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Richard Schweid looks at the Afterlife,
This review is from: Hereafter : Searching for Immortality (Paperback)
Question: What do the following have in common?
- Chili peppers
- Classic American cars in Cuba
- Spanish transvestites
- Catfish in the Mississippi Delta
Answer: Absolutely nothing -- other than the fact that Richard Schweid has found inspiration for a great book in each of them.
Richard Schweid has a uniquely charming way of telling a story. I've been a fan since reading his book on chili peppers years ago. As you read his work, you feel his presence there with you, but he never overpowers the voices of the people he's introducing you to or the essence of the tale he's telling. All of his books mix first-class reporting with serious scholarship and a fluid, witty writing style -- not to mention the sort of unique intelligence that leads a person to write about such diverse topics in the first place.
With Hereafter, he's managed to tell a story that is as universal as they come and yet still somehow deeply personal. He takes us along as he travels from Appalachia to the Ganges in search of answers to the Big Question: What comes next?
Without giving anything away, I can say that Mr. Schweid suffered an important loss while writing this book, and he manages to integrate his experience into the text in a way I've never seen before, but that I found profoundly moving. There can be no doubt that this is a man who writes from the heart.
Hereafter is a wonderful read: erudite, amusing, intimate, surprising and above all, very well-written throughout.