I am at a loss on this one. It’s much better than many reviewers here have expressed; very Dickensian and I am a fan. I think it was maybe a little corny that the author inserted comments about Dickens and Victorian times in a not at all subtle way. Maybe not the literary work of a lifetime, but what a fabulous story and interesting characters. For that it is worth it. I thoroughly enjoyed it and found the pages flying by. If you like the screwed up coincidences that usually befall families whose lives revolve around a secret, then you’ll enjoy this.
My son and I really enjoyed reading this treasury of Buddhist tales. A good bedtime book with morals, although some may be difficult for children to interpret.
I really enjoyed this book. Not only did I get to see the Bible from a Buddhist perspective, I also got to see that even devoted Christians are beginning to be more open-minded in interpretation. In reading this book, I began to realize just how much the individual churches have influenced my opinion of Christianity in general. I realize I have been a bit closed off to the idea of embracing Christianity in any form. I found it interesting that the Dalai Lama kept emphasizing that he didn’t think anyone should change religions, but delve deeper into the religion they were brought up in. I’m not sure I agree wholeheartedly, but I do think it is important not to throw away everything from one religion to go to another. I have begun to think of religion as a flowing, ever-changing process rather than a hard fast rule system. I feel I can take the things I have learned from Christianity (a religion I have both wholeheartedly embraced and rejected, one that my whole upbringing was fashioned around) and combine them with all the things I am still learning about other religious ways and adapt the ideas to a more open-minded view.
I would recommend this book to anyone, but especially to those who have rejected Christianity based on their experiences with the church. I feel like seeing a more open world view of the teachings helped me come to terms with some of my negative attitudes toward the church.
While in the end I did enjoy the story that was told, the jazz rhythm of the poetry/prose in this novel was very difficult to read and not enjoyable. I wouldn’t recommend this book, but as I said the story itself did turn out to be engaging. It’d probably make a decent movie, but the words just didn’t do it justice…not to me anyways.
Strange as this book was (and abstract), it was really enjoyable. It is basically alot of allusion to the idea that life is taken for granted and is thought of as “over” long before we are dead in the ground. There is also a strong theme of finding a sort of peace in the twisted idea that old age means it’s over. Also presented is the idea of how easily people become like animals and can be controlled as such once they reach this point of giving up and giving in. I enjoyed this book, but it is not for the easily offended or highly literal reader.
I really enjoyed this perspective on the life of Jesus. Being raised in a Christian household and always doubting the validity and source of the Bible particularly, I have been seeking many different perspectives on his life and teachings. I love that Sylvia points out all the “editing” of the early church and the sheer fact that the Bible is in no way a verified source of historical information. Of course as a skeptic in general, I do not validate the notion that her spirit guide Francine is a valid source of information either. The important thing about this book is that it poses the question that if we can’t verify the source of the information and it contradicts even itself, is it dependable?
She describes the story of Jesus healing a blind man by washing out his eyes with water that had a high alkaline content; a practice that took the crusts off his eyes formed by flies. However, this was not known to others as a cure, so it was seen as a miracle. She offers “isn’t it miraculous to learn that he knew exactly what would cure the problem?” Although she alludes to the fact that he could’ve learned some of his healing abilities from his travels to other lands, she also points out that he was guided by a direct connection to God. “That is what all true messengers lived by…their knowledge, their visions and their acts.” I see this as an interesting perspective on the idea of modern medicine as it relates to religion. Who has given the doctors and researchers this gift of aptitude and possibly even some of their ideas directly planted in their heads other than a God-force at work? There are many now known medical facts that disprove his “miracles”, however aren’t all medical practices curing the ill miracles of some sort?
She points out that there have been prophets and seers of the future throughout the old testament who were respected and whose prophecies were believed to be carried out…so why has the church created a false war in God’s name against those who claim to have a connection with the spirit world and can possibly foretell future events? Perhaps I believe these people really do reveal the truth and perhaps I don’t, but it’s certainly a valid point to bring up to anyone doubting the validity of her writing. After all, aren’t anyone’s opinions, thoughts and ideas worthy of respect (whether supposedly delivered through a spirit guide or through dreams or a direct connection to God)?
I was introduced to Patti Smith as an adolescent listening to the Gone Again album. I absolutely fell in love with her, but I never truly understood her…especially her early work. I read Just Kids last year and started to see a little of what I had missed. Dave Thompson has done an excellent job of laying out the facts while not excluding the emotion of her career. She is an absolute inspiration and now my lists of “to read” “to watch” and “to listen” are overflowing.
I realize that for those who followed her career as it happened this book probably read like a boring textbook. But for me, it was enthralling and enriching…mostly inspiring. Once I was a little like Patti and I hope to find that spirit again someday. To be free.