Exposed! tackles a number of interesting subjects in the paranormal and mystical realms, two areas which capture the imagination of quite a number of people across the world. A reader would hope that a book focused on this, even if it is to debunk these so-called mysteries, would be equally interesting. Sadly, this is not the case. Exposed! reads like a boring, low-grade dissertation by an author who is clearly prejudiced against practitioners and believers alike.
Exposed! is translated from the original French, however, I'm not entirely sure that the translation is at fault here in respect to getting into the reading. It almost feels as if there's a showman such as Geraldo Rivera on stage saying "here, ladies and gentlemen, is a woman from Nice who says she can detect the spirits of the dead trapped in underground streams with her pinky finger... watch her fail!" Disproving mediums, for example, was something Harry Houdini was passionate about, and while he may not have had the science to prove the falsity of a medium's claims as author Henri Broch does, Houdini certainly made it more interesting.
The scientific experiment descriptions in Exposed! are uninteresting and not exactly necessary. Do we really need to know the statistical probability of obtaining specific responses from a group of randomly chosen people? Not really.
Exposed! would have been better had Broch provided some sort of definition about each particular subject with perhaps a little historical background, such as interesting or famous people who were mediums. Instead, readers of Exposed! are exposed to tedious, boring writing on a subject that should be fun to read.
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Apr 12, 2009
Sep 8, 2009 09:45 AM UTC
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From horoscopes to telekinesis to the Shroud of Turin, much of what is popularly accepted as a mystical or paranormal phenomenon is, in fact, bunk. Henri Broch's charged deconstruction of these and other acts reveals the hucksterism of pseudoscience.
Broch provides a scientific explanation for what many accept as supernatural or psychic. He explains how some tricks, such as bending silverware with the mind, actually work. He details plausible, scientifically grounded alternative explanations for others, such as dowsing, which is the practice of finding by nonscientific means hidden veins of water, gems, metals, and other materials under the earth. Broch's hands-on experiments demystify the mysterious and explain the inexplicable.
Featuring a foreword by Nobel laureate Georges Charpak and translated from French by Bart K. Holland, this persuasively argued and firmly scientific book exposes some of history's most persistent bamboozling. Be forewarned, you may never be taken in again!
Table of Contents:
Dowsing -- Become clairvoyant -- How to recognize deceptive techniques in argument -- Cast your horoscope -- Miracle or fraud?. Develop your powers -- More mysteries.