A vehement, lyrical restatement of biblical strictures, full of fire and brimstone.


"I AM the Origin of Species!"


From the The Lamb's Epistle series , Vol. 1

This thunderous volume of Christian apologetics preaches New Testament dogma with Old Testament vigor.

Suwa, a Christian minister, writes chastening epistles in the voice of “the Lamb,” steeped in biblical rhetoric and cadences, addressed to persons and places that he believes symbolize various sins and apostasies. First in the rogue’s gallery is Charles Darwin, whose theory of evolution, he says, “disparaged the Creation” with the “severe delusion” that “the fish wobbled out of the sea to become the hippo which then hurtled back into the ocean to become the whale”—a notion that he says is disproved by the book of Job. Other targets of the Lamb’s wrath include African nationals who cling to non-Christian faiths; dissolute pastors who put money, pleasure, and Sunday head counts ahead of piety (“your insatiate greed and the nakedness of your whoredoms are out in the sun”); and the so-called “Sodom and Gomorrah” of gay San Francisco (“you in the steps of Sappho, break free from this prison firmer than Alcatraz”). He also takes on paganlike environmentalists “bogged down and mired in the myth of Gaia”; the city of Salem, Massachusetts, for associating with occult beliefs and psychics; the city of Wichita, Kansas, apparently for having a homonym of “witch” in its name; and the United States, for general vice and blasphemy. Overall, Suwa provides little in the way of cogent argumentation to support any of his anathemas, relying instead on blunt reiteration of ancient verities (including footnotes with biblical references). Still, his writing offers an energetic, well-tuned reprise of the poetic, prophetic style of Scripture. People who belong to one of the groups Suwa criticizes (including Jews, Taoists, and abortion-rights supporters), and who don’t like it when clergymen tell them that God abhors their beliefs and lifestyles, may find this book offensive. However, readers for whom the aforementioned ancient verities are gospel may find it captivating.

A vehement, lyrical restatement of biblical strictures, full of fire and brimstone.

Pub Date: Dec. 17, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-68222-136-5

Page Count: 192

Publisher: BookBaby

Review Posted Online: Feb. 23, 2016

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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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A timely, vividly realized reminder to slow down and harness the restorative wonders of serenity.


An exploration of the importance of clarity through calmness in an increasingly fast-paced world.

Austin-based speaker and strategist Holiday (Conspiracy: Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and the Anatomy of Intrigue, 2018, etc.) believes in downshifting one’s life and activities in order to fully grasp the wonder of stillness. He bolsters this theory with a wide array of perspectives—some based on ancient wisdom (one of the author’s specialties), others more modern—all with the intent to direct readers toward the essential importance of stillness and its “attainable path to enlightenment and excellence, greatness and happiness, performance as well as presence.” Readers will be encouraged by Holiday’s insistence that his methods are within anyone’s grasp. He acknowledges that this rare and coveted calm is already inside each of us, but it’s been worn down by the hustle of busy lives and distractions. Recognizing that this goal requires immense personal discipline, the author draws on the representational histories of John F. Kennedy, Buddha, Tiger Woods, Fred Rogers, Leonardo da Vinci, and many other creative thinkers and scholarly, scientific texts. These examples demonstrate how others have evolved past the noise of modern life and into the solitude of productive thought and cleansing tranquility. Holiday splits his accessible, empowering, and sporadically meandering narrative into a three-part “timeless trinity of mind, body, soul—the head, the heart, the human body.” He juxtaposes Stoic philosopher Seneca’s internal reflection and wisdom against Donald Trump’s egocentric existence, with much of his time spent “in his bathrobe, ranting about the news.” Holiday stresses that while contemporary life is filled with a dizzying variety of “competing priorities and beliefs,” the frenzy can be quelled and serenity maintained through a deliberative calming of the mind and body. The author shows how “stillness is what aims the arrow,” fostering focus, internal harmony, and the kind of holistic self-examination necessary for optimal contentment and mind-body centeredness. Throughout the narrative, he promotes that concept mindfully and convincingly.

A timely, vividly realized reminder to slow down and harness the restorative wonders of serenity.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-53858-5

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Portfolio

Review Posted Online: July 21, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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