Best for readers already familiar with and fascinated by Jesus’ life.



Richey’s (Knowing the Gospel, 2011) latest work of nonfiction illustrates her devotion to Christianity and offers readers a deeper insight into the Gospels.

Careful research and a devotion to her faith shape Richey’s latest endeavor, which she offers as a means for readers to become better acquainted with the teachings of Jesus Christ. The book chronologically follows the way in which civilization anticipated and experienced the incarnation of Jesus as a man, through his childhood and three years of active teaching before his crucifixion. Richey diligently includes documentation from several different Bibles to support her theologies. However, while the multiple citations are meant to supply readers with a deeper understanding of significant passages in the Bible, they often confuse Richey’s interpretations. The strongest components of this text are Richey’s commitments to her faith and to sharing with readers a closer understanding of Jesus’ life. Yet choosing to quote the same passage from various versions of the Bible leaves little room for a reader to bring his or her own impression to the work. For example, Richey will open many paragraphs with a statement—i.e., “As a prophet, Jesus preached or spoke God’s word and performed miracles like the great Old Testament prophets”—followed by quotes from different Bibles as supporting text, all the while rarely pointing out anything specific that readers could use to further analyze the argument or hold as evidence of its thesis. A person of faith will find the cross-referencing valuable if interested in multiple versions of religious texts, but the technique comes up short as a means of educating the lay reader.

Best for readers already familiar with and fascinated by Jesus’ life.

Pub Date: April 4, 2012

ISBN: 978-1475150766

Page Count: 116

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Oct. 19, 2012

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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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