An intriguing story of physical and supernatural mysteries.


The autobiography of a woman who claims to have had numerous psychic experiences.

Gianni begins her slim debut with her childhood in the 1960s and ’70s in a working-class suburb of Melbourne, Australia, where she went to school with her younger brother. She quickly realized that she was different from other kids; even at a young age, she says, she had infallible intuition about people and about the long-term consequences of impulsive actions, often serving as sounding board and unofficial counselor to her classmates. (At one point, she quips that she sometimes “felt more like a shrink than a kid.”) In short order, she says, her life was derailed by vaguely described “strange unexplainable illnesses” that no doctor was able to identify, much less treat. She also says that she started having a broad range of psychic experiences, including seeing ghosts, experiencing near-death episodes, and having premonitions. Her psychic visions, she says, began giving her specific clues about actual crimes. She includes a funny anecdote about calling a Crime Stoppers hotline to divulge one of these revelations, certain that police are laughing at her the whole time; however, her vision (of abductees in a multilevel house) turned out to be correct, she says. As she gradually grew more confident in her psychic abilities, she also became more assertive about taking control of her health care, as she was frustrated by hapless responses from medical professionals. In quick, fast-paced chapters written in highly readable and straightforward prose, Gianni combines these two narrative threads as a tale of personal validation: “I am not a victim, nor am I defenceless,” she writes at one point. “If anything, I am a bloody hero. I am now in control of my own life because I took back my power.” The book’s tales of psychic adventures seem to be intended for those who are already familiar with paranormal literature. However, her broader insights may appeal to any reader, as she clearly and effectively conveys her sense of stoicism toward life.

An intriguing story of physical and supernatural mysteries.

Pub Date: June 19, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5434-0935-2

Page Count: 114

Publisher: XlibrisAU

Review Posted Online: Oct. 19, 2018

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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 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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This a book of earlier, philosophical essays concerned with the essential "absurdity" of life and the concept that- to overcome the strong tendency to suicide in every thoughtful man-one must accept life on its own terms with its values of revolt, liberty and passion. A dreary thesis- derived from and distorting the beliefs of the founders of existentialism, Jaspers, Heldegger and Kierkegaard, etc., the point of view seems peculiarly outmoded. It is based on the experience of war and the resistance, liberally laced with Andre Gide's excessive intellectualism. The younger existentialists such as Sartre and Camus, with their gift for the terse novel or intense drama, seem to have omitted from their philosophy all the deep religiosity which permeates the work of the great existentialist thinkers. This contributes to a basic lack of vitality in themselves, in these essays, and ten years after the war Camus seems unaware that the life force has healed old wounds... Largely for avant garde aesthetes and his special coterie.

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 1955

ISBN: 0679733736

Page Count: 228

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1955

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