I read much too much and I now seem to have become a top 1,000 reviewer on Amazon. It won't last, I see that others, who resent my strange success, have now taken to saying they find my reviews "unhelpful". I have no team of supporters to help me, so I will fade away.
This was a very brave venture on which to embark. Jerusalem may be the holiest city on earth, acknowledged as such by all three Abrahamic religions (though Islam may put Mecca top of the list), but it has also been the site of appalling brutality throughout the ages. What makes this a brave venture is the fact that the controversies which led to all that brutality are very much alive today. And, what is more, the brutality continues. For a Jew, and one whose family has been closely involved with Jerusalem for many generations, to attempt an objective history of this sad and glorious city is courageous in the extreme.
But Simon Sebag Montefiore has succeeded. And succeeded… Read more
Amazon recommended this book to me. I saw it was the eighth in a series and therefore felt I should read the earlier ones first. I have now read books two (number one is not available on Kindle) to eight (this one). I hope I will be forgiven for reviewing them all in one go.
The first point to be made is that these stories are fascinating. They recount the adventures of an agent of MI5, Liz Carlyle. And they are, of course, written by a woman who spent her professional career in MI5, ending up as Director General. One can be confident, therefore, that the plots are realistic. The flights of fantasy seen in most spy stories these days are not to be found in Dame Stella's books… Read more
This is a fascinating story. Eben Alexander (why do some Americans put their surnames before their Christian names and then add numbers at the end?) clearly had a miraculous recovery from an illness which should either have killed him or left him gravely disabled. His recovery seems to me to be the most interesting part of his story. But he disagrees.
Mr (as he is an American surgeon I suppose I should call him "Dr") Alexander was in a coma for seven days. Most of his brain was not working during that time (apparently provable from scans and so on). He claims that, despite having a brain which was not working, he spent those seven days in heaven. He had vivid visions of… Read more