July 12, 2012
The Littlest Crusade by Desmond Long
I started into this book thinking that it was a fiction book. Very quickly in though I realized that it was actually non-fiction. And it's amazing how knowing such a thing can really turn what you thought about a book around on you. The premise was interesting, but when taken into the context of actually being real, I just didn't enjoy it, and couldn't give the book more than two and a half stars.
The Littlest Crusade is about author Desmond Long's communication with "spirits" after death. Having recently lost his wife, who could also communicate with the dead, he finds himself in long conversations with her. He asks her several questions about the afterlife, their stillborn child Tanya, and really whatever comes to his head. These conversations later change to be with an entity called "A" where even deeper questions are explored. I'd probably call this a philosophical book, because most questions are about what it's like after death, what beings of light are, and what happens to the more evil people of the world when they die. And the answers can get confusing at times as there is a lot that is hard to wrap your head around. There is talk of Gods and religion and who is right and who is wrong, and who is just on the right path as well.
Now I do believe in ghosts, and to an extent communication with them. So that part about the book being true doesn't bother me. What does bother me is that this book is just so inauthentic in the conversations Long has with his deceased wife. They're so impersonal that it seems like he is talking to a stranger rather than someone he loved. I just couldn't buy it. The conversations with "A" are a little better because at least that's someone he wasn't really emotionally connected to. I could believe their conversations easier. And his conversations with his daughter, who died before she was born, was also a little strange and hard to believe. In the context in which he presents the conversations they make sense, but again lack that emotion that one should have when communicating with a loved one.
The book was actually very articulate and well written. I had no trouble understanding the language but it wasn't overly simplified either. The ideas were there, and they were expressed through an interview type of style through the book. There was also a Q&A with the author in the back of the book that was in this same format as well. I did tire of, in the writing, the use of the IADC hypnosis method he kept mentioning. This is because it was mentioned quite frequently and always with a little registered trademark symbol afterward. I almost felt like they were trying to sell me something as a result. The ideas were intriguing though, and had this been presented differently I might have enjoyed the book quite a bit more. But my distaste at the way the author communicated with his dead wife, presented to me as being real, definitely made me not enjoy the book very much. Not to mention the fact that "A" was the one who wanted Long to write this book to me was just strange and not something I'd think a spirit entity would really care about.
Not one I'd recommend, but I'm sure it fits the taste of some people out there.
The Littlest Crusade