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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

Critic Reviews

"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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Finally something that pricks my heart

Has been one year since my four-year-old passed away. I have attempted to seek out religious instruction from members and leaders of my own faith (I am not Jewish). Looking back at the challenges I have had to go through in the past tear I should've read this book 1st. I shouldn't have attempted to answer the question why so quickly. Instead I should of been looking for the answer to the question what now. Thank you for your insight and God bless

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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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.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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A profound and honest book about the power and limitations of god

In my eyes, this book is a deeply religious book, but also a religion agnostic book. If you believe a god (any god) exists, but life or circumstances make it hard to believe in his goodness. If you are part of a tragedy, if you believe the world is unfair because of it, this will book will offer you an answer, a response as Mister Kushner eloquently phrases. It is the power of love, the power of human goodness and its humanity that will bring you relief. I just finished this book and i feel that it has planted a new perspective on life and the world around me that can only be recognized by someone who has seen suffering, loss and pain, and I know that this idea will take root, until it fills my heart with love.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Timely

Current & past experiences motivated me to seek a new perspective on my current attitude. This selection renewed my former concepts & allowed me to reconsider some questionable concepts. I plan to audio more Books by Harold Kushner. Thank you!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A must read, this book explains the human thinking

Just wow, this book will not let you down. Explains the human thinking side of life, in common sense terms. Everyone will find something they can relate to. josh shoemaker

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Changed my life

This book changed my life and it will change yours as well. Our world is full of pain and full of people who don't know how to cope with such pain. Rabbi Kushner explains the limitations of our understanding while also giving us tools to help cope with painful tragedies that befall many people. This book is one written from the heart and its one I will cherish for a long time to come.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • MD
  • 07-05-16

Best book I have ever read or heard.

I recommend this book to everyone. It brought me comfort, strength, hope, understanding and a renewed faith in God.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A spring of fresh water amidst the desert of uncertainty

I recommend this book to everyone who is engaged in the mother of all battles: the battle to keep your faith in God. I am Christian but I found Kushner's argument consistent with my views on God and Jesus Christ. I find that his take on God, life, and the issue of bad things happening out of nowhere is one that is helping me by opening my eyes to a more spiritual view of God. A view that is consistent with God's infinite love, his gift of free will, and the nature of the world he allowed us to live when Adan and Eve made the wrong move. If you are struggling with faith because you are witnessing something bad happening to someone good or loved one, if you find yourself in fear and terror because that uncertainty that seems to disrespect righteousness; then this book will help you. May God bless you with his presence, peace, and faith.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Empowering

This book has been tremendously useful in my grief journey. I strongly recommend this book