An earnest spiritual guide that should appeal to a Christian audience.

ULTIMATE REALITY

A debut religious book seeks to inspire readers with ruminations on Christianity and the Bible.

In his compact work, Willett advises readers that “while it’s true of heaven that you can’t get there from here on your own efforts, God in His infinite wisdom has already factored that into the equation and made the only adequate provision possible on our behalf.” The author explains that the Bible gives believers a road map showing how to reach spiritual salvation and eternal life in heaven with specific instructions: “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. (Ecclesiastes 12:13 KJV).” But sometimes the Bible’s message can be confusing, and it is helpful to read about the paths believers have taken in deciphering its wisdom. Willett cites both popular and powerful biblical quotes and pairs them with an analysis of the Christian behavior they endorse. Those seeking their heavenly home can ponder the roads others have traveled when conducting similar journeys: “Don’t outsmart yourself. While God does have many mysteries on this planet, many things He has made very simple, clear, and straightforward, including His plan of salvation. What could be clearer than ‘we are sinners’? What could be simpler than to ‘believe on Him unto salvation’?” The author discloses his reason for producing this heartfelt book: “Answering the perceived need to write,” Willett “endeavors to share with the reader some of life’s most important” principles “found in the word of God.” But because the author is “a welding inspector by trade,” these are the observations of a layman, relying heavily on Bible quotes to make up the bulk of the 72-page volume. His introduction makes clear that this work is aimed at his fellow Christians: “I find it difficult, to say the least, to know how to communicate affirming words of love to those who plainly don’t want them.” The book lacks the scholarship and the elegant prose to distinguish its content in a marketplace crowded with religious titles. But with its wide-ranging quotes and uplifting analysis, this volume could serve as a solid framework for a Bible study class.

An earnest spiritual guide that should appeal to a Christian audience.

Pub Date: April 9, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-973620-45-7

Page Count: 72

Publisher: Westbow Press

Review Posted Online: May 3, 2019

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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 48 LAWS OF POWER

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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THE MYTH OF SISYPHUS

AND OTHER ESSAYS

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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