Friday, February 17, 2023


 From the time I was a child I've always loved ghost stories and tales of the fantastic and weird. One of my favorite memories is watching an old Dracula movie at the Rebel Drive In Theatre in my hometown. In Technicolor! From my seat in back beside my little sister I saw Dracula caught out in the sunlight. A stake driven through his heart and the sun coming up. 

The old monster was finally doomed. Right before my eyes and my mouth jammed full of popcorn he was desolving into dust. I can still see it vividly in my mind's eye. The vampire struggling, gurgling, dying as the sun hit him and all that was left was a pile of ashes and a bloody stake through what was once the heart. Man, That was fun!

Another childhood memory is watching the old Dialing for Dollars movie out of Birmingham. Old science fiction with collosal man in scary black and white as nuclear fallout changed a once handsome scientist into a giant angry crazed monster. The leading lady shouting his name but it was to late. 

Ironically it was my conservative country music loving mother who helped nurture my love of horror movies and black and white science fiction pics about the danger of nuclear weapons and men and creatures from outer space. 

One day at around 7 or 8 years old I'm watching a scary movie. I happen to look behind me and my mother had left the room. No adults. Not even an annoying sister. Just me. But you can't run. Because if you run the ghosts will know it. They will grab your foot and pull you back and no telling what else. So I stayed put. Glued to the TV as the lady on the screen has a running dialog in her own mind. 

What was that? The garden statue moved! She saw it! The camera pans into the idiotic face of the statue. It's blank staring eyes. My young mind is sure it moved. The lady is trying to persuade herself it didn't move. She must be right. I sure hope so. Just stay calm. An adult will come back any minute and the ghost will go away. 

But, they didn't! Not when the little girl aged on screen to an old woman beating on the wall with her cane. Not when the woman climbed the rickety staircase to hang herself. Not even at the end of the movie when the narrator said "Whatever walks at Hill House walks alone!" finally a commercial and I make a break for the front door and safety while the ghosts are distracted!

I'm at the movies with my cousin.It was a more child friendly Disney movie. Something like That Darn Cat or Herbie the Love Bug. But there is this preview for a movie called "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane." As a child I didn't know Bettie Davis or Joan Crawford. I assumed it was a movie about ghosts. They had a doll with a hole in it's head from a hammer in the preview. So in my child's imagination the movie was about a little girl named Baby Jane and the doll was part of what Baby Jane's ghost must have done.or maybe when the bad guys killed Baby Jane they broke her doll and the ghost of Baby Jane was mad.

Those of you who know the actual movie can see that my imagination created a whole nother movie! So one day I come in my aunt and uncles house and my older cousin is hiding behind the door. Right as I come in he steps behind me spreads his hand on top of my head and intoned loudly "BABY JANE!"

And people wonder why I have trust issues. But, I digress. Horror and flying saucers and monsters in movies, books & comics have always been scary fun for me.

So imagine how pleased I was in my later years to find a whole thread on Twitter devoted to Ufo's. Yep #ufo what could possibly go wrong? Well believe it or not some people don't find things that go bump in the night to be fun. These people call themselves skeptics. But they aren't skeptics. They're debunkers. Want to know how I know? Because their skepticism only goes one way. It's never pointed back at their own conclusions. They hate anything that even hints that there might be more to life and consciousness than their sterile ultimately meaningless March to personal and even species oblivion. 

The other group that sucks all the fun out are the true believers. It has to be highly evolved spacemen in nuts and bolts craft just chilling under a Star Trek type "Prime Directive" and swooping in once in a while to butcher a cow or stick a probe up a human's butt. 

Meanwhile I'm just thinking of all the possibilities of our weird universe and thinking of starry nights and how much fun it is to just entertain the thought that we will never be able to put existence in a box and we will never have to cease our exploring. 


Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Dreaming myself awake


Are you asleep or are you awake? I was preparing to do a meditation using my phone app. I had turned off all notices so phone calls would go straight to voicemail. Breathing in and out. Watching the breath. Being present. Watching my thoughts but not engaging with them. 

The meditation leader then asked the question. Are you asleep or are you awake. I gradually, slowly left the dogma of my life long religion. Signposts along the way were books, history and my constant prayers to be open to the truth. Finally it was like ripping off a bandaid. It hurt. 

Prayerful meditation and honest self reflection got me through. Or I should say is getting me through. I tried to pretend nothing had changed But it had. Them I tried or at least casually explored Buddhism. But for me the faith of my youth stripped of the silly dogma and lived humbly while treating people the way I wanted to be treated still worked for me. 

So one day as I'm practising a Zen Buddhism group meditation at the local UU Church I came to the conclusion that was similar to FR Thomas Merton who while practicing Buddhist meditation realized his own Christian mystical tradition worked for him. My thought was a little less uplifting. I thought "Hey. I ain't trading one religious box just to crawl into another one." 

Death must be good, otherwise God would not have obtained that it happen for everyone. Why live in fear of it? Sri Sri Paramahansa Yogananda. 

Autobiography of a Yogi was a game changer for me. I read through it both by listening on Audible and reading it on my Kindle. But, honestly it was at times uplifting and at other times a slog. But. I think I got the gist of it. Chapter 43 titled "The Resurrection of Sri Yuketeswar" is one of my favorite passages in any book I've ever read.

Not because I converted to Hinduism. I didn't. But it just seemed to strike a chord with me. The body that was buried was the dream body in this dream world. The body Yokananda reported seeing his guru manifest was the actual vessel his spirit used. And it was itself not the final manifestation. Anyway I found it to resonate with some of my own journey. Was it literally true? I feel that when it comes to spiritual experiences truth can be spoken, modeled in nature and dreams and visions. 

Imaginal is how I think of it these days. Jeffery Mislove made the distinction on his podcast. Imagination is fine but we are mainly just doing wild conjecture. The Imaginal realm however isn't imagination or even myth. It's the actual possibility of consciousness. So chapter 43 May or may not be true in a by the book here and now sense. But, away from the dense filter of this dream world there might well be a world where the old body drops and our thoughts create a greater deeper reality.

I looked back and knew my sleeping body was back there. My companion was wise beyond all earthly measure. We walked under a red sky and the landscape was rocky. I asked him "what is the dream?" But as happens in dreams what I was really asking was who is God? What is life? What is death? 

He said "You ask too much." to which I felt myself start to cry. I woke up with a tear running down my cheek. 

Years later I think I understand. It wasn't that I wasn't allowed to know. It was the question wasn't the right question. You can't put reality in a box. You can't house God in a religion and death isn't something strange or final. It's part of the continuing journey. This is the dream. This world of limits and hard surfaces and sharp edges. 

I don't rush towards death and I'm not trying to hurry it. But, I am looking forward to waking up from the limits of this dream.


Sunday, January 8, 2023


 Breath is wonderful. Feel it coming in as it flows into the nostrils. It comes up from the belly and soothes the chest and lungs. Breathe out. The whole face relaxes. The universe stops, listens. Breath of life and stillness of the universe. 

Stillness. Just be. No movement. Nowhere to go. No deadline to meet. No outer person to impress. Just be.

Form. A projection of just being. I am No Thing. Meaning I am pure being. I AM. When I drop the form I Am.

Mindfulness. Not intelligence. Not memories. Not a to do list. Nothing to add and nothing to subtract. Just mindfulness. Just being.

Death. Meaning without form. Form is temporary on one hand and yet eternal in mindfulness. Drop the body to form a new conception of being. Only to find it was the body that is new. The I Am is all there is.

Rebirth. Light is all there is. Even if you pass through darkness the light is what you look for. You might rest in the darkness. But, once you realize I Am the light is all there is.

Just breathe. What am I? Form? But what if the form disappears? Just breathe. Relax the body. Rest in the darkness. Enter the light.

Thank You God! Father/Mother of I Am. Bless the form. Help me find the light. Thank you for the moment. Thank you for Being. For I Am.

Note on this meditation:
If you came this far thank you for sharing my flow of consciousness. I have no proof to give you or any great Mic drop or just so narrative. 

I'm a searcher. I'm a pilgrim soul. I've been born again and I've doubted the existence of anything outside physical reality. I've meditated so deeply that I woke up filled with pure white light. I've come to a place in my life where I don't try to play religion or ask preachers what I should think. I certainly respect people of faith and I recognize people of no belief what so ever.

I'm with the Swedish psychiatrist Carl Jung. When asked if he believed in God. He said I don't believe. I Know! I agree. I've come to feel God as being outside space and time and in everything. I truly feel that's what Jesus was saying when he said the kingdom is within. When Buddha rejected his earthly royal birthright it was because he saw God in everything. In all beings.

I fully admit I don't understand all things. I don't know where I'm going or where I came from. That's why sometimes I try to be still. Listen. Just breathe!


Sunday, January 1, 2023

Accidental Buddhist

 If you meet Buddha on the road kill him...Ancient Buddhist saying.

I don't prescribe to religious dogma these days. I respect my friends and families journey but being religious wasn't really making me a better person. I was parroting words I didn't really believe anymore and trying to please others so I could be safely in the club. 

Chasing after the truth and running from those who think they've found it...modern Gnostic podcast.

So here I was meditating and having lucid dreams once in awhile. I keep praying because that has made me a more peaceful person. So I found myself doing a Zen meditation class at a Unitarian Church. 

I really like the relaxation and clearing of my mind. Just being. No false guilt. No trying to prove I was elect of God or that I would have to recite old Roman creeds to prove I loved Jesus.

Drop kick me Jesus through the goal post of life...Bobby Bare

I had a past life memory from childhood which I had kept from really exploring much because it made the adults uncomfortable and I can't blame them because it also made me feel like I had to debunk it in order to remain a good Christian. Anyway it was just a snippet and maybe I had just dreamed it. On the other hand I didn't think of it in dream terms at all.

Send me the pillow that you dream on. So maybe time will let our dreams come true...Johnny Tillotson.

But, I found that the Zen Buddhism believing folks had their own dogma. It was just as sterile as my own fundamentalist upbringing and didn't really feel quite right. Not in any judgemental sense. It just didn't really resonate with my own life experience or even my own childhood memories of a possible past life. 

So I decided to think about what I knew. I knew the idea of Infinite Love putting on human flesh and going through this life the same way I did made sense to me. I decided that even if I wasn't going to be a fundamentalist that I still had my own inner dialog with Spirit. So I decided Jesus Follower worked for me. 

Me and Jesus got our own thing goin' and we don't need anybody to tell us what it's all about...Tom T. Hall

So, instead of being an accidental Buddhist based on some agreements with the teaching of mindfulness I would be what my own upbringing and heart told me I was. I decided to ditch the Republican blue eyed sterile stick up the butt Jesus and follow the Jewish Rabbi who turned the other cheek, recognized no earthly nation as God's only and gave his cloak to the cold and food to the hungry. Who said "the things I do you can do" because we are all God breathed. 

So this year I'm going to let go. I'm going to breathe in and breathe out. Get still and see if I can flow with life. 

I have some years and health issues now that I didn't have to deal with in my youth. But, I also have an honest dialog with the infinite light. We all have a life. Long or short it goes by fast! 

They went rushin' down that freeway messed around and got lost. They didn't care they were just dyin' to get in the Fast Lane. Eagles.

I started this blog to talk about things that interest me. Fun stuff about pop culture. UFO's and horror movies. Stephen King books and sometimes more serious issues like what happens when we die. Is there an afterlife. 

But, it has veered off into partisan politics and fire and brimstone religion and there was this ugly orange guy and a doddering senile guy and people started to love one and hate the other. Both of them became president one after the other. I found myself fighting with people and then one day I realized. 

I'm not getting any younger and life is to short to defend politicians who only want to line their own pockets. I looked in the mirror and this little old man was looking back. 

I've been first and last
Look at how the time goes past
But I'm all alone at last
Rolling home to you...Neil young.

WTF? That can't be me! I have thick light brown hair and hazel eyes and my skin is smooth and young. At least it was yesterday in 1976.But, 1976 was 47 years ago! 

So I decided I really need to chill. I hear by let go of old grudges even the ones where I was mistreated. Not because it's okay but because I don't want the burden of judging another person. I also cut myself some slack for the times I crapped on other people and loved one's! For the times I threw rocks at animals or acted as if they were not important. I was so wrong!

I still like Hank Jr. And Waylon and Willie and the boys. Honky tonk women and cold beer. Warm smell of marijuana on a hot summer night. But, my 60 something year old heart won't allow me to indulge and honestly the memories are better than most of what actually happened back then.

I ain't as good as I once was. But I'm as good Once as I ever was...Toby Keith

I still love Jesus but I don't love the religious dogma. I still love a good cup of coffee in the morning but I no longer can drink a whole pot. 

I still enjoy a Stephen King novel But I can do without his constant political rants.I still love the Eagles but Henley is greedy and Felder is a better or just as good a guitarist as Walsh and I love both of them. I still like the Stones more than the Beatles and Paperback Writer is still a godawful song. 

Southern rock is still the best and I can't stand the music of Bruce Springsteen. I still love the album "Destroyer" by KISS for sentimental reasons even though those boys were never great musicians. 

I'm in the mood. Dance to the music. We can rock all night...Foghat

Slow Ride by Foghat still makes me think of certain people from my past in Altoona/Walnut Grove area in rural Aladambama! 

I still regret trading off my 12 string for an old keyboard in my misspent youth. I still look at the night sky for meteors, shooting stars and interplanetary craft!

You can roll me up and smoke me when I die. But I didn't come here and I ain't leaving!

I have no guru but Willie Nelson and I wish you peace when the cold winds blow.

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

 Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in...The Godfather!

I have given up on politics and I thought I'd walked away. But, a couple of incidents got me thinking this morning. I've seen my nation in general and the world as a whole embrace political parties like they were a freakin sports team.

"Greetings, my friend. We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives.".Plan 9 from Outer Space.

So, I am concerned when I see rhetoric calling each other Nazi's, inbreds, and accusing people of genocide by murdering millions of people by either not getting a vaccination or killing babies. Most of us on either side of the political issues actually just want to feed ourselves and our family. Have shelter and clothing and access to good medical care.

What, me worry?...Alfred E. Neuman Mad Magazine

I'm now 65 years old. Somewhere in the next 20 to 25 years I will possibly have already shuffled off this mortal coil or if I'm still here I probably won't be worried about politicians, pop stars and as hard as it is to believe Wild Women.

So the next several years are not going to be my years as far as moving the chains on politics or current events. But, still. I have a son and my wife is younger than me and besides I've come to suspect we really do go around more than once. But that's a story for another day. I do care that the world becomes a more peaceful place to live and nurture each other.

The writer, the comedian and the politician: 

there were 3 people this week that caused me to think about our society. I was right in the middle of my morning coffee when I pulled up the comedian on YouTube. I was in the process of a frappuccino at Barnes & Noble when the writer caught my attention and this morning while innocently checking the morning headlines on my tablet while drinking coffee when the politician caught my attention. 

I see a pattern here. I'm more likely to think about stuff while coffee brings me back to life. Sounds good but it also can cause me to pay attention to politics while I'm waking up and that (insert sarcasm here) can be a problem.

The Writer:
Yeah it's Stephen King. If you've ever talked to me or read anything I've said then you're not surprised that my favorite author made an impression on me. I read my first King novel "Salem's Lot" at around 18 years old and the rest is Constant Reader History.

But, I've got a bone to pick as we say in the South. My favorite author has allowed Trump and partisan political echo chambers to cloud his common sense. He's lost a little off his fastball in my opinion. 

I'm left of center. Meaning I am anti censorship and I think being honest is more important than pats on the head from all the cool kids in media and late night TV shows. Uncle Stevie used to identify as a hick from the state of Maine. His backstory is really impressive and inspirational in the fighting through hard times and addiction. I'm a Northeast Alabama hillbilly. Maybe that's a small part of my early infatuation with his writing.

But, I'm reading more and more where he seems to lose the thread of the story and wanders off into "ain't all republicans pieces of feces and ain't all democrats gifts from above territory." Now don't get me wrong. Stephen King has been a Democrat ever since he made the self described mistake of voting for Nixon and his leanings have always bled through his writing to some extent. But he also usually had some redeeming qualities for most of his characters that exceeded politics and even (gasp) had no political message at all. At least not in your face. 

But, reading his latest novel he actually has a line about the "White race isn't all bad." Now repeat that line and insert any other people's, color or race and tell me what would happen.

Still, it was one freaking line in a larger story and Uncle Stevie gets a pass. But, then I pick up a rare novel of his last night at the store and sipping my frap (ain't I cool?) I start to read it. Now "rare" in this context just means it's a Stephen King novel I haven't read. It's actually a collaboration with another talented author and it's the third part of the Gwendy's Button Box series.

It started out awful. Full throttle politics from the get go. Now true the main character is now a politician. But, damn surely he isn't silly enough to think all the good guys belong to one political party. Anyway, I might pick it up again. But, life is short and I pick and choose what I spend it on a little more carefully these days.

The Comedian:
Bill Burr is a younger (well at least to me) comedian who is white and I think married to a black lady. He is popular with a wide variety of people and if you're 55 and younger you more than likely know him. I mean we ain't talking Richard Pryor or Steve Martin here But he's aight. 

So Bill Burr is talking about abortion during his stand-up. Now, he appears to have similar views to mine But I'm not sure. My view is I hate it but I'm pro choice because I don't have the right to demand what a woman does with her body and the responsibility she has to take on in order to carry a baby. But, again that's a discussion for another day. Bill's point was that we should at least be honest and call it what it is. Killing a baby. He did the whole skit and I can't even begin to do it justice here so I won't try. But, he made an example of preparing a cake and putting it in the oven. Now, it's not a cake yet. But if some (expletive deleted) comes by and takes the cake out of the oven you don't say "hey, you ruined my potential cake" No. You say hey (expletive deleted) you ruined my cake. 

Just caused me to think. I'm still an old school liberal. But, we should be able to talk honestly about our different views without painting the opposition as cold hearted idiots.

The Politician:
Mitch McConnell. The Senator from Kentucky. He is far right hypocrisy personified. There I am sipping coffee and I click on a headline where old Mitch is now being noble and calling out Trump on his treachery for denying the constitution and fanning the flames of violence on January 6th. The problem is like most political people he waited until Trump (who I despise) lost power before speaking "truth." Anyway, I won't get into much about Mitch and other politicians because their blather ain't worth my time. But, saying I'm a Democrat so don't look at Hunter Biden. Or I'm a Republican so don't demand Trump be investigated is helping to kill our society. 

But, that's all I've got to say about that. It's about time for me to get on with the rest of the day. Bout time to put an egg in my shoe and beat it!

It's just a ride:
The world is like a ride in an amusement park, and when you choose to go on it you think it's real because that's how powerful our minds are. The ride goes up and down, around and around it has thrills and chills. And it's very brightly colored, and it's very loud, and it's fun for awhile. 

Many people have been on the ride for a long time and they begin to wonder, "hey, is this real or is this just a ride?" And other people have remembered, and they come back to us and say, "Hey, don't worry; don't be afraid, ever, because this is just a ride." And we...kill those people. "Shut him up! I've got a lot invested in this ride,shut him up!"

"Look at my furrows of worry, look at my big bank account, And my family. This has to be real." 

It's just a ride. But we always kill the good guys who try and tell us that, you ever notice that? And let the demons run amock...But it doesn't matter, because it's just a ride. And we can change it anytime we want. It's only a choice. No effort, no work, no saving of money.

Just a simple choice right now. Between fear and love. The eyes of fear want you to put bigger locks on your doors, buy guns, close yourself off. The eyes of love instead see all of us as one.

Here's what we can do to change the world right now, to a better ride. Take all that money we spend on weapons and defenses each year and spend it on educating, feeding and clothing the poor of the world. Which it would pay for many times over. Not one human being excluded. And we could explore space, together, both inner and outer together, in peace.
Bill Hicks.

I saw a video the other day. It was one of those things where people fairly and unfairly bait the police. But, that's not the point of my story. It was just the catalyst that got me thinking.

A spit and polish officer dressed in all black walks upon an elderly homeless man. Just sitting there by a business making all us "normal" people myself included uncomfortable. The type of person we move away from and look the other way hoping whatever misfortune he has won't rub off on us. After all he or she is different from us. 

So the cop pours out the drink the man was sipping. Yeah it was probably alcoholic but it wasn't clear. And he tells the elderly man that he will arrest him if he sees him again. 

The old homeless man gets up and Dear God, Sweet Jesus it looks like he is carrying the torment of all the creatures in the world. Soiled baggy pants and humiliation and addiction on top of a life story that perhaps started in a mother's arms. I wanted to look away. I wanted to cry. 

Please go back if you find time and read the Bill Hicks presentation one more time!

Jesus wept!

Friday, December 2, 2022

This & That

 Back in the early 80's or could have been late 1970's I found myself in my early 20's pondering life and it's meaning. Seeing as how there were times I wasn't stoned on wacky terbacky or drunk on Miller Time. At these times my childhood religion would kick in and I would ponder what it was all about.

Right around this time of becoming skeptical about my religion and yet not ready for the cold dead senseless embrace of atheism I came across a book called "Out on a Limb" by Shirley McClain. It didn't change my whole life But it did kind of jump start my thought process to at least ponder that if I lost my old time religion that didn't mean meaningless atheism was my eventual stop.

Spoiler Alert: i'm neither religiously dogmatic or atheistic after all these years. But, I digress. 

Later in life and no longer young I came across another book by Shirley McClain. A much older woman now. I'd say she's at least my mother's age. This book was called as far as I remember "I'm over all That " She explained that over the years she has begun to chill out over trivial matters and stopped worrying as much about being thought of as beautiful or young, smart or trying to convert anyone else to her way of seeing the world.

Again. Her book didn't change my life But it did get me to thinking. I certainly agree with her. Yelling and arguing and trying to beat people over the head is stupid. It could get you beat up and it can certainly destroy relationships. So I'm over all That. You love Trump or Biden. Liberal or conservative. Atheist or Christian. American or British. African or Asian. Just be you.

So I find myself trying to be more comfortable with my own self and just being who I am and understanding that everyone I meet isn't going to instantly love me or share my worldview. Idiots I know. But whatcha gonna do?

So I'm looking around and thinking about life here in my mid going on later 60's. I think about stuff I truly believe in. I don't know all the secrets of the universe but I do know some stuff. 

My dog will not understand that the door closed on her tail through no fault of mine the other day. But she still loves me. 

My car insurance went up just because I hit my 60's. So All state doesn't really love me.

Did you know as you get older you're more likely to fart if you stand up fast after eating burgers and fries?

I found out the other day that a lady bug has more common sense than a prominent pop scientist. No really. True story. This dude assured people that the only thing that mattered was getting stuff in this life and that we should be awed that we are nothing more than a chemical reaction marching towards oblivion. 

However, there was a little lady bug on the inside of my windshield. The window on the other side was open. This little lady bug on feeling the air and seeing the sunshine slowly made it's way towards hope. So to me the little bug held hope and that particular scientist had nothing but oblivion. Well for his own sake and mine I hope he's wrong. I'm on the bugs side in this one.

My cat was sitting in my lap the other day. I was petting him and he pulled in his claws before he batted me. So I know my cat loves me.

My wife must love me because I can be a grouch and I often leave the toilet seat up. She puts it down and rarely gripes. Much.

Did you know that as you get older young women start to smile at you again? It's often because you remind them of their dad or grandfather. But still. Take your wins where you can get them.

I think my house is haunted. The other day I was walking by a mirror. I saw this little old bald fat dude. I turned quickly but he was nowhere in sight. I covered the mirrors and burned sage and so far I haven't seen him again. But imma stay away from that mirror.

I'm trying to treat people the way I want to be treated. My biggest regrets are the times I was mean to people and animals or insensitive to How others were feeling.

Anyway. I'm just rambling. 


Sunday, October 30, 2022

Review Ink Black Heart


Really good story. Draws you in. Well developed characters. I thought I had the bad guy figured out. But, I was pleasantly surprised that I was wrong. So good job of story development. 

Cons: as an American from the South that accent from the narrator was horrible. He seemed to be trying for a cross between a redneck version of Scarlett O'hara and a cultured Forrest Gump. But that's minor since it was thankfully a passing tourist whose character wasn't a part of the actual storyline. The other was the stupid beep that Audible chose to insert the couple of places where the N word was mentioned in context of the story. Pulled me right out of the story. I also wondered what the genius censors would do with Mark Twain! Lord help us. 

Finally I have seen some silly statements about racist and transphophic gripes about this book. Good God! Do people even read before they review something? This had zero to do with that particular culture war. I guess if you are determined to find fault then you can't let the truth get in your way. 

This is a great series. I was hesitant at first due to Rowling haven written the Potter books. But, she is excellent in any story she tells so this is highly recommended. Unlike most "detective" type mysteries this is a long book and yet it is extremely well paced. 5 stars for the book. 3 & 1/2 for the narration.