If you’re skeptical about claims around “super power memory,” I don’t blame you.
It’s a big promise, after all. And the people behind books like How to Develop a Super Power Memory know how to market.
In fact, Harry Lorayne is one of the most successful memory trainers in history. And a lot of that success comes from the fact that sales copy for some of his books was written by marketing legend Eugene Schwartz.
The question is…
Who is Harry Lorayne and is the book any good?
In a word, he’s a great educator and yes, the book is good.
But there are some nuances and details I think you’ll appreciate before deciding to spend any time on it.
Who Is Harry Lorayne?
Simply put, Harry Loryane is a memory expert and a legend.
He not only took the world by storm with his memory books and appearances on The Tonight Show.
He’s also a very successful magician. He’s performed magic for years, including in his 80s.
But he also wrote and published many books on magic, including a legendary Apocalypse, from which he recently made a condensed volume of his writings.
In terms of memory, no end of people have attributed their success with mastering the basics of memory techniques thanks to reading his books.
All of which is to say Harry Lorayne is definitely legit. He knows his stuff and you can read a more complete profile I’ve prepared about him here.
How to Develop a Super Power Memory Review: What You Need to Know
The first thing you need to know is that Lorayne focuses on the basics.
And the second thing you should know is that he is, somewhat strangely, not a fan of the Memory Palace technique.
Many people have remarked on this, and I must admit that it’s a little odd.
By the same token, Lorayne is a showman. It makes him unique and different and I’m sure he knows that.
I’m also sure he knows that when he memorizes and recalls the names of hundreds of people in a room that there’s no way he’s not using spatial memory to pull off such demonstrations.
The third thing you should know is that many of Lorayne’s books rehash previous books. Publishers establish a basic formula and when a certain title and cover stops drawing sales, they keep the revenue flowing by rearranging the tried and true material.
Thus, this memory book is not substantially different from other books on memory by Harry Loryane. If you have another of his titles, you probably already have this one, even if there may be small differences.
The one exception is Lorayne’s Ageless Memory. He wrote this book during his own elder years and brings a unique perspective as a result, especially given his long career as a memory expert.
Who This Book Will Help
This book will help you if you’re:
- New to memory techniques
- A student who wants a competitive edge on your exams
- A driven business professional who wants to stand out
- Someone interested in a general introduction to memory training
You definitely won’t learn more advanced techniques, like Giordano Bruno’s “infinite Memory Palace” concept.
And that’s perfectly okay. Just keep in mind that most of these general memory techniques are now covered freely on the Internet.
What This Book Covers
I wouldn’t exactly say that “super power” is the right term for what you’ll learn from this book – but it’s certainly close.
The techniques you’ll learn include:
- Memory pegs (only one approach)
- Improving observation skills
- Remembering names
- Language learning (only a few pages so really talking about memorizing vocabulary)
- Telephone numbers
- General study tips
- Forming positive habits around your memory while reducing the bad
What You Will Be Able To Do After Reading This Book
Provided that you put the memory techniques into action, after completing this book, you’ll be able to remember words, names, numbers and deliver a speech from memory.
If you practice the techniques frequently, you should also find your focus and concentration improving.
Although your vocabulary will increase if you use the basic techniques to help with learning vocabulary, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to learn a language based on the suggestions in this book.
The claims in this area are a bit exaggerated and I’ve never heard Lorayne speak a foreign language. Maybe he does, but I just haven’t come across it. In fact, it was my disappointment at how little the book covers on language learning that inspired me to look deeper into the memory tradition and create what is now the Magnetic Memory Method Masterclass.
Pros and Cons
I cannot think of a single con to reading this book. Even if most of its information is available freely online, there’s nothing like having a physical book and working with its exercises in a dedicated manner.
It has a number of exercises and tests that can help you learn the skills and assure yourself that you’re doing them well.
That said, one of the cons is that the tests included in the book are not particularly rigorous. I mean, who in their everyday life has to memorize a list of words like: horse, pencil, perfume, book, etc.?
Of course, as a beginner, it helps prove the concept. But this kind of testing structure has dated the book. And these days you can test yourself using online software for free.
Should You Read How to Develop a Super Power Memory?
I don’t see why not.
But it is a shame that it doesn’t include anything about the Memory Palace technique.
Although it will help you grasp the basics of association through visualization, keep in mind that it was written before people put much thought into issues like aphantasia.
Overall, you should consider this a very general memory training book directed at a general audience.
If you’d like more targeted and specific memory training that does cover the Memory Palace, get my FREE Memory Improvement Kit now:
I’m a big fan of Harry Lorayne and packed a ton of what I’ve learned from him and many other memory teachers into what I offer freely online.
And at the end of the day, the only two critiques I have of Harry Lorayne’s memory teaching are irrelevant.
The man has done us all a huge credit by sharing at scale his introduction to the great memory improvement tradition. Even Tony Buzan said he went to Harry Lorayne to learn more about the techniques.
And if Lorayne is good enough for Buzan as you start dipping your toes into memory training, he’s good enough for you too.
Better than good, actually. Lorayne is an excellent writer and probably no clearer descriptions of the basics exist.