Eye of God

A regularly affecting but discombobulated collage of reflections and hypotheses.

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.

Pub Date: N/A

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Dog Ear Publisher

Review Posted Online: June 8, 2016

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KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON

THE OSAGE MURDERS AND THE BIRTH OF THE FBI

Dogged original research and superb narrative skills come together in this gripping account of pitiless evil.

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Greed, depravity, and serial murder in 1920s Oklahoma.

During that time, enrolled members of the Osage Indian nation were among the wealthiest people per capita in the world. The rich oil fields beneath their reservation brought millions of dollars into the tribe annually, distributed to tribal members holding "headrights" that could not be bought or sold but only inherited. This vast wealth attracted the attention of unscrupulous whites who found ways to divert it to themselves by marrying Osage women or by having Osage declared legally incompetent so the whites could fleece them through the administration of their estates. For some, however, these deceptive tactics were not enough, and a plague of violent death—by shooting, poison, orchestrated automobile accident, and bombing—began to decimate the Osage in what they came to call the "Reign of Terror." Corrupt and incompetent law enforcement and judicial systems ensured that the perpetrators were never found or punished until the young J. Edgar Hoover saw cracking these cases as a means of burnishing the reputation of the newly professionalized FBI. Bestselling New Yorker staff writer Grann (The Devil and Sherlock Holmes: Tales of Murder, Madness, and Obsession, 2010, etc.) follows Special Agent Tom White and his assistants as they track the killers of one extended Osage family through a closed local culture of greed, bigotry, and lies in pursuit of protection for the survivors and justice for the dead. But he doesn't stop there; relying almost entirely on primary and unpublished sources, the author goes on to expose a web of conspiracy and corruption that extended far wider than even the FBI ever suspected. This page-turner surges forward with the pacing of a true-crime thriller, elevated by Grann's crisp and evocative prose and enhanced by dozens of period photographs.

Dogged original research and superb narrative skills come together in this gripping account of pitiless evil.

Pub Date: April 18, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-385-53424-6

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Feb. 1, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2017

NIGHT

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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