This is a well-researched and thoroughly documented book that I wanted very much to like. The author is clearly a talented writer and unafraid to share her own inexplicable experiences; that kind of honesty is something I value. To the extent that the book follows her own hunt for the truth of what she's seen and lived, it is fantastic. The problem, however, is that what could be so good is marred by pandering to the audience.
This pandering comes in (at least) two forms.
First, while I enjoy humor in non-fiction -- it helps to keep dense subject matter more breezy in some cases -- the humor in this book is tired, feckless, and clichéd. The jokes herein are the jokes that socially-awkward nerdy teenagers make when they're trying to impress the cool kids. And, like the cool kids, I believe that many who read this book will simply groan at the awkward attempts. The author would be better off sticking to the nonfiction and dumping the poor one-liners that litter the book; they feel like afterthoughts that a humor-challenged editor demanded to make the book more "accessible."
Second, while the poor humor is enough of a turn-off, Ms. Jones condescends to the audience at times. Good nonfiction takes complex topics and walks the reader through these ideas in a way that's comprehensible without communicating us that we're all too dumb to really understand these complex ideas on our own. When it comes to quantum physics, to take but one example, Ms. Jones goes out of her way to assure us that she won't burden our minds with such mathematical complexities that we may never be able to understand. Even if it's true, why do that to your audience? Regardless, the book would be much more successful without this kind of meta-crap. Please just explain it and spare us the warnings about how tough things are, and how we need to "hang on to our Higgs boson" while you so generously hold our inexperienced hands as you walk us through such big ideas that our puny little minds might struggle with.
Overall, this book could be intensely powerful given the personal honesty of the author and her own lifelong quest to understand the paranormal, but as it stands, it is, to me, unreadable and quite hobbled. The bad humor I could probably get past. The pandering, too, I could probably live with. But both together? It's simply too much to make the book enjoyable for me, and it's a topic I'm intensely interested in, and that's unfortunate, because much of the material here is quite solid.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.