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

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  225 ratings  ·  34 reviews
God’s Lunatics is an eyebrow-raising encyclopedia of the strange and shocking side of history’s religions, cults, and spiritual movements, by Michael Largo, the bestselling author of the Bram Stoker Award-winning Final Exits. A fascinating compendium of “Lost Souls, False Prophets, Martyred Saints, Murderous Cults, Demonic Nuns, and Other Victims of Man’s Eternal Search fo ...more
Paperback, 592 pages
Published June 22nd 2010 by William Morrow Paperbacks (first published 2010)
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Average rating 3.74  · 
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 ·  225 ratings  ·  34 reviews

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Start your review of God's Lunatics: Lost Souls, False Prophets, Martyred Saints, Murderous Cults, Demonic Nuns, and Other Victims of Man's Eternal Search for the Divine
Dec 12, 2010 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book more than my three star rating would suggest.

The book lost a star right from the introduction when the author states that he approached no religion with preconceived notions, or with the thought to condemn them. That seemed a little wishy-washy, and dude, you've called the book God's Lunatics there is a kind of a judgment being passed on what is in the book just by the title. From the introduction it the author also seems to be atoning for twenty five years of joining up wit
Petra X wonders sadly if she really does have a bf
I want to read this for three reasons:

1. It sounds fascinating.
2. I can get it for $3.95 brand new.
3. There is a very long and angry review saying this book is a load of shit because it goes on about the West Memphis Cult and there is no such thing, if you Google it you get nada etc etc. So I Googled it, true, very few results. But Google West Memphis Three and you get 247,000 results. So it's made me interested in what has got that reviewer going to such an extent.
Anita Dalton
I picked this up thinking it would be an easy-a for I Read Odd Books. But had to stop reading it when I reached the Cs in this compendium of religious oddness. In the section called "Cults, Copycats" I knew this was not worth my time.

With all apologies to The New Bohemians, though I'm not aware of too many things, I know what I know. Know what I mean? I know cults and I know the West Memphis Three. And this book screwed up both.

Largo has murder victims of the Jeffrey Lundgren Mormon offshoot cul
Rod Horncastle
Jan 19, 2017 rated it it was ok
YES, this book deals with lunatics - but seldom are they God's.

This is basically an encyclopedia of religious foolery and cultish behavior. Sure there's a small bit of Bible relevance thrown in (often confused and corrupted by the author's poor Biblical understandings and research). The author does share his Catholic origins, then his Eastern meditations and New Age Spiritism, then he sprinkles in a weekend Christian retreat for some supposed validation. Then he gets his palms read, learns abou
May 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
A very good encyclopedia of all sorts of religious fanaticism and interesting cults and religions that are still being practiced today. Though I wish some bits had more information, it gives good brief introductions that one can later look deeper into.
Jim Whitefield
Aug 12, 2012 rated it it was ok
I was looking forward to reading this book which promised hundreds of accounts of ancient myths and legends as well as a look at various more modern cults and sects. I was quite happy learning new and interesting facts until I reached page 75 where the author is talking about religion and food. He casually mentions in passing “Mormons are discouraged from eating chocolate, and from consuming various prescription drugs.” I was quite amazed to read this. Whilst most of what I was reading was new t ...more
Brad VanAuken
Oct 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
While the book is 564 pages in length, it is a surprisingly quick read. It is both highly entertaining and informative. It includes almost every spiritual or religious movement that has occurred since recorded history, and especially the more modern ones. It talks about those religious founders who were informed through visions, channeling and visits from angels and space aliens. In has many black and white photos and illustrations. I found the book to by funny and fascinating and I even extract ...more
Jan 10, 2011 rated it liked it
This book doesn't quag on religion nearly as much as I thought it would. It does a fair job of explaining every last religion, leader, and cult. Overall this book is educational while still managing to be light and mildly comical. ...more
Religion draws many people to it, mostly among the disenfranchised, desperate, lonely, grief stricken or addled. From such beginnings rise cults that become churches, religions whose congregants number in the thousands or millions, even when their leaders are shown to be nothing more than perverted child molesters or grasping charlatans whose sole desire is to make money at other people’s expense.

This encyclopedia, comprehensive but necessarily incomplete, lays out for the curious reader all sor
John Hood
Jan 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Bound: Believe It or Else!
SunPst Weekly August 12, 2010 | John Hood

Michael Largo Gives Us God’s Lunatics

Gotta hand it to Michael Largo — the cat really knows how to pick a subject. His first book of the new century — Final Exits: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of How We Die — was a comically keen look at something everybody’s got in common. Fortunately, we all don’t all gotta go by electronic air fresheners, heating pads, non-stick pans or any one of the other odd ways Largo ci
Aug 21, 2018 rated it it was ok
If you’re going to criticize anything, it’s best to do some actual research. Saying that cherubim are angels that look like babies is such an easily fact-checked mistake that I don’t trust anything else in here.
Theremin Poisoning
Apr 30, 2018 rated it it was ok
Mildly entertaining, but riddled with inaccuracies including - gasp - rampant spelling errors!
Zach Alba
Jan 17, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: this-year-2014
Have thoroughly enjoyed this book thinking I was learning so much about religion, one of my favorite topics to study. I was born and raised in the suburbs of Salt Lake City and grew up in the Mormon religion, a religion I no longer practice but feel I am knowledgeable on its teachings. The brief summary of Joseph Smith was riddled with so many inaccuracies, I couldn't help but wonder how his investigations on the other sects, saints, etc, etc, compared to the lazy summary of Joseph Smith. Three ...more
Sara Johansson
Sep 08, 2014 rated it did not like it
Why isn't there a "I could not finish it it's so bad"-option? I never not finish a book I've started but this just got so much blatantly, lazily wrong I actually threw it in the trash. Normally I'd consider that sacrilege, if I don't like a book doesn't means someone else will not enjoy it. But this one has so many facts wrong I didn't want anyone to read it again ever. ...more
My least favourite of his encyclopaedias but still really interesting. Found a few too many typos and some of the images were not the best quality, but a good resource for those interested in the subject.
Aug 23, 2010 rated it did not like it
Again, this is not a review kinda book. It is an A-Z recitation of all the weird religious shit going on in this world, including the major religions. Given that, I enjoyed it. Didn't learn anything new, but I am a reader of encyclopedias and dictionaries. Take it for what it's worth.
Feb 29, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Fun, light, organized like an encyclopedia. Definitely not in depth but still a nice overview of various religions and religious facts. Good book to carry around because you can read an entry and then put it down again but still like picking back up.
Jul 19, 2012 rated it it was ok
If you want bathroom reading, this is it. Not something you read cover to cover. It has some interesting things, it also seems to have some inaccuracies. On the whole I would not waste you time on it unless you just want some light reading while doing something else.
Diane Walter
Oct 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Fascinating view into what people will believe in the name of God. Good book to be taken lightly, not for precise documentation of either historical or religious literature...but that makes it an easy read. Fun and a little frightening!
Jul 30, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
Good Bathroom book. Some of the origins of modern churches is unbelievable. My guess is that most of those who go there now don't know...or are bat-shit crazy. Fun read. ...more
Sep 18, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, religion
Darker and satirical look at world religion and the fringes of each religion. Encyclopedia format with short entries, so it's a pretty quick read and keeps you entertained with lots of quirky info. ...more
Kit Murray
Oct 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing
really good. very informative. written encyclopedia style.
Craig Patton
Jan 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Throughly enjoyed not just from a historic perspective but, from a cultural one as well. It is interesting to see what others believe while attempting to understand why they believe it.
Jessie B.
A fascinating collection of spiritual facts, from obscure history to the strangest new age cult.
John Arnette
Oct 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Great encyclopedic volume concerning the religiously overzealous, evangelically obnoxious and the terrifying dogmatic of this world's religions, faiths and creeds. ...more
Sharks and Books
Jul 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: spring
Very well written and entertaining to say the least.

(Reread maintain previous review.)
Alison Maraillet
Jul 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
An equal-opportunity collection of craziness from all religions where we see that money, power and celebrity have always been strong influences in religions gone wrong.
Mar 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Encyclopedia that actually caught my attention and made me want to read it from cover to cover. Very interesting facts about things one hears about, but never knew the full story. I enjoyed this.
Dan Gentle
Sep 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Great book for those who are interested in why and how religions, sects, and cults originated, thrived, and/or ended. It is a secular book that is not bias to any particular religion or faith.
Mike Stuchbery
Fun. Knew most of it already, but fun.
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Michael Largo is an expert on the anomalous ways of American dying. He is the author of The Portable Obituary (a Bram Stoker Award Finalist), Final Exits: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of How We Die (winner of the Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in Nonfiction), and three novels. He was the former editor of New York Poetry and the researcher/archivist for the film company Allied Artists. ...more

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