Inamorata
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Inamorata

3.44 of 5 stars 3.44  ·  rating details  ·  377 ratings  ·  62 reviews
"In 1922, Scientific American offered $5,000 for evidence of "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 examination of the powers of Philadelphia "society psychic" Mina Crawley. In th...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published February 22nd 2005 by Penguin Group (USA) (first published 2004)
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Djrmel
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
Bethany
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
Zen
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...more
Mary
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
Nancy Oakes
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
Almira
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...more
LJ
INAMORATA – G+
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...more
Sarah
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
Fink
...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
Oceana2602
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...more
Al
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...more
Kirsten
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
Jen
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 it...it 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
Nicole
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.

T...more
Tamara Eaker
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
Sara
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...more
Tiffany
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...more
Kate
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
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!
Rayda
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???
Gina
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.
Karen
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.
Jane
This was an intriguing little book based in the 20's with spiritualism as its subject. A group from Scientific America - a magazine trying to investigate mediums in order to award prize money for authenticity. There are interesting side stories and characters. I found it a little flat and in the end disappointing. Characters were two dimensional and the story left a lot of vagaries.
Joe
It is the 1920s and skeptical Martin Finch examines paranormal claims for Scientific America. Upon the advice of Arthur Conan Doyle, his committee heads to Philadelphia to meet Mina Crawley. To his surprise, Martin finds Mina's claims difficult to debunk. Is she the real thing or is he blinded by love? Conventional but diverting story was marred, in my opinion, by a vague ending.
Cindy Steinberg
This is a story about 1920 Philadelphia and the strange world of physhic phenomenon,complete with regularly held seances.Elegantly written with strong characters that make the story flow and keeps you guessing right up to the end. The novel takes place in Philadelphia which was exciting for me as I am very familar with the area and all the landmarks mentioned.I give this book 5 stars.
louisa
Speaking of ghosts and flimflam debunkery. Read both this and the book this Swat alum wrote under a pseudonym living on my own in Philadelphia. Both enjoyable. Anything about the Scientific American paranormal challenge is double plus in my book. Plus Philadelphia period setting and learning that the smell of squalor is an excellent euphemism for rank piss.
Marissa
A historical fiction novel that explores the 1920s Spiritualism from the viewpoint of a skeptical psychology grad student. With his professor, he easily debunks several "psychics," before meeting his match in Mina Crawley. He can't determine what is really going on, no thanks to the fact that he develops feelings for her. This is an eerie tale.
Kim Hamblin-Hart
This book was refreshing! The writing is beautiful and it is unpredictable throughout. The characters are likeable and memorable. Good book!
Kendra
I read this book during my hyper-reading phase and I really really enjoyed it. It's an unusal story about the protege of a renowned ivy league professor who sets off for Philadelphia to disprove claims by a wealthy young socialite that she is a medium. Enjoyable peek into the spiritualist movement of the early 20th century.
Justwinter
Starts off strong and keeps good pace til nearly the end, where it seems to fizzle out. Page-turner, nevertheless. Wish the end had been more satisfying, still a good book. Pigeon on book cover makes up for whimper-not-bang ending.
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