|Amazon Price||New from||Used from|
Starred Review. Author Elenbaas, a New York writer and therapist who grew up Minnesota-nice until he rebelled into a sex-and-drugs period, writes of his discovery of the curative and transformative power of the psychedelic experience. Elenbaas participated in ayahuasca healing in Peru; ayahuasca is a jungle vine brewed to make a highly purgative, hallucinogenic drink. The healing experiences allow Elenbaas to come to terms with himself and a family history of men who can't figure out what to do with themselves. At the heart of the book is the relationship between Elenbaas and his father, a well-intentioned progressive Midwestern Methodist minister who cares more for his job than for his family. The tension in their relationship is heartbreakingly poignant, and the book's best writing comes when Elenbaas writes with an observer's eye about his family and his experiences. The conclusions he draws are less than profound, but the journey he writes about should not be missed. Less about drugs and more about family, this is a book for fathers and their sons; it beats the swagger of war stories.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Ayahuasca is a highly psychotropic brew traditionally used for divinatory and healing practices in South America. It’s at the heart of this memoir charting the reconciliation of Elenbaas’ wounded religious past as a minister’s troubled son with his current holistic, nonsectarian spirituality. With a nod to angst-filled coming-of-age accounts like Jim Carroll’s Basketball Diaries (1978) and addiction-recovery fiction such as Denis Johnson’s Jesus’ Son (1992), Elenbaas takes readers on a clear-eyed tour of childhood memories and hallucinatory ayahuasca ceremonies, drawing clear lines between early traumas and his later spiritual grappling. Though the themes he wrangles with aren’t new (an itinerant childhood, his father’s depression and infidelity, the glamor of Fundamentalist Christianity), the candor with which he expresses his confusion in attempting to develop a coherent spiritual narrative for his life is refreshing. To call this a gospel, as Elenbaas does in the subtitle, might sound grandiose at first. But being a firsthand Evangelical account of the wonders of spiritual exploration and discovery via ayahuasca makes it one, of a sort, and an engrossing one, at that. --Taina LagodzinskiSee all Editorial Reviews
I enjoyed this book thoroughly and found it to be a real page turner. Although the book is factual the story is incredibly interesting and the writing style helps to add emphasis. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Emily Reid
Amazing Book!! I wish the author has more books! Hopefully he is currently working on one! Hope it's sooner than later!Published 12 months ago by Patrick
Just finished reading this book. EXCELLENT! It is amazingly well written. His openness and honesty, wow! Read morePublished 19 months ago by Barbara K. Shirland
Apart from being inspiring and captivating read, this book amazes you at how profoundly honest it is. Read morePublished 20 months ago by maryia matveyeva
Although this turned out to be a different book by the same title as the novel by Gerald Lund (which was also delivered through Amazon,) I am glad that it was shipped to me. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Richard A. Erickson
Sounds like an interesting subject. I give the book 4 stars so as not to effect its overall rating since I didn't read it. Why review such a book, then? Read morePublished on December 2, 2012 by steve terranova
Well, it's really not a bad book at all, but I found it so-so, at times pushing the envelope into "good" territory. Read morePublished on July 12, 2012 by Daniel S. Smith
It's well written. The author has fine verbal skills. But, as regards the substance of this book, I'm very sorry that I can't recommend it. I do hope others enjoy it, though. Read morePublished on June 18, 2012 by Casey Machula
This book is amazing from start to finish, even if your not interested in the subject of Ayahuasca. I will be recommending it to many of my friends and family.Published on June 14, 2012 by Darlene Miller