A confusing, advanced guide for those interested in an esoteric interpretation of Islam.

THE ESSENCE OF MAN

A mystical interpretation of the Quran and the nature of Islam.

The author, who practices the mystical Sufi tradition of Islam, leads the reader through his complex metaphysical interpretation of religion as described in the Quran, or as he writes, “Because I believe the book is not so much a ‘Book of God’s Commandments’ as it is a ‘Book of Secrets,’ which, if not READ properly, can leave one in severe deprivation.” This interpretation relies on a special understanding of the use of the letter B in the Quran’s text, based on the position of that letter in the original Arabic. The author encourages the reader to “read” (generally in all capital letters) the Quran in order to gain the same understanding. Grasping the author’s message requires familiarity with the Quran and related concepts—many of the terms the author uses, such as “rasul,” are untranslated or unexplained. His interpretation appears to be that God, as explained in the Quran, is less a deity than a concept that humans can incorporate, and those who treat God as a separate being are missing the point of the religion. The details of this interpretation are explained in part through metaphor, as when the author contrasts the open-platform aspect of the Linux operating system to the closed nature of Windows; in part through advances in neuroscience and other forms of research; and via the author’s own analysis of verses from the Quran, from which he concludes that “Man (not humanoid) has been created as the vicegerent of earth. The only way he can actualize this and attain the level of ‘the most dignified of all creation’ is if he becomes worthy of the principle of ‘vicegerency.’ ” Exclamation points appear frequently throughout the book’s pages, as does bold text. Many of the footnotes direct the reader to the author’s other works. Each chapter ends with a date and location, suggesting that the book is a collection of essays written between 2002 and 2005. The text has been translated into English. This guide looks to be most useful for those who already have a solid grounding in the Quran and Sufi beliefs and want to expand their understanding.

A confusing, advanced guide for those interested in an esoteric interpretation of Islam.

Pub Date: Nov. 17, 2012

ISBN: 978-0615725246

Page Count: 284

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Feb. 5, 2013

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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