Loustalot’s study is filled with intriguing encounters with individuals possessing occult talents both real and finely crafted…Where she ends up on the divide between proof and faith is fascinating. Witty and occasionally irreverent, Loustalot’s offbeat account provides probing insight into why we see psychics and, perhaps more importantly, how we listen to what they have to say.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Soon after her long-term relationship ends, writer Victoria Loustalot visits an alarmingly accurate psychic with her friends…What ensues is a funny, gripping memoir about a foray into the inexplicable.” —Refinery29
“Loustalot weaves the story of their relationship throughout her reporting on the world of mystics and psychics and those who consult with them, turning Future Perfect into an exploration of how an individual learns to trust in the unknown future, which is one way of saying how to trust in the universe and another way of saying how to trust in one’s self.” —Salon
“This book is not what you think it is. What this book is is Victoria Loustalot reaching into my mind and sorting out my eternal struggles. Here’s the thing: as much as it pains me to say so, my struggles are not all that unique. I wonder about my future, I ponder the mysteries and beauties and great pains of love, I wonder what’s out there that might be greater than me. In navigating the realms of psychics and healers with a skeptic’s eye and an open heart, Loustalot moves toward meaning in a way that is deeply resonant.” —Elizabeth Crane, author of We Only Know So Much, The History of Great Things, and Turf
“Writing from an anxious, impatient, image-driven, data- and option-overloaded generation, Victoria Loustalot looks at our longings and the sources from whom we seek answers. Future Perfect is about the psychics and mystics we either adore or are skeptical about, and the science that supports or debunks their syntheses and claims. But this book is also about us—thirtysomethings, women, memoirists, Instagrammers—what we yearn for, why we search, how badly we want to be found. In reading about Loustalot’s journey, in research and in life, we might just feel a little less lost and a little less alone, and that the future, while imperfect, can be a breeding ground for magic and kindness and empathy. Whether she embraces the scientific or the spiritual, in the end, and certainly evermore, Loustalot embraces herself.” —Cinelle Barnes, author of Monsoon Mansion: A Memoir
“You’re not the only one who buys crystals and reads your horoscope and has maybe seen a medium just for fun but also because you were seeking guidance in your life and found it in a stranger who made your arm hair stand up. There’s a reason (several reasons?) why we’re all out there, cobbling together our own belief systems. It’s easy to be snarky or skeptical about the things that people have faith in, especially when that thing is a piece of rose quartz they bought at a strip mall. But Victoria isn’t snarky or belittling, because Victoria, like all of us rubbing our crystals while meditating, is also a seeker. And she’s also a very smart writer, who explores how we all got to this place, where mysticism is mainstream and people are more likely to go see their intuitive healer than their doctor (if they even have one).” —Nora Purmot, creator and host of the podcast Terrible, Thanks For Asking and the author of It’s Okay to Laugh and No Happy Endings
Loustalot's (This Is How You Say Goodbye) latest work claims to delve into the understanding of all flavors of mysticism. What she delivers, however, is a personal accounting of her life and relationships, mixed with political commentary, and a touch of mysticism thrown in. She does include experiences with interviewing psychics and their believers, but her focus is on the details of her life: a far too lengthy section on her decision to have an abortion—imagining the life her child would have had—and the characteristics of her ideal partner. Loustalot's narration is slow paced and sibilant, tending toward monotone. VERDICT Anyone looking for a solid overview of the various forms of mysticism practiced in today's society will be sadly disappointed. Not recommended.—Donna Bachowski, Grand Island, FL
A memoirist looks to the great beyond to discover secrets held within.
In the wake of a painful breakup, Loustalot (This Is How You Say Goodbye, 2013, etc.) decided she would take the occasion of a pivotal life closure to engage in extended inquiry into the realm of psychics, astrologers, shamans, and the occult. The author felt that the unmooring of this transitional moment, coupled with her professional journalistic skepticism, made for the perfect atmosphere for questioning the present while remaining open to the future. Loustalot's study is filled with intriguing encounters with individuals possessing occult talents both real and finely crafted. However, it is the grounding of her inquiry in her reaction to the present political moment ("2017 was a year of trauma")—and her recognition that while most in the U.S. are still searching for purpose, "we have replaced religion with a vague notion of spirituality"—that lends this personal quest a broader, more sweepingly inclusive cast. As she writes, "2017 laid bare a new, undeniable fact: what we thought in the past was working for our country politically, socially, and empathetically was not." This colossal misreading of the political climate, ironically, helped Loustalot relax and remain flexible regarding her social and spiritual lives. "I decided to (skeptically) open myself up to the possibility of (wonder) magic," she writes. By the end of the book—after many trips to various seers and guides—the author is in a very different place, having seen friends hurt by legitimate psychic readings and learning harrowing stories of the vulnerable being swindled by sham mystics. Where she ends up on the divide between proof and faith is fascinating.
Witty and occasionally irreverent, Loustalot's offbeat account provides probing insight into why we see psychics and, perhaps more importantly, how we listen to what they have to say.