Saturday, February 17, 2024

Review: A Life with Ghosts by Steve Gonsalves with Michael Aloisi

by Steve Gonsalves with Michael Aloisi
Release Date: August 22, 2023
2023 Gallery Books
EbookARC; 336 Pages
ISBN: 978-16678008324
Audiobook: B0BSB5YJ1B
Genre: Non-fiction / Memoir / Paranormal
Source: Review copy from publisher

4 / 5 Stars

Widely known as a lead investigator of the smash hit TV series Ghost Hunters as well as Ghost Hunters Academy and Travel Channel’s ratings king, Ghost Nation , Steve presents a collection of his most meaningful paranormal experiences from some of his favorite haunted locations.

Along with the compelling history of each location, Steve recounts his terrifying experiences with disembodied voices, haunting EVPS, mysterious dark masses, and other unexplained phenomena—in addition to what he learned about living through a life with ghosts. His beliefs and theories on the craft are told through heartwarming, hilarious, and profound stories, reflecting the fun-loving personality that has garnered him millions of fans. 
My Thoughts
A Life with Ghosts drew my attention because it was a book about different locations around the U.S. that have paranormal stories attached to them.  I am not really someone who watches Ghost Hunters so who wrote the book wasn't really relevant to me, it was more about the stories and the job. As a kid, I was always drawn to books about people who investigated murders, in particular those that had paranormal twists to them, so I was curious as to the approach this author would take in this book. The conversational tone format of the book worked really well, the insights into the job were interesting, but I especially loved the human interest stories woven into the book, the way he puts the emotions about those who suffered torment and abuse at the forefront. 
First of all, the tone of the book was really good and I enjoyed the more conversational format of the book. I do think this would work really well for audiobook format and may listen to it in that format just to see if there is a difference in effectiveness.   Now I'm a skeptic when it comes to paranormal investigating, so I definitely appreciated the ways in which Steve and the crew debunked things in this book.  The critical, conservative approach appealed to me, making me trust in their observations. Even when they had experienced something out of the ordinary, Steve goes on to mention that just because they can't explain the phenomena at that moment doesn't mean it couldn't be explained in the future and debunked later on.  

What I especially liked was the human element, the human interest stories, both historical and about the Steve and the team.  First of all, I looked forward to the beginning of each chapter as Steve gave a concise history of each location including some of the tragedies that occurred at each site. As someone with a history background, this appealed to me quite a bit.  He was very quick to mention in each chapter that the suffering of the people at these places must never be forgotten and should always be highlighted.  He stressed that debunking local legends was a good thing at times as it gave the people who actually lived and suffered their moment to be remembered for what they suffered, not always focusing on superstitious legend that has a tendency to grow and change with re-tellings.  Learning about Steve and the gang was also fun as I didn't know a lot about his past endeavours, including him being a musician and jewellery designer. 

A Life With Ghosts was a quick, fascinating read about a young man who was fascinated about the paranormal and grew up doing something he loved.  It was interesting to learn about his backstory as well as his other endeavours and the work the team puts into their locations when they visit.  Steve never acknowledges or denies his belief in the paranormal, only that he is fascinated by the idea of it, loves meeting and helping people who are dealing with events that are unexplained (at least until they come in), and trying to preserve local historical monuments through their work.  He has mentioned numerous times in the book that he has countless stories to tell, so I hope he writes another book as I would love to read more about his adventures.  



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