Well written with a couple of surprises, despite some narrative distance and overly familiar themes.


Touched by a higher power through dreams and visions, Works uses her experience as a seer to illustrate God’s love.

Works, a self-described seer, claims to be exceptionally intuitive when awake, in addition to having visions of angels, demons, God and Jesus when asleep. In her first book, she presents her chronological spiritual journey. Most chapters open with a description of dreams or visions, and then, with friendly enthusiasm and an impressive array of biblical references, the author interprets the experience, revealing a theme of love directed at her and all of humanity. Chapters are fine-tuned to reach the eager Christian reader; however, due to the by-the-numbers lessons, the distance between the author and reader can make the book less powerful. Despite the author’s attempts to turn the reader into a participant (she encourages the reader to have pen and paper at the ready and there are questions at the end of each chapter), the dreams and visions the author describes are so personal that the reader more often feels like an observer. Additionally, the author’s interpretations often inform a passive rather than actionable direction, which may widen the reader’s disconnect. In one dream, the author attempts to follow her friends home from a conference, but she gets lost; a man enters her car, promising to help her get home. Along the way, he stops to distribute food to the needy, so the dream evidently reveals to the author the importance of following Jesus, not your spiritual friends. In a separate vision featuring a cloud of doves, the author advises readers to ask for the Holy Spirit to enter their lives. Although most chapters highlight standard themes in Christianity, a few of the author’s interpretations are surprising, particularly in “Law Versus Spirit,” a chapter that offers a notable challenge to the conventional understanding of the relationship between religion, rules and law.

Well written with a couple of surprises, despite some narrative distance and overly familiar themes.

Pub Date: April 23, 2012

ISBN: 978-1470002299

Page Count: 222

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: June 7, 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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