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Surviving Death: A Journalist Investigates Evidence for an Afterlife

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  509 ratings  ·  91 reviews
"While exploring the evidence for an afterlife, I witnessed some unbelievable things that are not supposed to be possible in our material world. Yet they were unavoidably and undeniably real. Despite my initial doubt, I came to realize that there are still aspects of Nature which are neither understood or accepted, even though their reality has profound implications for un ...more
Paperback, 432 pages
Published March 6th 2018 by Crown Publishing Group (NY) (first published March 7th 2017)
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Heidi The Reader
Investigative journalist Leslie Kean takes a close look at a wide variety of unexplained phenomena in order to answer the age old question- does human consciousness survive death intact with the memories, personality, and uniqueness that was exhibited in life? I found her evidence astonishing.

Much of her research into near-death experiences (NDEs), I had been exposed to in other books. But, the chapters about children remembering past lives, psychic mediums and physical mediums was entirely new
Erik Graff
May 05, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parapsychologists
Recommended to Erik by: Michael Miley
Shelves: sciences
The issue of personal survival after physical death is a sensitive one involving everyone. Such religious traditions as address the issue disagree as do individuals. The evidence is elusive, interpretations of it widely varying.

I approach the matter with prejudice, agreeing with the old Buddhist tradition that dwelling on such matters is not conducive to what ought most matter. Yet it's noteworthy that some Buddhist traditions do precisely just that.

Kean's book is also prejudiced in the presumpt
Shagun G.
Apr 07, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
"Hypeness" Rating: 3.0
Book received through Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.
* Review Posted on *


So begins Leslie Keans impeccably researched, page-turning investigation revealing stunning and wide-ranging evidence suggesting that consciousness survives death. Here she continues her examination of unexplained phenomena that began with her provocative and controversial New York Times bestseller UFOs: Generals, Pilots, and Government O
Jan 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you've never read a book about afterlife experiences, Surviving Death is a good place to start. Kean devotes a chapter to each kind of afterlife experience -- reincarnation, near-death experience, death-bed visitors etc -- and in each chapter she explores all aspects of cited instances, looking for other possible explanations. This would be a great book for a skeptic to read.

Thank you, Netgalley, for the e-review edition of this book.
Apr 14, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
While I initially got chills listening to this book, it became a circus in the last chapter once seances, ectoplasm, and materializations became the topic. The fact that the last person interviewed refused to have his "work" filmed or photographed tells a lot. He's full of it and so is the author for even including him in her book. That immediately dropped my rating down to 3 stars.
Otherwise, it was an interesting read.
And these ghosts are probably all demons anyway.
Yea, I said it!
Jul 10, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book is pretty much best described as a downward spiral. It starts off in an interesting way with a few cases of reincarnation and near death experiences. I have to say that reincarnation cases are neither new nor is Leslie Kean's coverage particularly detailed, all the information has been already widely reported and one of the cases she writes about has a whole book devoted to him. Once she gets to talk about her experiences with psychics the book becomes shaky and less and less evidence ...more
What happens when your two-year old son remembers actual, verifiable names of fellow pilots, technical aircraft details, and the moment the Japanese shot down his plane in the battle for Iwo Jima from his past-life in WWII? What happens when, as a professional, skeptical journalist, you visit a medium and she tells you the most obscure details of your deceased brother's life? What happens when you later ask that deceased brother for a sign that he is really "there" and the next day he sends you ...more
Dec 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ghosts, non-fiction, 2016
I was very impressed by this book. Recognizing the instant dismissal that often comes from scientists in regard to attempted explorations of the question of an afterlife, Kean grounds her impeccably researched work with chapters written by highly credentialed scientists who have spent decades researching and studying death. Kean applies an appropriately skeptical eye to the material, but definitely transitions toward acceptance of statements repeated by each scientist - we may not know WHAT happ ...more
Bryn Dunham
Possibly the most interesting, compelling and fun book about the existence of an afterlife and the survival of consciousness after death I’ve ever read. The author addresses the following: Reincarnation, near death experiences, end of life experiences, after death communication (ghosts, apparitions, paranormal activity), and mediumship.

Real page turner and written for the general reader interested in this topic plus the possible science behind some of it without being overwhelming. Highly recomm
If you’ve read a lot of metaphysical books, how much you like this one will probably depend on how much new information you discover, as well as how interested you are in mediumship–-mental, trance and physical. Author Linda Kean starts the book off with the topic of reincarnation, specifically cases involving children who remember past lives. The two main American cases looked at are the James Leininger and Ryan Hammons ones. Also discussed is the work of the late Ian Stevenson and his successo ...more
Stan James
Apr 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
I suspect a lot of people will have one of two reactions on reading this book. They'll either roll their eyes and put it down, dismissing it as a bunch of non-scientific hooey, or they'll allow themselves to admit that definitive evidence may be ever-elusive, but that Kean presents a strong set of circumstantial evidence to suggest that consciousness can and does exist outside of the human body, and can therefore exist after death.

Kean breaks the book into sections and devotes chapters to lettin
Danielle Livneh
Sep 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book provided questions rather than answers- a humbling reminder that there is so much we don't understand about human consciousness and so much that Western science cannot explain. As an atheist with no framework for death besides an absolute and material end, I found this book particularly comforting in the wake of loss. Ultimately this book reminded me we can, and should, question everything we somehow convinced ourselves is fact along the way. ...more
A competent introduction to the subject. Occasionally overwritten and maudlin this book is a good introduction to the topic.

Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars.

Worth a look.
Rachel Wall
Listened to this on audio. Much of it I loved and was very interested. Some of it (the medium parts) did not interest me at all. I would only recommend if this subject is one you like to explore.
Joseph Schrock
Jul 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review is for an impressively informative and highly engaging book, “Surviving Death”, by Leslie Kean. Kean does a masterful job of marshaling information that not only proves – to the open-minded person – that paranormal phenomena are part of objective reality, but that also provides strong support for belief in an afterlife for human beings. The author is highly professional, objective, and even scientific in her approach.

Let me quote from this book the following observations by Kean (pa
Jun 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a great book. I’d be hard pressed to find a better one for a general audience on the reasons we need to take survival research and its findings seriously. In fact, it’s so good, so clear and well-organized, that I’ve read it three times, recommended it to friends and family, and will continue to give it as a special gift to those I think might appreciate its worth. To paraphrase a spiritual teacher I know who read it upon my recommendation and loved it: it has the capacity to change live ...more
Mar 23, 2021 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Oh dear! Where to begin? This book follows the author's investigations into survival of consciousness after death. I'm not here to argue for or against this position, just to review the book.

It’s clear from the book's foreword and the author's introduction that Leslie Keane is a firm believer in such phenomena of psychic abilities, ESP and the like and so worth noting that this book is not written with any skeptical eye at all and is a one sided argument supporting the book title. I have to say
Maria Ryan
Apr 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Is There Such a Thing as Death?

An investigative journalist tackles the difficult to swallow theory that consciousness survives the death of the body and that we live on with our conscious awareness, personality, emotions, and memories fully intact after we “die”. In other words, there is no such thing as death.

Through various case studies in reincarnation, out of body experiences (OBE), near death experiences (NDE), and mental and physical mediumship, we see example after example of life surviv
Eric Farr
May 31, 2021 rated it really liked it
Just like Leslie Kean's UFOs: Generals, Pilots and Government Officials Go on the Record was for the UFO phenomenon, her Surviving Death: A Journalist Investigates Evidence for an Afterlife is a great introductory text about contemporary evidence for the afterlife geared at a mainstream audience. It's not an examination of religious belief, and Kean presents herself as agnostic on the subject although inclined to believe that consciousness continues beyond death. She tries to maintain objectivit ...more
Apr 16, 2019 rated it liked it
This book features some fascinating descriptions of unsolved mysteries, including claims of past-life memories and out-of-body experiences. However, I felt particularly skeptical while reading the sections on mediumship for multiple reasons: this field has been historically rife with predators seeking to take financial advantage of grieving people, the author demonstrates strong confirmation bias by focusing on the mediums’ accurate claims (the “hits”) in great detail while minimizing the inaccu ...more
While a fantastic and persuasive overview of the current literature on survivalist theory, the book ends with enthusiastic support of physical mediumship.

Unfortunately, everything I’ve ever read in the past makes ectoplasm, hovering spirit trumpets, and other effects clearly the work of fraud, skilled magicians and an easily duped sitting circle. Kean’s support for these makes me wonder whether the earlier chapters are filled with just as many logical gaps ... or maybe something really is happen
Lauren Keys
Organized and well written and thoughtful, and if it is your first read on reincarnation and NDE's then this is a great read. I have read similar by some of the same experts and when I picked up this book I was looking for new insight, but again it is great to have a single organized body of work which includes some powerful testimony from Kean on her personal experiences while validating mediums. ...more
Paul Barrow
Apr 26, 2021 rated it really liked it
A very worthwhile read for a number of reasons.

First of all, this is a serious book which tries to cover the more obvious examples of the many different types of survival post death. Although I've been reading books on the genre for 40+ years (even going into the adult library when I was a boy to read the books in there - in those days there were so many books available to read on the subject - I especially enjoyed Konstantin Raudive's Breakthrough - google it), I long ago stopped reading the mo
Sonja Lopez
Jul 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
I've always had the interest of life after death, but not only does this book explore life after death, it also explores reincarnation, coming back to life, mediums/psychics (different elements to their abilities), and kinesis (different kinds). This book has many researchers work, not only her work, but works of MDs (Doctor of Medicine), MSW (Master Social Worker), PhDs (Doctor of Philosophy), DLitt (Doctor of Letters), and MS (Master of Science). All these researchers had put their work, in th ...more
MacWithBooksonMountains Marcus
It’s a fair enough read, the part about reincarnations more so than others, but written by a female journalist with an agenda, it is lacking in several areas. There is the typical fallacy of “cherry picking” what she needs to support her agenda and ignoring all else. I picked up on that for the first time when she described the particular case of an out of body experience. A woman whose consciousness supposedly detached from here body enabling here to see several objects she supposedly could not ...more
Arnold Baruch
Jun 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
First the good news: there's life after death and we're all going to....well, somewhere. Seriously, after I had come away from this diligently assembled compendium of historical research and personal experiences of the author, she had just about convinced me. (Although she determinedly sets limits to her conclusions.)

Kean starts out with impressive evidentiary narratives of small children possessed of inexplicable, intimate knowledge of and emotional ,identification with real expired people. Sh
Kristen Olsen
Feb 21, 2021 rated it really liked it
I read this fascinating book after watching the Netflix series. It's a good compilation/overview of the evidence related to a variety of afterlife-related topics, including memories of past lives, near-death experiences, mediums, apparitions, etc. The author did a lot of research, and the book is well-organized. She doesn't shy away from acknowledging the limits of what is truly knowable. Some of the information she presents is hard to explain -- confirmable details that children know about now- ...more
Jul 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was quite impressed with Leslie Kean's UFO book - one of the very best out of the many I've read, although it necessarily covered some old familiar ground - so I was curious to see how she'd deal with this topic. She did well!

That said, there is nothing here that will persuade the ultimate skeptic, because I don't think any amount of evidence will ever convince any committed debunker of anything. Nothing is likely to do that, short of direct personal experience, and even that may not be effect
Eric Dennis
Sep 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Laura Hardner
Dec 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
I really enjoyed the scientific perspective taken in this book. I found the viewpoints of psychologists and neuroscientists to be especially interesting, as I am currently studying cognitive psychology at the undergraduate level.

However, I will say that I found the last section of the book, about physical mediumship, far less interesting than the earlier chapters about mental mediumship, past-life memories, and near-death experiences. I'm not sure what about it made it so unappealing to me. I t
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