Psychic ability gets a bad rap; that's the truth. One of the challenges to psychic ability in general is that despite mounting acceptance of it in the United States, there are always going to be those who will doubt it. Jack Rourke's book, The Rational Psychic: A Skeptic's Guide to Extraordinary Perception was written to show two perspectives: that someone can be psychic but also question the phenomena as well.

From my perspective, however, the main flaw is that it's trying to be a book about too many topics. You'll find many stories about Jack Rourke and his psychic ability in here, almost like an autobiography, meant to inspire and enlighten. Then there are the definitions of many different concepts, such as paranormal projective identification. Finally, Rourke delves into such topics as "psychic vs. psychotic" and discusses the role of emotions in psychic ability. So I found myself trying to get my head around what this book actually is, and honestly, I think it's three books in one. I think Rourke would have been better served to divide the book into three books, or even two.

The author's psychic ability is well documented, and assuming everything written in the book is true, he is a very gifted man who has helped a lot of people. He seems to have all the answers. But there are so many stories that those alone could have been a book, and it was a challenge for me to read them without thinking that he had made his point a little too well. The fact that the only thing on the front cover is the psychic's photo just reinforces that idea, which is unfortunate.

The Rational Psychic has two things that I liked a lot: A fantastic bibliography and an index. I could go to it, for example, and see that "tarot cards" are mentioned on page 21. It makes the book much more useful when you don't have to flip through pages looking for a particular concept. If you take that and the definitions together, in some ways the book seemed more like a textbook. That's not necessarily a bad thing, of course, and in my mind it makes the book more valuable.

I'm not sure I agree with all of the author's points. It sounds convincing, but I'm just really not sure. This book will challenge what you believe about psychic ability, and overall I see that as a positive.

This book is great if you're trying to find out more about what psychic ability is and isn't, and the fact that the author is ready to question it made a positive impression on me. With that said, I struggled with this book, not just in deciding whether I shared the author's opinions, but because it dragged in places and seemed to lack focus on one central theme as well. I think it's best read in small pieces. Considering the amount of people Jack Rourke has helped, I'm sure there's more than enough material to break up this book into two or three parts.

~review by John Marani

Author: Jack Rourke
Sounds True, 2013