THE GELLER EFFECT by Uri & Guy Lyon Playfair Geller

THE GELLER EFFECT

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The return of Uri Geller finds him more charming and self-confident than ever. In the mid-70's, the world-famous spoon-bender dropped out of sight, in part to become a dowser or gold prospector for rich companies intent on mining the Brazilian jungles and the Solomon Islands, and also to help the South Koreans discover a vast tunnel network being prepared by North Korea for a coming invasion of the South. During these efforts, Geller was well paid indeed, becoming not only a millionaire but also fulfilling his stated life's goal: to become rich and famous. No philosopher, Geller nevertheless was attracted to making a personal Arab-Israeli peace movement and used mental suggestion on Arab billionaire Adnan Khashoggi to help cement peace between their nations (Israeli Geller had fought and been wounded in the Six-Day War). His book divides up between tape-recorded memoirs by Geller and a survey of the more weighty aspects of psi (parapsychology) by Playfair as are exemplified in Geller. Much of the past scientific research on Geller is reviewed and all the outstanding arguments against him, including those by magician James Randi, hoax-exposer Martin Gardner, and others, are answered. Playfair himself remains on the fence about Geller's abilities, though clearly leans toward Geller. Some of Geller's students have carried spoonbending to groups, and now there are several groups who enjoy getting together and bending metal. Children are especially proficient at it (""Because nobody's told us we can't do it. Right?""). Says one observer: ""People acquainted with these phenomena find they are so common and easily accomplished that cheating is silly."" Geller himself is not interested in a scientific explanation of psi, his own or anyone else's, and none is offered here--though advice on how to hold a spoon-bending party is. Nothing new, but a fun read that leaves you well disposed toward Uri and psi.

Pub Date: March 16th, 1987
Publisher: Henry Holt