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God's Lunatics: Lost Souls, False Prophets, Martyred Saints, Murderous Cults, Demonic Nuns, and Other Victims of Man's Eternal Search for the Divine

Overview

An eyebrow-raising expose of the strange and shocking side of history's religions, cults, and spiritual movements

What is the meaning of life? Since the dawn of civilization, humankind has sought to answer the mysteries of existence. Unfortunately this restless search for the divine has, all too often, driven seekers in regrettable directions—toward the comically ridiculous and irrational but also the frighteningly horrific and maniacal.

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God's Lunatics: Lost Souls, False Prophets, Martyred Saints, Murderous Cults, Demonic Nuns, and Other Victims of Man's Eternal Search for the Divine

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Overview

An eyebrow-raising expose of the strange and shocking side of history's religions, cults, and spiritual movements

What is the meaning of life? Since the dawn of civilization, humankind has sought to answer the mysteries of existence. Unfortunately this restless search for the divine has, all too often, driven seekers in regrettable directions—toward the comically ridiculous and irrational but also the frighteningly horrific and maniacal.

Arm yourself with God's Lunatics before your next encounter with those who have been blinded by the light. Award-winning author Michael Largo, "the Capote of kaput" (Atlanta Journal-Constitution), chronicles history's vast and colorful cast of true believers—from the hidden side of the Bible's eccentric characters to today's street-corner doomsayers, and from extraterrestrial communicators, levitating hermits, and flagellating ascetics to self-serving preachers of overindulgence who believed money, sex, and drugs were the keys to the portal to divine understanding. In addition to the firewalkers, serpent handlers, cultists, terrorists, and alleged time travelers, God's Lunatics also reveals the dubious foundations of the world's major faiths and the many religious customs and laws that continue to influence governments and society, whether you are a believer or not.

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Editorial Reviews

Los Angeles Times
“In a cleverly subtle style, Largo reveals the puzzling beliefs and excesses of religions . . . measured and nuanced . . . his smartly written A-Z capsule entries allow readers to come to their own conclusions.”
Lansing State Journal
“An A to Z of the fantastic, scandalous and downright bizarre found within the history of religion. While a perfect book for quick-tempo, episodic reading, I actually found myself sucked into reading it for a stretch of some hours.”
San Francisco Bay Guardian
God’s Lunatics takes the reader on a whirlwind tour of faith’s more ridiculous manifestations. The work presents a Victorian freak show of cult leaders, mystics, and crusaders from throughout history.”
The Daily Beast
“One man has made it his mission to document and collect stories of religious fanatics, freaks, believers of all sorts just like this woman. That man, Michael Largo, regales the reader with tales of religion gone awry in God’s Lunatics.”
Miami SunPost
“An enlightening riot, and one that will steer you away from religion quicker than a pervert priest.”
ExtraordinaryIntelligence.com
“This book is fabulous. I cannot recommend it enough: Michael Largo’s encyclopedia of religious weirdness through the centuries. I loved it.”
Horror-Web.com
“Such a great read. . . . What’s here is sometimes scarier than even the most frightening horror film. . . . Will entertain without offending.”
Los Angeles Times
“In a cleverly subtle style, Largo reveals the puzzling beliefs and excesses of religions . . . measured and nuanced . . . his smartly written A-Z capsule entries allow readers to come to their own conclusions.”
Lansing State Journal
“An A to Z of the fantastic, scandalous and downright bizarre found within the history of religion. While a perfect book for quick-tempo, episodic reading, I actually found myself sucked into reading it for a stretch of some hours.”
San Francisco Bay Guardian
God’s Lunatics takes the reader on a whirlwind tour of faith’s more ridiculous manifestations. The work presents a Victorian freak show of cult leaders, mystics, and crusaders from throughout history.”
The Daily Beast
“One man has made it his mission to document and collect stories of religious fanatics, freaks, believers of all sorts just like this woman. That man, Michael Largo, regales the reader with tales of religion gone awry in God’s Lunatics.”
Miami SunPost
“An enlightening riot, and one that will steer you away from religion quicker than a pervert priest.”
ExtraordinaryIntelligence.com
“This book is fabulous. I cannot recommend it enough: Michael Largo’s encyclopedia of religious weirdness through the centuries. I loved it.”
Horror-Web.com
“Such a great read. . . . What’s here is sometimes scarier than even the most frightening horror film. . . . Will entertain without offending.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061732843
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 6/22/2010
  • Pages: 564
  • Sales rank: 257,069
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Largo is the author of The Big, Bad Book of Beasts; God's Lunatics; Genius and Heroin; and the Bram Stoker Award-winning Final Exits: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of How We Die, as well as three novels. He and his family live in Florida with their dog, two turtles, a parrot, two canaries, and a tank of fish.

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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 27, 2010

    Perfect for a worldly person who can appreciate the creativity of humankind

    Largo briefly summarizes the basic concepts of various religious people, sects, concepts, etc. from all over the world and during various periods of time. He is not biased as the other review led to believe. He simply states all the facts and occurrences that are interesting to a curious appreciator of everything people have come up with on a pursuit to spirituality and/ or riches. His accounts are straight to the point and eloquent. I highly recommend this read. There is an obviously enormous amount of research that was done for this composition compiled in an organized way. Be ready to experience an interest in human behavior and what compels one to believe, no matter in what it may be. I could not out this book down. The previous reviewer seems to be upset for some reason at this book. I am not quite sure why. This is evident even at the reviewer's rating of the research, which cannot be denied. Largo has about twenty pages of sources noted in the back. The images are pretty clear, and are usually from primary sources which might account for their quality. If anyone ever read a book composed of primary sources he or she will not be offended by the quality. The pages are thin and light, so one can carry the book without it being heavy.
    As an artist, art history and psychology student I certainly found God's Lunatics worth my time and certainly plan to reference it and it's sources in the future.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 26, 2010

    Some books are really not books.

    This book is not worth a dollar twenty much less $12.95. The printing is below cheap. the pictures are of poor quality and some even look contrived. Zero originality. All information presented can be found in any community college library. The author's fear of God and cynicism is replete through out the pages. I missed the 14 days deadline to return the book. But that is better since I can now throw it away and spare someone the waste of time.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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