Author: Peter James and Gian Temperilli
Publisher: World Audience Publishers
ISBN: 978-0-9820540-6-2

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For centuries, ghost hunting or, more precisely,  ‘ghost sensing’ has been the center of great interest and enthusiasm – and of course, a great deal of controversy – in the human history. It has, of late, become a hot topic for numerous TV shows, movies, fiction, and documentaries. Peter James has been a well-known figure in the world of paranormal research and psychic investigation. Known globally for his primetime TV show Sightings, James’s prodigy of directly interacting with ghosts won him unsurpassed acclaim and recognition among the public, including many skeptics. Before passing away in July 2007, James shared a manuscript of his paranormal experiences and views with his friend Gian Temperilli who became the co-author of James’ book Heaven Can You Hear Me? (World Audience Publishers, New York, 2009).

That reading about real life experiences with ghosts is thrilling goes without saying and Heaven Can You Hear Me? comes as a riveting story of James’s experiences as a psychic and paranormal investigator. We are taken to the historically famous ship ‘Queen Mary’ that has been haunted by numerous entities for more than half a century; and where James would call a child’s ghost ‘Jackie’ in the presence of the ship’s crew, visitors, and media people. There are other true stories of murdered people whose ghosts haunted the places where their earthly lives were lost, tragically and untimely. And there is this account of a violent child ghost that inflicted terror on the inhabitants of a haunted house while physically injuring the tenants and even James, whose help had been sought by the concerned family. More encounters with ghosts are described by James, albeit in a concise and non-sensational style that renders him a genuine investigator and narrator. But of course, you do get goose bumps while the pages keep you spellbound.     

The real value of this book, however, is not contained in ghost stories but in the authors’ rational approach toward a subject that has been thoughtlessly and, sometimes, deliberately distorted for creating sensation and getting public attention. For most of us, ghosts and entities remain something supernatural. James and Temperilli tend to see ghosts and ghost activity not as something supernatural but as natural and normal as our own existence on this planet. Even more important is the book’s criticism of many irrational beliefs and myths that have given people to baseless superstition and unquestioned belief in meaningless rituals. The authors have regard for various belief systems and skepticism but they also demand the freedom to question such inherited views as prevalent in the masses regarding possession, demons, Ouija boards, body snatching, cemeteries, hypnotism, and ritualistic exorcisms. In the lighthearted tone of James, condiments better be saved for cooking!

This brings to a significant note for all readers, especially the skeptics, which is that the authors of Heaven Can You Hear Me? are not the followers of any orthodox religion. Their views are natural, based on immediate experiences and personal encounters that they have made available objective observation. Filmmaker Chuck Williams praises the book in the words, ‘I couldn’t put it down’ and this remains true for this reviewer. It is hard to wait for Gian Temperilli’s next book Heaven Are You There?, approved for publication by the World Audience Publishers.    

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