Picks and Pans Review: Conversations with Goo: An Uncommon Dialogue, Book I

UPDATED 12/02/1996 at 01:00 AM EST Originally published 12/02/1996 at 01:00 AM EST

by Neale Donald Walsch

Why are some people who claim to talk to God locked away in asylums while others get lucrative. contracts for books with 300,000-copy first printings and heavenly promotion budgets? This is one of the questions that may occur to readers of New Age guru Walsch's transcription of a series of tête-à-têtes with the Man Upstairs.

In answer to a letter from Walsch, who was then suffering a bout of severe unhappiness, God responded with an outpouring of wisdom and advice that Walsch took down as "dictation." In this, the first of three promised volumes, God—sounding a bit New Agey Himself—engages in a lively dialogue, addressing (as the author modestly informs us) "most, if not all, of the questions we have ever asked about life and love...good and evil, guilt and sin...the path to God and the road to hell...everything."

No doubt many will be cheered to hear that God so resembles a friendly therapist. (When Walsch complains of career frustrations, God replies, "Well, you've said a mouthful there.") But others—especially those who still prefer to imagine God speaking in the magnificent poetry and timeless parables of the King James Bible—will be less persuaded by the authenticity of Walsch's dialogues with the Divine. (Putnam, $19.95)

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