MYSTICS, MAGICIANS, AND MEDICINE PEOPLE: Tales of a Wanderer by Doug Boyd

MYSTICS, MAGICIANS, AND MEDICINE PEOPLE: Tales of a Wanderer

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Remember the last minutes of Psycho, with its laborious, tacked-on psychological afterward? Boyd stumbles into the same error here, delivering eight exciting firsthand encounters with the paranormal and then almost spoiling each with a leaden, preachy commentary. A characteristic tale tells of an old Korean patriarch whom Boyd met during his Asian travels, a man who lives in two worlds at once--the ordinary world of our senses and a mystical sphere of ""deep understanding."" Boyd neatly captures the Korean's charisma and irascibility--he seems like an Oriental version of Castaneda's Don Juan--and adds a spooky tale of how a photo of the man's face gradually faded away, until ""it was as though I had captured a headless man in a horsehair hat."" Tingling stuff: it's too bad that Boyd fancies himself a New Age teacher--his first two hooks (Rolling Thunder, Swami) deal with spiritual masters--and proceeds to gloss his text with such banal insights as ""there is a great deal in this world that cannot be understood through analysis"" or, a blt later on, ""the Golden Rule is often set aside when it is needed most."" Other episodes recount adventures with a Korean shaman; a Japanese martial artist who lives in Times Square; a yogini who spends ""long hours in levitation""; an itinerant Japanese monk with clairvoyant powers; and a Shoshone Indian who channels a spirit entity named ""Joseph"" In each case, Boyd's interpretive remarks smother tire tale like so much lumpy gravy on tenderloin. With a few more stories and a lot less explication, this might rank with John Keel's Jadoo and other classic firsthand accounts of the supernatural, Instead, it's more like The Twilight Zone hosted by J.Z. Knight.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1989
Publisher: Paragon House