Sunday, June 13, 2010

Book Review: The Psychic Tourist

It is astounding that psychic-related activities are so prevalent in our culture. People relying on knowing the future by consulting tarot cards, astrology, mediums who claim to speak to the dead are placing their trust in highly unreliable sources. And this becomes even more evident when you read William Little's delightful book The Psychic Tourist: A Voyage into the Curious World of Predicting the Future.

William Little unthinkingly gave his sister, Sarah, and 9-year-old niece a horoscope each for Christmas. He was shocked to discover that both of them predicted a horrible death by water. He tries to tell Sarah that it is a 'load of nonsense'. She asks why, then, did he give it to them. Now they are highly anxious and have started to avoid holidaying anywhere there is water.

William decides, in order to convince his sister that there is nothing to astrology and she should just take it as a joke, decides to travel the world in search of an authentic psychic. Not only does he want to do it for Sarah; deep down, he has always wondered whether there is any truth in psychic claims. As a well-known and respected journalist, he is admirably suited to dig deeply into the question and gain access to the very best, most respected psychics. So he sets out to travel the world and The Psychic Tourist is a wonderful story of his adventures. He interviews famous celebrity psychics, TV mediums, gypsies; examines those who believe they are able to assist police in finding missing people; and much more.

The Psychic Tourist is an absolute pleasure to read and Little infuses his anecdotes with humour and wisdom. Of course, despite his openmindedness, he is unable to find any psychic capable of doing what they claim and he finishes his book with some very sensible advice to those who wish to put their faith in such things rather than celebrating their freedom to choose and take responsiblity for their lives.

While the author doesn't deal with scientific evidence (except for a few references to various studies where relevant), his story is wonderfully reassuring to those who maybe fear that there might be some truth to psychic claims as he shares his experiences, thoughts, and conclusion. The sad thing is that so many are fed such blatant lies covered by a veneer of legitimacy.

Check out this interview with the author

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