I’ve been fascinated by Derren Brown for a while, not just in the stuff he does but who he is, obviously I know that a lot of the stuff he does is tricks, but I think it must be an interesting mind to have thought up those tricks (or adapted those tricks) in the first place, so although I’m not an autobiography fan, I had to read this.
Lucky for me then that Confessions of a Conjuror is not really an autobiography, it is far more interesting than just a “I was born here, I did that, then I did this blah, blah, blah” sort of book, it’s more of a case of random semi-autobiographical musings based round a night in Bristol a few years before he started his TV career, working as the entertainment in a local restaurant. He starts with his nerves and reluctance to go out and approach the tables of customers and then moves on to finding a table to perform his card tricks at. In between explaining the card tricks he’s performing to the trio at the table, Brown muses on everything from why it’s important to be kind, shopping at Robert Dyas, the joys of his Amazon habit, how to sleep in a hot hotel room, what he’s like when he’s lost a pen (the similarities between me and my lost iPhone is uncanny), how to poach an egg, how he decides whether to catch the lift in his apartment block or to walk down the stairs, his thought process when someone first declared their love for him and so much more. A large chunk of the book is incredibly funny. He does, in between the card tricks and the random musing talk a little about his family and his life as a (little bit odd sounding) child, but anyone looking for a conventional biography of Derren Brown, this is not the book, this is something better.
- Derren Brown: ‘I’m being honest about my dishonesty’ (guardian.co.uk)