John Waters is known for being the most astute and perceptive commentator for The Irish Times where his regular column has a huge following, and for his championing of fathers' rights stemming from his own custody battle. He was born in the West of Ireland in a rural traditional community where the catholic religion was the air that they breathed. Disillusioned with Irish society and the church scandals, he abandoned the idea of becoming a priest. He took to the rock and roll life, if not its lifestyle, as a kind of surrogate vocation, moving into music journalism and eventually finding his way to Dublin. In 1991, he published a bestseller called Jiving at the Crossroads.
Lapsed Agnostic tells the story of one man's journey from belief to un-belief and back again. In the style of Jiving at the Crossroads, Waters explores his own spiritual and religious adventure and observes how this has been echoed in our contemporary society.
User Ratings and Reviews
3 Stars An interesting insight into one man's rediscovery of belief
In his latest book Irish columnist John Waters writes about his renewed belief in God following many years of agnosticism. The book is a combination of personal memoir covering the author's early years and subsequent addiction to alcohol, and a detailed analysis of current social and cultural thinking.
Although very well written, Lapsed Agnostic reads more like a collection of essays than a coherent book. In some chapters, the underlying theme is sometimes stretched beyond breaking point, especially in a short piece on the late George Best. However, the excellent chapter that follows, The Unquenchable Thirst, contains a devastating critique of modern society, based on the author's own dark journey through alcoholism.
Elsewhere, Waters writes about his puzzling addiction to shirt-buying. The reader could be forgiven for seeing this as another manifestation of an addictive personality. However, the author tries to rationalise his compulsion as a justifiable reaction against religion's tendency to make him feel guilty for being affluent when so many are starving.
For those who enjoy John Waters' thoughtful and original columns in The Irish Times, Lapsed Agnostic will provide plenty of mental stimulation. Perhaps if the author had spent more time drawing together and developing the various threads he introduces, he might have produced a modern spiritual classic.