People occasionally ask me, as an author, what types of books I enjoy reading. Well, I'm a big fan of Jack Kerouac's work (aside from his poetry, which I think is a collective, appalling, rambling mess), Hunter S. Thompson's Gonzo-driven titles, and the UFO/paranormal-themed books of Gray Barker, John Keel, and my good mate, Jon Downes.
However, most of the books I read tend to be biographies and autobiographies, mainly of actors, rock-stars, and various and sundry celebrity types (particularly of the bygone, Golden-years of Hollywood).
So, when Anomalist Books' Patrick Huyghe sent me a review copy of their just-published title, Robert Cracknell's The Lonely Sense: The Autobiography of a Psychic Detective, I knew this was going to be an interesting read.
And it was!
With a Foreword from a true legend in the field of paranormal-themed research and writing - Colin Wilson, no less - The Lonely Sense tells the story of one Robert Cracknell, a man with extraordinary psychic skills, and one whose powers pushed him down some strange, bizarre and supernatural pathways. They even led him to extensive liaison with officialdom on unsolved murder cases.
But, Cracknell's book is far more than just that.
It's a brutally honest, open and highly entertaining study of the author's life, that takes the reader from its very beginnings, his time spent in the British Royal Air Force, and to a profound experience that occurred during that same time spent with the military that sent him on the road to becoming a definitive psychic detective.
That's when Cracknell's life begins to change drastically.
Not surprisingly, Cracknell reveals that coming to grips with his surfacing powers of the psychic kind was not easy. In fact, parts of his story are downright traumatic as he struggles to understand and utilize the near-unique talents at his disposal, as well as how his awakening to a new, previously-uncharted world resulted in problems close to home, with family, friends, and work colleagues.
But, as The Lonely Sense demonstrates, like so many people who came before him - and doubtless like so many who will follow in his footsteps - Cracknell ultimately found himself elevated, empowered, and ready to make use of the skills given to, or developed by, him.
In fact, one could say Cracknell's transformation and elevation eerily paralleled that of ancient Shamanic figures, who realized they were not quite like everyone else, but who used their differences to ensure positive change and results via means of a psychic, paranormal, and spiritual nature.
And it's from this moment on that we see Cracknell plunged into a whole new world, one in which he is sought out by the public, the media, and even the British Police Force, on harrowing and distressing murder cases and much more.
Again, Cracknell is open and honest about the nature of those cases, and the effects that immersing himself in them had on his mind and soul. He also provides a fascinating, behind-the-scenes account of the time he met Uri Geller, which makes for interesting reading alone.
As the book comes to a close, we read of Cracknell's retirement on Cyprus, of his studies of the Jack the Ripper saga, and of much more, too.
So, what we have with Robert Cracknell's The Lonely Sense (it runs to just over 300-pages) is not just yet another study of psychic phenomena. Rather, it is a unique account of how one man found himself in a world that he did not ask to be plunged into, but who accepted the challenge - and both the good and the bad that came with that acceptance - and did something positive with the powers at his disposal.
The Lonely Sense is, then, a must-buy for those interested in psychic phenomena, life-after-death, and the mysterious abilities of the human mind.
But, it's also required reading for anyone who wants a deep, revealing insight not just into the world of psychic phenomena, but into the swirling, turbulent and emotion-filled heart of the psychic individual, too.