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Posts tagged ‘book reviews’


Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon (Book Review)

“Let’s play real intellectual tennis: this book is my serve, and I welcome serious returns – with the net of reason always up.” – Daniel C. Dennett

Breaking the Spell, by Professor Dennett, takes the reader on a ride, journeying through the evolutionary processes of the memes carried by the transitions of tradition and folklore, to organized religion and fanaticism. He has nothing but inexorable fervour in attempting to discover how world religions came about through natural processes. The spell he attempts to break is the unjustified and supposedly untrumpable defence-mechanism of the so-called sanctity which religion has in the face of examination, no matter how small. How does he do this? By asking a lot of questions, and then trying to answer them, always staying humble, and never claiming facts where none have been affirmed. He is a scientific philosopher through and through, but makes his writings easily accessible to the layman. Read moreRead more


The Outsider (Book Review)

“Given that you’ve got to die, it obviously doesn’t matter exactly how or when.” The Outsider is a novella which addresses the problem of the nihilist. Given that we all cease to exist one day, as far as Meursault, the protagonist, can see, it doesn’t make a difference when or how that time comes, because afterwards there is only nothingness. And so Meursault embraces nothingness while alive, within the context of what he keeps repeating throughout the novel: “It didn’t really matter.” To him, even getting his head decapitated in his youth doesn’t make a difference in the long run, since he will not be able to dwell on or remember it (or create any new thoughts or ideas, for that matter) immediately after his cranium hits the ground. “Everyone was privileged. There were only privileged people. The others too would be condemned one day,” he says. Indeed, he enjoyed life for all the aesthetics and sensuality it had to offer him, and he knew it was a privilege to be able to experience existing at all. But, to him, in the end, nothing mattered, because we would all eventually be condemned – to death. Read moreRead more


Skinny Legs and All by Tom Robbins (Literature Review)

“Skinny Legs And All” by Tom Robbins is without a doubt one of the best books I have read. This is the story of five inanimate objects: A Conch Shell, a Can O’ Beans, a Painted Stick, a Dirty Sock and a Spoon; which embark on an unlikely adventure that consists of the above mentioned objects heading from America to Jerusalem. Read moreRead more