Though saddled with the burden of tangible proof, Alexander’s impassioned report nevertheless forms a buoyant testimonial.




An afterlife proponent expounds upon the existence of heaven.

Academic neurosurgeon Alexander (Proof of Heaven: A Journey into the Afterlife, 2012) further mines the metaphysical terrain he claims to have encountered while in a coma in 2008 as well as the transformational effects it had on his mental and spiritual perceptions. With generous references to the philosophies of Plato and Aristotle, the author also includes theories from an array of historic physicists and scientists, along with supportive letters and stories from people who endured near-death experiences and emerged psychologically transformed. Most support his belief in the existence of “a series of supraphysical realms” beyond the physical plane, which he believes carries answers to our true origins and our future. Alexander believes all earthbound human beings possess latent suppressed memories of visiting a heavenly dominion, and both belief and acceptance will spiritually usher us to return to it. Doing so, he writes, also requires a basic understanding of a series of complimentary, self-explanatory “gifts”: knowledge, meaning, vision, strength, belonging, joy and hope. Though neuroscience is Alexander’s field, his newly enhanced spirituality and belief in the preternatural are firmly asserted throughout a text written with assertive yet compassionate prose. An optimistic visionary, the author believes the coming era will be challenging, tarnished with the kind of anxious concern that could very well be mitigated by a belief in heaven and the afterlife. Skeptics will have a field day with the author’s frequently nebulous correlations and real-life anecdotes of post-mortem butterflies and levitating orbs, but Alexander does provide a larger concept of collective consciousness moving souls onward toward an otherworldly plane where serenity, compassion and goodness prevail. However, Alexander argues, courage, a true heart and an open mind are required to appreciate these gifts.

Though saddled with the burden of tangible proof, Alexander’s impassioned report nevertheless forms a buoyant testimonial.

Pub Date: Nov. 4, 2014

ISBN: 978-1476766393

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Oct. 1, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2014

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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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