Blog Tour Review: The Reality of ESP by Russell Targ

The Reality of ESP by Russell Targ (2)

Today I am happy to be part of the blog tour for THE REALITY OF ESP – which is subtitled: A Physicist’s Proof of Psychic Abilities – by Russell Targ.

First let me say that I have always been fascinated with the concept of ESP – extra sensory perception. It’s the type of things that logic tells me I should not believe in, but intuition tells me there is reason to believe (at least to some extent). In his book, Targ, a laser physicist who worked for Lockheed, examines the evidence for a variety of ESP phenomena, including case studies of psychics, remote viewing experiments, NASA and CIA work in the area, precognition, and even how he and a group of colleagues predicted the silver market and made a lot of money in the 1980’s.

As I read this book I was reminded of a class I took as an undergraduate at the University of California: Altered States of Consciousness. Not surprisingly, my professor from that class, Charles Tart, is cited on the back of the book!

THE REALITY OF ESP is an interesting look into parapsychology and the unexplained. Using case studies, his own experience, and information from research studies, Targ presents a case for ESP where, even if you can’t wholly believe in it, you really can’t NOT believe in it! Of all the topics, I think the one I found most intriguing was the story of Pat Price, the psychic policeman. Pat had the uncanny ability to “see” crimes as they were happening, so he was a very effective policeman. He could accurately visualize places and things he had never seen before – anywhere in the world. He was instrumental in the solving of the Patty Hearst kidnapping as he visualized the getaway car and where it was at the moment (they located it) and even named one of the kidnappers and selected him from mug shots. Truly, he had some remarkable abilities.

I challenge readers to remain skeptical after reading this book!

Here’s some info from the publicist on the book and Mr. Targ:

The Reality of ESP: A Physicist’s Proof of Psychic Abilities
Nobel laureate physicist Brian Josephson says, “This book should make those who deny the existence of [psychic] phenomena think again.” In The Reality of ESP, Targ presents evidence from the $20 million research program he co-founded at Stanford Research Institute (SRI) in the 1970s. The amazing feats of psychic ability he details include: While remote viewing for the CIA, SRI psychics found a downed Russian bomber in Africa, reported on the health of American hostages in Iran, and described Soviet weapons factories in Siberia. When San Francisco heiress Patricia Hearst was abducted from her home in Berkeley, a psychic with the SRI team identified the kidnapper and then accurately described and located the kidnapppers’ car. After leaving SRI, Targ’s group made $120,000 by psychically forecasting for nine weeks in a row the direction and amount of changes in the silver commodity futures market – without error! Targ also describes a plan for developing your own psychic abilities.

About Russell Targ 

Russell Targ Author and Physicist (2)

Physicist Russell Targ was the co-founder of a 20 year $25 million research program  investigating psychic abilities for the CIA, Army Intelligence and many other agencies at Stanford Research Institute (SRI). This previously SECRET research and applications program is now declassified. Targ has written a comprehensive book describing the remarkable accomplishments of this program.

To learn more about Russell Targ’s work as the co-founder of a 20 year $25 million research program investigating psychic abilities for the CIA, Army Intelligence and many other agencies at Stanford Research Institute (SRI), get your own copy at

You can find more information from the virtual book tour for The Reality of ESP at

Russell Targ’s Website –

One thing I found really fun in this book was mention of a free iPhone app – ESP Trainer – which I downloaded. I am currently developing my own powers of perception!

Thanks, Nikki, for my copy and having me be part of the tour!

Review: SISTERLAND by Curtis Sittenfeld

Coming out next Tuesday, June 25, is Curtis Sittenfeld’s new novel SISTERLAND – a story weaving twins, relationships, ESP, marital issues and relationships, and earthquakes into its plot. Twins Daisy and Violet share a special bond and use their ESP to gain popularity in school. When accused of being a witch, Daisy decides to never use her “senses” again. The girls grow up and Daisy changes her name to Kate, marries a stable young college professor, and has two children. Vi embraces her quirkiness and becomes a psychic, using her powers to locate an abducted child. Now in current day, the girls are in their twenties and living where they grew up, St. Louis . Vi becomes convinced that a major earthquake is looming. Kate agrees. Violet’s prediction going public leads to a chain of events that threatens all that Kate holds dear. Will the prediction prove to be right?

This story certainly had a lot going on in it! Along the relationship front, Kate is struggling with her at-home mom role, while building a “best friendship” with her neighbor Hank (whose wife works with Kate’s husband). Violet is tentatively trying out a lesbian relationship. Meanwhile, Kate is quite tethered to her two children who are about 1 and 3 (one is nursing – quite regularly throughout the book). I found the ESP portion of the book really interesting. Their “senses” (as they called them) weren’t extraordinary or freaky. They just knew things with a certainty, or had dreams of things. A lot of it seemed like good guessing and common sense to me (with the exception of finding the abducted child by visualizing his kidnapper). I kept reading this book and couldn’t put it down because it was moving towards the date of the predicted earthquake (October 16). I had to know: would it happen? Would they be okay? What would happen if Vi was completely wrong?

I won’t say whether the earthquake happens or not — but I will say some things do occur that are brought about by everything happening in this book. At one point I almost shouted at Kate: “NO! Wait! Stop! Don’t do this!” I found Kate a very likable character, though she was rather immature and self-centered. I thought it was interesting how the twins were so disparate in personality at the beginning of the novel – almost like two parts of the same person – and then both went more to the middle of the continuum. Violet was a bit of a disaster in the beginning, then made some strides to get her life together. Kate was ultra-organized to the point of being an autotron, and she became more human. I liked this piece of character development.

One thing that did throw me off was the point of view at the end. Throughout the book the story is told in Kate’s voice, moving towards October 16, with various pertinent flashbacks thrown in to provide “back story”. Then, post 10/16, the story moves to a future perspective, telling the story from looking back on it from a few years afterwards.  This shift threw me for a bit and felt awkward to me.

Overall, I really liked this novel. I loved PREP and AMERICAN WIFE and really like Ms. Sittenfeld’s writing. Her characters are well drawn and she has a flair for humor.

Thank you, Net Galley and Random House, for my ARC – I was quite psyched to get it!