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Walking Through Walls: A Memoir by Philip…

Walking Through Walls: A Memoir

by Philip Smith

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Showing 5 of 5
This has made me think I need to be more picky about what I read.

I was mildly enjoying the first half of the book, even though I wasn’t believing a word of it. He’s a pretty good writer and he had some funny descriptions of growing up in odd circumstances with a father who discovers metaphysical stuff in the 60’s. Then it fell off a cliff. I can’t help thinking about those evangelists who tell funny stories and try to be hip, and then say "but seriously, you need to get Jesus in your life", and then turn on the hard sell. This is like the metaphysical version of that, only I can’t figure out what he’s selling. The second half just turns into a laundry list of the people he thinks his dad cured, and the super powers he thinks his dad had.

Part of my problem with the book is that I can’t figure out what he wants to say at all. It’s a memoir, but it’s almost entirely about his dad, and we don’t really learn anything about his dad except for his super powers.

Another big problem is that it’s not very believable, in so many ways. First, the psychic powers his dad is supposed to have had. I can’t think of any psychic idea, theory or scam from the 60’s and 70’s that isn’t presented here, with not one word of analysis. It’s all presented as either just fact, or not commented on, it’s all given equal seriousness. It’s kind of strange since that’s the main theme of the book.

Much of the book is of course reminiscing, but also many long conversations and even lectures (and many conversations that feel like lectures) from 50 years ago, all told in detail, lasting many pages. At the beginning of the book he says his father kept meticulous notes throughout his life, but by the end I entertained the possibility that he just said that to cover up for the obvious fact that no one could remember all this.

Actually, by the end of the book I doubted whether he even had a father, or he was anything like described. ( )
  bongo_x | Apr 6, 2013 |
Walking Through Walls was beautifully written, Smith has a gift to rival that of any modern New York Times Best Seller. This memoir flows effortlessly; memories and anecdotes are skillfully interjected in all the right places. The story itself is very interesting involving interior design, foreign leaders, divorce, psychic healing and spirit guides. Whether you're interested in psychic healing or not, this book will not disappoint as it has so much more to offer.
On a personal note, I have to say that I tend to shy away from books with too much "spiritual" influence not focused directly on God. Walking Through Walls however is very unassuming in that it does not try to convince you of anything or convert you, it is simply a story well told. I give this book 4 stars. It was very nearly 5 stars but I felt the book hit a slow spot about 3/4 of the way through. That and Smith sometimes came across as a emotionally remote and a snob (blue tights and Mr. Coffee). Though growing up as he did who can blame him, and overall he is a likable person. ( )
  UnadornedBook | Jun 9, 2009 |
interesting and very different. Actually well written but the subject didn't keep my interest. His father is a healer extraordinaire without touching or even seeing people. No one ofcourse, believes him. ( )
  hammockqueen | Jan 7, 2009 |
I looked forward to this book after reading the description on Amazon. It sounded charming and
funny. I looked for it to be an entertaining read. I found myself at the end of the book and still not caring about any of the family members.

As it happens I am a believer in energy healing and many things mentioned here in the book. It seemed to me that more often than not such things were made to look ridiculous. The family was composed of the oft confused Philip, who grew up to be rather self centered and spoiled. His mom who tottered through her days on high heels with her head in the clouds, pretending to be someone she was not. Dad seemed to have most of the redeeming qualities although it was he who was most often made to look silly, and frankly, he often was.

Sometimes a book can be redeemed by its underlying tone. The tone of Walking Through Walls seemed a little whiney to me. I am sure that this family was in reality much nicer than this book made them seem. I dislike giving books a review that isn't positive, and so I try to find at least one positive thing about these reads.
With this book, I am sure that there are those who will find it more entertaining than I did. It was nowhere near as depressing or shocking as Running With Scissors. It just turned out to be much like the oft mentioned brown rice. Rather dull. ( )
  mckait | Oct 4, 2008 |
Philip Smith doesn't spend much time sanity checking the outlandish tales of his father and his ability to heal via telephone or speak to spirit guides. All this must be taken immediately on faith, which some readers might be able to do. I wasn't.

But even if you do accept what Smith writes about his father, you'll still be painfully bored at the countless variations of Smith's telling and retelling of the same exact thing. OK we get it, Smith's Dad healed people...but do we need to hear the indepth details about each and every healing.

Somewhere along the way Philip Smith lost sight of the story and instead defaulted into trying to do a blow by blow description of his father's life. He fails miserably in a book that will leave you feeling more trapped than uplifted. By page 200 I was desperately wishing it would end, and when I got there I was surprise at just how little time was spent on a fairly climatic event.

There are so many better memoirs than Walking Through Walls, I'd highly recommend spending your time with them. ( )
  gkleinman | Sep 25, 2008 |
Showing 5 of 5
What a joy it was for me to read Philip Smith's memoir of his offbeat childhood, documenting the interesting lives his parents led, particularly the life of of his father. Lew Smith is a very compelling character to read about, especially so for anyone who is interested in metaphysics, energy medicine, and holistic healing.
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At night my spirit guides take me up to visit labortories on other planets and in other dimentions. Lately I've been spending a lot of time on the seventh plane, the eleventh plane, and the twelfth plane. -- Lew Smith, 1970, in a recorded audio interview.
This book is dedicated with eternal gratitude to Esther Rand Smith, my beautiful and brilliant mother, who not only gave me this miraculous opportunity to visit planet Earth but the full love and content of her own lovely soul.
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