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God and the Folly of Faith: The Incompatibility of Science and Religion
God and the Folly of Faith: The Incompatibility of Science and Religion
Price: 4.48

5.0 out of 5 stars A well structured book confirming there really is no compatibility between science and religion., 3 Aug 2014
Although I was not able to completely take in everything in one or two of the more scientific chapters, the rest of the book was a most enjoyable read, brilliantly written and easily understandable. The evidence regarding each aspect was well explained and documented, so common sense and reason is really all you need to appreciate it. Many aspects of life and politics (especially in America) are frighteningly affected by religious influence. In the author's conclusion, he asserts "Religious faith would not be such a negative force in society if it were just about religion. However, the magical thinking that becomes deeply ingrained whenever faith rules over facts warps all areas of life. It produces a frame of mind in which concepts are formulated with deep passion but without the slightest attention paid to the evidence that bears on the concept." Elsewhere, Stenger confirms that of course in secular terms, the word 'faith' equates to 'trust' which is an entirely different concept to faith in the religious sense where it overrides facts. This is why religion fails to be remotely plausible. This book provides a scientific view that puts religion in its place, leaving no plausible reason to continue having 'faith' that a god exists - or is even needed. Indeed, the title captures the truth of the matter; such faith is indeed a folly. This is a five star book of immense value for those whose minds are open to evidence based facts and love science and reality.


Rethinking Religion: Finding a Place for Religion in a Modern, Tolerant, Progressive, Peaceful and Science-affirming World
Rethinking Religion: Finding a Place for Religion in a Modern, Tolerant, Progressive, Peaceful and Science-affirming World
Price: 2.99

4.0 out of 5 stars A worthwhile read., 28 July 2014
I knew Ms O’Brien was Buddhist and assumed the book would explain how, despite the problems with other religions in general, Buddhism is at least one path that is “tolerant, [mostly] peaceful, and science affirming” which may offer a worthwhile alternative for those interested. It didn’t completely turn out like that but I did learn some interesting aspects about Buddhism along the way.

To start this review, I should state that after forty-three years of being devoutly religious, a decade ago I quite reluctantly realised that I was in fact an atheist and that took some acceptance and dealing with. Like Richard Dawkins, I am close to the top of his religious-atheist scale, without actually closing the door on a creator or creative power – which no one can reasonably do; there is still no evidence either way – and final conclusions must be based on empirical evidence.

O’Brien explains she is “speaking primarily to other progressives — atheists, agnostics, religious and “spiritual but not religious” — because I think we have common cause if not common understanding.” I knew she had a grip on reality concerning religion when I read the following on the first page. “Much, if not most, of the ongoing mass bloodshed in the world today has a connection to religion, in one way or another, and followers of most of the world’s major religions are represented as both victims and perpetrators.” I feel very strongly about all the death and destruction that religions (or rather, religious leaders and factions), have caused over thousands of years. There is no excuse and no real god would be involved.

When I then read: “Compromise, necessary to a functioning representative government, is apostasy; they see their political opponents as agents of dark and unholy forces who must be crushed by any means.” [Presumably speaking of America, as it is not like that in the UK] “More than 150 years after the publication of Darwin’s Origin of Species, science teachers are still fighting to teach evolution properly in public schools.” – I felt grateful that I live in England, where religion is not really seen in politics and where we just passed new laws, prohibiting the teaching of pseudoscience (creationism, the flood etc.,) as evidence based theory in any academy or free school. Evolution is now taught here from primary age. I think O’Brien would be proud of Britain for understanding, accepting and promoting evidence based science whilst ensuring children understand what pseudoscience actually means and incorporates. There is hope for our future generations.

Moving on, O’Brien lays out the basis of her thinking regarding religion in general, past and present. Explanations are simple, to the point, articulate and entertaining, although I can’t say I found myself agreeing with some of them (only to be expected). She asks us to set aside our current opinions and be willing to ‘rethink’ religion, admitting that “Lots of people today genuinely hate religion, and I can’t say I blame them. Most of religion represented in popular culture and in news media is backward and stupid.” It is indeed, and it is high time we rejected the remaining mythology of the past. Hanging on to one final god, way beyond the age of reason, has done us no favours. On that basis it would be very hard to set aside how I think and feel about religion. Getting me to rethink religion will not be easy.

So, how did she do? The next few pages, which cover religion and spirituality, lead up to this: “I say that religion and spirituality need each other. It’s a big mistake to separate them.” Whilst that may be true for most religious people, many others do not equate their concept of spirituality with religion at all; they have no wish to – and they are not all atheists, though I do know some of my atheist friends would take issue with it. Many atheists who do claim to be spiritual do not equate their concept of spirituality with anything other than their personal relationship with the cosmos (we are all star stuff), excluding anything remotely ‘spiritual’ in any religious context. The meaning of the word is entirely different for them and the concept suggested would offend them. There is clearly more than one definition for ‘spiritual’ but I don’t know quite how that sits with O’Brien’s thinking of combining it with religion.

It is so far removed from what many atheists mean by spiritual, it is akin to asking them to expand their deep appreciation of astronomy to embrace astrology. It is anathema to them. In that context, the next question, “So let’s talk about reconciling spirituality and religion. How might that be done?” is a very simple one to answer; it can’t, and it shouldn’t, for atheists who profess to be spiritual, as they could never relate to or be reconciled with any religious notions whatsoever. I have to assume O’Brien knows and understands this and means to address those who still embrace ethereal concepts.

I don’t personally claim to be spiritual in any sense. O’Brien says she wants to save religion, but bearing in mind her opening statement – the question is: from, or for, what? I can’t agree with that idea; religion is responsible for so much evil in the world that we would be far better off without it. Personally, I can’t wait to see a rational world devoid of all religion. However, the arguments are well written and expressed for all that. It is just that for me they make no real sense.

Chapter 4, God and existence… “Humans have a persistent tendency to imagine things we can’t comprehend. Our brains are wired to do that, I suspect.” They are hard wired to do that; that’s why it’s called imagination and it is the way science progresses. That is how new hypotheses are formulated, which after rigorous testing, if proven, become new scientific theory. But O’Brien’s point is that people ‘imagine’ god in many ways but we can’t ‘prove’ he (does or) doesn’t exist. I think most intelligent people understand and accept this already.

“Something that we can conjure only in our imaginations, such as the Flying Spaghetti Monster, does not exist. I think most people would agree with that, with apologies to FSM devotees.” The problem is, the actual invention of the FSM was to illustrate that very point about all god(s) – they are all “conjured only in our imaginations” without tangible testable evidence at all – and it is a shame that unfortunately O’Brien fell for it. To state, for that reason, the FSM “does not exist” is falling into the trap set by its very creation, as the same thing applies to all other creations, from the flying teapot to any and all concepts of gods ever imagined – each one of which then also “does not exist” as they can only be conjured in the imagination. Does the flying teapot exist? Poseidon? Apollo? Zeus? Re? Quetzalcoatl? Yahweh? Neither the FSM nor any other imagined deity (and that includes all of them) can be proved or disproved. You cannot prove the non-existence of the FSM any more than you can disprove any other god. The point was missed, which is that, as bizarre as it may seem, there is actually no more evidence for or against a FSM than any other god. It may be prudent to rethink the FSM statement.

O’Brien does talk about imagination. Anything can exist in our imagination; that’s what thought is, our ability to think and imagine – and reason (is ‘reason’ real?), is what sets us apart from other animals. I do understand the argument that “By most definitions of “existence,” life does not exist.” But that is an entirely different scientific issue. Indeed, existence can be difficult to define, but there is no problem in identifying (assuming for the moment that we do exist) what is in evidence as ‘real’ and what is not evidenced and therefore imaginary or theoretical. Everything considered ethereal remains imaginary and nothing ethereal has ever been ratified by the scientific method.

The fact is that “we have no way of knowing whether our physics models provide us with a reliable picture of ultimate reality. They just fit the data.” (Victor J. Stenger). Truth is relative to our understanding rather than ultimate and may change as our understanding improves. As Hawking and Mlodinow say “It is pointless to ask whether a model is real, only whether it agrees with observations.” (The Grand Design p.46).

Likewise, as O’Brien says, of course much of what we experience isn’t actually as we ‘imagine’ it to be; colours, sound waves etc., are perceptions created in our minds by the equipment we have to interpret them. (We know grass is not really green, the sky is not blue, and experience of the concepts varies from species to species, depending on the wave lengths being interpreted). This is basic science and not a reason to accept that something exists without experimentation. O’Brien continues to list aspects people accept that in reality are not actually what they seem to us. But O’Brien is wrong in then stating “And the moral is, we all believe all kinds of unmitigated nonsense that isn’t “real.” This is true of atheists as much as “believers.” Deal with it.”

That’s a bit harsh – and ill-informed to state at this point in this context. The fact is, anyone who has even the most basic understanding of science (atheist or religious) does not “believe all kinds of unmitigated nonsense” in this sense, because as she points out, we understand exactly why things appear as they do and we do not ‘believe’ grass is green – we understand exactly why it ‘appears’ that way to us and the fact we can do so, again sets us apart – we have done well as humans and we have science and scientists who used their ‘imagination’ to thank for it. It is not a valid argument to claim that as we ‘believe nonsense’ we could (or should) believe other things that really are nonsense.

Later, in chapter 7, O’Brien uses a similar statement in a more appropriate context. “People believe all kinds of unmitigated nonsense that doesn’t have anything to do with religion. We humans, religious and not, will believe things without evidence, or with much-debunked evidence — that vaccines cause autism, for example — probably because we really want to believe them.” It may have been better to just use it then rather than earlier.

That is because we don’t ‘believe’ that first kind of ‘nonsense’ she mentioned at all, we ‘understand’ why some things appear to be one way and yet are actually another, and that is entirely different and unrelated to ‘belief’ – it is to do with education and scientific understanding. Someone uneducated who says they ‘believe’ grass is green is actually saying it is their present (uneducated) ‘concept’ or ‘perception’, mistaken or not, and not their ‘belief’ in the sense used in religion, even though they may use the wrong word. The word ‘belief’ in religion is entirely different to the word as used in a secular context. It is being misused, and at that, in entirely the wrong context under the chapter heading ‘God and existence’. You don’t ‘believe’ grass is green even though it is not, you ‘observe’ grass appearing green even though it is not. (O’Brien doesn’t mention grass – that is just my example). As with other evidenced science, you don’t have to believe in it, you just have to understand it. This is the difference between science and religion. Science does not ‘believe’ anything; it consistently questions and updates our best current understanding. O’Brien does understand this as she says so elsewhere.

O’Brien says: “So the activist atheists, who are so certain God does not exist, and believe their perspective is scientific and rational, need to work on their act. What do you mean by “exist”? Define “exist,” please.” I also have no time for anyone making such an extreme claim (either way). But, I have yet to meet an atheist who claims ‘certainty’ God does not exist in absolute terms. Not an educated one anyway. That would make them as deluded as the religious who claim they know their god exists ‘without a shadow of a doubt’ – which is equally impossible.

Atheism actually describes an ‘absence of belief’ in gods rather than a denial of their possibility; no more, no less. Someone said that describing atheism as a belief is like calling the off switch a TV channel. Whilst scientifically, the probability of god is remote, the possibility of a god exists, until evidence proves otherwise. The likelihood of any interaction with humans, resulting in religion and requiring worship is however beyond improbable.

The question of ‘existence’ as such though is again a different matter and one can only speculate that if we do exist then… such and such follows; and if we actually do not exist then something else may logically follow. It is thus unconnected to the initial question.

To say “…many theologians have proposed that God does not exist because God is not a being. A being has fixed diameters and position within a space of time, and God isn’t like that. Therefore, God does not exist, but that doesn’t mean God isn’t, necessarily.” is just playing with semantics in relation to the perception people express when they say they do (or do not) believe in god. Whether he is perceived as a being or an ethereal entity which cannot be explained or adequately expressed, the concept has to exist for them to make a judgment.

Chapter 5. Iron Age Morality in a Postmodern World… O’Brien correctly states that morality preceded religion and it is indeed annoying when people insist that without religion there would be no morality. That is as delusional and historically inaccurate as it can get and I have been a victim of that accusation myself. Yet a recent study observed that well under one percent of inmates in US prisons are atheists. That should say something about morality. O’Brien discusses morality in some detail and makes some interesting and intelligent observations in a vast improvement on the previous chapter.

Chapter 6. The Crazy Scripture in the Attic… discusses some of the absurdities and contradictions in the Bible and how scriptures have been ‘interpreted’ to suit the thinking of various sects (and individuals) at different times. O’Brien includes evaluation of some Buddhist text which makes for interesting reading and emphasises the problem with accepting anything at face value because it is supposedly God’s or Buddha’s (or anyone’s) word. The objective is clearly to get people to think as rationally as possible.

Chapter 7. True Believers and Mass Movements…

O’Brien’s notes on tribal affiliation are particularly interesting and she makes some very valid observations concerning some of the results. She says “My point here is that it is absurd to point to religion as the sole source of the irrationality of public life. I sincerely believe that if religion disappeared tomorrow, all the tribalism, bigotry, and fear fueling the chaos would just find another container. A lot of it already has.” She is, of course, not wrong about that.
Turning to science, O’Brien makes some very useful statements and compelling arguments in a very readable and worthwhile chapter.

I had never heard of ‘scientism’ (you can’t know everything), and the very idea made no sense to me at all. I couldn’t get my head around this statement. “I say scientism is unscientific, because it proposes something — that there is no sort of truth that can’t be revealed through the scientific method — that cannot be verified through the scientific method. It’s something that has to be accepted on faith.” I understood what O’Brien was saying of course – but not why anyone would actually think that way. Nothing in science is ever accepted on faith at all and the premise that truth must be verified by the scientific method is valid. But, if scientism refers to someone claiming “there is no sort of truth that can’t be revealed through the scientific method”, that in itself is clearly an unscientific statement. Who knows what the future may reveal or from where? Whatever occurs in the future I am sure it will be scientifically tested but O’Brien quite rightly dismisses the idea proposed as scientism.

“The proposition that we’re all living in our own myth explains a lot.” – says it all really. All we can do is live and learn, try not to be taken in by obvious nonsense, and constantly question everything, including all that we currently ‘believe’, as reality is subject to change without notice – especially our own. Personally, I claim not to ‘believe’ anything – I understand our current scientific position on some things, I accept other things as the presently appear (for the moment) and I don’t know a lot of things. I continue to question everything – even things I think I already know for a fact.

Chapter 8. Religion and Violence… considers religious violence, using examples of Buddhist violence rather than other religions to make the points. The statement “…deep down, what they’re doing is not really about religion. By that I mean religion is not the prime motivator; fear, hate, greed, and ignorance are the prime motivators.” is spot on.

Chapter 9. The Wisdom of Doubt… Mythos and logos are given a useful airing in this chapter and I also liked O’Brien’s take that “Doubt is a path; belief is a prop.”

For me, the book has one or two flaws, as noted, but others may disagree. That does not mean it is not worth a read. There is plenty to think about and I would recommend it as a mind opening work for everyone.

Jim Whitefield ~ Author of The Mormon Delusion series.


Freedom of Mind: Helping Loved Ones Leave Controlling People, Cults, and Beliefs
Freedom of Mind: Helping Loved Ones Leave Controlling People, Cults, and Beliefs
Price: 5.95

5.0 out of 5 stars If you need to help someone out of a cult - it's all here., 26 July 2014
I found this a simply written and well structured book which I am sure will help people who are looking for the most effective ways to assist someone realise they are in a cult, face the truth, and find their way out. It is a concise yet very detailed ‘manual’ which will guide concerned family and loved ones through the maze of complexities surrounding the problem. It also contains a wide ranging set of ideas for future consideration by individuals, organisations and groups that may assist in this often devastating area. If this is an area of concern for you – this is ‘the’ book to get.


An American Fraud.  One Lawyer's Case against Mormonism
An American Fraud. One Lawyer's Case against Mormonism
Price: 6.13

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kay Burningham makes her case!, 26 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Kay Burningham's book is in two parts. The first few chapters are semi-autobiographical, giving a view of her life and times within the Mormon cult, partly spent in the Salt Lake valley. There are snippets of information regarding the truth behind the hoax of Mormonism included along the way. They are integrated well and you quickly get to know Kay and her experiences in a well written, enthralling (and informative) way. It gets more intense in the rest of the book where Kay describes many more aspects of Mormon Church history and claimed beliefs which are based on provable fiction.

This forms the basis of a 'case' against the Church - for using knowingly fraudulent claims in teaching members and investigators, who then not only live according to Mormon dictates but also part with ten percent of their income annually, in order to attend Mormon temples in this life and claim a 'celestial' heavenly abode in the next. Kay views Church claims as a trial lawyer with three decades of experience and puts the case for fraud very clearly and succinctly. Proof that so-called Mormon scriptures are of dubious nineteenth century origin and that Church leaders must know the truth are exposed constantly. There is not too much in the way of legal jargon and the salient points can be easily followed. There are interesting appendices featuring details of actual cases against the Church, usually regarding abuse by leaders or employees, and also case histories of other trials where people made claims against religious organisations.

In light of the currently pending case against the Mormon Church in the UK, where the Mormon leader, Thomas S. Monson, has been summoned to appear in front of magistrates in London (in March 2014), charged with some of the same fraudulent claims Kay discusses, it will be interesting to see if anything comes of the case. There is no doubt about the fraud, it is provable in law, but will the court decide to prosecute the Church or will it fight shy of interfering with religious freedom to defraud people? Time will tell. Meanwhile, Kay's book is a great precursor to the forthcoming real life 'case' against Monson as sole owner of the 'corporation' which isn't actually registered as a Church in the traditional manner at all.

I can't say I personally learned anything new in this book, but that is not surprising as I have written five volumes on Mormonism myself and would have been surprised had I missed much. However, I can say I thoroughly enjoyed the ride through this well documented and engaging read which will be enjoyed by anyone wanting to know the truth or just wanting to know how things may be viewed from a legal perspective. It is worthy of five stars, both from the 'readabilty' and also 'accuracy' points of view. If, like me, there is not a lot more you could learn about the Church per se, I think you would still enjoy this book and Kay's experiences, her refreshing and unusual approach to discussing the hoax, and her logical conclusions.

Jim Whitefield ~ author of 'The Mormon Delusion' series.


The Religion Virus: Why We Believe in God
The Religion Virus: Why We Believe in God
by Craig A James
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.52

4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent - apart from all the typos., 11 Feb 2014
Craig James very successfully compares and contrasts the evolution of genes in species, with the evolution and (some disastrous) effects of 'memes', since humans evolved the ability to communicate through speech. It is a fascinating and thought provoking read and it does indeed give a very plausible explanation for the extraordinary hold that religion has on so many humans. It is easy to read and compelling in its conclusions. The only criticism I have is that it is replete with dozens of typos, which kept jumping off the page and distracting me. Considering this was a second edition,they should have been eradicated long since. There were so many, and some so annoying, that they eventually began to somewhat spoil an otherwise very worthwhile read. I don't think it can have been proof read or properly edited at all. Ignoring all that, four stars for the good book that it otherwise is.


YOUNGEST BISHOP IN ENGLAND
YOUNGEST BISHOP IN ENGLAND
by Robert Bridgstock
Edition: Paperback
Price: 9.58

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An `incredible journey' through Mormonism., 8 Jan 2014
I had the opportunity to read this book pre-publication, courtesy of the author, Bob Bridgestock. The following review is unsolicited and provided in genuine response to Bob's work.

"Bob's description of his early life is beautifully written and at times even poetic; his later description of the attitude of Mormon leaders toward members who `question' is accurate as well as eloquent. I found this book an interesting, engaging, informative (and easy) read. We were both Mormons from our teens through to our late fifties, and both married to our first wives for similar periods of time before they died from the results of breast cancer. I relived the experience of my first wife's long fight, her ultimate untimely death and my own trauma, reaction and road to recovery which mirrored Bob's description of his own sad and similar experience. I too was having doubts, but mine were about the whole idea of god, never mind just Mormonism. None of my doubts, and clearly none of Bob's doubts, were related to the deaths of our wives. It is just a part of life and it happens.

I could readily understand Bob's attempts to pray and study more, as I had done the same, and I recalled the day when I later finally closed the Book of Mormon for the last time in a flood of tears, `realising' that nothing about the Church was true. As Bob described it, "I was enough in myself." The only subsequent difference between us was that Bob was excommunicated for expressing his doubts while I resigned membership over mine. The resulting `paradigm shift' which Bob describes is something one has to experience to fully appreciate.

Bob's ability to explain and expose the way the Mormon Church treats and controls its members is impressive. His coverage of Mormonism's `gymnastics' regarding scripture is very well presented and "...the Mormon Church tortures the Bible to make it fit the Church's doctrines" says it all really.

This is an excellent book `about' Mormonism and ones man's experience of it. It is a wonderful read, and as he tells his own story, Bob intertwines some of the history that the Church would rather forget. Presumably because it is not a book about `evidence', and he felt it unimportant, Bob fails to provide direct source references for most of his historical claims, such as Smith having thirty-four marriages, some of which were polyandrous, and that "...in 19th century Mormonism, 20% to 30% of families were polygamous", which are often mentioned almost in passing. You have to take the validity of such statements as read most of the time.

I am happy enough with that, but some readers (particularly believing Mormons), may criticise this and not accept some statements without the underlying evidence being cited. However, I can confirm that everything is indeed entirely accurate, and I know where the source references can be found, as they are all given in my own books on the subject. The doubting reader can be assured of Bob's accuracy without worrying about where he got his information from, and the not so familiar `non Mormon' reader can feel reassured that Bob really knows what he is talking about.

The Church may still dispute some things (postulating only 2% to 5% polygamy for example - but they are wrong - according to census returns for the era). Many Mormons will be unaware of the real historical detail but there is no inaccuracy and no guesswork involved in this book. It can be entirely trusted. Bob includes some outstanding quotes from other authors and historical figures to emphasise various points, and these he does reference. This book is a very worthwhile read and I can highly recommend it."

Jim Whitefield ~ author of 'The Mormon Delusion' series.


Rebus: The Early Years - Knots and Crosses / Hide and Seek / Tooth and Nail
Rebus: The Early Years - Knots and Crosses / Hide and Seek / Tooth and Nail
by Ian Rankin
Edition: Paperback
Price: 16.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A great trilogy., 5 Jun 2013
`Rebus: The Early Years' is a compendium of Ian Rankin's first three `Rebus' detective stories. If you intend to read these books and have yet to buy them, the compendium is often available second hand, very inexpensively, on Amazon and will save on individual volumes. These are my reviews which can also be located under each individual book title.

Knots and Crosses: I thoroughly enjoyed my introduction to Ian Rankin's 'Rebus' books with this, his first such story. It includes a gradual and very personal introduction to Rebus's character, who is completely human rather than hero. I am glad I started at the beginning of the series because Rebus's back story is revealed as the plot develops, becoming a powerful integral reason behind the crimes he is trying to solve. The story is gripping and the author's use (and variety) of words is refreshing. Having not only enjoyed a good read, I got to 'know' the character of John Rebus. On to the next (hide and Seek) with great enthusiasm. (Five stars).

Hide and Seek: The second in the Rebus series, where we get to know the character even better. Another good story with Rebus being ever human. Rebus is convinced that what looks like a suicide is really a murder. There appears no direct link to some other dark deeds going on but Rebus digs and probes until he realises everything is connected. But how to prove it? Unorthodox methods are ultimately employed and he gets his man, but will it end well or will there be an almighty cover up? Well written and always entertaining - right to the end. (Four stars).

Tooth and Nail: This is the third in Ian Rankin's 'Rebus' detective series. The dour Scot is seconded to London to help solve a series of gruesome serial killings, based on his experience in solving the case we read about in book one. I gave Rankin's first book a cautious five stars as it was a good read with an interesting and very 'human' hero. The second Rebus book was also very good, but for me, just a tad less gripping in places, so I gave that four stars. In this, Rankin's third attempt, I was enthralled from start to end. The twists and turns were constant, Rebus was ever human and his own family and personal life are intertwined very cleverly into the story line. The final sequences were exciting and 'edge of seat' stuff. Other reviewers provide more story line detail, so I will just say this was a great read and earns a resounding five stars from me.

There are now roughly sixteen or seventeen or so `Rebus' books and another (Goodreads) reviewer of this trilogy wrote "In truth these are maybe the worst Rebus novels but they serve as a useful introduction to John Rebus. They also go to show how a writer gets better over time." If that is the case - and judging by the improvement in book three, I suspect it is, I will thoroughly enjoy the rest in the Rebus series. The latest book was released this month, so Ian Rankin is clearly not done with Rebus yet.


Tooth And Nail
Tooth And Nail
by Ian Rankin
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.11

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rebus gets better and better., 5 Jun 2013
This review is from: Tooth And Nail (Paperback)
This is the third in Ian Rankin's 'Rebus' detective series. The dour Scot is seconded to London to help solve a series of gruesome serial killings, based on his experience in solving the case we read about in book one. I gave Rankin's first book a cautious five stars as it was a good read with an interesting and very 'human' hero. The second Rebus book was also very good, but for me, just a tad less gripping in places, so I gave that four stars. In this, Rankin's third attempt, I was enthralled from start to end. The twists and turns were constant, Rebus was ever human and his own family and personal life are intertwined very cleverly into the story line. The final sequences were exciting and 'edge of seat' stuff. Other reviewers provide more story line detail, so I will just say this was a great read and earns a resounding five stars from me.

There are now roughly sixteen or seventeen or so `Rebus' books, and another (Goodreads) reviewer of the first three books (available as a trilogy - Rebus: The Early Years) wrote "In truth these are maybe the worst Rebus novels but they serve as a useful introduction to John Rebus. They also go to show how a writer gets better over time." If that is the case - and judging by the improvement in book three, I suspect it is, I will thoroughly enjoy the rest in the Rebus series. The latest book was released this month, so Ian Rankin is clearly not done with Rebus yet.


Hide And Seek
Hide And Seek
by Ian Rankin
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.59

4.0 out of 5 stars Another good Rebus story., 5 Jun 2013
This review is from: Hide And Seek (Paperback)
The second in the Rebus series, where we get to know the character even better. Another good story with our hero being ever human. Rebus is convinced that what looks like a suicide is really a murder. There appears no direct link to some other dark deeds going on but Rebus digs and probes until he realises everything is connected. But how to prove it? Unorthodox methods are ultimately employed and he gets his man, but will it end well or will there be an almighty cover up? Well written and always entertaining - right to the end.


Knots And Crosses
Knots And Crosses
by Ian Rankin
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.11

5.0 out of 5 stars Hooked on Rebus, 5 Jun 2013
This review is from: Knots And Crosses (Paperback)
I thoroughly enjoyed my introduction to Ian Rankin's 'Rebus' books with this, his first such story. It includes a gradual and very personal introduction to Rebus's character, who is completely human rather than hero. I am glad I started at the beginning of the series because Rebus's back story is revealed as the plot develops, becoming a powerful integral reason behind the crimes he is trying to solve. The story is gripping and the author's use (and variety) of words is refreshing. Having not only enjoyed a good read, I got to 'know' the character of John Rebus. On to the next (hide and Seek) with great enthusiasm.


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