Way of the Peaceful Warrior didn’t have a subtitle when it was first published. But so many people told Mr. Millman stories of how strongly it influenced their lives that the publisher added, A Book that Changes Lives.
This is one of those “Oh, please!” stories. It’s just too unlikely. You know, the kind where everything falls into place so neatly, where the best possible option just happens to be the only option available. It was annoying.
The Last Passenger tells the story of the Valkyrie, a very luxurious – for the times – cruise ship the Nazis built to reward some of their adherents. It sailed only once, we later learn, in 1931. The entire crew and all passengers vanished. Weird things happened. Like when it’s pulled into port, there is nothing wrong with the engines, but they won’t start up.
One of the things the Iran/Iraq war is famous for was their use of child soldiers. It got to where 9-year-olds were about to be “recruited.” Knowing 9-year-old Abbas would be called up soon, Mr. and Mrs. Kazerooni were desperate to get their son to England, via Istanbul for a visa.
All the SPHA guys want to do is play basketball. They’re not interested in politics or the impending war, they just want to play the game. And they did it than almost any other team of their day. Inky Lautman, one of the teams’ starring players, grew up playing basketball. He played as a kid and went pro at 15 for the SPHA team in Philadelphia in 1937.
There’s a serial killer on the loose in the Norfolk headland called Larksoken. (Only in England can you have towns with names like that.) The Whistler abducts and kills young women walking alone at night and the town is terrified.
How do you know if someone is lying to you? With children, especially your own, it can be pretty easy. But most adults are pretty good at convincing us of what they want us to believe. Read: We can lie really well. In fact, some scientists think our ability to lie might account for us being at the top of the food chain. We all lie, and a lot more often than we think.
It’s only proof to Dr. Alexander, of course, but he makes a darned good case. Eben Alexander is a neurosurgeon. He believes in the afterlife about as much as most neurosurgeons do. Which is to say, not at all. So, he is well aware how his story will sound to colleagues. But he decides it needs to be written.
I almost didn’t write this review. I have never read a story that was so completely unlikely. It’s about as realistic as a fairy tale, and I mean that literally. The guy puts an ad on Craig’s List for a hacker and minutes later, he’s got one who’s good enough to have already researched him and gone to the Taco Bell he’s at, from which he posted the ad.