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Will Storr Vs. The Supernatural: One man's search for the truth about ghosts Paperback – 1 Feb 2007

4.5 out of 5 stars 60 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Ebury Press (1 Feb. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0091910137
  • ISBN-13: 978-0091910136
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 28,757 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"In the investigative mode of Jon Ronson and Louis Theroux, Storr makes the perfect companion for travels in the paranormal - highly amusing, thought-provoking and downright scary in equal measure " (Zoo magazine)

"Starting as a light-hearted romp full of small-town losers who've read too much Stephen King, it soon morphs into a more thoughtful investigation... funny, engaging and genuinely frightening, it makes you wonder if all those horror movies you watched as a teenager had it right after all" (Arena)

"Storr interviews everyone from mediums to monsterologists and recounts the lot in a simple, yet evocative style that makes this book hard to put down, even if you don't believe in the paranormal" (Big Issue)

"A very amusing way to scare yourself stupid" (Independent on Sunday)

"This award-winning writer is at the vanguard of the new British journalism. A taut, fascinating and funny book" (Herald Sun (Australia))

Book Description

'A ripping yarn that genuinely leaves you questioning how you view the world' Guardian

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I read this in less than a week, and at the end feel totally bereft. In his (initially skeptical) journey to investigate the supernatural Mr Storr discovers a strange, frightening and yet wondrous world to the one he'd anticipated - one I've always more hoped for than been entirely convinced by, one populated by several fascinating characters (and even the ones that seem silly at the outset end up making you feel guilty for judging them so - the stuff about 'the Founder' almost had me in tears). And yet the knowledge that there might be something to the supernatural isn't always comforting - the chapters that touch on possession are decidedly unsettling. Will writes fluently and to the point, and does good atmosphere. Tension is built gradually from the first pages ('You haven't heard of the Enfield Poltergeist?!?'), till at the end you're left breathless with the implications. This is one of the very best non-fiction books I have ever read.
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As I read this book I felt that I was in good company. Will Storr in the beginning chapters claims himself to be a rationalist sceptic but as you read on it becomes quite clear that he never was an extreme rationalist type. After a couple of daunting experiences in America he throws himself into a year long research of everything he can find out about the paranormal which involves meeting with exorcists, nutters who claim to have been in contact with domestic werewolves, staying in locations which were deemed as haunted amongst a few other things.

I think what's particularly refreshing about the book is that he really comes across as someone who is open minded and genuinely looking for answers rather than having a pre conceived notion of it being all nonsense or even the opposite. He meets with the extremely credulous and the hardcore sceptics. He soon discovers that to be a fully fledged rationalist sceptic you would have to have your ears and eyes glued shut and out rightly deny that anything is explicable in normal terms, which in reality is just quite an arrogant thing to say.

He runs through the different scientific and philosophical arguments for or against consciousness surviving death. Such as Penrose's Orch-Or concept or Persinger's studies in how Electro Magnetic Fields cause a malfunction in the temporal lobe of some individuals which causes hallucinations. His research into the Enfield Poltergeist case was particularly of interest to me as the hard rationalist sceptics look at the photos of Janet's supposed levitation which clearly look's like she's jumping and the fact that they were caught doing tricks a couple of times. Thus the argument of 'case closed' is often put forward.
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Format: Paperback
It's refreshing to read a book about the paranormal by someone who is totally open minded & has no axe to grind or anything to prove. It's a very funny & easy read & yet manages to cover a wide range of topics from poltergeists to philosphy & quantum physics - not in any depth of course but that's not what it's for. I can't recommend this book highly enough for anyone with a sense of humour & an interest in the paranormal...the two don't have to be mutually exclusive.
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Format: Paperback
This is why narrative non-fiction is so enjoyable. Take a man that doesn't believe in ghosts and then send him out to try and prove that there is no such thing as a ghost. Make sure that he is very intelligent, of sound mind and a damned good writer - then watch while he takes himself into haunted rooms and haunted places. The result? A fantastically good book which - if you don't believe in ghosts will have you question what Will finds to be a two dimensional and rather Luddite belief system and, if you already believe in ghosts will help you sort out the nonsense from the genuine supernatural phenomenon. If you are of nervous disposition and live alone then I seriously wouldn't recommend reading this book after dark... otherwise - if you like to be genuinely scared or just like a un-putdownable read.... Will Storr deserves to sell a million. Also he pretty well proves that ghosts are a reality - which, one could argue, is an important conclusion...
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All the other reviewers have given more detailed descriptions of the contents of Will's book. They are spot on.

This is an excellent book for everyone who is interested in the things in life we call "paranormal"/"supernatural" and has an interest in the people who carry out this research, whether believers or skeptics. Do buy/preorder it.

Once you pick the book up and start to read you can't put it down again and it's one of those sorts of books that, like a good film, you'll enjoy reading bits of over and over again.

Will is a very intelligent, interesting writer with a witty, rich style of prose and narrative who'll have you laughing hysterically one minute then thinking "ooer..." the next, as he delves into the weird and wonderful world of "ghost-hunting" and all things associated with the possibilities of what might happen after we die - if anything.

(Beware of reading it late at night while your partner sleeps or you'll wake them up shaking with laughter or jumping with fright).

One thing seems clear throughout - ouija boards are not a good thing to play around with.

I don't see much comparison with Louis Theroux - Will Storr is vastly superior and gives an impression of being genuinely ingenuous, he lets the people he encounters (and phenomena) "speak" for themselves in the work mostly, without being judgemental.

He has a very interesting biography. It would be good to see the episodes in his life as a writer that he describes also collected into print. Some are wacky to put it mildly!

He thoroughly deserves his titles of New Journalist of the Year and Feature Writer of the Year.

I'm looking forward to reading his forthcoming novel - it will surely be intriguing. Meanwhile, for those who'd like to know more about Will see his website: [...]
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