"We are of opinion that instead of letting books grow moldy behind an iron grating, far from the vulgar gaze, it is better to let them wear out by being read." - Jules Verne
Eighteen years reviewing books, audiobooks, graphic novels, movies and music! More than 1500 reviews.
Visit DWD's Reviews of Books, Audiobooks, Music and Video new sister blog: DWD's Reviews of Tech, Gadgets and Gizmos!
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Heaven's Mirror: Quest for the Lost Civilization by Graham Hancock
Heaven's Mirror was an interesting read. Graham's Hancock's theories are infectious and at times you find yourself marveling at all of the wonderful coincidences and halfway believing him. Other times, he takes liberal use of supposition (even going so far as to suppose what Albert Einstein would have thought of one of his ideas) and he throws out so many ideas that he reminds me of a desperate defense attorney who throws out any idea to throw doubt on the prosecutor's case. Here, Mr. Hancock throws out any number of theories, including Atlantis; aliens (but never says it - but he leads you that way); Egyptians coming to Europe, Asia, South America and Polynesia; the use of magic or an unknown force to build ancient megaliths and more.
I enjoyed the book but there are occasional bad photographs that mar the book - he refers to one picture two or three different times and the picture is not clear - the image has been worn too much over time. That would have been the perfect time for a traced outline of the picture, like he does with other unclear photos. Sometimes shadows obscure the images he would like us to see - the shadows make the pictures quite beautiful but the images are the point of the exercise. However, in general the quality of the pictures reminds me of those of National Geographic.
Mr. Hancock poses so many theories that he is sorely in need of a chart in the back of his book so that we can quickly see some of the theories and how the data looks when compared across the board.
However, in defense of his book, he quite freely admits that this is a work in progress and the research has barely begun. I would not consider this to be the final word from Mr. Hancock - rather, I would treat this as more of an interim report stating some of the interesting things he has found and a few theories that might help to explain them.
I give this book "5 stars" because he writes about so many of the interesting ancient sites and, if nothing else, has thrown an interesting new light on them (Graham points out that most 'legitimate' researchers won't even come to Easter Island anymore for fear of being thought to be one of the 'crazy' researchers). I don't quite buy his theories, but I'm open to reading more of what he has to say.
YOu may also see Mr. Hancock on TLC or Discovery Channel with entertaining documentaries that cover most of these same topics in a less thorough but highly entertaining manner.
I rate this book 5 stars out of 5.
This book can be found on Amazon.com here: Heaven's Mirror: Quest for the Lost Civilization
Reviewed on July 3, 2004.