by James Dunning
EXPLICATIO PARANORMALORVM - An Explication of the Paranormal
(Dolmen Tree Press / 1-463-56504-6 / 978-1-463-56504-6 / July 2011 / 270 pages / $14.95 / $14.20 Amazon / $2.99 Kindle)
Let me begin by saying that this book is one of the most professionally produced POD books I have seen. The proofreading errors were few and far between. I received with this book a full-color, two-sided brochure, a postcard, and a personally written letter. The author is a highly educated man from the Atlanta area who is well traveled in the U.S. and Europe, and this is his first book. The Bright Lady is a sort of autobiographical story of one element of the author's life. The action takes place over a seven-year period, beginning when he first sees the aura of a young woman who works for the same corporation, but in the building next door.
Is it live or is it Memorex? The most difficult part of writing an analysis of this book revolves around the space-cadet plotline conjured by a writer who is something of an expert in psychology, parapsychology, and linguistics. He is also a devoted fan and researcher of the legendary Tolkien Trilogy. He has a doctorate in pharmaceutical research and has held some sort of high-level position at a high-tech suburban firm, although not necessarily in the obvious field. The author is quite obtuse in whatever mentions or descriptions of his career are contained within the storyline. Most of the plot content takes place either at this business or on one of the author's several excursions to Europe, where he wallows in the languages of the area. The Bright Lady is described in a first-person account of Dr. Dunning's prophetic meeting with a mysterious young woman at the unnamed large corporation where they both work. He tells the story as if he himself is uncertain if he had experienced a series of deeply imaginative fever dreams, or if a truly paranormal experience has truly cloaked his mind.
I can understand what the author is trying to convey. The only question I have is how many other readers will enjoy it? As a fellow Psychology major, I read Freud's Delusion and Dream and I was indeed fascinated by somewhat similar, intense dream sequences. To this day, I dream profusely, all in 3D color with a full range of thoughts and emotions. However, my interest in foreign languages or fantasy book series is basically zero. There certainly may be many readers who will ascertain many details from these elements and be deeply moved by the author's applications of these concepts. My favorite parts are the author's deep discussions with his old friend concerning his travails and unexpected delights with The Bright Lady. The final interpretation will have to rest with each individual reader.
The author drew or painted the cover images and there is a bibliography of resources describing the author's detailed influences. Dr. Dunning mentions that he dislikes the distraction of footnotes, and with that I could not agree more. The story flows nicely, whether you take it as gospel nonfiction, the memoir of an eccentric, or a delicately told tale of silent desire and delusion.
See Also: The Author's Website