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HOW TO DEVELOP A PERFECT MEMORY by DOMINIC O'BRIEN
When I decided to enter the World Memory Championships last year, I chose Dominic O'Brien's book "How to Develop a Perfect Memory" as my guide to developing the skills necessary to compete at that level.
It was a simple decision. My thought process at the time was that it was probably a good idea to follow in the footsteps of the World Memory Champion if I wanted to make any impact at all in competition memory. Dominic O'Brien has won the title six times and if anyone knows anything about memory it is he.
As you would expect, the book covers a wide range of memory applications from remembering names, speeches and directions to numbers, cards and sporting trivia. But instead of just being a complete memory course, it is the sort of book that you can dip into to solve a particular memory challenge without having to plough through the whole book.
The basics of the O'Brien System are the use of mental journeys and the translation of numbers into memorable images. Once those concepts are mastered the foundations of a perfect memory are very much in place.
The book also makes for an interesting read. If you have ever wondered how people can win at Blackjack by card counting or how you can win good money on quiz machines Dominic's description of his own experiences is enlightening.
If you are interested in "party trick memory" or have a specific memory problem that you would like to solve then this is probably the only book you will ever need.
If you want to sharpen up your memory skills for school, college or university then read Dominic's other book "How to Pass Exams" (to be reviewed later this year).
His system is extremely flexible and his approach is new and therefore refreshing. It does take some effort but the results are worth it.
It must work because after reading and applying the principles contained in this book alone, I came 5th in the World Memory Championships.
How to Develop a Perfect Memory by Dominic O'Brien is published by HEADLINE BOOK PUBLISHING at £5.99 and is available from all good bookshops (ISBN 0-7472-4517-7). Please note that since this review was written, there have been problems getting copies of this book. I believe that it might be out of print although one or two smaller bookstores have stocked it. If you can't get it through your local bookstore, see if they have an "Out of Print" service that could find it for you. Alternatively, try one of the many online bookstores. As a last resort, most libraries will find books for you to borrow.
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Silver Medallist in the World Memory Championships.
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