A fervent compilation of thoughts on God, politics, and religion.

A deeply religious debut book offers advice and insights on how to live a faith-based life.

In his abstract work on religion and spirituality, Muza strings together a series of short sections featuring his reflections on how to get closer to God in one’s daily life. The text resembles a lyrical essay and integrates elements of poetry and self-help books. There is no narrative arc in these pages. Rather, the volume is more akin to a collection of aphorisms or an exploration of Muza’s own religious philosophy. In fact, the About the Author section reveals that he “composed numerous religious gospels” before his eyesight failed. In some passages, the author discusses the path to success. In the section “The Gospel,” he writes: “Go to bed and hold a piece of bread in your heart, and then you will have Jesus when you awake. An unforgiving spirit holds back the power in your life. Right thinking opens the door to success.” Other times, Muza dispenses general advice, as in the section “Forgiveness,” when he urges his audience to “be slow to anger and quick to forgive, and you will have friends as long as you live.” Much of the book is dedicated to connecting Muza’s political and religious beliefs, some of which are controversial. He tells readers: “Abortion is a mortal sin. Our moral values are out of control. Families are being destroyed….Sin flourishes, running rampant. It’s Sodom and Gomorrah all over again. Armageddon is at our door.” In another instance he writes: “Rock music and artists pledge their lives to the destruction of family values and mortals, promoting sex, violent acts, and drug experimentation. Youth crazes that seem innocent and cute—Pokemon, Digimon, Teletubbies, Harry Potter, video games, Furbys, action figures, and toys—are evil.” Some readers may disagree with his strong views on these issues. Eventually, his voice softens and he makes a point that many readers should embrace: “To make yourself whole, do something that is good and unselfish.” While the book meanders at times, readers who share the author’s political and spiritual beliefs should find some useful advice.

A fervent compilation of thoughts on God, politics, and religion.

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-5320-0466-7

Page Count: 164

Publisher: iUniverse

Review Posted Online: Jan. 31, 2017


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 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998



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