Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Title Thirty Three: Do Dead People Watch You Shower? by Concetta Bertoldi

If you see this book, run away. As quickly as possible. Bonus points if you set it on fire before you run. (Kidding.) (Kind of.)

Look, I admit to a certain fascination with ghosties. I love watching "Paranormal State" and have a slight crush on Ryan Buell. Okay, a big crush. I sort of want to have his babies. So I picked up this book hoping to find some interesting anecdotes about the life of a medium and her communications with the Other Side. Instead it was like being trapped at the kitchen table with a loudmouthed North Jersey paisan (I'm an Eyetal; I can say that) who refuses to let you leave until she has told you every detail of her life. "Oooh, look at me, I can see and hear dead people! I bring comfort to grieving family and friends! "They" told me who I was going to marry! I know so much more than you but I can't prove it but dammit you need to believe me because I am an expert!" Shut up and shove a cannoli in your mouth. Your writing is trite, vain, and has the skill level of a dyslexic middle schooler. (This is not a jab at the writer's dyslexia, or anyone else's for that matter; she is simply a poor author, incapable of writing more than one paragraph for many of the "chapters" of the book.)

The only heartwarming segments deal with Bertoldi's experiences with the deaths of her father and brother. They were, and still are, evidently devastating and painful, and if her communications and visits with them have brought her some comfort, then I'm glad that what she calls her "gift" has allowed that. Otherwise, it's a lot of showmanship with little substance. She trumpets her small validations and chalks her failures up to a sort of "Oh, only God is perfect, and I won't be perfect until I am one with Him" mentality. There's a lot of pseudo-New Agey crap sprinkled liberally throughout the book, especially pertaining to her concept that those who go "home" arise to a different plane of consciousness and cease to exist as separate entities, instead becoming a part of God, shedding all earthly constraints. I don't know about you, but when I get to heaven I want to find great sex, exquisite chocolate, flowering gardens and beautiful beaches, along with high-quality scotch flowing like a river and books as far as the eye can see. I want to enjoy my earthly senses to the fullest. In the end I decided that Bertoldi is a hack, which may be unfair, but hell, it's my opinion and my review.


Jeremy Feist said...

Ooooo, it's been a while since I read a scathing review of a book, so right now? I'm pretty damn happy. Bless your heart, Nicole!

Nicole said...

Thanks, Jeremy. We're not all hearts and flowers around here!