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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating story about overcoming much adversity, including a nasty cult
I must start this review by saying that I bought this book because I'm interested in memoirs by ex-members of the scientology cult. In the style of Deceived: One woman's stand against the church of Scientology, SCIENTOLOGY - ABUSE AT THE TOP (Kindle Book), Blown for Good: Behind the Iron Curtain of Scientology and others not listed for reasons familiar to scientology...
Published on 11 May 2012 by Jens Tingleff

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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An interesting collection of 'alternative' life experiences.
I've never read any of Kate Bornstein's other works. But, reading this, it came across that she's had plenty of unique and challenging life experiences - which are all valid reading and fascinating in-and-of-themselves. However, she strikes me as the sort of person who's had lots of life experiences but no innate wisdom. This may be useful if you're first struggling with...
Published 10 months ago by Avatar Gyatso


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating story about overcoming much adversity, including a nasty cult, 11 May 2012
By 
Jens Tingleff (Cambridge, UK) - See all my reviews
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I must start this review by saying that I bought this book because I'm interested in memoirs by ex-members of the scientology cult. In the style of Deceived: One woman's stand against the church of Scientology, SCIENTOLOGY - ABUSE AT THE TOP (Kindle Book), Blown for Good: Behind the Iron Curtain of Scientology and others not listed for reasons familiar to scientology watchers...

The scientology part of this book is only a minor part (one of three parts) but it was worth the price of the book alone, to me. The core is a first-person description of what it was like to be with the scientology founder L Ron Hubbard while he cruised the seas (just in case the law decided to come for him...) with a bunch of followers who were entirely dedicated. Kate Bornstein is quite honest about loving it and only leaving (to be "in hell" - i.e. outside scientology) because she was pushed and she found out that she had been lied to by Hubbard.

The rest of the book chartered territories less known to me. Kate had joined scientology looking for who she was but only found herself outside. The story of who she is and how she found out is, arguably, just as interesting as the cult story. The Kindle version has a lovely feature where one can jump in the text, which is used in one place where the description of exactly what Kate got up to once she found herself goes from explicit to pushing the reader's comfort zone. Well, I winced but I kept going.

One (stated) aim of this book is to be a letter to the family of the author - still inside the cult. I was glad that I got a chance to read that letter, it showed me a world full of people that are fascinating in spite of (and not only because of) being very different. The honest, direct, story telling style of the author (rather than a polemic style) leaves the reader to form value judgements while not hiding that it's a subjective view.

I bought this book looking for anecdotes about scientology. I got that, and much more, and was left with an even stronger conviction that tolerance is good, cults are bad, and diversity is to be celebrated.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Must read fir anyone who's read Kate's other works, 26 Mar 2014
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This review is from: A Queer and Pleasant Danger: The True Story of a Nice Jewish Boy Who Joins the Church of Scientology, and Leaves Twelve Years Later to Become the L (Paperback)
I've always been an admirer of Kate's and have read most of her works, so was interested to learn more about her and what drives her. This book did help with that but I did get the impression that the book didn't 'flow' as it seems to be in two parts. A lot about her Scientology time, which could warrant a book in itself
I also watched the film based on Kate's life, and in that two you seem to get Kate the performer at the start and the real Kate latter on. Wish her all the best and hopes she beats the cancer and wins this final battle
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5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing read!, 22 Oct 2012
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I love the book, it's fantastic, i've been a fan of Kate Bornstein for ages and when i saw her book in my price range, I was so thrilled! I cant put it down, what a fantastic thrilling read that takes you on a whole roller coaster of emotions! I highly recommend this book, and i'm not even half way through!
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An interesting collection of 'alternative' life experiences., 10 Sep 2013
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This review is from: A Queer and Pleasant Danger: The True Story of a Nice Jewish Boy Who Joins the Church of Scientology, and Leaves Twelve Years Later to Become the L (Paperback)
I've never read any of Kate Bornstein's other works. But, reading this, it came across that she's had plenty of unique and challenging life experiences - which are all valid reading and fascinating in-and-of-themselves. However, she strikes me as the sort of person who's had lots of life experiences but no innate wisdom. This may be useful if you're first struggling with intersex/transgender issues, or just interesting if you wanna learn of a unique 'alternative' lifestyle. But, for me, Ms Bornstein comes across as being gifted with so many rare and beneficial life-scenarios, and yet remains too ego-centric.
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