Reviews for Proof of Heaven : A Neurosurgeon's Journey into the Afterlife
Booklist Reviews 2012 October #2
A neurosurgeon's first-person account of his near-death experience after an E. coli meningitis-related seizure and seven-day coma will reassure afterlife believers, though it is unlikely to convince skeptics. Alexander's credentials are impressive: medical school at Duke and 15 years at Harvard-affiliated hospitals. But to agnostics and atheists, Alexander may not come across as a completely objective observer. He writes that he attended his Episcopal church even as he questioned how God, heaven, and an afterlife could exist, yet the heaven he describes seeing certainly seems like a biblical one; a typical line is, "the visual beauty of the silvery bodies of those scintillating beings above." His story includes interesting asides about past struggles with alcohol and with adoption. (His birth mother delivered him when she was 16 and for years did not want to meet him.) But the book mostly focuses on religion. It ends with a request to support Eternea, Alexander's nonprofit that has as its mission, "increasing global acceptance of the reality of our eternal spiritual existence . . . under an all-loving God." For believers, not skeptics. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.
Kirkus Reviews 2012 September #2
A remarkable account of miraculous recovery from bacterial meningitis and a transformative "Near-Death Experience." On Nov. 10, 2008, at the age of 54, neurosurgeon Alexander awakened with an excruciating head- and backache and then suffered a grand mal epileptic seizure. Rushed to the hospital, tests showed that his brain was infected with E. coli bacteria that proved to be highly resistant to antibiotics and were destroying his neocortex. He remained in a deep coma for a week, as the expectation of his survival dimmed. Alexander recounts significant events in his life and explains his medical condition and the treatment he received, although at the time, he was not consciously aware of the situation. Interspersed are chapters in which he relates what he believes to be details of a "[b]rilliant, vibrant, ecstatic, stunning" psychic event he experienced during the coma. He describes an extraordinary radiant white-gold light and the most beautiful music he had ever heard, as well as travel to the gates of heaven, accompanied by an angelic figure who led him to the "strangest, most beautiful world" he had ever seen. Although Alexander had previously been a religious skeptic, this intense experience convinced him of the existence of heaven and a loving, personal God; the primacy of consciousness over matter; and the reality of psychic experiences such as telepathic communication. After seven days, he awoke with his faculties intact, although he needed time to fully recover his memory. Alexander uses his medical credentials to substantiate the belief that his reconstructed memories offer conclusive proof of his current religious beliefs; readers who don't share these beliefs will find his account less convincing. Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.