Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Complete Approach by Dustin Pari and Barry FitzGerald: A Book Review

Pari and FitzGerald's book is a rough draft of what could eventually become a well-informed text for both new and seasoned paranormal investigators.

The Complete Approach; A Scientific and Metaphysical Guide to the Paranormal was written by the well-known paranormal investigators Barry FitzGerald and Dustin Pari.  The book was published by Summer Wind Press in 2009.

I first became interested in reading this book after watching a few episodes of Ghost Hunters International, the SyFy Channel television show on which Pari and FitzGerald appear. Both are investigators I enjoyed watching. I was interested in learning more from FitzGerald because of his experience using and creating quality equipment. I was interested in learning more about Pari's experiences with paranormal investigating because of his personal reason for becoming an investigator. As he states in the forward to this book, he investigates for a very specific reason: "To give proof to the world that there is definitely some sort of afterlife, some accountability for our actions, so that, in turn, we will all live better lives and treat each other with more respect" (pg. xiv).

It was that sincerity and expertise that convinced me to purchase and read their book.

Expert Information about Paranormal Investigation: Grade A

I was not disappointed with the information that is included in The Complete Approach. The information offered by Pari and FitzGerald is interesting and delivered in a comfortable, conversational style. There are references to helpful additional readings interspersed throughout the text, and they offer interesting examples that keep a reader interested.

For instance, in their section called “Scouting a Possibly Haunted Location,” they offer several steps to take to ensure the safety of investigators; not only their physical and metaphysical safety, but also their legal safety. In a section called “Understanding the Metaphysical Realm,” they offer theories and information about the effect of diet and the development of our eyesight in relation to seeing within the ultraviolet spectrum. In the section “Equipment Overview,” Barry even shares a personal case instance about a stalker-entity. Other topics mentioned are biofeedback, spontaneous combustion, and physiological ailments that can affect investigators if they are not careful to protect their spiritual selves.

Poor Editorial Quality: Grade F

That a reader remains interested in reading this book truly is a testament to the strong quality of the information and style, however. Although I was happy with the information that was included, I was severely let down by the editing. Unfortunately, a reader has to try very hard to overlook the abysmally poor organization and flow of the book and its abundance of typos and errors in grammar and mechanics.

The most serious error in the organization of this book is the obvious lack of final proofreading. There are sections of text that are duplicated instead of deleted. There are notes still bracketed within the text to the writers from an editor, and there are obvious errors in the order of information. For example, explanations of acronyms are given the third or fourth time an acronym is used, sometimes pages or chapters past its first use. Headings and subheadings rely on the vague word “it” throughout the text, forcing a reader to wonder what “it” might be. Sections end with cliché sayings or idiomatic expressions that seem unrelated to the information within the section. Most noticeably, topics seem to wander or jump from one to another without the use of identifiable main ideas or transitions to tie the ideas together as cohesive sections or chapters.

Furthermore, errors in grammar and mechanics are so prevalent that at times I had to cringe. In places the wrong words "your" and "its" are used instead of "you’re" and "it’s." "Who" and "whom" are used incorrectly numerous times. Adverbial forms of words are used instead of the nouns, such as "lightly" for "light." Titles of others’ books are placed in single quotations instead of underlined or italicized, and the same font size and indentations are used for headings on all levels, making it difficult to distinguish between ideas on different hierarchical levels.

Overall Recommendation: Grade C+

Overall, because the information in this book is valuable and delivered with a tone of sincerity and interest by the writers, Dustin Pari and Barry FitzGerald, I do recommend this book. However, my recommendation comes with reservations because of the poor quality of due diligence done by the editors and publishers. As fair warning, readers must read this book for what it is; a rough draft of what could eventually be republished as a fantastic text for paranormal investigators.


Pari, D. & Fitzgerald, B. (2009). The Complete Approach-The Scientific and Metaphysical Guide to The Paranormal. Summer Wind Press.

Copyright Amy Lynn Hess. Contact the author to obtain permission for republication.  Originally published May 21, 2012 by Amy Lynn Hess.

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