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Author: Dan Wakefield
A grippingly honest account of how one man succeeded in filling the emptiness at the core of his soul. --RABBI HAROLD S. KUSHNER, author of When Bad Things Happen to Good People One of the most important memoirs of the spirit I've ever read. --BILL MOYERS
ISBN-13: 9780140117271
ISBN-10: 014011727X
Publication Date: 3/7/1989
Pages: 272
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.

4 stars, based on 1 rating
Publisher: Penguin (Non-Classics)
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover
Members Wishing: 0
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emeraldfire avatar reviewed Returning on
Dan Wakefield was a successful writer of novels, non-fiction, and screenplays when he awoke to a private life that was disintegrating around him due to alcohol, depression, and isolation. On a balmy spring morning in Hollywood, a month or so before his forty-eighth birthday, Dan Wakefield woke up literally screaming. His private life had been crumbling for years and alcohol barely numbed the pain.

Those horrifying morning screams drove him back to Boston, his former home, where he changed his entire life. He stopped drinking, started exercising, and discovered, much to his surprise, the power of Christianity. Dan had become an atheist while in college, and did not return to church until 1980 - when he initially heard a Christmas Eve sermon that seemed directed especially at him.

This book is about Dan Wakefield's return to his past life: his boyhood in Indiana, his student years at Columbia University being taught by Mark Van Doren, his bitter disappointment with Freudian psychoanalysis, his sexuality, and his writing career. It is also the story of a spiritual pilgrimage, a courageous and comforting return to faith.

Getting into the flow of the story was slow going for me at first; there were a couple of places during my reading where I thought that the pace was slower than I would have liked, but that could have just been my own experience while reading this book. Overall, I actually enjoyed this book much more than I thought I would. I give this book a B+!