The Premonitions Bureau: A True Account of Death Foretold

Books on Tape May 2022. 6:34 hrs. ISBN 9780593557365. $57. PARAPSYCH
Narrator Julian Rhind-Tutt’s melodious, British-accented voice perfectly complements New Yorker staff writer Knight’s debut, an intriguing account of an experiment to collect premonitions from British citizens in order to avert future disasters. The experiment’s inspiration was a horrific 1966 mining accident in which a coal waste avalanche killed 144 people. Psychiatrist John Barker traveled to the disaster site after hearing of a boy who survived the landslide but died of shock soon afterward. While there, Barker heard of residents who foresaw the tragedy. With the disaster top of mind in the nation, Barker and science journalist Peter Fairley began to collect and catalogue British citizens’ predictions, many of which are meticulously detailed by Knight and captivatingly presented by Rhind-Tutt. A respected and progressive psychiatrist at a mental institution who vocally advocated for innovative treatments, Barker knew he was risking his professional reputation, but he was completely dedicated to creating his psychic warning data bank.
VERDICT Rhind-Tutt’s well-paced narration is clear and sincere, perfectly matching the balanced tone of Knight’s deeply researched, enjoyably diverting social history. Recommended for all nonfiction collections.
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