I have always been a fan of illusionists, and a skeptic (though not cynic) of the paranormal. For the blog that I have with my local news source here in central PA, I was contacted by famous TV psychic medium John Edward’s PR group asking if I’d like to conduct a phone interview with him in preparation for his upcoming show here. I agreed excitedly—I hoped to get to the bottom of whether he was the real deal, or merely another style of illusionist.
John was very candid and amicable over the phone, but my published interview received some backlash (“shame on you for giving this hack one second of attention”). I decided to do some more investigation by reading Crossing Over (the book which shares the same name as his TV show which aired on SciFi from 1999-2004).
If the accounts he gave in his book are accurate, John may truly have the ability to “speak” with the dead. Some of the stories were fascinating, beyond the typical “I’ve got an older male figure whose name begins with an R and had heart problems in this section”— the “cold reading”-style for which he typically gets grief. I picked this book in particular (he has a number published) because it was more biographical—talking about how he got started, why he decided to begin a TV show, etc. To that end, it also read like “damage control” at times, firing back with explanations as to why the cynics are wrong. I found some of his philosophies a bit hypocritical, and some of his arguments got “old” after a while. If he is truly who he says he is, however, I’m sure HE gets tired of trying to convince others, too.
I’d recommend this book if you have an interest in this sort of thing, but if you’re more curious in his psychic readings and the “stories behind the stories,” this biographical account may not be for you. I still don’t know how I feel about the particular “life after life” he asserts. If you’re not interested in the subject whatsoever, it’s probably best it remains avoided—imagining your deceased loved ones watching over you in your not-so-finest moments is enough to make you think twice about how you spend your alone time.
Review Submitted by: Jordan Gaines (SMCM Alum ’11)
Rating: Recommended with Reservations