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Publishers WeeklyStarred Review.
Squarely aimed at the fans of Ghostbusters (and just in time for its nascent revival in family rooms, video games and, reportedly, the big screen), this look at the paranormal is written by none other than the father of that blockbuster's co-creator and star, Dan Aykroyd; what fans might not know is that the Aykroyd family's interest in séances, mediums and apparitions was what inspired the hit supernatural comedy. The author's own grandfather was a spiritualist: he believed the human personality survives after bodily death, and practiced regular communication with ghosts-much of which he documented in journals. Aykroyd broadens the discussion with historical figures like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes, who joined the Society of Psychical Research three weeks after his father's death. He also disarms skeptics with a chapter on the séance as theatrical performance, not much different from a movie, in which the ultimate goal is "the willing suspension of disbelief" in an audience, whom can then be "frightened, amused, touched, moved" by illusions. Less a Ghostbusters also-ran than a knowing, historical origin story, this is a smart consideration of the paranormal and a curious artifact of the Aykroyd legacy.
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