In comments, Småfornå referred me to an online book, downloadable in PDF format, called 21 Days. Written by Piero Calvi-Parisetti, a medical doctor, it presents a case for life after death in a clear, readable, and well-researched series of chapters, with each chapter covering another day in an ongoing discussion between the author and an open-minded skeptic.
I liked the book quite a lot. It's an excellent contribution to the field of afterlife studies, and may well be the best general introduction to the subject I've seen. Calvi-Parisetti covers most of the major lines of investigation into postmortem survival. He starts with evidence for psi, presenting the case for telepathy, remote viewing, micro-PK, precognition, and distant healing, then moves on to NDEs, OBEs, mediumship (mental and physical), reincarnation, EVP and ITC, deathbed visions, and poltergeists. The only obvious omissions that occurred to me are apparitions and hauntings.
I particularly admire the author's cautious and reasonable tone. He admits that much of what he has to say is "unbelievable," and makes allowances for the reader's doubts. He carefully distinguishes between strong and weak evidence. For instance, in discussing EVP, he notes that the great majority of "voice phenomena" that crop up in a Google search consist of dubious and probably worthless recordings - random noise misinterpreted as fragments of speech by over-enthusiastic amateur researchers. But then he discusses the work of professionals in the field, which cannot be so easily dismissed.
Among the book's many strengths is its analysis of two cross-correspondence cases, which are laid out in sufficient detail to convey the impressive quality of this often overlooked evidence. Another plus is that the author's international background as a Red Cross administrator has exposed him to research that is not often aired in the USA.
Naturally, when so many subjects are addressed, there will be room for disagreement. Although Calvi-Parisetti acknowledges that he has mixed feelings about materialization mediumship, and still considers it a somewhat "borderline" subject, he does devote a chapter to it. To my way of thinking, his defense of the medium Eva C is not entirely convincing; I continue to think some kind of fraud was probably going on, for reasons I've indicated elsewhere. The author's other major example of materialization mediumship is David Thompson; longtime readers of this blog know I've had many doubts about his séances, especially pertaining to the method of restraint used to secure him to his chair.
At times I felt insufficient attention was paid to possible skeptical objections. For instance, in Calvi-Parisetti's brief examination of Florence Cook's mediumship, he does not mention the fact that Cook was unquestionably caught cheating later in her career. (In one of her séances, the "materialized spirit" was seized by a sitter and turned out to be Florence in disguise.) In a long discussion of the Scole phenomena, he does not include the bizarre end of the experiments - which were abruptly concluded after the"spirit communicators" claimed their transmitting station had come under attack by hostile forces! Rather suspiciously, the termination of the work occurred just as researchers were planning to introduce infrared cameras into the séance room.
Finally, I would not be as dismissive of macro-PK as the author is. I think the evidence for metal-bending, especially in the PK parties hosted by Jack Houck, is very strong.
These quibbles do little to detract from Calvi-Parisetti's book. Clearly it is a labor of love by a serious, sensible, and knowledgeable professional, and I think it will prove quite convincing to open-minded newcomers.
Plus, it's free! Download yours today.