An intriguing exploration of a whirlwind of concepts, from reincarnation to government conspiracy, tied together by one...




Weisher (Mysteries of Consciousness, 2005) endeavors to answer the fundamental questions of human existence: Where did we come from? Why are we here? Where are we going?

In this ambitious inquiry, the author draws knowledge from the fields of evolution, anthropology, religion, neurophysiology and alien theory. He begins with a discussion of human evolution, asserting that there was not enough time for the brain to transition from what it was in Australopithecus to what it became in Homo sapiens. The discrepancy, he argues, can be explained by third-party interference. At this point, readers will have to pay close, open-minded attention: Drawing from ancient Sumerian texts, Weisher concludes that alien beings interfered with the evolutionary process. Furthermore, he espouses, those same aliens can be assumed to have been participants in the biblical story of Eden. The author continues on to examine cases of patients he saw as a medical doctor and their experiences surviving clinical death. Using these accounts, as well as stories of past lives reported by people under hypnosis, Weisher argues that there’s an “extraneuronal” beginning of human consciousness—or what some would call the soul. He then examines ancient structures such as the Sphinx, concluding that many of these monuments couldn’t possibly have been created by the human technology of their times. He rounds out his argument for the presence of ancient aliens with accounts of UFO sightings in various countries. Here, as in other chapters, the author forcefully argues against popular scientific ideas. Overall, it’s certainly an enrapturing read. However, the validity of the book’s grand explanation for human existence can be judged by each individual reader. Throughout, there are many logical leaps that some may not agree with, such as the idea that popular scientific concepts are invalid simply because they’re funded by academia. It also may be difficult for readers who aren’t well-versed in the subjects at hand to form a comprehensive opinion of the book.

An intriguing exploration of a whirlwind of concepts, from reincarnation to government conspiracy, tied together by one common thread: the presence of ancient aliens on Earth.

Pub Date: Sept. 11, 2014

ISBN: 978-0615750576

Page Count: 256

Publisher: David D. Weisher M.D.

Review Posted Online: Nov. 25, 2014

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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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Necessarily swift and adumbrative as well as inclusive, focused, and graceful.


A light-speed tour of (mostly) Western poetry, from the 4,000-year-old Gilgamesh to the work of Australian poet Les Murray, who died in 2019.

In the latest entry in the publisher’s Little Histories series, Carey, an emeritus professor at Oxford whose books include What Good Are the Arts? and The Unexpected Professor: An Oxford Life in Books, offers a quick definition of poetry—“relates to language as music relates to noise. It is language made special”—before diving in to poetry’s vast history. In most chapters, the author deals with only a few writers, but as the narrative progresses, he finds himself forced to deal with far more than a handful. In his chapter on 20th-century political poets, for example, he talks about 14 writers in seven pages. Carey displays a determination to inform us about who the best poets were—and what their best poems were. The word “greatest” appears continually; Chaucer was “the greatest medieval English poet,” and Langston Hughes was “the greatest male poet” of the Harlem Renaissance. For readers who need a refresher—or suggestions for the nightstand—Carey provides the best-known names and the most celebrated poems, including Paradise Lost (about which the author has written extensively), “Kubla Khan,” “Ozymandias,” “The Charge of the Light Brigade,” Wordsworth and Coleridge’s Lyrical Ballads, which “changed the course of English poetry.” Carey explains some poetic technique (Hopkins’ “sprung rhythm”) and pauses occasionally to provide autobiographical tidbits—e.g., John Masefield, who wrote the famous “Sea Fever,” “hated the sea.” We learn, as well, about the sexuality of some poets (Auden was bisexual), and, especially later on, Carey discusses the demons that drove some of them, Robert Lowell and Sylvia Plath among them. Refreshingly, he includes many women in the volume—all the way back to Sappho—and has especially kind words for Marianne Moore and Elizabeth Bishop, who share a chapter.

Necessarily swift and adumbrative as well as inclusive, focused, and graceful.

Pub Date: April 21, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-300-23222-6

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Yale Univ.

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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