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An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural [Hardcover]

James Randi , Arthur C. Clarke
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 284 pages
  • Publisher: St Martins Pr (1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031213066X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312130664
  • Product Dimensions: 27.4 x 20.1 x 3.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,166,625 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Badly needs a proper table of contents 18 Mar 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The book itself is interesting; an extensive encyclopedia of psychic terms. It is thoroughly ruined however by not having an active table of contents or active links between entries. The only way I can find entries is by guessing locations and using GoTo location. This is very time consuming and frustrating. Any encylopediac book of whatever subject on a Kindle MUST have a proper active table of contents (or as this is about psychic terms perhaps I am meant to use psychic tricks!)
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5.0 out of 5 stars great reference source 7 Mar 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
could do with a decent index. it's a fascinating read. a whole book about the stuff people through the ages make up or simply lie about
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Amazon.com: 3.5 out of 5 stars  31 reviews
21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Resource 18 Nov 2011
By Steven Henry - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This will be an excellent resource. I have the Kindle app on my phone, so this great book will be with me at all times. It does need an active table of contents to link instantly to the content. It is a bit cumbersome to scroll through the book to find a specific topic. A word search will do the job but that's not quite as efficient as a direct link. Other than that, it is definitely an "Amazing" book!
22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank you James Randi (as always!) 21 Dec 2011
By John R. Woodward - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The wittiest American skeptic went all-out against woo through the ages. I particularly liked his description of the crucifix as an "amulet." I got a sense of the evolution of woo in America from reading this book: ancient nonsense persisted into the medieval and renaissance eras, was re-discovered by the mystics of the late 19th century and then repackaged in our time by contemporary hucksters. It was also interesting to see hoe, as modern science slowly unfolded its secrets, at every stage woo-promoters adapted the language of science to add credibility to their fraud.
Anyone who enjoyed this book should check out the James Randi Eductional Fund and Randi's website, at randi.org.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth the read 19 Dec 2012
By Craig - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
For anyone who has ever been interested in seeing how far back charlatans have been scamming the public, this is the book to read. Mr. Randi has an extensive knowledge, and it shows in this encyclopaedia. While I haven't heard of most of the names in the book, it is a fascinating process to read about them, how they arose and sometimes how they fell as they were exposed.

There are also a lot of sarcastic remarks thrown in for good measure, yet they never feel out of place. One can't help but snort in agreement at what Mr. Randi has said, especially during some of the more bizarre claims he debunks.

Well worth the time to read.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Somewhat dated 30 Jun 2013
By catullus - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As with most encyclopediae, Internet has rendered it a bit outdated.
What Wikipedia and other sources lack is Randi's sarcasm. For some of the terms, just the tiny sentence twist or a short qualifying word in the ending changes a boring summary into an amazingly wonderful joke. Some articles are too short, but the longer ones are well-researched, and some of them give insights way beyond what the unfiltered google fire hose can bring. Read the stories about the Lourdes girl or the apocalyptic cults. Great stuff.
Recommended, but in no way mandatory.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Huge disappointment 26 April 2013
By Uzi - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
Viewing a lot of Youtube videos with James Randi, he is knowledgeable, and highly entertaining. He knows how to deliver a lecture or an interview in an engaging manner.

I hoped for a deeper book. It offers a lexical dictionarry with a very laconic description of each issue. Sometimes the information is wrong. For example, under the value "Kabalah" he gives the description of only a relatively minor stream of the Kabalah, as if it was THE definition of Kabalah. I think that most people who believe in Kabalah are not part of this stream, and thus they would disagree with this definition.

As of today, it is easier to get better information about each term, from the Internet, than looking at this rather boring and inaccurate Encyclopedia.
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