©1998 Sylvia Browne; (P) and ©1998 Hay House, Inc.
"Psychic, medium, clairvoyant, channel...I never believed in these four words before, and then I met Sylvia Browne." (Montel Williams)
I was fascinated by this book, the best of Sylvia's so far, given that it contextualizes her fascinating gift in the history of a FASCINATING life: HERS. I especially loved the history of how her psychic skills impacted her love life - and how they didn't serve to warn her of tragedy and travail in the same. It puts things in a bit of perspective when you see that Sylvia is surfing the same seas as the rest of us. Perhaps it is my penchant for history, and for personal stories, but I find this to be the most interesting of her works. I enjoyed her other books as well, but they tended to be a bit information-rich - and this book tends to soften it all with context of life stories, love stories, stories of intimacy, betrayal, loss. Its true that Sylvia winds personal stories in her other books, but this is the richest, and I just loved it.
At the same time, there were some strange things about this book that detracted from it - for one, when she approached the chapter on "Hauntings" she didn't read it, just referred to listeners to "go read the chapter in the book" - huh? I was under the impression that this was what I'd paid HER to do. Paying for the same book twice isn't fair, in my humble opinion. Maybe she was trying to sell her new book on hauntings, but I don't think that this her style. I had more the feeling that she was sick of reading, but then she should've taken a reading break - not asked us to do it ourselves! Besides this, the recording was a bit sloppy. More than 5 times, I heard her begin a chapter, and then apparently stop, and then begin again, reading the same 30 words verbatim. It gave me the feeling of being psychic, or having a deja vu, given that I'd heard them only 5 seconds before.... Maybe Sylvia lost track of having said the same thing already. These two aspects of the recording make me say that the audio book is fantastic, BUT she should re-record it - carefully, and include the "haunting" chapter for which we all paid.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The first of it's kind I've read, and I couldn't put it down. I found myself pondering Sylvia's adventures long after I'd finished the book. Try it!
This is a slightly abridged version of Sylvia's 1990 bestseller, and yes it's fascinating, and to me it's also very funny. I mean, who would open a psychic studio next to a smelly diaper-cleaning service? Sylvia Browne recorded this herself a dozen years after writing it, and often stops her reading along the way to give quick updates, side comments or a special emphasis. She's clearly reading, but is reading quickly. There's a lot packed into these three hours. I usually like long audio books but with this one I never felt shortchanged. At the end I was sorry to leave her company.
The original was written with Toni May in the ThirdPerson, but here Sylvia does her best to rephrase it in the FirstPerson. I should note that I've avoided Sylvia Browne despite five years of mining the Hay House catalogue, but I only did myself a disservice. Sylvia is an uncut diamond. She is clear eyed and matter-of-fact about her psychic powers, the bad and good life decisions she's made along the way, and her lifelong ability to be helpful and useful.
By the way, the paper version is reprinted as the first third of 2009's "Accepting the Psychic Torch."
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