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18 Reviews
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5.0 out of 5 stars A welcome breath of fresh air.
I found this book in the bargain section of a local bookseller. I am so glad I picked it up, because it was one of the more intriguing reads that I have found in a while. His study into the science of the paranormal is Crichton-esque. He writes with a clarity that is definitely refreshing. After reading this, I will definitely find more of Ambrose's work to experience. 5...
Published on May 9 2004 by dogberry

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3.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed this book, but I COULD put it down.
Let me start by saying that I definitely enjoyed reading this book. From the first paragraph, I was drawn into a well-painted modern Manhattan world, but I definitely could put it down. It was very amusing and thoughtful. It also brought up the possibilities of an alternate universe, kind of like a scary, 20th century "It's a Wonderful Life" (with regards to...
Published on Jan. 18 2000 by gemini12


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4.0 out of 5 stars An intelligent thriller that's scarier than you'd think, July 6 2004
By 
Debra Hamel (North Haven, CT) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Parapsychologist Sam Towne runs a research facility that conducts investigations into paranormal anomalies--observable instances of psychokinesis, the movement of matter through psychic power. When he meets Joanna Cross, a staff writer for the magazine Around Town who has just published an article exposing a couple of mind-readers as con artists, an interesting group project suggests itself: Sam and Joanna decide to enlist volunteers to help them conjure up a ghost. The phantom they have in mind is not your run-of-the-mill, graveyard-haunting variety, but rather a thought-form that the group members will hallucinate into being, after extensive research into the time period from which their ghost hails, and after creating for him an elaborate back-story. The problem is, once you will something into being, it may not be eager to give up the ghost, as it were, when you'd like it to.
David Ambrose's thriller Superstition is intelligent and genuinely scary in parts, and its conclusion, despite being hinted at in a prologue, is impossible to figure out in advance. Part Jack Finney's Time and Again (a book the characters in Superstition in fact discuss), part ghost story, the book--if not offering the sort of suspense that will keep you glued to the pages all night--is well worth the read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A welcome breath of fresh air., May 9 2004
By 
"dogberry" (Longview, TX USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Superstition (Hardcover)
I found this book in the bargain section of a local bookseller. I am so glad I picked it up, because it was one of the more intriguing reads that I have found in a while. His study into the science of the paranormal is Crichton-esque. He writes with a clarity that is definitely refreshing. After reading this, I will definitely find more of Ambrose's work to experience. 5 out of 5
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wow, March 23 2004
By 
I loved the book and didn't want it to end. The beginning was a bit hard to digest, even for me...a believer, but once that train took off, I coudn't put the book down. I reflected on the book afterwards and the characters remained with me. Very thought provoking, engaging, readable, and extremely entertaining. I could read these kinds of good books forever! What a treat!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Don't Miss this One!, Nov. 4 2003
This review is from: Superstition (Hardcover)
This is one of the best supernatural novels I have read in a long time. It is like a long episode of The Twilight Zone with a little Jack Finney (who the author repeatedly refers to) thrown in. The book theorizes that most paranormal activity is created from the mind and can be explained by things like telekinesis and mass hypnosis. Based on this a group of researchers believe that they can create a ghost. They go about creating a history of their ghost along with sketches of what he looked like. They are successful, however, something goes awry and what they unleash is pure evil and the reality they knew slowly begins to fade. Great characters too!
A real page-turner!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Gripping, Page-Turning Thrill Ride, Aug. 25 2003
By 
A. Wolverton (Crofton, MD United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Imagine inventing the ghost of someone who has never existed. Make him anyone you like, from any country and any time you like. Give him a name, a history, goals and dreams. Fun to think about, but it would never work. But it did work for university professor Sam Towne and a small group of volunteers. It worked too well. Dangerously well.
'Superstition' is a gripping, nail-biting horror story that will cause you to wonder not only about the paranormal, but about the people you encounter everyday. Were they "invented" by someone else's imagination? Why did they just suddenly appear? Ambrose asks some difficult questions and places himself in some very difficult situations for a writer, but he's definitely up to handling each challenge. Ambrose is a master craftsman. He builds a completely plausible story with instantly believable characters. The atmosphere and descriptions are so good, you'll think you're in this predicament yourself. Enjoy.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Frightening but compelling, July 31 2003
The mark, for me, of a good book is one that makes me think long after I've finished it. Yep, the final scene has been with me for days, and the whole book has kept me thinking, reenacting, deliberating. While it compelled me along like a King novel, it still has the depth of a more literary novel. This said by someone who doesn't watch X-Files or follow the supernatural. HIGHLY recommended if your not too freaked by a bump in the night...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Scary and unprovable!, March 14 2003
By 
Detra Fitch (USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
Everyone is superstitious to some degree. They have to be. Look at the fact. Every cause has an effect. Cause and effect are opposites. so are black and white, right and wrong, good and evil - the list is endless! Opposites, like the two sides of a mirror. One cannot exist without the other. OR CAN IT?
Sam Towne was a Parapsychologist that believed ghosts came from the human mind, not from beyond. For an experiment he got eight volunteers, including reporter Joanna Cross and physics professor Roger Fullerton. They would use "psi" to make "tulpas". To put it simply, they would make up a person, give him a pretend life, discuss him until he became "real" to all of those in the group, and then have the "thought-form" respond to them! They would make a real ghost!
Soon, Adam Wyatt was made. He was a tragic Revolutionary War hero. Everyone was thrilled when he began rapping on tables and spelling out messages. But then members of the group began to die in awful ways! And there was no way to exorcize Adam. He was killing them one at a time!
*** Scary and unprovable! I felt a couple chills as I read this one. Perfect for fans of horror or those who just enjoy a good ghost story! Should not give you nightmares. But you will remember this story, and wonder, for the rest of your life! Excellent! ***
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5.0 out of 5 stars Horror or Sci/Fi? Scary either way, Dec 7 2001
By 
Michael J. Hoerr (Cincinnati, OH USA) - See all my reviews
This book really scared me. I literally couldn't put it down. I read it straight through in one sitting, took a deep breath, and started over again from the beginning. Finally, the sun came up and I was able to go to sleep. It's very odd that the Amazon readers' reviews range from "ho-hum" to "extremely scary." I guess it depends on the reader's idea of just what's scary. For example, Stephen King has yet to give me the creeps, but how can you deny his almost universal popularity? If you like gory, monster/madmen-filled fiction, you may not like "Superstition."
I think Ambrose pulled off a very difficult feat: after reading this book for a while, you get the feeling that something real, or at least possible, is happening. In addition to creating a very believable ghost, Ambrose gets into some interesting speculations along the lines of Sci/Fi's "Alternate Universes" theory. Does the past create the present? Or could the present create the past? Can you "make up" a ghost that takes on a life of its own and becomes a "real" ghost? Real to such an extent that he's able to change reality for the participants in the experiment? Ambrose touches on these ideas and even a smattering of quantum physics, but these enhance the story line and do not interfere with the good old-fashioned ghost story fun.
FYI, the film rights to this book were sold to a company called Interscope for one million dollars. The foreign film rights were sold to a Netherlands/United Kingdom production company in October, 2001. I hope the movie version is able to capture the creepy but believable feel of the book and doesn't resort to cheap thrills. Oh, there are plenty of scenes of violence and mayhem, but it's the IDEAS that make this such a scary read.
If you love ghost stories, ouija boards, and table-tapping but also enjoy speculative sciences such as parapsychology, ESP, and mind over matter, this is the perfect book for you.
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2.0 out of 5 stars It didn't keep me awake, June 17 2001
By A Customer
Rather than jangling my nerves it almost put me to sleep. Who could be intrigued by this poppycock? The writing was satisfactory but not worthy of being published by a major publishing company. Too many stereotypes and too few gripping moments. Contrary to many other readers, I found the early part of the book superior to the later chapters where Mr. Ambrose seems to have lost his way. Where was the editor to allow the use of the word "Chinaman"? The ending, however, did catch me by surprise.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I cannot stop thinking about it!, April 11 2001
By 
Everyone is superstitious to some degree. They have to be. Look at the fact. Every cause has an effect. Cause and effect are opposites. so are black and white, right and wrong, good and evil - the list is endless! Opposites, like the two sides of a mirror. One cannot exist without the other. OR CAN IT?
Sam Towne was a Parapsychologist that believed ghosts came from the human mind, not from beyond. For an experiment he got eight volunteers, including reporter Joanna Cross and physics professor Roger Fullerton. They would use "psi" to make "tulpas". To put it simply, they would make up a person, give him a pretend life, discuss him until he became "real" to all of those in the group, and then have the "thought-form" respond to them! They would make a real ghost!
Soon, Adam Wyatt was made. He was a tragic Revolutionary War hero. Everyone was thrilled when he began rapping on tables and spelling out messages. But then members of the group began to die in awful ways! And there was no way to exorcize Adam. He was killing them one at a time!
*** Scary and unprovable! I felt a couple chills as I read this one. Perfect for fans of horror or those who just enjoy a good ghost story! Should not give you nightmares. But you will remember this story, and wonder, for the rest of your life! Excellent! ***
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Superstition
Superstition by David Ambrose (Hardcover - Oct. 1 1998)
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