LOOKING FOR THE OTHER SIDE by Sherry Suib Cohen

LOOKING FOR THE OTHER SIDE

KIRKUS REVIEW

 A light, entertaining journey through the varied genres of New Age spirituality. Cohen, on assignment for New Woman (this book grew out of her article for the magazine), attempted to discover the spirit of her recently deceased mother, whose loss left her searching for meaning in her own life. Highly skeptical of the New Age movement (which is why her mystical-minded editor gave her the assignment), she approaches her subject with healthy doses of wit and suspicion. This balance of open-mindedness and skepticism serve the author well as she attempts to navigate the myriad worlds of numerology, astrology, fortune-telling, channeling, and parapsychology. She gives some sketchy historical background about each of these practices (there are important differences, for example, between mediums and psychics), and then recounts her own experiences with practitioners of these various arts. Some, like fortune-tellers, are dismissed fairly easily, while others give her pause. She claims that several mediums recited intimate facts about her mother's life (the names of her parents, the name of her sister and that she lived in Florida, the kind of hat her brother wore); a police psychic described Cohen's new puppy perfectly just from holding the small keyring Cohen grabs to take him for a walk- -without even knowing that this was the keys' only purpose. But other experiences leave her dubious, like her efforts to recover past lives. Though persuaded that there might be something to it, she claims she was fabricating a past-life scenario out of her own imagination, assisted by the strong suggestions of her regression counselor. In the end, after encountering both charlatans and genuine practitioners, Cohen is still skeptical--but her wariness has melted to the degree that the phone numbers of numerous practitioners are listed in the appendix. Somewhat self-absorbed (in keeping with much of the New Age movement) but a fun introduction to a wacky world. (Author tour)

Pub Date: March 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-517-70828-0
Page count: 256pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 1997




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