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Friday, 1 September 2017

Book Review: The Beyond Experience by Michael Reid Jr

Dr Ethan Lewis is a scientific researcher developing a treatment for anxiety and depression wherein patients are "put under" using a cocktail of drugs and plant extracts, finding their symptoms alleviated upon awakening again. Alongside his lab partner, Kyle, they further explore the possibilities of this treatment, finding that it can be used to allow patients to experience a higher spiritual plane, almost as if they are in Heaven. Their friendship and working relationship is put to the test as they disagree over how best to progress with such a phenomenon, as Dr Lewis is both an atheist and a scientist, therefore he is searching for a logical, biological explanation for these experiences. Things quickly start to unravel as Dr Lewis' dark past is brought to the fore.


"Mostly I think of the things he won't be here for."

This book felt like it was written for me - Mike even likes to placate me by saying he wrote it with me in mind ;) People often question how I can be a scientist having grown up in a religious household - for a lot of people the two cannot co-exist. I'm not going to explain my beliefs or thoughts in this blog post as frankly it's not anyone's business what I believe, but I really enjoyed how Reid was able to create a book that transcended genres by having it be both scientific and yet also spiritual. Another personal aspect for myself is that "The Beyond Experience" allows people to communicate with loved ones who had previously passed on - my dad passed away when I was 10 therefore the idea of such being able to have such an experience hits home. I can fully appreciate the conflicts and intense desires that these characters go through when presented with the possibility of conversing with loved ones. All these personal interests led me to race through this book within 5 days, which is particularly speedy for me and really signifies how much I enjoyed this book.

I strongly feel like I need to commend the research Reid put into this book. As someone who has worked in scientific research for almost 4 years, the way he depicts academic life is spot on. It must have been difficult for him to present this side of the story in a way that is both accurate, whilst remaining understandable for those who perhaps don't have a scientific background - he really pulls it off. Reid also presents an impressive cast of characters within this book, they are all flawed and real in their own ways and greatly developed. You will cheer with them during the good times and commiserate with them during their bad times. The pacing of the story is perfect, I never felt bored at any point and constantly felt the need to pick the book up during any free time that I had!

Lastly, do not let the mention of the word "heaven" or "spiritual" put you off this book. It is not really about that - it's about so much more. How far we will go to get the closure we need from those who have passed on before us - it's about science and friendship and love. I felt EMOTIONS and I felt like this book really touched me. I really enjoyed it, it was such a unique reading experience, unlike anything I'd read before. 5 stars out of 5 from me!

Thank you so much to the author for sending me a signed copy of this book (and for Vince and Jessica for getting it to me!). 

Johann
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1 comment :

  1. Great review! It is nice when a book can emotionally hit home for you. I will add this to my TBR! <3

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