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YOU CAN REMEMBER
A home study course in
Memory and Concentration
by Dr Bruno Furst
Have you ever seen that stern-looking man from the 1950s staring at you from the pages of your Sunday Newspaper saying to you "IQ of 145 and can't remember?" The marketing has changed and the face has been updated to a more acceptable face of the 90s but it is highly likely that if you read any newspaper here in the UK, you will have seen this advert or those similar to it. Many of you may have brushed it off as a con "I mean how can you improve your memory?" Well, think again, because this is a genuine course that does work. And how do I know? Well, it was through this course 15 years ago that I first learned about memory techniques.
This course was developed in the 1940s by a man called Dr Bruno Furst and has been a publishing success ever since. It is a home study course available only through mail order and as such is much more expensive than the books you can find on the shelves in your local bookstore. However, do not let that put you off. The difference with this type of course is that instead of just telling you how to improve your memory, it shows you how by deliberately and comprehensively explaining exactly what you need to do to have perfect recall of just about anything. Its strengths lie in the detailed cartoons and long explanations of the sort of processes you should be applying to memorise information.
For your money you get an attractive binder with 12 booklets that cover memory principles, how to remember amongst other things lists, speeches, stories, facts and figures, telephone numbers, playing cards and languages. I was particularly impressed with the session on how to remember names and faces. To date it is the most comprehensive explanation that I have found of how to tackle the most common memory problem I encounter. In addition there is a question and answer booklet together with a discussion booklet and a number dictionary. If you look at my article on memorising numbers in January 1999 I explain the Major System for memorising numbers and it is this technique that Dr Bruno Furst develops in this course. Questionnaires help reinforce what you have learned and test your recall of the information that you have memorised. You also have access to a number of personal tutors who will answer any questions that you do have. This is normally by letter but the marketing package does infer that you will be dealt with on an individual basis.
I have yet to obtain some of the other memory packages in this price range so I am unable to make a comparison with the rest of the market at this stage. But, if you were to purchase this, I do believe that you would get value for money. Better still, there is a 14 day free trial to look at it yourself and if you decide to buy, payments can be spread over 10 months if you wish. In my opinion, the course is aimed at the adult market because of the nature of the examples it uses but because of its ease of use and development of ideas, I do believe that a child of 10 could take this course. Having looked at this course again for this review after 15 years of letting my copy gather dust on the shelf, I shall be returning to it for more tips to refine my own skills. My only criticism is that the booklets are in black and white and the use of colour would help to bring it alive more.
You Can Remember, A Home-Study Course in Memory and Concentration by Dr Bruno Furst and Lotte Furst costs Ł197.95 and can be obtained from R&W Heap (Publishing) Company Limited, Bowden Hall, Marple, Stockport, Cheshire, SK6 6NE Telephone Number 0161 427 3513. My thanks go to Mr Richard Bagshaw, Managing Director, for donating the course for review.
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4th March 1998: