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Reviews Written by
Ronald W. Maron "pilgrim" (Nova Scotia)

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The Hauntings of Playing God (The Great De-evolution)
The Hauntings of Playing God (The Great De-evolution)
Price: CDN$ 4.90

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The questions that we constantly ponder but can never answer....., Oct. 13 2014
The author, Chris Dietzel, not only asks the questions that we all should be asking ourselves and does so in a capturing yet gentle manner. Who are we? Why are we here? Is there a God and, if so, why is life so cruel? Is this single life I am living all that I will experience? I highly recommend this book for everyone who has ventured beyond the day-to-day mechanics of mere survival and peered into the realm of philosophical reality, spiritual potential or the overwhelming vacuum of oblivion.....

Gone Girl: A Novel
Gone Girl: A Novel
Offered by Random House Canada, Incorp.
Price: CDN$ 10.99

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very readable but highly unbelievable............., Oct. 4 2014
While I am quite hesitant in posting any negative comments about a fictional novel that is receiving the accolades the 'Gone Girl' is gathering, out of good conscience I must do so. I will not disclose the thrust of the novel, but I must warn readers that a 'partial spoiler alert' is issued.

-Having worked in Mental Health for most of my career sociopathic persons are not the common element that this book supposes it to be. Furthermore, those who are diagnosed as such an affliction attain these characteristics from both their genetic makeup and the environment that they were reared in. While Amy's parents are less than desirable neither of them showed any sociopathic traits themselves nor would have created an environment where such traits would be reinforced. So the entrapment of such a personality in Amy's psyche is quite impossible.
- Although it is admirable to think that a homicide detective would continue to work on a case long after it apparent resolve, such is not the case. Police establishments are not terribly democratic, operate with tight budgets and if a supervisor had determined that a case was 'closed', there would be no more work done by anyone regardless of their individual feelings regarding the finality of the decision.
- Amy not only is projected as being sociopathic but also as being highly controlling and brilliant at the same instance. The year long plotting of the her disappearance is evident of that. What troubled me was the fact that she did not project the possibility of her money being stolen! This should have been #1 on her agenda; Have enough money to support herself for at least 5 years and have it in a place where it is safe from everyone but herself. Opening up to 'hillbilly strangers' would never have occurred.
- While Gillian Flynn is an excellent story teller, even though the story line in itself is somewhat unbelievable, she does so in a manner that is an easy read and quite griping. To be a good author, however, requires more than this. A good author creates poetic prose that is filled with symbolic analogies and breath-taking descriptions. You are thrust through the novel not only because the plot drives you onward but because you have become addicted to the writing flourishes.

My conclusion is that this will continue to be a well read novel and equally viewed movie. It is not without its flaws and bruises, however...............

Letters to Christian Leaders
Letters to Christian Leaders
Price: CDN$ 6.00

2.0 out of 5 stars Trite, non-humorous and bitter.............., Oct. 1 2014
Being neither an atheist nor a Christian I find it enlightening to read the apologetics from both sides of the age old argument. It was said, however, that once a person reverts to anger and/or name calling, the argument has been lost. The author, having slid into both abysses, lost the argument before even starting it. To me when a person does this it tells me that his certainty about his stance was never that certain to begin with. As a researcher and reader if I had wanted to experience this level of childish discourse I would go to any Sophomore's gym locker and listen to ignorant bullies pick on the obese, uncoordinated, red-headed student. While it is inappropriate there, it is highly inappropriate to be put into a saleable book...............

The Cure for Fundamentalism: Why the Bible Cannot be the "Word of God"
The Cure for Fundamentalism: Why the Bible Cannot be the "Word of God"
Price: CDN$ 3.36

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why do we view the words of ancient delusional men as 'Truth'?............., Sept. 26 2014
After perusing The Bible five times from cover to cover myself, I began to see why Isaac Asimov said that the surest way to become an atheist is to read The Bible. Mr. McRoberts merely adds the precise reasoning for Mr. Asimov's statement. In a lengthy, and somewhat cumbersome, treatise the internal inconsistencies of The Bible are clearly defined and expressed in a manner that is understandable by all reading levels. Unfortunately, he, like many others, is 'preaching to the choir' and the persons who are most needy in this intellectual area will not even attempt to open this book's cover let alone read and comprehend its message. To them this text is pure heresy. That being as it is, I would like to think that those who have completed this tome will not simply walk away from the challenge of defining God in their lives by merely rejecting the thought outright. There are many means to attain the truth of eternity and its creations without relying on ancient and inaccurate writings. Modern science discoveries in the areas of quantum mechanics and universal consciousness, metaphysical events that occur without valid reasons and the probable existence of eleven dimensions are but a few of the areas to be explored. Let us use writings of this nature as stepping stones to a greater truth and not anchors that we hold onto as we sink into deeper and deeper ignorance to the reality that surrounds us all........

Koran Curious - a guide for infidels and believers
Koran Curious - a guide for infidels and believers

5.0 out of 5 stars An understandable overview of Islam............, Sept. 20 2014
Oh please! The reviewers who denounce this text have either never read it and only pretend to be outraged or so immersed in their own Fundamental Christianity that they cannot see the autos for the traffic jam they find themselves in!

CJ Werleman never presents himself as being the ultimate scholar of the Quran nor even as one of its disciples. Who he presents himself as being is a mere student of all world religions, as we all are, and presents and easy-to-read and chronological overview of the text itself. After a brief overview of the Quran in general, the author goes through the critical portions of the text that are preceded by a short and understandable summary. If you are needing an in depth religious tome, go elsewhere. If, on the other hand, you are merely wanting and quick-to-read summary, this book fills the bill.

That being said, there are some interesting conclusions to be drawn from the religion of Islam. Because Muhammad appears to be well versed in both the tales from the Old and New Testaments of today's Bible, there are a great number of parallels with his writings. First, he views God as being similar to the God of the OT; demanding, corporal, and highly jealous. While he does reflect on a degree of atonement for turning away from 'sinful' behavior, he views it in a less than enthusiastic manner. He, likewise, reflects on mankind as having both a free-will and predetermined behavior at the same time?? (impossible!) This is another similarity with the OT. Muhammad views himself both on the same level as Christ but more like Moses than any of the other Biblical myths. He states that God is vicious with the people who do not recognize him as the sole creator and, being so, has created an eternal hell for those who fail in this manner. There are a few other rules that persons are to live by but not to the extent that the writings of Paul or the book of Leviticus portrays. And, lastly, like the OT the Islamic God also likes to have his believers slaughter neighboring tribes for no other reason than to expand their territory!

While Isaac Asimov stated that the easiest way to become an atheist is to read the Bible from cover-to-cover, I would like to add that the second easiest way is to read the Quran from cover-to-cover.................

Eden Rising (Eden Rising Trilogy Book 1)
Eden Rising (Eden Rising Trilogy Book 1)
Price: CDN$ 3.05

2.0 out of 5 stars An overly used plot buried under unbelievable actions........, Aug. 18 2014
While high credits go to the author for his clear, concise writing abilities and his production of characters that are easily identified, little else in this novel are worth its perusal. First the plotline is very old and highly over used by other writers and, being so, it follows a well-trodden trail to an inevitable conclusion. Boy meets girl, their world is destroyed, boy nearly loses girl, they set the world straight, they live happily ever; the reader knows this familiar storyline before starting chapter two! Secondly, an EMP that is powerful enough to destroy the neurons of humans would do the same for all other animal species. More importantly it would also be strong enough not to have a walk-in freezer cease its impact. To have this occur is similar to saying that you can avert the ills of a hurricane by simply staying under your rain umbrella! Thirdly, wisdom comes from a lengthy process of experiencing life and learning its many lessons along the way. It is not attained simply by two teenagers quickly deciding that they were going to become philosophical survivors after an apocalypse. A teenage mentality would more likely have run and hid under their beds while calling for their Mommies to come help them! And they certainly would not become legends that spread throughout the Northeast. That is simply a Marvel Comics delusion. Lastly, while we have had a number of questionable Presidents throughout my lifetime, none of their dire legacies come close to a President who would purposely destroy the world such that he/she could reign over the rubble left behind. In sum, in order to create a good dystopic novel one must first create a plot that has a reasonable level of believability or else you are left with a dubious product that can only be compared to one of Bela Legosi's asinine movie portrayals........

Voices   -    Memories From a Medium's Life
Voices - Memories From a Medium's Life
Price: CDN$ 2.09

4.0 out of 5 stars the sequel to "Ghost of a Smile..........., Aug. 16 2014
While lacking some of the poetic prose that was prominent in her "Ghost of a Smile", Ms. Roberts continues her gentle persuasion that all of us have a degree of psychism within ourselves. In a talented and energetic manner the author identifies supernatural areas that we all have in common while, in addition, revealing a few of her personal readings and sharing a spirit-filled journey to Tibet. If you enjoyed her first installment, you will not be disappointed with her second.......

Crucifying America: the unholy alliance between the Christian Right and Wall Street
Crucifying America: the unholy alliance between the Christian Right and Wall Street

5.0 out of 5 stars the charade we call 'American Democracy'..........., Aug. 13 2014
This is THE book that should be read by ALL Americans. That being said, its only readers will be that of the Liberal Choir while the Right Wing will rip it to shreds and the media won't even recognize its existence. When you read this book if you do not feel yourself becoming angry, agitated and uneasy, you, too, may be part of the problem.

Each of us, at some point in our recent lives, have stated that "This is not the same country that I grew up in." While the Right Wing actually agrees with this statement, they place the blame in all the wrong areas. The Fundamentalists harken back to a time when coat hangers and back alleys where the only means to end an unwanted pregnancy, they view the days of calling others whatever crass name was popular as being an expression of their 'free speech', when only the wealthy merchant's children were allowed a college degree, they felt that common sense was all a person needed anyway and that no matter how damaging was the destructive outcome, 'might always made right'. Lacking the funding to have their archaic message be heard the 'Christian self-righteous' literally made a deal with the devil; they aligned themselves with the amoral, but wealthy, 1%. Yes, they now had their victory and could begin the regression of the country back into the 1850s but there was a severe price that had to be paid; the 1% were to receive monstrous tax cuts and the neutering of regulations that their quid pro quo demanded. This obviously would lead to the destruction of the social safety net, care for the elderly and the poor, and the loss of a livable wage because less moneys coming into the federal coffers meant less services could be afforded by the governement. But the self-righteous had their victory and their followers all numbly said "Amen". !!

As an avid reader of political materials and as a highly concerned citizen, I see that the battle for A New Society, The War Against Poverty, and the New Deal are battles that are now completely lost. The caring, compassionate people of the US have been overtaken by the undereducated, dogmatic and narrow-minded of the Right Wing. Their victory, of course, was fueled from the moneys of the 1% such that they could control more of the economy and have their limitless wealth grow even more. No, unlike the author, I do not see a force from the Left rising up to challenge the corporate power structure both because the moneys are not there and that the Liberals of the US have literally become 'fat and lazy'. They have viewed the US as having always been a fair and equitable country to live in and, because of that factor alone, it will continue to exist as it has into the unforeseeable future. Nothing could be further from the truth and this book vividly shows that the future is now and that our security is being stripped from us on a daily basis. Wake up Liberal America or fall asleep forever..................

The Michael Handbook
The Michael Handbook
Price: CDN$ 9.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Deceit sometimes wears a white hat......, Aug. 8 2014
The first thing that I do when perusing a text that deals with a topic that cannot be proven is to be certain that my 'critical thinking' cap is firmly in place. Before reading 'The Michael Handbook' I had it on quite snugly in fact. The text began quite commendably by clearly explaining the different levels the soul may evolve through. The descriptions made rational sense and matched some of my other readings. After this point, however, the writings fell into a pit of fantasy and complexity that only a fool or other charlatan could understand or believe. Even if there was a level of validity to the rest of the book, no one would really care about the further mundane levels stacked upon one another such that we are left with a swirling, incoherent collage of confusion and despair. I have found through my decades of study into the realms of spirituality that all truths found here are easily understood, that they grab your inner being as being sensible and are not described as one would a biological species with genus, species, class, group, phylum, etc.... These biological classifications are man-made descriptions that are applied to life. Spiritual descriptions, on the other hand, are meant to be easily understood. Lastly, any description that requires knowing where certain planets, stars or astrological signs were located when a egg is fertilized loses any credibility it may have gained to that point. Readers, do not be duped, nor be close-minded. Take each writing for what it is and put it to the test. Does it seem to be rational? Or does it seem like an easy way for an author to make a fairly effortless income?

Time And Again (Time Series Book 1)
Time And Again (Time Series Book 1)
Offered by Hachette Book Group Digital, Inc.
Price: CDN$ 7.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A very boring 'National Geographic' stroll through NYC in 1890........., July 18 2014
I spent the entire time reading this cumbersome presentation wondering both why readers were giving it such high ratings and why it is considered a border-line time travel classic. I failed to answer these questions on both counts. This is one of the most inane and cumbersome writings I have had the displeasure of perusing. Unlike the text itself, here is a concise and to-the-point summary of its failures:

1. Time Travel Causes- Self-hypnotism? Oh, please! If this were potentially possible we would all have left this time period ages ago.
2. Underlying Plot- In order to add texture to this novel the author included a mildly interesting mystery to its mix. It is highly contrived and obviously placed there to keep the reader plodding through this wordy novel to find its humdrum conclusion.
3. Descriptions of 1890 NYC- The only thing missing was what color were the socks of the villain wearing or how many persons entered the library on a given day! Some readers claim that it 'put them there in that time period' whereas I state that a full page that describes a single building is a bit verbose and leaving me with the feeling of 'So what?!'......

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