The faithful may see an inspiring story of the happy life and untimely death of a little girl whose father will always love...

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LOVED BY AN "ANGEL"

THE STORY OF A 9 YEAR OLDS LIFELONG BATTLE WITH CANCER, BUT NEVER HER FAITH!

A father’s loving tribute to his angelic daughter who succumbs to brain cancer.

Beaucher details his daughter’s fatal journey from her diagnosis with medulloblastoma at age 2 and a half to her death two months after her ninth birthday. The book is as much a journal of Beaucher’s feelings as it is a chronicle of his daughter’s illness, as much his story as hers. He describes Kristin’s initial symptoms, diagnosis and treatment; the five and a half good years between her remission and relapse; and the last five months after the first signs of the cancer’s return. Beaucher’s voice makes the story feel more like a listen than a read, and his vulnerability and concern for his daughter lend pathos to the narrative. He wrote the book “to show people what she accomplished and how she did it. With the gaze of her eyes, the soft touch of her hand, the soothing sound of her voice, and sometimes not saying a word at all, she changed the outcome of people’s lives…I would say that it was pretty miraculous, don’t you think?” An overabundance of individual thank-you’s litters many of the chapters, and the coverage of events is inconsistent. Beaucher spends a chapter describing how he gets a tattoo of Kristin (a sign from God gave him the go-ahead), but he tucks away in the epilogue a brief mention of his decision to get a divorce from Kristin’s mother and spends little time relating how that affected Kristin, except to say that her prayers brought them back together. Devout readers may gain inspiration in Kristin’s tale, others may tire of Beaucher’s Pollyannaism. But the author never wavers in depicting his daughter as he saw her. “She was perfect in every way, shape, and form…Kristin was the most amazing person I knew.”

The faithful may see an inspiring story of the happy life and untimely death of a little girl whose father will always love her; others will find an overlong fairy tale sadly lacking its happily ever after.

Pub Date: July 27, 2010

ISBN: 978-1452045986

Page Count: 268

Publisher: AuthorHouse

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2011

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The Stoics did much better with the much shorter Enchiridion.

THE LAWS OF HUMAN NATURE

A follow-on to the author’s garbled but popular 48 Laws of Power, promising that readers will learn how to win friends and influence people, to say nothing of outfoxing all those “toxic types” out in the world.

Greene (Mastery, 2012, etc.) begins with a big sell, averring that his book “is designed to immerse you in all aspects of human behavior and illuminate its root causes.” To gauge by this fat compendium, human behavior is mostly rotten, a presumption that fits with the author’s neo-Machiavellian program of self-validation and eventual strategic supremacy. The author works to formula: First, state a “law,” such as “confront your dark side” or “know your limits,” the latter of which seems pale compared to the Delphic oracle’s “nothing in excess.” Next, elaborate on that law with what might seem to be as plain as day: “Losing contact with reality, we make irrational decisions. That is why our success often does not last.” One imagines there might be other reasons for the evanescence of glory, but there you go. Finally, spin out a long tutelary yarn, seemingly the longer the better, to shore up the truism—in this case, the cometary rise and fall of one-time Disney CEO Michael Eisner, with the warning, “his fate could easily be yours, albeit most likely on a smaller scale,” which ranks right up there with the fortuneteller’s “I sense that someone you know has died" in orders of probability. It’s enough to inspire a new law: Beware of those who spend too much time telling you what you already know, even when it’s dressed up in fresh-sounding terms. “Continually mix the visceral with the analytic” is the language of a consultant’s report, more important-sounding than “go with your gut but use your head, too.”

The Stoics did much better with the much shorter Enchiridion.

Pub Date: Oct. 23, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-525-42814-5

Page Count: 580

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: July 31, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2018

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Readers unfamiliar with the anecdotal material Greene presents may find interesting avenues to pursue, but they should...

MASTERY

Greene (The 33 Strategies of War, 2007, etc.) believes that genius can be learned if we pay attention and reject social conformity.

The author suggests that our emergence as a species with stereoscopic, frontal vision and sophisticated hand-eye coordination gave us an advantage over earlier humans and primates because it allowed us to contemplate a situation and ponder alternatives for action. This, along with the advantages conferred by mirror neurons, which allow us to intuit what others may be thinking, contributed to our ability to learn, pass on inventions to future generations and improve our problem-solving ability. Throughout most of human history, we were hunter-gatherers, and our brains are engineered accordingly. The author has a jaundiced view of our modern technological society, which, he writes, encourages quick, rash judgments. We fail to spend the time needed to develop thorough mastery of a subject. Greene writes that every human is “born unique,” with specific potential that we can develop if we listen to our inner voice. He offers many interesting but tendentious examples to illustrate his theory, including Einstein, Darwin, Mozart and Temple Grandin. In the case of Darwin, Greene ignores the formative intellectual influences that shaped his thought, including the discovery of geological evolution with which he was familiar before his famous voyage. The author uses Grandin's struggle to overcome autistic social handicaps as a model for the necessity for everyone to create a deceptive social mask.

Readers unfamiliar with the anecdotal material Greene presents may find interesting avenues to pursue, but they should beware of the author's quirky, sometimes misleading brush-stroke characterizations.

Pub Date: Nov. 13, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-670-02496-4

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Sept. 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2012

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