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on 2 March 2017
All is well
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on 1 October 2001
This book certainly lives up to its subtitle - A Personal Pilgrimage. It is just that - personal - despite Paul Johnson's strained attempts to discuss the biggest conundrums of the universe from a rational and objective point of view, when his own personal beliefs are obviously so very firmly fixed. In fact, The Quest is a personal statement, not a pilgrimage (as a pilgrimage implies a journey), full of unexplained assertions, such as the "fact" that curiosity is above all an expression of love.
However, if the reader is willing to accept that this is not a piece of philosophy, or indeed theology, but a personal statement of spiritual devotion, then the book becomes a truly moving and enjoyable piece, despite its often bigoted tone and its failure to solve any of the big puzzles of humanity. There is something essentially admirable about the author's unswerving convictions and his frankness in sharing them. And as for the closing paragraph, it has enough lyricism and beauty to give even the unbeliever pause for thought.
If you don't get angry with this book, you will love it and come back to it again and again. It is a huge frustration and a wonderful inspiration - something of a bizarre combination.
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