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An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural
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An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  308 ratings  ·  12 reviews
In this remarkable encyclopedia, James Randi casts his cynical eye on the dubious genes of the occult and the supernatural. With 666 entries and hundreds of illustrations throughout, this book examines the shady world of manipulators, occultists, and shamanists in microscopic detail. Topics include Jeane Dixon's long string of failed predictions, the elaborate hoax surroun ...more
Paperback, 284 pages
Published May 29th 1997 by St Martin's Press (first published May 1995)
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Excellent stuff! A fascinating and funny look at so-called occult and supernatural occurrences and abilities. Provides an excellent grounding in the basics of the spiritualist movement, as well as discussions of numerous "psychic" and "unexplainable" phenomena. Randi balances his (occasionally somewhat mean-spirited--no pun intended) criticisms of the people who believe in this nonsense with a far more severe pen-lashing of the self-aggrandizing, manipulative, greedy sorts who prey upon their vu ...more
Kym Andrew Robinson
As always James Randi has a cutting and clever style with his approach to the super natural and its many bunk artists that have both existed and still exist to this day. His intelligent and at times witty writing style makes for this seemingly 'dry' encyclopedia a fun and interesting read.

Comprehensive in its broad context while also providing just enough information so as to be an introductory level read so as to help inform and inspire further reading on much of the subject matter.

Whether you
James Randi, professional magician and skeptic, has put together an encyclopedia with something for everyone. Yes, no matter who you are, unless you're a thoroughgoing atheist, Randi is bound to offend your beliefs at one point or another. As Arthur C. Clarke says in his introduction, the book "should be issued with a mental health warning, as many readers--if they are brave enough to face unwelcome facts--will find some of their cherished beliefs totally demolished." Randi is dryly sarcastic ab ...more
This is another of those books that I was attracted to because of it's alphabetical arrangement, but the information within is fascinating--from why people are attracted to the symmetry in natural formations like crystals to the mandrake plant which is related to the potato and often grows in the shape of a human body. When it is drawn from the ground, it's supposed to emit a horrendous human-like shriek that will drive a human insane. And that's just a couple of things it covers--it also delves ...more
I have always been intrigued with people's fascination with the occult, the paranormal and everything that goes bump in the night. But the more I delved into it, the more I became skeptical of the of these phenomena.

This book is a valuable resource and the ebook of the encyclopedia as it appears on James Randi's website I loved the explanations and definitions.

I had two gripes though: There was not an index which linked to the contends and two, I wanted more. Glutton, I know.

Leonard Pierce
Inessential Randi; this is basically just a slight compendium of some of the more famous bits of historical buncombe. Still, it's fine if it's the only such reference you have, and Randi lets himself get nasty from time to time.
Vince Colucci
A vital resource for any scholar of any import, or a fun romp through the alphabetized bullshit that is one of societies greatest weeknesses. Only you can decide!
Entertaining, enlightening, and hilarious commentary on some of the biggest examples of bullshit to make headlines. Should be in every home.
Highly enjoyable, but biased and Randi's mocking comments are frequently amusing
Great as a reference book or just to dip into, not really a sit and read.
Patrick McFarland
A must have for cynics and skeptics alike.
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