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Future Perfect: A Skeptic’s Search for an Honest Mystic Hardcover – January 1, 2019
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“Loustalot’s study is filled with intriguing encounters with individuals possessing occult talents both real and finely crafted…Where she ends up on the divide between proof and faith is fascinating. Witty and occasionally irreverent, Loustalot’s offbeat account provides probing insight into why we see psychics and, perhaps more importantly, how we listen to what they have to say.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Soon after her long-term relationship ends, writer Victoria Loustalot visits an alarmingly accurate psychic with her friends…What ensues is a funny, gripping memoir about a foray into the inexplicable.” —Refinery29
“Loustalot weaves the story of their relationship throughout her reporting on the world of mystics and psychics and those who consult with them, turning Future Perfect into an exploration of how an individual learns to trust in the unknown future, which is one way of saying how to trust in the universe and another way of saying how to trust in one’s self.” —Salon
“This book is not what you think it is. What this book is is Victoria Loustalot reaching into my mind and sorting out my eternal struggles. Here’s the thing: as much as it pains me to say so, my struggles are not all that unique. I wonder about my future, I ponder the mysteries and beauties and great pains of love, I wonder what’s out there that might be greater than me. In navigating the realms of psychics and healers with a skeptic’s eye and an open heart, Loustalot moves toward meaning in a way that is deeply resonant.” —Elizabeth Crane, author of We Only Know So Much, The History of Great Things, and Turf
“Writing from an anxious, impatient, image-driven, data- and option-overloaded generation, Victoria Loustalot looks at our longings and the sources from whom we seek answers. Future Perfect is about the psychics and mystics we either adore or are skeptical about, and the science that supports or debunks their syntheses and claims. But this book is also about us—thirtysomethings, women, memoirists, Instagrammers—what we yearn for, why we search, how badly we want to be found. In reading about Loustalot’s journey, in research and in life, we might just feel a little less lost and a little less alone, and that the future, while imperfect, can be a breeding ground for magic and kindness and empathy. Whether she embraces the scientific or the spiritual, in the end, and certainly evermore, Loustalot embraces herself.” —Cinelle Barnes, author of Monsoon Mansion: A Memoir
“You’re not the only one who buys crystals and reads your horoscope and has maybe seen a medium just for fun but also because you were seeking guidance in your life and found it in a stranger who made your arm hair stand up. There’s a reason (several reasons?) why we’re all out there, cobbling together our own belief systems. It’s easy to be snarky or skeptical about the things that people have faith in, especially when that thing is a piece of rose quartz they bought at a strip mall. But Victoria isn’t snarky or belittling, because Victoria, like all of us rubbing our crystals while meditating, is also a seeker. And she’s also a very smart writer, who explores how we all got to this place, where mysticism is mainstream and people are more likely to go see their intuitive healer than their doctor (if they even have one).” —Nora Purmot, creator and host of the podcast Terrible, Thanks For Asking and the author of It’s Okay to Laugh and No Happy Endings
About the Author
Victoria Loustalot (pronounced LOO–STA–LOW) has written for the New York Times, the New Yorker online, the Onion, Women’s Wear Daily, and Publishers Weekly, among many other publications. Her writing has also been acquired by both the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Thomas J. Watson Library and Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library. She earned her BA as well as her MFA from Columbia University in New York City and previously worked at Twitter as the global program manager for @TwitterMoments. Future Perfect is her third book. She is also the author of the memoir This Is How You Say Goodbye and Living Like Audrey, a meditation on the life and career of Audrey Hepburn. In the future, according to one psychic, she will call the Scottish countryside home. Another claims she will eventually move to Hawaii. Loustalot is dubiously unopposed to both. Visit her at www.victorialoustalot.com.
- Publisher : Little A (January 1, 2019)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 272 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1503903656
- ISBN-13 : 978-1503903654
- Item Weight : 14.1 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 1 x 8.25 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #2,138,768 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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There are 32 chapters, split over 253 pages of what is meant to tell THIS woman’s spiritual journey, or start & progression of it, thus far.
*A quick side note: I only found ONE ‘typo’, and it wasn’t until Chapter 19, 1st page, where “I” was meant to be BEFORE “thought”, instead of after; which, for me who is CONSTANTLY marking the books I read and personally alerting authors/their editors of the ‘oopsies’, was impressive. Not because it just meant that she might have a great proofreader, but because I know from experience that when writing about one’s self and our stories, our pains and our passions… it causes us to lose some of the linguistical (<<<totally a word) logic along the way, and there tend to be far too many embarrassing mistakes to catch.
Anyway… this is a MEMOIR. Yeah, maybe you caught that in the book’s description. Maybe some folks didn’t? Reading through a couple reviews led me to think maybe they thought it was some type of self-help book; a Where to Find a Real Psychic in 2018 book? “The title was misleading”?? Um, no. Not at all. Ms. Loustalot LITERALLY talks about having been a skeptic of all things magic and/or religious since she was a little girl and realized Santa & the Easter Bunny weren’t real, and about what made her talk to a psychic in the first place, but also how the events of her life (intermingled with life in this current world in general) led her to want to know more and to question EVERYTHING.
This leads me to the political part of the reviews which I feel some people will have a hard time getting away from. So, I guess if you’re a hardcore Trump Supporter, who can’t for the life of them understand why ANYONE would feel unease at him being our President- then please, don’t bother reading this beautiful story. While Ms. Loustalot is clearly NOT a Trump Supporter and DID vote for Hillary, her political views not only are minimally discussed (there are 253 pages after all), but those views are EQUALLY JUST AS VALID as are her religious views, in a story about the twists and turns of life & her spiritual awakening, in a story… that is HERS TO TELL.
She does not write pages without end of her distaste for #45, merely mentions him and certain aspects of his administration that bother her, here and there. But she, just like a large number of Americans (not just Hillary supporters, but also former Trump Supporters), as well as people all over the world in many different countries, has a sincere dislike of (him). As it always is the case with all political leaders.
Someone’s political and religious views are respectfully THEIR OWN. She CAN voice her opinions, her distrust, and her concerns… in a book… about HER, all she wants. But, to rip her apart as just a sore Hillary Supporter/Buttercup, tells me the story was unfortunately read by someone with not only opposing political values than the author but also someone with a closed mind that, CLEARLY DIDN’T READ the book. Because that’s not what this story was about. At all. Really.
Ms. Loustalot has done a wonderful, sometimes heartbreakingly honest, job of exposing herself, her secrets, & her pain, but also her strength, her interestingly inquisitive mind, and her growing self-awareness and empathy, all while on a journey most people will never take, and if they do they’d rarely share it this openly.
Truly, shame on those who judge her as just a 30 something with ‘boyfriend angst’ or whatever… or really just judge her at all. There were many quotable spots that I’ve highlighted, that I will personally write to Ms. Loustalot myself, to express how they made me feel exactly; but this one, from one of her sources, a teacher/astrologer named Hunter, seems quite relevant to the point I’m trying to make:
“Shut up until you feel their suffering… If you can’t feel someone’s suffering, you’re not qualified to speak, because you are not fully comprehending who it is you are speaking to.”
(It’s) all about empathy. Listen and feel what they felt when they went through whatever it is that they did. We all have our own burdens to carry; some of us carry more, some less… but to actually FEEL each other’s journey, by simply listening, is the first step to repairing the bonds that make us human.
I intended to use that quote here, in a way, against those who actually judged her story- because, I mean- c’mon, really? Aren’t we supposed to be more civilized than that? What did you read/pick a memoir for if you weren’t going to have an open mind going into it? How do we begin to learn about each other & understand one another if we shut down and stop listening as the first opinion expressed or experience described that isn’t in line with our own, is uttered?
Realistically, all you can ‘ethically’ comment on as a fellow human being, regarding someone’s memoir, is:
-Grammatical/Spelling Errors? No (okay, just that one I mentioned)
-Hard to read? Nope, read it in one day
-Did you like the story? (Only a Yes or a No is acceptable here because the next question is almost definitely…)
-Why or Why not?
An honest review should be exactly that, honest… but with a bit of tact & decency. This is a Non-Fiction book; a story about a Real LIVING Person. To criticize the story as though this were some RomCom featured in a book club is disgraceful. Freedom of Speech/Freedom of Expression- yes, I get that… but a lot can be said for having a bit of empathy and keeping our humanity in check.
And yes, some people who actually READ it, won’t like this story because there are some events that take place in this woman’s life that could be triggers (sexual assault is discussed, there’s a memory of a molestation incident by a peer, there’s an abortion). Or maybe, and probably the most likely, and coincidentally, the ONLY TRULY ACCEPTABLE answer to “if you did or did not like someone’s memoir”: You couldn’t/didn’t relate. And that’s about as honest as you’d have to be, while still appearing to be a decent human being, publicly at least. Because NOT relating to someone is more than fine. There are billions of people on this planet, all with our own views of life & paths to venture.
It saddens me that when someone does open up their heart some of the first responders are some of the most vicious.
This was an enjoyable read. It was for me, easy to relate to in many ways. I commend the author for having the courage to ‘expose her vulnerability’as she did.
And just FYI… No, I didn’t get paid or asked to read this book; I selected it as my December First Read. No, I don’t know Ms. Loustalot (although, after reading her memoir, I’d truly like to meet her and compare notes). And no, I am NOT a Trump, Hillary, Bernie, or Mickey Mouse supporter, thank you, very much.
found I had to wade through political opinions
took the enjoyment out of being able to relax and read
I read the book word-for-word up to about page 60, at which point the author seemed to be preparing for a deep dive into the hogwash of astrology. I skimmed the rest.