A proper guide and devotional for the Stations of the Cross.


A concise volume of illuminating selections from the Bible.

This precise and thoughtful prayer book offers itself as an unassuming guidebook to the Stations of the Cross. An introductory contention that the theology and rituals of the Stations have continued to be undervalued and underobserved by many of the faithful gives this unpretentious and carefully constructed book an additional rhetorical and spiritual thrust. Included in this slim volume is an easily grasped how-to section that gives readers interested in observing the Stations clear directions for getting the most out of the book and their time. This book has a very specific market–even among Christians–and so its appeal is limited. However, for those more interested in an easily approachable guide to the subject than in a portable seminary, the well-crafted formula of the book makes for an optimal introduction. The book's chapters are devoted to each particular station and contain an opening prayer, an announcement of the station, the call and response to bless God, a fitting passage from the Bible, a meditation on the particular passage and an optional hymn. The book should be useful for private observance, but it is still presented primarily as a text meant to be used in some form of group religious observance. The passages offered are a powerfully concise version of the New Testament's messianic message, but readers should be advised that there is little theological analysis or ancillary commentary provided by the author. Each station is accompanied by a relevant illustration that distills the essential events of the particular station and should aid in observance and preparation for each station. The book is a markedly utilitarian production, and it is in this capacity that it should serve its users most effectively and movingly.

A proper guide and devotional for the Stations of the Cross.

Pub Date: Nov. 6, 2009

ISBN: 978-1-4415-8964-4

Page Count: -

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: Dec. 24, 2010

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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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