Jonathan Margolis‘s biography of Uri Geller, the controversial spoon-bending and mind-reading performer, was the first to examine dispassionately whether the former Israeli paratrooper is a talented magician or something altogether more mysterious – perhaps even an authentic paranormalist....
|Title||:||Uri Geller: Magician or Mystic?|
|Number of Pages||:||400 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Uri Geller: Magician or Mystic? Reviews
I received a copy in a Giveaway.I had two main thoughts about this book. On the one hand is the interesting life of Uri Geller himself and on the other the writer's skill. The former was pretty much lost on me by the lack of the latter.Page 57 before it even got out of a long list of experiments, page 128 or so before the one fascinating insight into his childhood is even mentioned? An introduction peppered with '(as we shall see later)' type brackets - I mean surely you stop doing that in A Level English essays?The writer is obviously an excellent journalist but what is a good style for 2,000 words falls apart over 200 pages.And in this mess we have to gauge what may be an evolutionary movement in the human brain. We are even told of 'others' like Uri. Now there's a story. What we do learn is that over all the things Uri did, he never felt he had any control.Neither does the writer.
Spent a wet Sunday afternoon reading this. It's fairly fascinating although these revelations were largely broadcast in the recent documentary about Uri Geller so nothing was a surprise. This is the second book Margolis has written about Geller but I haven't read the first. Personally, I often felt bogged down by information designed to reassure the reader that the account is true and I didn't much enjoy the writing style. The grammar was fairly random and oddly placed commas led to confusing sentences. If you haven't seen the documentary, this is an interesting read. If you have, it's less so.
I met Uri Geller as part of a group of officers of the Australian Federal Government Department of the Media some time in the late 1970s. We met up with him in his North Sydney hotel where he was staying. For some reason he chose me to demonstrate one of his mind-reading/transference acts. I was to draw an object, then 'transfer' my thought to him; he would pick this up and then draw the image I was transmitting to him. My first attempt was a drawing of an apple, with a twig and two leaves at the top. I seem to remember that at first he seemed to want to draw a heart-shaped object (something I would have more or less accepted for an apple) but he decided that this was not the case: so I suggested that I would try again with a simpler image (a + sign), which I again tried to transmit to him. This time, he came up with the goods. I still have the note page somewhere in my papers on which he drew this + sign and signed it.He then proceeded to perform the act for which he is most famous: bending metal. He asked one of the group to give him one of their keys (one that they would not mind losing the use of) and this (a Yale key) was provided by one of the ladies in our group. Geller got up with the key and moved from the Living room area into the Kitchen area, which was simply another section of the same room, but separated from it by a jutting counter, over which one could see into the kitchen, and above which were cabinets. Geller explained that he did this to maximise his power because there was more metal in the counter and cabinets. We all stood on one side of the counter, with Geller on the other. He moved his finger over the key, willing it to bend, declared it was bending, (although at that precise moment I did not notice anything) and handed it to one of the officers. As we watched, it seemed to me that not only was the key bent, but it was continuing to bend while it was in the hands of our group. We were all suitably astounded, and unable to explain what we had just witnessed. Geller said he could not explain it either, but told us that he felt that in some way, the combined thoughts of all present were somehow making the metal bend. It was, apparently, an example of the potential powers of the human mind. We left, bemused.This seemed to be at a time when there was a lot of interest in these phenomena. The Cold War war also still on, and there had been books on Soviet persons who were also deemed to possess similar powers; the influence and power of the occult and the paranormal were strong. The years passed, and the interest in these topics died; soon there was little to be heard of anything from whatever source. Consequently I was pleased when I noticed this book in a local second-hand bookshop. It was published in 1999, so I thought It would be interesting to read up on Geller and try to find out what happened to him. What a disappointment this book turned out to be! The author adopts a 'tell all' approach which promises to be objective and authoritative… but instead it reads more like an extended article like one would find in some populist magazine. Claims to unusual activity are made; some people affirm certain things, others remember slightly different things; some emphatically stated their belief; others doubted. When scientific studies are referred to, the fact that many times the results were neutral or negative is provided, but then this is juxtaposed with even more mysterious and amazing events were happening elsewhere in the laboratory, all attributed to the Geller 'influence', but this only serves to confuse the matter. This results in a sort of scatter-gun approach which proceeds more or less like this throughout the book. The author 'deals' with those who opposed as well as those who backed the Geller phenomenon, but the ultimate effect is more obscurantist rather than enlightening. One ends up not knowing anything much about anybody (including Geller) in the book.For some reason the author wants to make us believe that Uri Geller is quite normal and fun-loving (more like a cheeky teenager who has never quite grown up), and a little bit 'naughty': his heterosexual pursuits are documented — in itself something neither here nor there, but I must admit that when the author writes (p 148) that "In Uri Geller, the Munich newspaper *Bild Zeitung*, the first in Germany to go big on him, found a fascinating story of the paranormal in a character of a tabloid editor's dreams: young, handsome, heterosexual, earnest, and even from a favoured country — Israel …" I was surprised that heterosexuality was one of the qualities desired by a tabloid editor… If Geller's normality was the objective, and to a certain extent the author succeeds in this, then his conclusion (p 282) that Geller might just simply be paranormal appears ridiculous to me.The author also seems to be biased in his treatment of certain figures: despite later being classified as decidedly loopy, confirmed devotee Dr Andrija Puharich, who eventually believed that Geller was chosen and being used by Nine Supreme Alien beings from the planet Hoova to introduce humanity onto higher planes, is kindly treated. Not so Geller's nemesis James Randi, who comes across as a kind of rabid madman determined to destroy Geller… (it is only much later in the book when the author reveals that Geller was involved in lawsuits against Randi, that one might suspect something other than simple one-sided animosity was going on at the time…)The so-called 'paranormal' is a fascinating area, and there is much that is mysterious and puzzling about it. Nothing, so far, has ever been presented or provided to give us any satisfactory explanation to reported paranormal activity: more often than not the opposite is the case; but still the 'unexplained' remain. But when the author states on p 281 "If it should turn out in the future that Uri Geller was, indeed, a Jesus figure, I should be a little surprised, but delighted. It will have meant, for one thing, that I have accidentally written the New Testament." my only response is 'No, Jonathan Margolis. No.'For anyone actually interested in the paranormal, this book is a waste of time.
I was pretty gripped by this. Made me question the notion that Geller is just a trickster.
I picked this book up on sale because I thought 'Uri CIA? I'd like to see how this is explained'. I wish I hadn't. It's one of the most poorly-written books I've ever read.The book is written in a nonsensical order and constantly references back and forth for no reason ('as previously seen', 'later in this book'). There is a massive overuse of commas and the word 'paradoxically'.Here's an example from page 198:'Was it a mistake for Geller to link up with Puharich?' pondered John Hasted, an atomic physicist, and retired Professor of Experimental Physics, at Birkbeck College, University of London, who, before his death in 2002, worked with Uri after he came to the UK in 1974. 'No, it wasn't,' he continued, at his home in Cornwall.Yes, there are that many commas. And from the following page:While the rest of the world was still struggling with trying to believe or not believe in Geller's powers, one could take the view that Puharich was managing to get Uri Geller to believe in a Uri Geller of his, Puharich's, most idealized imaginings: exit Svengali, enter Dr Frankenstein.Like that example, many paragraphs had to be read multiple times to comprehend what the author was trying to say.The author obviously did a lot of research and spoke to many people, but I can't really remember anything in it about Uri and the CIA because it was such a struggle to read.I would not recommend this book.
I was fortunate to receive a copy of The Secret Life of Uri Geller.. from Goodreads - First Reads.I was pleased to win what I hoped would be an interesting and informative read.This was not to be the case! I felt 'bogged down' with the author's attempt to validate the Uri Geller phenomena and lost interest.I'm sure that this book would be of interest to a number of people, alas I cannot count myself among this group.
certainly an interesting lifeanother e book with a number of typos. I do find the lack of proofreading insulting. If I take the time to read a book, why can't it be proofed ? I start to wonder about the quality of the editing and fact checking. Anyway, we eventually find out that Geller does have some sort of power (I think) though no one seems to know what exactly what.