An intense series of incantatory prayers for Christian readers to ponder.


A debut author provides a divinely inspired prayer book for Christians.

Right out of the starting gate in his slim book Friedrich declares: “I am a spiritual messenger and gifted clairaudient.” He can, he informs his readers, hear voices from angels and has been having these and similar supernatural experiences since his childhood. He also mentions that in February 2017, he was contacted by Jesus directly, who told him he would shortly begin receiving messages from the archangel Michael and the Celtic deity Ogmios. The rest of the work consists of Friedrich’s transcriptions of the communications he received from these two over the course of the next two months; as Jesus informed the author, these would resonate with readers and grant them direction in their lives. Friedrich offers no explanation for why, once they started talking to each other, Jesus didn’t simply deliver these messages himself. In fact, the author after that point simply steps out of the way and lets Michael and Ogmios do all the talking, in the form of incantatory prayers presented as somewhat strident meditations on the Christian faith. Contrary to Jesus’ characterization, there’s actually very little in these prayers that would give direction to a life—instead, most of them consist of platitudes that supply a kind of satisfying directness. “Place your fear on one side of the scale / Place your conviction or All Mighty / God our Lord on the other,” Ogmios challenges. “To which will it tilt?” At one point, Michael asserts: “The angelic souls that whisper in the wind / Know the truths of All Mighty God. / They will assist you and bring forth signs.” Both Ogmios and Michael consistently urge the faithful to open their hearts to God—bracing exhortations that will be familiar to many of Friedrich’s readers from hearing them at weekly worship services from eloquent human sources.

An intense series of incantatory prayers for Christian readers to ponder.

Pub Date: March 24, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5043-7728-7

Page Count: 74

Publisher: BalboaPress

Review Posted Online: July 3, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?



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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet