"The Haunting of Twenty-First-Century America" Book Review
Written by Ron Williams
Published by Tor | Forge
Written by William J. Birnes and Joel Martin
2013, 416 pages, Reference
Released on December 17th, 2013
When I first received this book, it looked interesting. The copy on the back cover promises, "A journey through the shocking paranormal influences that shaped American history". Big stuff! Also noted is that this is the third book from the authors, who have also written The Haunting of America and The Haunting of Twentieth-Century America. These guys must know their stuff, this could be good.
As I began to read it, I realized that while this could be good, it wasn't. There is nothing new here and there is nothing all that interesting either. As for anything of the twenty-first century, well, that's highly debatable.
While the book is well written, it's poorly researched. Mostly hearsay, it's the type of book that uses a single unresearched source as its sole source. This is the equivalent of a "My cousin knew a guy who..." type story or at best, claiming something read on an internet message board as fact. The information presented here is interesting, but what good is it if it's just all tenuously linked or a giant, "What if?"
Compounding that, the title of the book is a joke. It seems to just want to carry on a fake timeline of titles and nothing else. For instance, two back-to-back chapters are on Harry Houdini and Hitler. Not quite the twenty-first century, right? Also, most of this is not about haunting in any way, shape or form. This book makes me want to punch it in the face.
While I was disappointed in this book, I can see how some people may not be. Maybe that's you. If you find it laying on a bench in a bus station or in a coffee shop, you'll probably like it. It's light reading that kind of wastes your time unless you're trying to waste some time. Whatever you do, don't go out of your way to find it.