An old-fashioned blueprint of modern Christianity.


A stark evocation of the spiritual dangers that Christians face in the modern world.

This latest nonfiction work from Loranger (Child of Woe, Child of Sorrow, 2011) operates on a simple and forbidding premise, summed up in a single statement: “You can’t choose to accept the candy-coated parts of the Bible and not accept the parts of the Bible that don’t make you feel good.” The book is filled with echoes of the latter parts. Indeed, virtually every page warns readers that they live in a demon-haunted world—one that’s full of Old Testament-style curses that can hinder their lives for multiple generations. In vivid, often gripping prose, Loranger tackles an extremely wide array of topics, finding spiritual dangers in a great many of them. For example, she warns that voodoo magic is entirely real; that toy-store shelves are full of demons; that sexually transmitted diseases are curses from God; that decks of playing cards are “of Satan”; that the sinful activities of a house’s previous inhabitants create a curse on it; and that watching or listening to any media that are “abominations to the Lord” brings curses, as well. Loranger takes care to use quotations from Scripture to buttress many of her contentions for her target audience of fellow fundamentalist Christians. Other ideas are unsupported, however, such as that people don’t age past 33 in heaven; that there is no water, food, rest, or sleep in hell; and that the Christian Cross is visible in illustrations of the DNA double-helix. As a result, some readers may find such claims to require a leap of faith too far.

An old-fashioned blueprint of modern Christianity.

Pub Date: June 14, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5320-4978-1

Page Count: 328

Publisher: iUniverse

Review Posted Online: Oct. 5, 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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