Sunday, October 12, 2008

Derren Brown

I suddenly realised that this was an ideal opportunity to find out if something odd was going on, so here we go.

About 4-5 years ago, when I worked in Walterstone's in the Oxford Street branch near Tottenham Court Road, there was a number of people in a short space of time who came into the shop to ask if we stocked a copy of the new book by Derren Brown. We looked on the computer and found that there wasn't anything available except some really expensive books on mind suggestion and close up magic that cost about £50. The customers were absolutely sure they'd seen something about the book on a poster or in a newspaper recently but couldn't remember the name of the book. Nothing unusual about this, but the strange thing is that every one of the customers who came in were so so sure they'd seen an advert about this book, they simply couldn't understand why we couldn't find it on the computer. We said that perhaps they mistook the new DVD for a book, but they were insistant that the book existed and were quite upset that we couldn't find it.
Katie and I have talked about this a few times and laughingly suggested that maybe these people had been hypnotised into thinking that the book existed.

I thought this would be a great opportunity to find out if this was just a massive coincidence, or if as suspected, I'm a massive tool.

Do any of you booksellers out there who read this nonsense remember a similar situation. Yes I know that Derren has brought a book out since then, but this was about 5 years ago.

Maybe if it was Derren instead of Gordon in charge, he could tell us all it was OK and everything would be fine. Maybe if Charlie was in charge it might be better still.
I'm on a little holiday to Dartmouth, but if this rings any bells with you, spread the word, and we'll get to the bottom of this mystery.

6 comments:

Joe said...

Yes simon, remember it well. The dudes were absolutely convinced but nothing could be found.

Anonymous said...

I too remember a series of queries all from customers who were convinced this book existed and slightly annoyed when we came up with nothing. It seem to last about 2 weeks...
James

Steerforth said...

Yes, I remember it too. The query was often preceded with 'Smith's said you'd 'ave it''

Thanks a fucking million Smith's.

markfarley said...

Dunno if it was part of the same show, but he filmed something in Soho Sq behind you around then where he got complete strangers to stop in the middle of the street and look up at the window he was in. I think it was an office in the FA building.

Phil said...

I remember this too. And I agreed with the customers! I was SURE I saw something about the tie-in book at the end of the shows. But I could never find it on BookData...

I am SURE I was duped. But am also V scared as I may also have handed over my credit card details to the general public and turned up to work without any clothes.

Lauren said...

Yup, I remember this! They always thought we were trying to dupe them when we couldn't put the book in their hands. VERY frustrating.

I'm pretty sure I also had people being sent from Smith's, but of course that's probably unrelated. Smith's Sales Assistants across the country seem to have made it their mission to annoy the hell out of Waterstone's Booksellers with thanklessly long-winded, fruitless enquiries.