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Crossing Over reads like a casual conversation with an old childhood pal instead of like a memoir of a world-renowned psychic who has his own talk show on the Sci Fi channel. John Edward's narrative is down-to-earth and filled with vernacular expressions (including plenty of instances of "holy shit!"). There's the story of how his deceased mother finally gave him the three signs he hoped for after she died, and how he once contacted the recently departed songwriter Carl Perkins. Most of the time, Edward speaks about how the process of consulting with a psychic brings peace and reconciliation to those left behind--standard fare for medium memoirs. As compelling as Edward's stories are, what makes this memoir unique is how readily Edward exposes his own vanities and ego bruisings. He also delves into the behind-the-scenes reality of being a television medium. For instance, he reveals how his producers wanted to have dead-people "theme shows"--for instance inviting grieving members of Mother Against Drunk Driving to be the audience. This kind of "gallery rigging" goes against Edward's desire to enter readings without any prior knowledge of the person seated before him. Edward offers an amusing, and at times disturbing, look at how the ethereal world clashes with the celebrity world. --Gail Hudson [via]