4 out of 4 stars
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In First Get His Attention, Larry Cohen presents a compilation of ninety-one short stories that have been shared by members of the Brewster Groups, which he is a part of, at different times in the past few decades. We commence with the first story, titled First Get His Attention, which revolves around a man trying to get his donkey to move. After several failed attempts, a wise observer presents him with an unorthodox solution that involves capturing the donkey's attention first. In a similar vein, we follow other characters and animals on their journeys towards enlightenment, finding God, riches, self-discovery, and much more.
The stories are mostly allegories and will pass several enlightening messages to readers while entertaining them. Most of the messages are not straightforwardly offered, however, and readers will be able to pick up multiple meanings from most of the stories that will uniquely impact them. My personal favorite was the story about a man who sought enlightenment and determination but was a victim of never having to work since he came from a rich home. He had one talent, though (playing chess), and in a suspenseful turn of events, the monk he asked for help showed him how concentration and compassion were the keys he lacked. I could relate to that story, as I have never really considered compassion as a key ingredient in achieving goals, but that story illustrated a lot in just four pages.
My favorite aspect of the book is the humor infused in most of the stories. I just couldn't stop laughing and couldn't have enough throughout. From a thief searching for money that an insightful owner had hidden under the thief's pillow and a monk learning that it would take a much shorter time to reach enlightenment through hate to a reverend's misconception of faith in God that saw him drown after rejecting three people's help to save him, the book is full of funny twists that kept me engaged.
The book occasionally includes some colorful illustrations. While I liked some of them, and they brought life to some aspects of the story, a few of them did not add much to the stories. First Get His Attention is an exceptionally well-edited book, as I did not encounter any grammatical or typographical errors while reading.
Overall, the stories were thoroughly entertaining. I also got to understand viewing situations from multiple angles and the importance of self-focus amidst whatever people say. I cannot think of anything I dislike about this book. At 134 pages, it was also an easy read, and I look forward to revisiting some of the stories. I rate this book four out of four stars. Readers who enjoy allegories and self-development books will enjoy this book.
first get his attention
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