DEATH by Herbie Brennan


The Great Mystery of Life
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The author of Emily and the Werewolf (1993) offers another collection of paranormal weirdness in an investigation of mortality that surveys everything from dominant world religions to out-there occult theories.

Brennan uses various physical descriptions of death’s causes (high blood pressure, heart disease, bubonic plague, Ebola virus, meteorites crashing into the earth, etc.) as a starting point for a consideration of what happens to the human soul once the body expires. He begins to answer that question by cataloging various cultural and religious beliefs about life after death. While he finds that many belief systems, including Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and Egyptian and Greek mythology, hold that the individual soul passes on into the afterlife, he himself seems more drawn to the Hindu and Buddhist belief in reincarnation. The author’s detailed survey of Eastern religious thought leads him to offer startling evidence of people remembering previous lives and of the living being spiritually possessed by the recently departed. These chapters throw open the door to multifarious other paranormal subjects, the predominant focus here. He expounds on such customary topics as the ghostly haunting of people or places and the various forms of ESP. In addition to these conventional supernatural subjects, Brennan offers detailed expositions of more exotic concepts: time-slips produced by tears in the fabric of the universe, or the possibility that the ghosts attempt to talk to the living via AM radio. He concludes by confidently declaring that investigations into near-death experiences demonstrate that, while it might be uncomfortable as we pass, we can reasonably hope that we will all enjoy a fulfilling afterlife.

Readers who can’t stay awake for Art Bell’s late-night radio excursions into the paranormal can find the same material here.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-7867-1044-6
Page count: 336pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2002


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