A highly biased account by a highly biased author. Merrifield is a Damanhur insider, so his account of their history and philosophies glosses over many of the controversies that surrounds this undoubted cult (although it must be noted that not all cults are inherently bad, and Damanhur can't be said to be evil.). Far from well-written, the author takes pages to say what could be said in a few lines, almost as if you're reading a man arguing against some imaginary accuser he must defeat with interminably dragged out logical defences. It makes for wearying reading indeed.
Every good travel book should fulfill three criteria - that it should be an entertaining read; actually be useful; and be written by someone who has been to the location. Dr Merrifield's exceptional book on the history, structure and experience of the community of Damanhur is not only an excellent introduction to this most unique community but also acts as a very good reference guide for first time visitors! Jeff's excellent index provides a good 'run to..' facility for all those things that may be confusing and warrant further explanation. Having just visited the community and used Jeff's book as a guide whilst there - i found it to be accurate and exceptionally helpful. The writing style is also warm but objective which makes for a very readable book. It is an excellent insight into a remarkable community's remarkable history, present and future.
This is a really corking account of an interesting artistic and spritual community based in the Canavese district of northern Italy. They have constructed a beautiful work of art, inspired by humankind, by digging out a mountain and making the Temple of Humankind. Rich in mosaics, artworks, tiffany glasswork, sculpture and a gorgeous use of light, this place is one of the modern wonders of the world. Merrfield's highly readable account captures the essence of the project and the lives of the people involved.
This is a fantastic book about what can happen when a group of people are inspired to do what many would consider impossible. The trials and tribulations of the people who set up this remarkable community are an inspiration to those who have a dream they wish to follow. The imagination in their art and social structure has much to teach - Some of what they do may seem a bit wacky - but they are trying and developing something different - and progress is never achieved by doing what people have always done. Inspirational!