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Bookviews Book Reviews

 

 09-30-2007
 

 

Not in Kasas Anymore by Christine Wicker

 

I had read Ms. Wicker's book on Lilly Dale and couldn't wait to read this book.  Her insights into Lilly Dale gave me the idea that she might delve a little further into the world of magic than a surface scratch and some mumbo jumbo. 

While I found some of the material in this book interesting, I found that much of this book explored the "Ricky Lake" kind of characters that daytime TV would go for.  And I was disappointed by these explorations into drama and sensationalism that made this read more like a supermarket tabloid expose than a book that seriously looks at today's modern magical community and practices. 

The book opens with "Vampire and Victims Ball" where the attendees discuss their need to be blood suckers or the victims of blood suckers.  There was no tie to magic here; there is no reason to include this in the book, other than to point out that some of your neighbors may have social and psychological issues. 

There are some discussions with Cat Yronwode that are interesting, touching on the magical community and it's diversities, yet Ms. Wicker seems sometimes to not take Cat's or her husband's practices seriously.  As a matter of fact, when confronted by some of the more obscure practices she explores, Ms. Wicker seems to be very tongue in cheek in how she writes about them. 

I found her experience with the rootworker Kioni to be the closest she may have come to a real practitioner of magics.  And it does seem that of all the experiences she has in this book, this is one that makes the biggest impression on her.  She seems to come away from that experience with the most confusion about what it is that magic and spirits and the magical community are all about.  But she does not explore it much further than to find that she is confused but still steadfast in her own personal beliefs. 

I do give her credit for being open minded enough to examine the magical community and to delve into the folk magic and hoodoo that is out there.  While my own impression of the side trips she took into some fringe groups are not my choice to explore, she does come away with some ideas as to how and why these fringe groups exist. 

I do notice that witches and Wiccans are briefly mentioned but not explored to their fullest.  I also noted that she used fluffy terms when she mentioned Wicca.  It seems that there are some ideas and misconceptions that she could have explored but found the fringe groups much more interesting. 

Overall, I was disappointed with this book, not because Ms. Wicker isn't a good writer with an open mind, but because it comes across like journalistic sensationalism out to sell a book.   It read more like a National Enquirer story than a story for the New York Times.  I had hoped for better.  

If you ever decide you want to explore witchcraft and Wicca, Ms.Wicker, drop me a line and we can leave the sensational journalism at the door and have a nice chat over some coffee and some chocolate bat's wing cookies.  We are not exactly who you think we are. boudica.

Reviewed by Boudica