28/02/2013

The Commandments: For the Peace of Mind (by David Zephaniah)


David Zephaniah is apparently quite a prolific author and blogger, but this book was so dreadful that I am not going to put any links at all in this post.

I downloaded 'The Commandments: for the peace of mind' free for my Kindle.  I am very glad not to have paid anything for a book which is a total misnomer. Normally peaceful, my hackles started to rise until I abandoned the book entirely about a third of the way through. It's very rare for me to give up on a book; sometimes I will skim the second half, but this one was so bad I could not continue.

The author is Jewish, and claims to be a direct descendant of the Biblical prophet sharing his last name. That, apparently, gives him the authority to tell everyone else why he is right about life and God, and they are wrong. This book is an appallingly badly written rant, full of typos ('principals' for 'principles' kept appearing, for instance) and bad grammar even though he says that he lives - or lived - in the US.

I could cope with the bad style of writing, just about, if the content had been any good. However, it was not. It went from bad to worse until I could bear it no longer. It was unfortunate because I almost found myself wanting to reject every single thing he said, including his insistence that God created us (which I do believe).

Just one example of his bizarrely inaccurate understanding: the author insists that promiscuity, the high divorce rate and materialism in the US are entirely the result of immigration from poorer countries, rather than something inherent in western lifestyles.  I have no clue how he could have come up with that idea. He also appears to believe that Israel has a perfect society - and he, of course, had a perfect childhood.  He says that he does not mind what religion people follow; he doesn't even think it matters one way or another - but then points out all the worst things he has found amongst some Christians, and writes them all off as a result.

As for his comments about women... I suspect that many people would have been in danger of throwing their Kindles out of the window when they came to this section. I quote some of what he says: "physically they are cowards... stab you in the back... jealous of other people... never happy with their looks... many families have fights because of women... "!!  I am no feminist and found this almost amusing, it was so bigoted and wrong - and further on he mentions that children grow up corrupt only if their mothers are corrupted. No mention of corrupt fathers...

All in all, this was so unbelievably dreadful that I could not finish it, and would not dream of linking to it.

NOT recommended under any circumstances.

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