Monday 18 October 2021

The Supernatural Survival Guide

The Supernatural Survival Guide by George Ivanoff (Puffin Books) HB RRP ISBN9781761043635

Reviewed by Dianne Bates

Australian author George Ivanoff has written two other Survival Guides as well as this: The Australian Survival Guide and The Human Body Survival Guide so he surely knows what he is doing. This guide covers things associated with the supernatural, including things that came from out of this world, beastly stuff, things from beyond the grave, and everything else that’s weird. Chapter headings include hocus pocus, gone without a trace, powers of the mind, spooky stuff, hauntings, chatting with the dead, partying with the dead, and much more.

The book asks its reader if they’ve ever had a close encounter with a UFO, is their house haunted, have they seen a yeti. Don’t worry, the author says, this book has all the info you need to survive a brush with the spooky. It asks questions such as is the Loch Ness Monster real, does Big Foot exist, are there scientific reasons for hauntings, what can explain UFOs by multiple witnesses. It recounts anecdotes about sightings of the mysterious, but then balances this with contradictions. This happens time and again throughout the book. To explain mentalism (reading other people’s thoughts) via example, it says that a mentalist looks for physical movements and body language that give clues as to what a person is thinking.

The book is printed in two-tones of green and black and white, making use of graphics and occasional photographs. It includes ‘comments’ by the author’s dad (for example, commenting on Uri Geller’s ability to bend spoons, he writes ‘my dad can bend spoons. But he uses a vice and some pliers to do it!) All kinds of subject matter are explored such as telepathy, telekinesis, ectoplasm, infrasound, hoaxes, mermaids, spiritualism, in fact anything which comes under the heading of ‘supernatural.’ There is a thread of humour running through the book: for example, the author asks why ghosts trying to contact the dead don’t use text messages; conspiracies can’t be secrets if they’re in a survival guide. He takes facts people believe are true and shows how those people are misguided.

All things paranormal are investigated in this interesting and comprehensive book which claims, on the back cover, ‘the truth is in here.’ Ideal reading for children aged 12+ years.

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