Customer Review

510 of 590 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed Reaction, June 23, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Celestine Prophecy: An Adventure (Hardcover)
I found this book amongst a pile for a yard sale and decided to read it, unaware of its fame and hype. It advertises an adventure in Peru that changed the author's life. Wow- a manuscript written by an ancient culture that provides guidance to our current development. Interesting, no? Innocently enough, I did not know that this was fiction. I read it with the intent of believing the journey was real. Of course, as a historian, I immediately realized that there were flaws in the description of Peru's history and landscape. However, thinking that the journey was real, I figured the author was simply mistaken about some details. I also believed that his incredibly juvenile writing style could be attributed to the fact that he was not a writer, but a man eager to retell the world of this awakening he experienced. I continued to read. However, by the middle of the book, I was awfully skeptical and wondered how everything magically occurred on cue. Was he simply leaving out the intermediate details of his journey in order to shorten the story? Or am I living in an alternate world that's more mundane and less predictable? So I came to this site, read the reviews, and it all made sense. THIS IS FICTION!! Ha ha ha! Silly me, so gullible.
Reading the end of the book was all the more amusing after seeing these reviews and realizing that I was not imagining the author's delusions. HOWEVER, I must say that the book does have some positives. First, the "insights," although old as the wind and sand, are genuine. Any truly spiritual person, not bound by the conventions and restrictions of traditional religion, has probably realized these already. That does not, however, subtract from the appeal of seeing them solidified on paper. Agreed, this "novel" is a literary atrocity, its presentation is overwhelmingly archaic, and its message is profusely pounded into sickening flatness. Regardless, there is truth in the regurgitated notions/ideas/beliefs. "Insight" is something we all need to understand, even if this book is not what promotes the awareness.
I feel that The Celestine Prophecy is a wonderful book for those who are least concerned with fine literature and more concerned with beginning a quest into understanding the greater meaning of our existence. Of course, the book pales horribly when compared to the great ones. But the point is not comparison. The point is to get in-tune.
To those of you who are well-read and consider yourselves avid intellectuals, you might be better off skipping this one in favor of some of the greats. For those of you who feel something stirring deep within that makes you question our current human condition, The Celestine Prophecy may very well open up a new and positive way of seeing yourself and others. The awakening may very well help you on YOUR path. Do you NEED this "novel" to help facilitate this change? You decide. Personally, I found the basic skeleton of the book, the insights, worth embracing.
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Tracked by 6 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 17 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 9, 2007 8:52:46 AM PDT
Paul Drager says:
Probably the most balanced review I've ever read on this site. Kudos!

Posted on Aug 15, 2007 6:24:34 AM PDT
saturnine says:
What would be 'some of the greats' you would recommend?

Posted on Apr 8, 2008 6:33:46 PM PDT
C. Cano says:
I know Metatron79 already asked this but I don't see a response. What are some of these great books you recommend?

Posted on Jul 9, 2009 6:52:55 PM PDT
Brian Hart says:
would also like to know what you consider to be some of the greats

Posted on Nov 29, 2009 2:54:53 PM PST
hamid mazuji says:
there seems to be a bandwagon that i'm getting on, less concerned with my human condition, genuinely wondering which are the ones you consider great.

Posted on Jan 12, 2010 6:19:04 AM PST
Schulie says:
Here is one of the greats in my opinion
The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

Posted on Feb 1, 2010 4:51:06 PM PST
dtems says:
Haven't read this book, just reading the reviews trying to decide if it's going on my wishlist or not. But to answer the question by some of the commenters here, I'm giving my list of what I would consider the "Greats". In my opinion, these books contain the pure spark that the more recent books can only immitate:

Tao te Ching - Lao Tzu
The Book of the Law - Aliester Crowley (ignor the rediculous parts of this book and deal with yourself honestly, and you surprisingly end up with a moral scheme whereby you actually do right by others and maintain personal happiness at the same time; one word of caution, spend a lot of time considering what constitutes freedom and what constitutes slavery)
The Kabbalion - Three Initiates (anyone interested in the so-called "Law of Attraction" will be especially satisfied by this book)
Sepher Yetzirah (not for lightweights)
Sepher ha-Zohar (also not for lightweights; however, if you can keep up and you pay attention, this book is very rewarding; just the first 8 pages have more spiritual insight than any other book I've ever read)
The Mystical Qabalah - Dion Fortune
Modern Man in Search of a Soul - Carl Jung
The New Testiment (I'm not kidding here, whether Christian or not, the words attributed to Jesus are insanely valuable)

Aside from Sepher Yetzirah, Sepher ha-Zohar, and The Book of the Law, all these books are very easy to read and understand. I recommend reading all of them, followed by The Book of the Law, followed by Sepher Yetzirah, followed by Sepher ha-Zohar.

Posted on May 6, 2010 5:57:18 AM PDT
E. Smyth says:
I really enjoyed this review - mistaking a novel for a memoir all the way through is exactly the kind of thing that could happen to me!

I personally gave the book one star, mostly because of the "juvenile" prose you cite. I'm also a lot less anamoured of the author's "insights." You are a much more generous soul! But overall, I think your assessment is balanced and fair.

Thanks for the fun review!

In reply to an earlier post on May 6, 2010 6:05:41 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 6, 2010 6:07:34 AM PDT
E. Smyth says:

Good list, but let's also remember C.S. Lewis! He wrote beautifully for readers of all levels of sophistication and is a master of the spiritual journey.

Here's my top three for those who are looking for intelligent counterparts to Celestine. Written for general audiences and specifically coming from a Christian worldview, they don't stand next to Lao Tzu. But they can certainly start anyone on a spiritual journey that may change the way one thinks.

The Narnia series (not just for children)
The Great Divorce (a modern-day Divine Comedy)
The Screwtape Letters (quick, smart and fun)

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 10, 2010 8:14:32 AM PDT
jaycee says:
Thank you. Esp for including the New Testament. Nice to know that someone can actually see value in the idea of not throwing out the baby and bath water even if you don't support the belief that Jesus the Christ is God
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