Eye of God by R. Thomas

Eye of God

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Thomas offers a debut, book-length essay on the spirit world and life after death.

This ambitious project is rooted in a number of Thomas’ own experiences as a young child and includes accounts of his encounters with blue, glowing apparitions (“Some people call it a spirit, other people have referred to it as a ghost, but what it really is, is the soul of man”) and his visions of beetles. It also recounts the seemingly uncanny premonitory abilities of his mother, who spoke of a spirit in the form of a lion that would follow her; she was also able to foretell who would visit the house, he says. Often, he writes, she would lie down and enter a subdued state in which she would communicate with “the other side of life.” Fantastic as they were, though, these abilities had limitations. The author also tells of when his father, after being misdiagnosed with arthritis, succumbed to colorectal cancer in the hospital; Thomas, who was at home, says he felt a sudden discomfort, as though his heart had stopped; later, he believed that it was his father’s soul visiting him to say goodbye. The author’s discussions of the spiritual realm soon transition into several long, interwoven fictional parables about the interplay between humanity and evil spirits, featuring a murderous man named Edward who, in death, comes to possess the body and spirit of another man named Kevin. He offers commentary and brief disquisitions on psychic messaging, hypnosis, cult psychology, the theory of the soul, and organized religion, interspersed throughout, and these asides and stories are interesting. However, the book lacks a unifying direction and structure, which are crucial in a tome as sizable as this one. The ideas in this book are speculative at best, but the accounts of the author’s experiences still deserve to be taken seriously, because at the heart of these confusing theories stand universal human questions about what happens to humans after they die.

A regularly affecting but discombobulated collage of reflections and hypotheses.

Publisher: Manuscript
Program: Kirkus Indie
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