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3.46  ·  Rating Details ·  469 Ratings  ·  73 Reviews
It is 1920s Philadelphia, a time when the feverish popular obsession with the paranormal is confronted by the inevitable ascendance of the scientific method. With everyone from Houdini to Arthur Conan Doyle weighing in on the existence of parapsychological phenomena, the media is as fixated on the sensational debate as scientists and would-be psychics. Indeed, in 1922, Sci ...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published January 26th 2004 by Viking Adult (first published 2004)
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I loved this book! It's funny but not fluffy, smart but not academic, and full of interesting characters and details. A slightly geeky but very endearing grad student gets involved with a project to disprove the talents of various psychics in the 1920s. The story centers around his part in the investigation of a young and pretty medium who he thinks might be in danger, but from what, he doesn't know. He attempts to become the romantic hero of her complicated life, even though he knows she may b ...more
Oct 18, 2009 Bethany rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ok, don't judge a book by it's price- I found this on a sale table at Books Inc. and thought, 'Ok, for five bucks I'll bite-' the subject matter was just a little unbelievable for me, I didn't think I'd be able to suspend disbelief enough that I would have bought the book for full price. Then I got home and started to read- and flew through it! I needed to read something well written but not too self-serious- this fit the bill. The characters are interesting and the topic- Spiritualism in the 19 ...more
Feb 13, 2013 Zen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
My gosh, I loved reading this. To be honest, I didn't know what to expect from it, as it had been sitting on my shelf for years without being given a second glance. (I'm sorry I overlooked you for so long, Inamorata! Just because you were the randomly-selected third book in a 3-for-$10 deal, doesn't mean you aren't worthy of attention! In fact, I don't even remember what the other two books were.)

The 1920s have always seemed like an extremely cool decade to me, at least through the lens of Ameri
Aug 10, 2009 Mary rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Fun book that can be read in an afternoon, but the jacket blurbs about the author being in the same vein as Caleb Carr's the Alienist or EL Doctrow's Ragtime are overblown. I think what separates this book from the Alienist (and I've noticed the same thing in a lot of other historically inspired fiction) is that Carr is both a historian and a writer, so he doesn't let the historical facts and elements get in the way of the narrative or characters. Whereas in this book (and some others I've read, ...more
Dec 18, 2014 Jess rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can't wrap my head around the probable "solutions" to all of the unanswered questions within this book, and I can't for the life of me determine if that's the way Joseph Gangemi intended it or not. Or is this questioning truly what he intended all along? I do feel very much like Finch, trying to debunk his story. So meta. Either way, an entertaining read. I do wish it was a bit, well, scarier, but I guess that wasn't the point of the novel. Undoubtedly my favorite thing about Inamorata was its ...more
Shelby Lee
One thing I recently learned (recently meaning in the last 30 seconds) is that in 2006 Johnny Depp bought the rights to make this book into a movie. And since I am and will always be a staunch supporter of anything Johnny Depp, that makes me look slightly more favorably at this book. Slightly.

The weird thing about this book is that the medium who it revolves around is based off of a real woman, a woman who is so completely different from her fictional counterpart in Inamorata as to be unrecogniz
Nancy Oakes
Feb 12, 2008 Nancy Oakes rated it really liked it
Shelves: american-fiction
There is another book, Gabriel Brownstein's "The Man From Beyond", which also looks at Margery, a medium discovered by Arthur Conan Doyle. Margery was actually one Mina Crandon in real life, and Conan-Doyle would sing her praises to anyone who would listen. Also in real life, a team of investigators from Scientific American (which had offered a $5000 prize to anyone who could produce some psychic phenonmena "$2,500 to the first person who produces a psychic photograph under its test conditions" ...more
Jun 19, 2013 Almira rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It wasn't exactly 'love' - this thing I felt for this book, because as Gangemi said, and I quote, "love was more symphonic feeling... not this anxious chamber piece playing in my inner ear at all hours of the day and night".

Ha ha, that wasn't very good introduction, but anyway, let's carry on.

I consider this book a science fiction. It is based on psychology and solving mysteries behind unexplained happenings, like what we normal people refer to as 'Magic'. Now I'll skip the first few pages of th
Sep 07, 2007 LJ rated it liked it
Joseph Gangemi – 1st book (Historical)
In 1922, Scientific American offers five thousand dollars for evidence of "conclusive psychic manifestations." Inspired by this real-life event, Inamorata follows Martin Finch, a twenty-three-year-old Harvard graduate student and member of Scientific American’s investigative committee, on the case of a lifetime—an attempt to determine whether Mina Crawley, a beautiful Philadelphia socialite, is able to contact the spirit realm. In the tiny upst
This book is set in the 1920's, during the peak of the Spiritualism movement. It is upon this backdrop that Harvard graduate, Martin Finch, gets the unexpected opportunity to assist in the Scientific American investigation into the psychic powers of self-proclaimed mediums and Spiritulists. At first he rises to the challenge and exposes several fraudulent "psychics" using logic and scientific reasoning. However, the investigation into the paranormal powers of "society psychic" Mina Crawley prese ...more
Apr 24, 2015 Abbey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After reading this book I spent much time reflecting upon it, thinking why and how what occurred may have happened. It moved at a good pace and was written with clever and insightful use of language. My only dislike is that some of the characters were not fully formed in description but on all accounts an enjoyable read.
Feb 05, 2008 Oceana2602 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
How much did I love this book? I bought it because it looked pretty (black cover with green bird), and the description sounded interesting, but from the first moment on I was hooked. The story is simple:"It is the 1920s, and Spiritualism is all the rage. Twenty-three-year old Harvard graduate Martin Finch is sent by the Scientific American on the investigative opportunity of a lifetime: an examination of the powers of Philadelphia "society psychic" Mina Crawley."

What a great story! And great wri
Dec 22, 2011 Al rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This quick and fast-paced book is filled with romance, the 1920s and spiritualism. This takes place during the same time period as Dreamland, and the two briefly overlap in subject matter, although this book focuses on the upper/academic crowd and is therefore lighter in nature and can focus more intently on the supernatural rather than the struggles of the all too natural life.

The main character is part of a team sent out to prove or disprove the existence of spirits and mediums, and he finds b
Paul Fuhr
I was hoping this would be more fun than it was - a journalist doggedly trying to disprove the supernatural claims of a woman in 1920s Philadelphia whom he falls in love with. Artfully written with flashes of humor, it's ultimately drier than it should be and not as evocative of an era as, say, "The Alienist." Good but not great.
This novel started out strong but ultimately left me a bit cold. Martin Finch, a young grad student at Harvard, assists his mentor and others in testing psychics and mediums for "Scientific American." The first few are easily debunked, but then they meet Mina Crawley, whose alleged ability to manifest the spirit of her dead brother is less easily shown to be fraud. Martin is attracted to Mina in spite of himself, even as he discovers an increasingly complex web of deceit surrounding Mina and her ...more
Apr 12, 2007 Jen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love-love-loved this book! First of all, it takes place in Philadelphia in the 1920s, which is just a great setting. This book had me in a complete trance. I was totally obsessed with it and would open it up to read the second I got home from work, the moment I woke up on weekend, I'd be thinking about it whenever I wasn't reading even crept into my dreams! It was one of those books where the minute you finish reading it, you just want to flip back to page one and start all over again. ...more
Feb 17, 2008 Nicole rated it liked it
This wasn't the best read ever...but it was a good first novel for the author. I love historical fiction, and this didn't dissapoint from that standpoint.

The writing is very intellectual - lots of fifty cent words, which is fitting since it's written in first person from the perspective of a Harvard doctoral candidate.

A bit of fun reading...if you like mystery and a bit of the paranormal. It delves into the Spiritualist movement in the 1920s that was so popular with every house holding seances.

Feb 05, 2016 Jan-Erik rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
"Inamorata" is far less thrilling than its premise might suggest. To me, it was a highly forgettable novel that pretty much slipped my mind the moment I was finished.
Tamara Eaker
Jun 24, 2014 Tamara Eaker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Supernatural phenomena, Romance, mystery, death, and spiritualism. This book by Joseph Gangemi was a fun read. From the point of view of a struggling Harvard student we get to explore the worlds reaction to the super normal. The characters in this novel were fun to get to know, if they were at the least, fairly flat. The ending left me in wanting, I feel that there was a lot that could have been said for mina's child, but I feel that the author did a good job of answering any questions in the ep ...more
What a mess! Started very interesting but the second half of the book was complicated and messy. Didn't get the reason why somebody (especially characters in the book) would do such things.
An interesting concept is restrained by poorly-developed characters and unpolished writing. Attempting to use the first person challenges many authors, and Gangemi is no exception: the protagonist Finch is as indistinct at the end of the book as he is at the beginning. Additionally, the limitations of the perspective are often ignored as the author uses the protagonist to present the reader with historical fact-dumps about which Finch would have been unaware or indifferent.

Still, a fast, mildly
Jan 13, 2011 Tiffany rated it did not like it
Adding an ambiguous ending to an otherwise cookie-cutter genre piece does not make it high art. Like at the end of The Cutting Edge we're supposed to believe that it doesn't matter if they win or lose, it's that they fell in love and skated their best! I'm sorry, but have you seen the rest of the movie?

Of course Inamorata is no The Cutting Edge and its ambiguous ending feels even more out of place and disappointing. I wade through a lot of hint dropping, wooden dialogue and one-dimensional char
Cindy self-loathing & pajamas Basement
...and so the mystery survives. I still cannot fathom what exactly went on, and there's some odd things that were never answered at all, let alone subtly - i'm not always good at reading between the lines when it comes to books. Anyway, I recommend this whole heartedly, go read it. I would go as far as to say that I'd like another spirit themed adventure with Finch. Joseph Gangemi writes so well, i loved the 'voice' of Finch. The entire length of this fiction intrigued me no end, along with the ...more
May 27, 2016 Christina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Charming prose set in the 1920's. Then main character is among a small group investigating the paranormal on behalf of Scientific American. It was a great combination of mystery, drama, and love story. It's a quick read!
Dec 02, 2011 Kate rated it liked it
Shelves: plus-11-in-11
Read this novel set in the 1920's during Prohibition about the rise of Spiritualism in some of the nation's most famous universities. It follows the story of a Harvard graduate student working on a committee trying to find/debunk reports of paranormal activity. The characters could have been better established and had differant names (3 of the main characters were Finch, Flynn and Fox), but it was an easy read and an interesting description of the time period where a lot of drinking went on, des ...more
Michelle Blackburn
Jul 03, 2012 Michelle Blackburn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I was impressed with Gagemi's debut novel, Inamorata. He is able to instill suspense, humor, and history into each chapter. Not to mention the book is witty and to-the-point. If you are looking for a book with intricate description of setting and characters this is not the book for you. Gangemi does a fantastic job of fitting important details, one after the other, without much extra. I'm a fan of scary movies, and I think that Hollywood should consider this book as its next Blockbuster!
Nov 20, 2013 Rayda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book! The writing flowed and the subject intrigued me. It was such wonderful prose and I read it in 2 days! I just could not put it down! I am now reading other books on mesmerism and spiritualism. It is a great way to start the study of both. I like to read a fiction book on subjects and then read the history of it. This book definitely got me interested. The ending was sad though, but necessary. Not every story has a rosy ending. One question, if not Walter, who was that???
Jun 21, 2013 Elle rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Ciertamente creí que sería otra cosa. Me intrigó al principio, pero luego la trama se me hizo demasiado cansina y lo terminé por eso de no dejar un libro a medias.

Nunca llegué a comprender del todo a los personajes, tampoco supe al final cuál fue el resultado, si era real o fingido. SUPONGO que el escritor tuvo la intención de que el lector "sacara sus propias conclusiones", a las que yo, por desgracia, nunca llegué.

No lo recomiendo a menos que tengan deseos de aburrirse.
Jun 25, 2013 Gina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book. It was light and amusing with the allure of a historical novel. It had some science fiction as well but it was also a romance novel. It took place in 1920s Philadelphia at a time when many people were interested in the paranormal and just as many were interested in disproving them. This book centers around a group that set out to do just that.
It is a nice first novel but I found it start to go adrift towards the end. A good summertime, light read.
Mar 03, 2009 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
USA(setting)-An investigation into the powers of a 1920's Philadelphia "society psychic." Inamorata is part mystery, historical fiction and love story. It illuminates the 1920's feverish obsession with the paranormal. I found this book on the sale table at our book store here in canada. Inamorata provided some good vocab expansion, I liked the historic setting and it gave a good bit of info on several topics. I sure got my moneys worth for a little $4.99 book.
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