in it in the first place. Alternately hilarious, controversial and challenging, Tricks of the Mind is essential reading for Derren's legions of fans, and pretty bloody irresistible even if you don't like him that much...
Derren was born in 1971 in Croydon. A precocious and puzzling only child, he liked to paint, foster obsessive habits and once set fire to a neighbour's boat by accident. Derren went to study Law and German at Bristol University and fell in love with the city. In 1999 he was asked by Channel 4 to put a mind-reading programme together for television, which became Derren Brown: Mind Control. It was an immediate success and gained Derren a cool underground kudos.
Mind Controls 2 and 3 followed, then a series, and then in October 2003 Derren caused an international furore by playing Russian Roulette live on television. This secured his notoriety with the public and his big apartment in London. Further specials have followed - Derren Brown: The Seance which was the most complained about show in the history of television. He still gets several letters of complaint a week from psychics and Christians. He is sensitive to everyone's objections but knows at least the latter group will forgive him.
Derren's workload keeps him exhausted and irritable fifty-two weeks a year and he continues to live in London with a large collection of taxidermy and a fatalistic parrot. He spends any free weekends painting and likes to receive gifts.