3 out of 4 stars
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Psychedelic, Philosophy, Plumbing, Prophecy, and Peacemaker are the four topics discussed in detail by Alexander Cristini in his book, Five Pieces of Solace. The book explores Cristini’s spiritual and social awareness journey. As a youth growing up in the nineties, the author was heavily influenced by the music of the time. Like his peers, he was curious to experiment and push boundaries. However, his childhood years were not always easy. He suffered from social stigma due to his ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). In this unique book, Cristini recounts those defining moments and explores various historical characters’ lives and events as well.
One of the aspects of the book that stands out is the organization and definition of the building concepts from which the content is derived from. The topics are clearly marked and each is explored in depth. At the beginning of each chapter, a definition is provided which further enhances the understanding of the content. Within the sections, the use of rhetorical questions is frequent. The questions helped in drawing me into the conversation and allowed me to think of the answers and draw my conclusions before actually reading the author’s opinion.
Another great feature of the book is the author’s inclusion of his own experiences both in his childhood and adult life. He narrates these episodes while marking the events that had an impact on anyone growing up in this decade. In general, the book explores the events of the nineties that shaped the childhood years of those born in this generation. Historical characters are included, mostly religious and philosophical figures who have remained notable characters. This additional information further educates and helps in reflecting upon the past. The images of these characters at the end of the book are helpful too.
Even though the book does not support drug abuse, it explores the discussion of using drugs for the purpose of enlightenment. This to me is alarming. The possibility of the use of addictive drugs for whatever purpose except medical has been proven to be dangerous keeping in mind our consumerism-driven society that appears to always want more. Given the information included in the book concerning psychedelic drugs, the support of the content using data and other sources would have been useful. The absence of supporting resources makes the arguments and the information in the book weak.
The fundamental concepts of the book do not also blend together. When read individually, they have useful discussion points but when put together they do not communicate a clear message.
Five Pieces of Solace by Alexander Cristini is well-edited. I only identified one grammatical error. It is a great read for readers who are interested in spirituality and history. Readers who do not enjoy books that discuss these topics may not enjoy the book. I rate it 3 out of 4 stars.
Five Pieces of Solace
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