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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Things that go bump in the night...or not?

What's up guys!
How is everyone today?  Good I hope.  Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers....the place to be for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in good times...wait a second...
*looks at script*
All right, who slipped in the generic wedding vows? _waits for answer_
Was it YOU? Hmm?
*hears ghostly declaration of fault...from back of room*
Where did THAT come from? *-*
Ahem...let's get to today's post, shall we?

The featured title for the day comes to us courtesy of Gallery Books, an imprint of Simon and Schuster and spotlights the paranormal side of things.  Not unusual in today's literary world, right? Ah, I hear you and I love a good para story as much as the next person, but those tales featured in this work....are REAL LIFE ACCOUNTS. Hold on to your hats; things are about to get pretty hair raising.  Today's book of choice is. ..

Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson
with Michael Jan Friedman

Recognise the author names? If you're a fan of the Syfy channel show, Ghost Hunters, than they should be as these two fellows are the main stars of the show. ...aside from their dedicated team members, clients and of course the spooky spectors.  I, myself, had heard of the show when first approached about this book but had never watched it. I know, I know...shock and awe and all that.

You see, my reason for avoidance of the show (aside from my severe lack of TV time...*grumble grumble*) isn't personal, as I skip most of the "hunting ghosts" shows, but more along the lines of how they're presented.  Most end up looking like a weird version of THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT (yeah...not a fan); people running around in the dark getting freaked out by the sheer fact that they are alone and coming out claiming the place is invested with ghosts with zilch to serve as proof.  Call me crazy, but I like to see or hear something for validation beyond what the imagination can provide. These guys?  Whole other story...

They gained my respect after the first chapter or two in this book where not only are the origins of T.A.P.S. (their group...The Atlantic Paranormal Society) explored, but their method of investigating is revealed.  These two as well as their extended network are all about the proof, not the hype....sure it helps having the experiences they've had before teaming up (something you'll definitely want to read about) but their dedication to helping others along with their day jobs and friendship, cement things in place.  Come in screaming and raving about your latest ghostly encounter and they'll approach your case just as carefully as they would the little old couple curious to know why things keep turning up places other than where they left them.  You see, instead of assuming there truly is a paranormal presence wherever they go, they aim to debunk the claim. *high five to both gentlemen*

Unfamiliar with the term debunk?  No merely means that they attempt to prove that the things that go bump in the night, the billowing curtains with no open window, the slamming doors where no drafts exist are a product of natural events ...not supernatural. Refreshing, right?  (Like a cold can of Diet Coke refreshing! ^_^)  I mean a good dose of skepticism never did anyone any harm when approaching the unknown, so why not apply the same principles when dealing with the idea of those that exist outside of our physical world?  I say, bring it do both of these fellas....

Now, I won't go into too much detail on the actual accounts because really, you need to read and form your own opinions about the findings presented first hand....and depending on when you're reading this, you might want to actually SLEEP tonight *-*.. .but I will note one or two that stuck with me for better or worse. (Okay, really who keeps messing with my script?)  First, the good...

Chapter 42, beginning with page 244...the Stanley Hotel.  How can you NOT be curious about this one?  I mean it was only the inspiration for the seriously ghost-ed out work by the infamous Stephen King ...perhaps you've heard of it (or seen it)...'The Shining'?  *waits for recognition to dawn* Ah, now you see where I'm going with this. ^_^  Seriously, their adventures at this location combined with the history made a great in depth look at this creepy icon.  Now, for the "bad"...

Being that these are true accounts, I have a hard time critiquing them in a fully negative light (hence the quotes used around the term "bad"), but there was one story that stuck out in the later half of the book. Let's just say it was a bit more "out there" on the explanation than simply a ghost (I know, it sounds hypocritical since they fall into the "not of this world category as well but it is what it is)...and come to find out there's a team that investigates them out there too!  I mean, grant it...I couldn't provide another explanation right off but I'm not exactly ready to accept the one suggested either.  One more thing while we're in this state of mind...part two of the book at times gets a little too heavy handed with the "how-to" explanations at times.  I suppose they would be enjoyed by those looking to enter the field or that prefer the tech side of the operation but as for me, I could take it or leave it. Switching gears...

Overall, though not a seasonally fitting choice, a thoroughly enjoyable read nonetheless.  It leant me something for the imagination, morsels to feed my curiosity (the added 'Grant's Takes' at the end of each chapter in part 1 were a nice touch...and who saw the inclusion of author Jodi Piccoult coming?), and room for more indulgence via the show.  With real human reactions and minds of their own, you'll either root for them or not ...but I guarantee you they'll give you something to think about.  Recommended for teen readers through adults...obviously potentially scary topics covered within and unless you want the kiddos sleeping in your bed for eternity, it's best to wait til they're a wee older. 

Review copy received courtesy of Gallery Books, an imprint of Simon and Schuster. (THANKS!) This book is on sale now in a bookstore near you so feel free to seek it out.  For more information on the publisher, feel free to visit them online ( Final note...if you haven't had your fill of paranormal fun from these two just yet, be sure to check out their latest FICTION release, GHOST TRACKERS...which happens to be my current read at the moment and yeah, so good!

Until next time....happy reading!


Melissa (My words and pages) said...

Oh neat! Glad to see you liked it at the start. I don't really watch the ghost shows either. I keep thinking they are fake and much rather read. :) Thanks for the review!

Tribute Books said...

I think it's awesome that you're always willing to be open-minded when it comes to your reading choices. My mom is a big fan of the show and I bought her one of the Ghost Hunters books for Christmas. Sad to hear that Grant is leaving the show.

Felicity Grace Terry said...

OOh spooky! Much to big a coward for anything like this, my (naughty) little sister would love it though.

Melanie said...

Funny, I just finished watching season 2 of Ghost Hunters. lol
I LOVED the book but I admit I couldn't sleep at night. Some of the stories are pretty freaky. I see that you have Ghost Trackers as well. Great book too! :)

Gina said...

Melissa: Definitely understand. ^_^

Tribute Books: Thanks, Nicole! ^_^ If she's a fan, I bet she enjoyed it....sad to hear about the split.

Petty Witter: LOL... ^_^

Melanie: Yeah, I figured it would have that affect on some people...lucky for me, it didn't. ^_^

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