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James Randi: Psychic Investigator [Paperback]

James Randi
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

18 July 1991
Telepathy, spoon-bending, spiritualism, fortune-telling, astrology and other apparently supernatural phenomena exert a continuing fascination for both sceptics and believers. James Randi, magician and psychic investigator, sets out to expose the world of the paranormal, exploring the myths of the occult and uncovering a few psychic tricksters in the process. The book is published to tie in with an ITV series in which Randi invites psychics to demonstrate their feats to a studio audience and a panel of experts, not all of whom are sceptics. He also performs sophisticated magic tricks to show his public just how gullible they are. His previous books include "The Mask of Nostradamus" and "The Truth About Uri Geller".

Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Boxtree Ltd; 1st Edition edition (18 July 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1852831448
  • ISBN-13: 978-1852831448
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 15.2 x 1.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 39,064 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Admirable Stuff 22 Dec 2010
By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE
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It could have been a bit longer hence the 4/5 but the book is worth the money simply for the anecdote about a mystic's visit to the offices of the psychic society and I won't spoil it by saying any more. I'm old enough to remember the Granada series for this and that was enjoyable at the time but I suspect that James Randi has gained critics because by exposing these phoneys he spoils the entertainment of the gullible. Despite no evidence at all to back up these stupid claims, people seem to want to believe in the dross.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ..and the $10,000 prize remains unclaimed! 21 July 2011
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If you enjoy James Randi and what he does (as I do) you'll be bound to get some laughs out of this 1991 publication.

The wonderful sceptic recounts his experiences of working on and presenting the `James Randi: Psychic Investigator' six part TV series of the same year.

If you didn't catch the programmes way back then, you'll be able to review the highlights and lowlights of the show that challenged 'the gifted' to demonstrate their 'skills' in this snappy little volume.

The irrepressible `JR' invited dowsers, fortune-tellers, healers, astrologers, mediums and other quacks to submit their uncanny abilities to scientific testing.
Some came, many didn't and quite a few cried-off at the last-minute when they felt that the studio atmosphere wasn't conducive to their particular brand of supernaturalism.

Randi writes with the same wit that he effortlessly exudes in the flesh. The man is a delight and so is this book.

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great thought-provoking book 26 Mar 2011
This book is a companion to the 1991 Granada TV series "James Randi: Psychic Investigator" (although you don't need to have seen the programme to enjoy the book) and discusses the experiments shown in the programme and any relevant off-screen information (such as participants agreeing to take part and then dropping out at the last minute, participants who stated that they were happy with the procedure before the tests took place but then claimed it had all been biased when they didn't demonstrate the abilities they claimed to have etc.). There's also a lot of general information about paranormal abilities.

James Randi is a pretty high-profile sceptic and, as a result, tends to attract a lot of criticism. I bought this book to find out for myself a little more about him, and I was impressed with his emphasis on unbiased testing in the book. He makes a very valid point that it should be possible to replicate any supernatural abilities under scientific, controlled conditions, and, despite what his critics would have you believe, he seems to take every possible step to ensure that the participants are happy with the design of the experiments (they can request any changes they feel necessary) and believe they can demonstrate their abilities under those conditions. On the only occasion when a participant actually managed to demonstrate his professed abilities, Randi very generously suggests that the participant may indeed have supernatural abilities, despite the participant accidentally having access to key information regarding the experiment.

The book's a tad on the short side, but if you're interested in finding out more about James Randi and his experiments, I would highly recommend this book.
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