LIFE AS IS by Michael Kleenoff

LIFE AS IS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

An investigation into religion, science and life from debut author Kleenoff.
Writing a book in an attempt to reach his own conclusions to many of the larger questions in life (e.g., What is God?), the author presents a tome of extensive proportions. Tackling topics as diverse and difficult as the existence of God, the mechanisms of evolution and the rearing of children, the book makes for a compendium of questions, answers and more questions. Race, homelessness, addiction and the Israeli-Arab conflict all receive attention. Sources include Stephen Hawking, Phil Donahue, The American Heritage Dictionary and an anonymous anti-Semitic blog (in a portion which dissects and criticizes anti-Semitism). The conclusions reached tend to be as disparate as the topics. A God figure as presented by mainstream religions is largely dismissed, though the existence of a God of some kind is by no means ruled out. Science is deemed vital to understanding mankind, though it is not without its ambiguities. As a layman, the author is keen to point out that which appears contradictory or confusing, such as with the Big Bang Theory: “According to conservation law, energy…cannot begin from nothing. Yet this is exactly what scientists are trying to justify when theorizing that the universe stemmed from a tiny point that turned into billions of galaxies.” Obvious at times (such as with this note on child rearing: “Although adolescence from the point of education is often the most rebellious and difficult period of a life span, the preceding age periods should not be neglected”), the book functions as an introduction to world religions, a polemic on evolution and a blunt investigation of Soviet society (“While people felt proud of having the first man sent into space, they did not much enjoy the rest of reality, finding very little improvement in the remainder of their lives”). Having formed such opinions over a lifetime, the book creates a feeling of conversing with the author. How readers will react to this conversation depends on how willing they are to listen. That the author writes with absolute care and earnestness, however, never comes into question.
Vast and questioning, the book explores a variety of topics with a concise dedication.
Pub Date: May 22nd, 2014
ISBN: 978-1499010275
Page count: 558pp
Publisher: Xlibris
Program: Kirkus Indie
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