BEGINNINGS WITHOUT END by Sam Keen

BEGINNINGS WITHOUT END

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KIRKUS REVIEW

At the bewitching age of 40, religious philosopher Keen (interviewer for Psychology Today) suffered through a mid-life crisis that stood his world on end. But unlike many who have had a similar experience--abandoning the safety of wife, children, career and parental approval for new loves, lonely self-discovery, a pilgrim's wanderings, an improvised profession--Keen did not have the good sense simply to meditate on it privately--he felt compelled to make a public lesson of his three-year odyssey. His almost daily record of thoughts and feelings is here transformed into an exemplary tale of death and rebirth, showing life to be a process of endless beginnings. What results is a sloppy, self-indulgent book--a cheap grab bag of fake verse, word plays, philosophic ruminations, and narrative snatches. Mistaking lack of discipline for playful freedom, Keen fires off smart ideas but the hits are few. And the material gets progressively weaker, as if Keen himself gradually lost faith in the project. It's easy to see why he might have: this is the slightest of his books, the whole as flimsy as the throwaway parts of To A Dancing God and likely an embarrassment for all concerned.

Pub Date: Oct. 29th, 1975
Publisher: Harper & Row