A thorough guide to early adulthood with plenty of valuable advice, particularly for a devoutly religious audience.


A short handbook from a Christian perspective for young people leaving home for the first time.

Hibdon’s nonfiction debut offers readers advice and guidance regarding one of the first major events of their adult lives: leaving the nest and, specifically, going off to college. This move often gives young people their first taste of real responsibility, and as such, it can be a time fraught with confusion, with plenty of potential for missteps. Here, Hibdon takes on the role of an encouraging counselor, organizing her chapters with an eye toward maximum reader involvement, including discussion topics and ruled, blank spaces for answering questions. The tone throughout aims for moral improvement, specifically along Christian lines; for example, young readers are urged often to pray to God for guidance. There are common-sense checklists of things to consider when assessing one’s new environment: What are the local crime rates? The state of public transportation? The general weather and work environments? What items will contribute to the cost of living? There are some warnings about dormitory life and some very helpful, itemized lists of various considerations that first-time apartment-renters should consider. Every section is presented in a Christian framework with appropriate quotes from Scripture, and it sometimes results in warnings that some readers may find curiously old-fashioned: “If you choose stubbornness, procrastination, alcohol, drugs, or gambling, there will be a period when you feel invincible,” she writes, “but this will be followed by a roller coaster ride that may end in jail or prison or poverty or a breakdown.” Far more useful, however, are the book’s many practical tips about handling landlords and managing money.

A thorough guide to early adulthood with plenty of valuable advice, particularly for a devoutly religious audience.

Pub Date: Dec. 19, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-973610-65-6

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Westbow Press

Review Posted Online: Oct. 9, 2018

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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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