Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Book Review: Paranormal: My Life in Pursuit of the Afterlife

I didn't know anything about Raymond Moody when I was offered this book for review, but I now know that he is a pioneer in the field of near-death experiences. I thought I was getting his memoir, but this book is hard to characterize. There is some information about his personal life, but not much. What the book actually entailed was a recounting of what triggered his interest in a topic, then how he conducted research, then what he wrote about it, and what he said in the book, and then it is repeated when he gets interested in another topic. In the end there are a few revelations about his personal life that tie into his decades of research, but nothing that gave me shivers or anything.

I was really on the fence the entire time I was reading this book, so I think I will break it down into reasons I liked it and reasons I didn't like it so much.

Positives: First of all, I had no idea that Moody actually coined the terms "near-death experience" and "out-of-body experience," among others. Once I knew who I was reading about, I was interested in his research, I really was. I also liked that if you had never read anything by Moody (like myself), he basically summed up his major studies and publications, giving you an interesting overview of his work. If you think you might be interested but not enough to read all his other books, then this book is for you. I was also very interested in many of his beliefs regarding the therapeutic purposes of near-death experiences, past-life regressions, and scrying. 

Negatives: If you have already read Moody's books, or plan to, a HUGE portion of this book is him repeating what is in those books, so if you are already familiar with him, you probably aren't learning too much from this book. If you're looking for details about his personal life or deep insight into his mind, I really don't think you'll find it here. In fact, I often found myself wondering if this was just a big promotional event to get his other books selling again, which made me swear to NEVER buy one of his other books. Maybe it was just me, but it seemed like the function of this book was just to remind people that his books were best-sellers. 

I was truly fascinated by the way Dr. Moody explained these activities, his personal interpretations of them, and how he believes they can be used for therapeutic purposes, but I just kept feeling like I was reading the Cliffs Notes versions of his great works with a few bland transition stories in between. 

However, I do think some of these topics might be ones I read more about, even though they never interested me before, so in the end I suppose that makes the book a success, right? 

If you've read this or other Moody, I'd love to hear your opinion. If you'd like to hear the opinions of the other readers on this tour, click HERE for the schedule.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, this one sound odd but fascinating ... definitely a book that would make me think!

    Thanks for taking a chance on a new-to-you author and for being a part of the tour.


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