Customer Reviews for

A Thousand Lives: The Untold Story of Hope, Deception, and Survival at Jonestown

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 8 review with 5 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 1
  • Posted April 24, 2013

    This book is excellent and it is my third book on Jonestown. It

    This book is excellent and it is my third book on Jonestown. It is clearly written and the index is a great help to find a person of interest or a topic of interest and to instantly be able to know the pages where to find it in the book. They include 12 pages of mini black and white photos. Other books I viewed are "Dear People- Remembering Jonestown" by Denice Stephenson and "Seductive Poison" by Deborah Layton which while also interesting were not as good as A Thousand Lives. I found a "Like New" copy at this site for just over $2 which was virtually untouched and new and with shipping and tax I spent a total of just over $6 to have it shipped to me, what value. This is a hardcover book with a colored book cover. The author of this book includes 41 pages of "NOTES", each just one or two lines in bold print to help pinpoint topics of interest and where exactly they can be found in the text. If you are looking for a book that summarizes what exactly went on without targeting one survivor such as the Deborah Layton book where she is the focus, I highly suggest you read A Thousand Lives. One other thing to note, if you crave any information on Jonestown, there is a wealth of information on the Internet, many under FBI files, including autopsies and a ton of info not used in any texts. The author of this book, Julia Scheeres, sorted out the content that is worthy reading and put it into some 310 easy to read pages.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2013


    This book definitely deserves 10 stars!! It is an absolute MUST-READ for anyone interested in this senseless tragedy!!! Jones had the audacity to label himself as God and a Reverend when all he was was a psychotic, paranoid, foul mouthed, perverted and controlling junkie!!! Sad that this was all found out when it was too late! Shocking that the government paid no attention to the defectors claims and amazing that no assassination attempts were made on his useless life...I only hope that he is burning in hell!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2012

    Interesting insight into the Jonestown Massacre

    This book excellently paints a picture of what it was like to be a member of the Peoples Temple--from the allure of its claims of social and cultural equality and commitment to social justice, to the prison-like conditions created at Jonestown. The author steers away from referring to this movement as a cult, and focuses more on creating a story of how events led to the ultimate suicide, which by that point many people were forced to comply.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2011

    The Truth about drinking the Kool Aid

    This book not only does an amazing job of laying out the life of a self-proclaimed prophet, it pans through a history of psychological torment for a congregation. This book is dark but it should be. If you want to learn of the fate of these believers and just how they led a man to death, it is well written, honest, and so incredibly intriguing. Must read for non-fiction history fans.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 16, 2011

    5 star recommendation

    Though it reads like a well paced fiction with characters rounded out in such a way that we can all find ones we relate with, what is horrifying is to know that it is not fiction. It is well researched facts based on a sadly real event in history delivered in such a manner that we are forever moved by the reading experience.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 30, 2011

    Amazing Account of the Jonestown Horrors

    Julia Scheeres has done it again. "A Thousand Lives" is a worthy successor to her remarkable memoir "Jesus Land." Using a sharp journalistic style with only an occasional personal opinion, she takes us on the journey that Jim Jones' followers went on, a journey that took them from an idealistic hope of a better world only to see their trust and devotion totally perverted and manipulated by a narcissistic madman. Scheeres shows us that Jones' followers were normal flesh-and-blood people with the best intentions who definitely did not anticipate their fates and many did openly resist. They were for the most part, simply duped. But most had been broken via brainwashing and betrayal by the time they drank or were forced to drink the Kool-Aid.

    This book is comparable in story, writing style, and quality to the magnificent "Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption" by Laura Hillenbrand. In both cases a large group of Americans were tortured and brainwashed by sadistic monsters, but the American soldiers in Japanese prison camps remained unbroken because they knew what to expect from their tormenters. The victims at Jonestown had been erroneously led to believe that their tormenter was a God-like healer who loved them. So they had nothing to fall back on when his monstrous behavior gradually took over their lives. By then you could trust only yourself, because if you "conspired" with another to resist or leave, you would likely be ratted on to your tormentor and subjected to more torturous treatment to break you physically and mentally. The American soldiers at least had each other to lean on for assurance and assistance. Still the question lingers why did so many seemingly intelligent people become avid accomplices of the madman's mass-murder plans, enabling him to end a thousand lives. Scheeres leaves it to the readers to draw their own conclusions on the "why" questions and she gives us ample information with which to work.

    Julia Scheeres has created a great work on how madness and manipulation by one person can eventually spread and take over a society.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 8 review with 5 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 1