A CHILD OF ETERNITY

AN EXTRAORDINARY YOUNG GIRL'S MESSAGE FROM THE WORLD BEYOND

Purportedly the writings of an autistic child who, when introduced to facilitated communication, revealed herself to be ``part angel, part seer.'' Jorde, the mother of young Adriana, is into spiritual growth, meditating, self-hypnosis, channeling, and past-life regression therapy; thus her fantastic claims about her daughter are not entirely surprising. It is she who tells Adri's story, and at the beginning it is an absorbing one. Part one is an account of the child's early years and of Jorde and her husband's struggle to discover what is wrong with their child and, after finally receiving a diagnosis when Adri is four, their search for ways to help her. Part Two, titled ``Emergence,'' is something entirely different. It is Jorde's journal from March to September 1991, in which she describes and records many facilitated communication sessions with her nine-year-old dughter. Jorde acknowledges that this technique (in which the autistic person's hand is physically supported and guided at a keyboard by someone else) is controversial but dismisses skeptics. Adri relates that she has lived previous lives, knew Jesus, and in fact was his disciple John, that Cleopatra and Xerxes put a curse on her, that she is actually a powerful spiritual master named Pompeii, and that Jorde must listen to her spiritual guides, especially Mohammed. In Part Three, Jorde stretches credulity further by describing Adri's telepathic and telekinetic skillsshe is able to type words on her keyboard and turn her radio off and on while at a distance from these devices. Jorde concludes by quoting many of Adri's so-called messages about love, healing, God, truth, and mankind's future. Reminiscent of Birger Sellin's I Don't Want To Be Inside Me Anymore (p. 149), which was presented as the work of a talented young autistic man whose mother acted as his communication facilitator, but if possible, even less credible. (First printing of 100,000; author tour)

Pub Date: Sept. 18, 1995

ISBN: 0-345-38945-X

Page Count: 289

Publisher: Ballantine

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1995

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If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

THE 48 LAWS OF POWER

The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

NIGHT

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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