An optimistic plan to remodel a life from the inside out.



A comprehensive self-help guide to transforming behaviors in order to reach personal goals.

Debut author Christian provides readers with a blueprint for contentment, drawing on references to his own successful effort to lose 100 pounds. For the author, this weight loss was just one part of what he refers to as a thorough mental, emotional, and spiritual “housecleaning.” Specifically, he analyzed his own habits, imposed new disciplines, and followed through on them, and as he tells this story, he consistently strikes an inclusive note, broadening his focus to include his readers: “The next significant shift in your journey might be in front of you,” he writes. “Who are you, where do you want to go, and who do you want to become?”: These are the basic questions that Christian poses as he tells of his own transformations—becoming a born-again Christian, and changing his diet, his exercise regimen, and, ultimately, his physical appearance. At one point, he reports an eerie incident in which his old friends initially failed to recognize him. He clearly lays out several practical steps for readers, so that they may take control of their lives as he did, while effectively stressing the organic unity of his process: “Your mind, body, and spirit,” he writes, “must equally be strengthened and changed in effort to act in unison to defend future relapses.” Christian also looks at events in the lives of famous athletes, including basketball legends Michael Jordan and Larry Bird and the late football star Walter Payton, as examples of self-doubt and fulfillment. However, the author’s warmly confessional discussions of his own worries, struggles, and triumphs are the book’s highlight.

An optimistic plan to remodel a life from the inside out.

Pub Date: April 2, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4497-8537-6

Page Count: 212

Publisher: Westbow Press

Review Posted Online: June 7, 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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