Junior David Situ reads "Future Perfect," a memoir by Victoria Loustalot, '03. (Photo illustration by Jacqueline Chao)

Present Perfect: a skeptic’s honest review of ‘Future Perfect’

I’ve seen the future, and I have a prediction for you. Here it is: You have just read two sentences. Look, my prediction just came true — I must be a psychic!

That’s exactly the subject of the newest book by Victoria Loustalot, ’03. (Well, not exactly: It’s really a look into mysticism — psychics, shamans and astrologists.)

Loustalot recently wrote her third book, “Future Perfect: A Skeptic’s Search for an Honest Mystic,” which follows her journey into the world of modern mysticism.

Before I say anything about Loustalot’s book, I have a confession: I dislike memoirs. There’s just something about them that annoys me. It probably has to do with the genre itself — people writing about their own life.

I’ve disliked most of the memoirs I’ve read simply because the subject’s life was boring except for maybe one single, short event. Often the author’s singular interesting point is stretched across too many pages, blurring the focus of the book and making it tedious to read.

If I had to rate “Future Perfect,” I’d give it three stars out of five. If Loustalot had focused more on her look into modern mysticism and less on her life, I would have liked the book much more.

And yes, I do know that it’s a memoir — so of course the author has to be in it. I just think that less is more in this case.

This might give you a hint about what I liked the most — the coverage of modern mysticism.

Although I was rather skeptical about whether the psychics had actual powers or were just faking it, I enjoyed reading about what they thought of their craft; how they explained their philosophies and beliefs was fascinating.

I particularly enjoyed reading about the astrology class that Loustalot took.

Before reading this book, I’d never given much thought to astrology and the philosophy behind it — I just saw it as arbitrary predictions based on birthdays. Reading the astrology teacher’s explanation of the subject and the different signs was interesting because it gave me a better understanding of the beliefs that astrology is based on (or, at least, what Loustalot’s teacher believed it was based on).

Learning about the psychics in the book was also very interesting — I even learned there was a school for them!

Loustalot pushes readers to reflect on what they think of modern mysticism and psychics, just as she did when she began researching the topic.

While Loustalot probably feels differently, I think that it’s all a scam. Psychics don’t have any special powers; they’re just very observant people who are looking to make easy money.

When I was reading the book, I had trouble staying engaged. Although I enjoyed Loustalot’s interviews with psychics, the parts covering her life made me want to skip until I was reading about psychics again.

I just wasn’t interested in the author’s life. I don’t want to know about her love life, why she broke up with her boyfriend or about her time with another guy. I want to learn about psychics and mysticism. I want to know what they think about their craft and why people visit them.

Although Loustalot does include some of this information — for example at the end of the book when she interviews a woman who’s been scammed — she doesn’t cover this topic or others nearly enough.

I wish Loustalot had included a few more psychics with different perspectives — maybe some psychics from around the world or from different cultures — and more activities she participated in.

It would have been interesting to see what a psychic from, say, South America thought about their craft.

So would I recommend “Future Perfect: A Skeptic’s Search for an Honest Mystic”? That’s actually a hard question to answer — it’s definitely not a book for everyone.

I would recommend the book to anyone who has read Loustalot’s previous works, “How to Say Goodbye: A Daughter’s Memoir” and “Living Like Audrey: Life Lessons from the Fairest Lady of All,” and enjoyed her writing style.

If you’re interested in the modern world of mysticism and exploring spirituality, I would recommend the book. However, if you’re only interested in this and not the author’s life, be prepared to learn quite a bit about the author.

— By David Situ

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