Thursday, January 8, 2009

Walking Through Walls - Philip Smith

Title: Walking Through Walks
Author: Philip Smith
Date Finished: January 7, 09 #1
Published: 2008 Pages: 329
Rating: 4/5

Have you ever had an out of body experience? Talked to spirits? Healed someone or been healed using energy instead of medicine? I have to admit, I'm a total skeptic. I'm not a very religious or even spiritual person, so the idea of a psychic healer makes me think of Whoopie Goldberg on Ghost.

Walking Through Walls is Smith's memoir about growing up with a father who did all of the things above--he communicated with spirits, altered realities, predicted the future, cured people of awful sicknesses and diseases--he was also an interior decorator in 1950s and 60s Miami. Smith, a teenager for most of the book, struggles with his father's abilities and even his infamy as strangers constantly seek out his powers. I got the feeling that for most of his youth, Smith was never a complete believer of what his father could actually do, and at times he was even embarrassed of his father and his followers. But his father is his father and he loves and accepts him just the same.

If you're thinking this book sounds strange, you're certainly right. Intriguing? Right again. Skeptic that I am, I was mesmerized by this book from the very beginning. Smith has a wonderful ease to his writing. At the beginning the plot was rather jumpy as he moved along different tangents, but after the first chapter or so, the story calmed down (at least in style), and I found myself having a difficult time putting this one down.

The concepts presented in this book are so foreign to me but at the same time so fascinating. Although I had a difficult time swallowing all of the psychic mumbo jumbo, I love the basic idea that everything boils down to our thoughts. If our thoughts are healthy and we surround ourselves with positive energy, we will be so much healthier and in tune than if surrounded by negativity. Spiritual or not, I think it is a concept that I could certainly take way from the book.

I'd really recommend this one--even if you lean more towards the non-believer side like I do, the story is still really well-told. And, it's just plain interesting! It would make a great pick for bookclubs--great debate book. I'm starting to write in choppy sentences, so I'm gonna go eat now. A big thanks to Caitlin at FSB Associates for sending this one my way. I was a little wary at first, but I'm really glad I got my hands on this one.


Anonymous said...

I won this in a blog contest and really haven't looked at it since I got it. It looks like I need to dig it out of my pile. Great review.

Melody said...

Great review, Trish! This sounds very intriguing!

Debi said...

"I love the basic idea that everything boils down to our thoughts. If our thoughts are healthy and we surround ourselves with positive energy, we will be so much healthier and in tune than if surrounded by negativity."...That's something I can definitely relate to, too! I think I come the same point of view as you, Trish, so your reaction to this book makes it all the more intriguing. Thanks! I could definitely see this one making it into the pile if I see it at the library.

samantha.1020 said...

My favorite part of your review was the "psychic mumble jumbo". LOL! This does sound like an interesting book to read and I might have to check it out :) Great review!

Dr. DP said...

Great Review Trish!
Felt like I was reading the book with you. What caught my interest was your perspective.
As Debi relates, Energy Balance influences all empirical results, even to what appears, as nothing happening.
Believing is also a main factor, though I have found that the healings very seldom manifest in similar manners. Having experienced others being healed thru me (& others)at times there was a knowing of the impartation before &/or during, always with the evidence at hand.
At this time, my wife & I are experiencing results thru Energy Medicine.
You asked & I hope this comment has been helpful and a positive contribution to your review.
Dr. DP Making A Difference And Helping Other People Reach Their Goals!

Darlene said...

Great review Trish. I've never heard of this novel before but I would think the subject matter would be fascinating. It does sound like it would be a good book club pick. Anything that stirs up opinions always is.

Anonymous said...

Nice summary! I'm probably more of a believer than I'll admit. I've had several experiences where I, or someone I know, has been healed by the hands of others, whether emotionally or physically. It's changed me drastically, to the point where I can't help but believe. True or not, it's all very fascinating.

Trish @ Love, Laughter, Insanity said...

*Bermuda - Definitely interesting reading--hope you like it!

*Melody - The whole book was so fascinating. I wanted to know more and more about his father's "powers"

*Debi - I do think that our thoughts and attitude make such a big differences in our lives--this book helped me realize that even more.

*Samantha - LOL--glad you enjoyed my babbling. :)

*Dr. DP - Fascinating input; thanks for popping by. Believing is so powerful, and this book discusses a lot about skepticism and belief. I've personally never experienced anything described in the book, so it was a little difficult for me to wrap my mind around the ideas at times.

*Dar - Yup, I've noticed that our bookclub is more talkative when we either disagree with something or have strong feelings about the subject.

*Krystal - In the religion that I grew up in, laying on of hands is a big thing--and I've seen its work a little bit from friends and family members. I think, though, that my experiences deal more with a supreme power whereas this book doesn't discuss the topic of God hardly at all. But you're right, very fascinating.

Thoughts of Joy said...

I appreciate your honest review and ditto many of the comments above. I'm not one to purposely dabble in stuff like this, but it does sound interesting.

Laura said...

Hmm--I'm not sure what I would think about a book like this--definitely different from the norm! I'm glad you enjoyed it and a 4/5 is a great way to start out a new year! :)

Dr. DP said...

Hi Trish,
We all start somewhere in our Spiritual Trek and I still have a long way to go. If I can help in any way to help you get started, please let me know. Yes in can start & grow on the Internet. Let me know!
I will be looking for your next review.
DP, Making A Difference And Helping Other People Reach Their Goals!

Becca said...

I had not heard of this book, but like you said, it does sound intriguing. I do believe that positive thoughts go a long ways towards healing yourself. I don't believe it is the only thing, but that it plays a major part. My father has a terminal illness and we are using the power of positive thoughts with him to keep him from getting depressed, or us for that matter. Thanks for the recommendation. I will have to check it out. :)

Trish @ Love, Laughter, Insanity said...

*Joy - I actually didn't know very much about the book before I picked it up--probably not one I would have sought out on purpose either. And the cover isn't the best. But in the end, a pretty good book.

*Laura - It was a little difficult to believe at times, but the author's writing style made it very easy to read.

*Dr. DP - It's amazing the wealth of information that can be found on the Internet!

*Rebecca - I think it is easy for people to forget how one's illness can affect so many other people. My thoughts are with you and your family! Given your father's illness, you might find this one interesting.

Literary Feline said...

I'm skipping your review for now, Trish, since I hope to read this one soon. I did catch the fact that you enjoyed it, which is a good sign!

Bellezza said...

Wow, this sounds fascinating! I believe in miracles, I believe in the sacred, I believe in the spiritual. I'll have to pick it up, and see what he has to say. Initially, the cover reminded me of a Warren Beatty film (Wait Til Heaven, or something like that, now I have to go look it up) which was made Long Before you were born. But, he's walking on the clouds like that. Thanks for such an intriguing review, Trish!

Bellezza said...

Duh, it's Heaven Can Wait! You can see the photograph/read the review here:

bethany (dreadlock girl) said...

oh, I keep hearing great things about this book! I better get it.

Lisa said...

Hmm. I'm not a religious person, but I am somewhat spiritual, if that's possible. I am, however, very skeptical about stuff like this. Ghosts I can believe. Healing someone with the power of your thoughts? not so much. Reminds me a lot of The Secret, which made me angry at the idea that negative thoughts could cause bad things to happen.

Anyway, nice review of the book, even if it doesn't interest me.

Harry Markov said...

Mhm, this book sounds like it should be on my blog. I deal with the paranormal in literature as a majority of titles and I have to tell you that mind is over matter in many aspects. Tibetan monks can show you some tricks about that statement. Anyways I am glad that you got some expansion of horizons and that the book is good too.

Trish @ Love, Laughter, Insanity said...

*Lit Feline - I did enjoy it! I really hope you do as well.

*Bellezza - I'm actually not too keen on the cover. :) I wouldn't have bought it just by sight (I know, I know...never judge a book...). It kind of reminds me of that painting of the guy in the bowler hat, you know the one?

I think you would find this book very interesting, Bellezza. There isn't very much in the book about a divine power, which seemed strange to me, but this book definitely provides a lot for one to think about.

*Bethany - Hope you like it! I haven't seen any other reviews yet, but I'm curious to know what others think.

*Lisa - I do believe a person can be spiritual without being religious. When I think of religion I think of institutions or denominations--Catholic, Mormon, Buddist, Jewish, etc etc. But spiritually deals with a divine power rather than the "rules." I don't want to get into my beliefs here. :) All the subject matter put aside, I really enjoyed the book.

*Daydream - One of the spirits the author's father communicates with is/was a monk. These things really interest and amaze me, but sometimes I am too grounded in reality to know what to do with the information. But yes, you are correct about expanding horizons and reading a good book. :)

Harry Markov said...

Oh, yes, I know what you mean. Since I write in this genre, fantasy and paranormal that is, I know the theory and since I do so well and have spun it in my own work, it's quite normal for me. Whether I believe firmly, blindly and fevereshly in this, is to be doubted, but show me any of these happening in front of me, I will never doubt it.

Anna said...

Great review! This one sounds interesting. Thoughts are a very powerful thing.

Diary of an Eccentric

Trish @ Love, Laughter, Insanity said...

*Daydream - I admire such belief and faith!

*Anna - It was a fascinating book--definitely one to make you reevaluate the way you are thinking about things.

Literary Feline said...

I posted my review of this one today and am popping in to finally read your thoughts on Walking Through Walls. Your review says it so much better than I did. It sounds like you and I were coming at the book from a similar perspective. I agree with what you said:
If our thoughts are healthy and we surround ourselves with positive energy, we will be so much healthier and in tune than if surrounded by negativity.

Lisa's mentioned The Secret in her comment, and I admit that The Secret came to mind a couple of times while I was reading this book. As did Scientology--and so I was pleased when the author shared his experiences with that particular faith in the book.

I wasn't sure how I would react to this book, but I was intrigued enough to give it a try. I am glad I did.

Trish @ Love, Laughter, Insanity said...

*Wendy - I also found Philip's encounter with Scientology really fascinating and wish that I knew more or that he went into more detail (although it sounded like that phase didn't last long). I haven't read The Secret so I don't know how to compare.