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When Bad Things Happen to Good People | [Harold S. Kushner]

When Bad Things Happen to Good People

Offers a moving and humane approach to understanding life's windstorms. Raises many questions that will challenge your mind and test your faith regarding the ultimate questions of life and death.
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Publisher's Summary

Offers a moving and humane approach to understanding life's windstorms. Raises many questions that will challenge your mind and test your faith regarding the ultimate questions of life and death.

©2009 Harold S. Kushner; (P)2009 Random House

What the Critics Say

"This is a book all humanity needs. It will help you understand the painful vicissitudes of this life and enable you to stand up to them creatively." (Norman Vincent Peale)
"Whether religious or not, this book will speak because it touches - profoundly, but simply - on questions no parent and no person can avoid." (Harvey Cox, Harvard Divinity School)
"A touching, heartwarming book for those of us who must contend with suffering, and that, of course, is all of us." (Andrew M. Greeley)

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What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (92 )
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4.0 (63 )
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4.1 (60 )
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Performance
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  •  
    James Orlin Winchester, MA USA 12-05-12
    James Orlin Winchester, MA USA 12-05-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Could be comforting to many, but not me"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    For those who believe in an all-powerful God, Kushner describes a theology in which God does not prevent bad things from happening, but He is great at helping those who have had bad things happen to them. This permits those who are suffering to continue their belief in God while not believing that they deserve the suffering.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    The narrator is the author. He sounded like the rabbi from an episode of Seinfeld. Most likely the rabbi on Seinfeld deliberately sounded like Kushner.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment


    Any additional comments?

    Once I understood Kushner's beliefs about God, there was little additional value obtained by listening to the rest of the book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Candace Van Nuys, CA, United States 09-28-12
    Candace Van Nuys, CA, United States 09-28-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Very "scanty" references of Torah :("
    What would have made When Bad Things Happen to Good People better?

    He seems to be looking at this subject with many biases. I think he believes that people have to "understand" and "approve" a concept before it can be acceptable.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment. :(


    Any additional comments?

    There were some good points, but I just have a very shallow impression of this book. After reading it, I felt depressed. I thought the book would help me constructively (in terms of my perspective of "bad things" and "good people"), but it only confused me even more. If a person believes in Torah and the writings of Scripture, it is difficult to make them compatible with this book. I was expecting a lot more.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sean Middlesex, NJ, United States 02-05-11
    Sean Middlesex, NJ, United States 02-05-11 Member Since 2009
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    "A BOOK EVERYONE SHOULD READ (OR LISTEN)..."

    This book I feel answers some of the question that I know "we all" find ourselves asking from time to time. We all have found ourselves in a precarious, awkward positions that life hands us and don't have a clue how to respond. This book will enlighten you, and may provide an answer that we all find ourselves searching for and if not, it at best, give you pause.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Luke Sanders Goldsboro, NC USA 12-02-14
    Luke Sanders Goldsboro, NC USA 12-02-14 Member Since 2013

    A man with a love of books. I love science fiction, complex plots, and characters that make you think.

    ratings
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    5
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    "Making Sense of Suffering"
    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Mr. Kushner's story of loss and suffering is powerful and captivating.


    What’s an idea from the book that you will remember?

    While I do not agree with his conclusions, his treatment of the theme of suffering is thoughtful and penetrating.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    B W 04-15-14
    B W 04-15-14

    Tell us about yourself!

    ratings
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    Story
    "Helps a Parent to Work through the "Worst Loss""
    What did you love best about When Bad Things Happen to Good People?

    The author talks about shaken faith and our perceptions of God in our lives and how that relationship can drastically change after the tragic loss of a child. Although the author doesn't specifically focus on suicide he does a great job in helping a parent understand their loss and how it relates to faith and a future without their child.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It helped me put into perspective that bad things happen on this earth and that we are not simply chosen by our bad deeds or otherwise to have to be the ones that deal with the loss of a child. God can be and is present in our lives and we often see his presence through the love and compassion we receive after a tragedy. God works his miracles through us.


    Did Harold S. Kushner do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    Not really character driven, but yes.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Yes, I cried a lot but it is helping with the recovery of my loss.


    Any additional comments?

    It is a book to re-read over as you go through your recovery.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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