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Book Review: A Case for Ghosts by J.G. Montgomery

By poetix - 10 September 2012 15

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J.G. Montgomery’s recently published A Case for Ghosts is an engaging book to read.  It’s as if the author were sitting with the reader in a pub, in front of an open fire, telling anecdotes about his explorations into the ghostly universe that may possibly shadow the everyday  —  or everynight — one.

Montgomery seems to have spent a lot of time in search of ghosts.  England, the United States, NSW and Tasmania are some of the locations he has explored.  And he also investigated Canberra’s cast of ghosts quite thoroughly; he has visited graveyards, churches, hotels, and, of course, the Air Disaster Monument.  Indeed, he questions whether Canberra may be a kind of ‘magnet’ for supernatural events, as well as political ones.

The author is quite open-minded in his approach to the subject.  He does not preach as to the existence or non-existence of ghosts, but tantalises and entertains.  He is sometimes given to self-deprecating humour, as when he recalls sitting in a rock shelter, thinking about the many generations of Aboriginal people who have gone before him:

‘From the semi-darkness you can believe that you have been magically transported back through time to when Europeans had not yet discovered this land.  It is a humbling and thought-provoking experience.  And yet, does this add to my quest for the supernatural?  Does sitting in the semi-darkness of a rock shelter while having your blood sucked dry by mosquitoes open any doors to enlightenment?  I believe so.’

That the sighting of ghosts is both widespread geographically, and deep in terms of time, fascinates the author.  He presents various explanations for ghostly phenomena, but (perhaps appropriately for the subject matter) refuses to take a fully solid position on whether ghosts are real.  This adds to the book’s charm.  Sentences often start with the word ‘And’ as if there are new thoughts constantly occurring, and Montgomery must get them onto paper as soon as possible.  At the same time, there is much research and thought behind A Case for Ghosts.

As a non-believer in ghosts, I was worried that I would find the book a little arcane for my tastes, but the anecdotal approach and exuberance pulled me through my scepticism.  Some may find Montgomery’s ability to leave questions unanswered frustrating.  Personally, I found it a refreshing way of writing.  It is very much an idiosyncratic exploration, as the author states, rather than an academic work, and there are several snippets of autobiography mixed in.  He even designed the cover!

Montgomery is a guide rather than a gatekeeper, and there is much to enjoy in this atlas mapping the haunted world.  I was momentarily distracted by a factual error, which I leave to the reader to discover, but the trip is, quite simply too entertaining to let that get in the way.

The book can be ordered from the publisher’s website (scroll down to Montgomery):

http://www.ginninderrapress.com.au/non-fiction.html

There may still be copies haunting Smiths books as well.

***

Reviewed by Poetix

Poetix has been published by Ginninderra Press.

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15 Responses to
Book Review: A Case for Ghosts by J.G. Montgomery
Thumper 6:23 pm 24 Jul 14

Hi all,

thanks for the kind words ands thank you to everyone who bought the book. I won’t say it was a best seller but it did alright.

Just recently, and following the supernatural/ paranormal theme of “Ghosts”, I have had another book published, this time by Devon based CFZ Press.

This one is called WYRD – A personal journey into the beliefs and philosophies of the
known and unknown book.

The publisher’s slant on the book is as follows; Giants, ghouls, haunted graveyards, monsters, dragons, faeries, and alien big cats. These things are generally described as being part of the ‘paranormal’, but they have been around for a very long time. Australian researcher J G Montgomery, presents a personal look at these phenomena and more. They are not paranormal at all, but perfectly normal. And that is the frightening thought!

I did post this as an article in it’s own right but it seems to have been overlooked.

Anyway, if you enjoyed “Ghosts” then you’ll enjoy “WYRD”.

And, as an added bonus I have just managed to get a publisher for my latest book on ghosts called “Brittania Larvalis”. And should have another book “Meditations in Orange” released in about a month.

Cheers Rioters….

Diggety 10:07 pm 10 Sep 12

It’s finished? Excellent, I’m looking forward to the read.

Well done Thumper.

LSWCHP 9:02 pm 10 Sep 12

Thumper said :

Ozhair said :

Is this Thumper’s book?

Yep 🙂

How can this be? This book was written by some bloke named Montgomery, not Thumper.

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd 8:53 pm 10 Sep 12

caf said :

Thumper, any word on an ebook edition?

Yeah bro, way to sell more copy’s. I would buy a second kindle edition just for convinience(it’s still u der the bed, sorry man)

Thumper 7:43 pm 10 Sep 12

caf said :

Thumper, any word on an ebook edition?

Don’t think so Caf.

When this print run is finished I may be able to renegotiate with an ebook version as well as a print version.

My kid’s book is available in ebook format though.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Oomee-Mau-JG-Montgomery/dp/1477421939

caf 7:27 pm 10 Sep 12

Thumper, any word on an ebook edition?

Thumper 5:30 pm 10 Sep 12

Ozhair said :

Is this Thumper’s book?

Yep 🙂

Ozhair 5:11 pm 10 Sep 12

Is this Thumper’s book?

sarahsarah 3:33 pm 10 Sep 12

I am in the middle of reading this and am really enjoying it 🙂

poetix 2:44 pm 10 Sep 12

Jivrashia said :

poetix said :

There! ‘I’ exorcised the italics.

I thought it was the cursor…

The moderator, and he doesn’t swear.

Jivrashia 2:29 pm 10 Sep 12

poetix said :

There! ‘I’ exorcised the italics.

I thought it was the cursor…

poetix 2:24 pm 10 Sep 12

There! ‘I’ exorcised the italics.

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd 2:15 pm 10 Sep 12

i bought this and rad i think liek two chapters but got nerded into game of ice and fire and my wife said the book is now under the bed. IL FINISH IT SOON THOUGH! the chapters i read were good.

poetix 1:59 pm 10 Sep 12

Jivrashia said :

Test

Poetix, would you kindly edit your post and remove the ITALICISE tag from your title, around the “a case for ghosts”?

It’s causing havoc to every post while your article appears under the “Most Recent Posts” list.
(the effect being that every post appears to be italicised, hence a quote).

Thanks.

I don’t know if I can do this now it’s posted? JB?

Strange that this is haunting everything…

Jivrashia 1:39 pm 10 Sep 12

Test

Poetix, would you kindly edit your post and remove the ITALICISE tag from your title, around the “a case for ghosts”?

It’s causing havoc to every post while your article appears under the “Most Recent Posts” list.
(the effect being that every post appears to be italicised, hence a quote).

Thanks.

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