Consistent five-star reviews from readers! Here are some samples from on-line reviews:
Amazon.comThis was needed.
John did an excellent job with this book, and I hope it's only the beginning. Too often the darker aspects of Paganism fall by the wayside as being taboo, rather than acknowledged and explored. Out of the Shadows does a wonderful job of presenting an overview of these things, not only to those wanting to delve into this aspect of their spirituality, but also to those who do not follow it or understand it and are, at the very least, open minded enough to try to learn. What a terrific presentation of concepts and exploration!
Highly recommended. This is a very good book for anyone who wants to examine their beliefs about dark spirituality. It explores various paths and viewpoints without being stereotypical. Written by someone involved in the gothic, left-hand path "scene", it's about time someone wrote something dark for beginners. Refreshing discussion on magick without handing out spells or stepping on anyone's toes.
Barnes & NobleFinally!!
It's about time someone had the guts to write a book on this! I can't say I agree with everything but the author offers much insight into darkness and magick and I enjoyed his wit. Definitely a book any serious practitioner should have in his or her library! I hope more books follow!!!
Read before you speak!
Just skimming the book, it can be judged as one of the most, if not THE MOST, controversial book on paganism to be released! This book covers all the aspects of paganism that have been ignored or declining from public knowledge due to the struggle to make pagan paths acknowledged and accepted as religions by the government and the mass media. This book is a challenge to personal belief and the growing stereotype of pagans today who have become what the author calls, 'fluffy bunnies.'
Other ReviewsPagan Book Reviews (at ezboard.com)
This is by far one of the most amazing books I have read in a long time and VERY different from anything else out there. Actually it is two books in one. The first part explores darkness and what it means in a pagan context where "evil" just does not fit anymore. The author reclaims the word "dark" and despite the title, advocates balance of light/dark. As the author puts it, balance is not necessarily "equal" but a healthy interaction of polarity that works for the individual according to their nature. Also covered in this part of the book is a chapter on Shadow Work (discovering our "dark aspects" and learning to use them positively) it is a fascinating topic that is very important to the student of the occult. Overall the "Darkness" section of the book is packed with ideas on what darkness is, and how it fits into certain lifestyles and spiritual paths.
The second part of the book is on magick and again this is very unique and profound. Instead of just listing spells and meditations, the author actually makes sense of what is going on behind it all. It can get very deep sometimes, but Mr. Coughlin has an interesting writing style and wit that makes it easy to understand and actually enjoyable to read!
Basically this is a must for any pagan or student of magick who is tired of the same old things. The title may scare some people away, and I must admit I read the book expecting a major let-down, but what I discovered was a very intriguing book that I have already read twice!
Since the book covers so much, probably the only bad part is it left me wanting more! As the author mentions in his introduction, the book was meant as an exploration on many topics. Unfortunately there are no other books like this. On the bright side (no pun!) the author has created a site at darkpagan.com that not only has information on his book but articles from other people on the topic and a discussion board.
I truly hope Mr. Coughlin considers a second book soon!