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Is There An Afterlife?: A Comprehensive Overview of the Evidence Paperback – January 17, 2005

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Iff Books (January 17, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1903816904
  • ISBN-13: 978-1903816905
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.1 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #239,906 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Is death the end of this existence, as some scientists seem to assume? Fontana, a British psychologist and fellow at Cardiff University, thinks not. In this manual, he marshals studies and other evidence to demonstrate the persistence of unexplained phenomena that point to the likelihood of life after death. In systematic fashion, Fontana plows through chapters on parapsychology; apparitions and visions of ghosts; hauntings (where apparitions are seen by more than one person in the same place over a long, continuous period); the history and nature of mediumship; different kinds of mediums; electronic voice phenomena; near-death experiences; out-of-body experiences; and reincarnation. Throughout, he includes case studies of alleged paranormal events from around the world, and also describes some of his own experiences, including a local Cardiff poltergeist he investigated from 1989 to 1992, and a medium who seems to have communicated with Fontana's deceased mother. It's clear that Fontana believes that many claims to the paranormal are true and that they provide credible evidence that a soul or spirit survives beyond physical death. Still, his tone is a bit more balanced than other paranormal apologetic texts. The book is indeed "comprehensive," as the subtitle indicates, and it is organized well enough that readers can easily skip to the chapters or sections that interest them rather than slogging through each chapter sequentially, since the writing can be overly detailed.
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'Scholarship, personal experience and high quality always show. This highly accessible, detailed and authoritative book will become a classic. After reading it and assessing the evidence, there can no longer be any doubt that there is life after death. David Fontana's book should be mandatory reading for all those involved in the care of the dying - and of course for the rest of us who know we will have to face it one day! Dr Peter Fenwick, Britain's leading clinical authority on Near-Death-Experience

Customer Reviews

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The author also offers irrefutable arguments against the skeptics.
Richard Laughlin
His writing reveals good sound judgement, courage, rigour and balance as traits of his own personality.
It is a very good book and I recommend to anyone with an interest in the question posed by the title.
Leslie S. Kish

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

79 of 85 people found the following review helpful By Michael E. Tymn VINE VOICE on April 12, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Since becoming interested in psychical research some 15 years ago, I have accumulated a library of more than 1,000 books dealing with mediumship, channeling, near-death experiences, death-bed visions, apparations, past-life regressions, and every other aspect of the paranormal. This book is without a doubt the most comprehensive overview of the entire field that I have encountered.

The author is a professor of Transpersonal Psychology at Liverpool John Moores University in Great Britain and a past president as well as current vice-president of the Society for Psychical Research. Professor Fontana examines everything from the mediumship of the Fox Sisters of the 1800s to the recent

Scole experiments, including such famous cases as Patience Worth, Margery, the R-101 disaster, the cross-correspondences, to name just a few. He looks at the mediumship of Leonore Piper, Gladys Osborne Leonard, Eileen Garrett, Geraldine Cummins and many others.

So many of the earlier books present a one-sided view of various phenomena, but Fontana presents both sides, turning the evidence inside out and upside down,leaving no stone unturned. I had just recently reread a book about the mediumship of Mina Crandon, the medium in the sensational "Margery" mediumship of 1920s. I finished the book not knowing what to believe as there was strong evidence for Crandon being a gifted medium, but there was also some evidence suggesting fraud. The fact that the distinguished researcher, Dr. J.B. Rhine, was one of those concluding she was a charlatan made me lean toward that conclusion, even though I was mystified as to how so many other scientific examiners could have been duped.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Mishlove on April 12, 2006
Format: Paperback
Professor David Fontana's book is certainly the best, single volume available today on the question of survival after death. It is written from the perspective of one who accepts that the available evidence does, indeed, point toward the existence of an afterlife. But, he did not come to this conclusion easily. He carefully weighs and balances all of the available competing arguments. And, he also acknowledges that, even after 150 years of investigation, the evidence is not scientifically complete. In fact, he does not hesitate to share the frustrations of researchers working in this field.

At one point, when discussing a particularly frustrating situation (George Meek's "Spiricom," at one time an excellent source of ITC data, that ceased functioning) he cites William James, who suggested "the Almighty may have decreed that we are never going to receive the final element of proof for which survival researchers have been looking, and that Spiricom was in danger of giving this proof."

As a past president of the British Society for Psychical Research, the oldest organization in the world continuously devoted to exploring the question of human survival, Fontana is eminently qualified to write about this subject. (Within the last few weeks I, myself, have joined this organization - upon learning about their excellent online library.) Fontana is also a specialist in the areas of EVP (electronic voice phenomena) and ITC (instrumental transcommunication) that are now a particular interest of mine. See my earlier blog on White Noise. I am inclined to think that if this area continues to show progress, as it seems to be doing, than it will - indeed - result in the major breakthrough that survival researchers have been seeking for 150 years.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By E. Lipinski on October 31, 2005
Format: Paperback
Dr. Fontana's presentation is well suited to inform both the

experienced and new readers of the vast amount of research that

has already been undertaken in this area. I particularly liked

the way he presented the pros and cons of the various hypotheses

forwarded to explain the various phenomena. This is an excellent

introduction to the myriad facets of this fascinating subject.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Dean DeHarpporte on May 28, 2006
Format: Paperback
"Fontana is a psychologist who has been doing research in survival after death over his 35-year career. I thought I knew something about this subject, but I was amazed to find so much startling research that - taken together and unless this respected university professor is a gross liar - makes it very hard to argue that death is followed by nothing more than oblivion. Fontana covers everything from apparitions (ghosts) to mental mediums, physical mediums (who evoke objects and human forms from the afterlife), discarnate voices emanating from electronic devices (there is a lot of very good research that I knew nothing of), near death experiences, out of body experiences, and reincarnation.

This 480-page, small print account goes into detail about the scientific controls for every source. It also constantly raises the question of fraud - including scrutiny by high status scientists and conjurors - and convincingly refutes the possiblity for most experiments. The text is surprisingly readable for what amounts, when described by Fontana, to a series of scientific experiments over the past 120 years. However, despite his spectacular subject matter, the author shows no flare for spellbinding writing and brings no humor into his account. The most fascinating part of the book is the last chapter where Fontana describes what voices from the afterlife have to say about exactly what the afterlife is like. I will leave this account to the pleasure of the reader. "
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