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Scattered Shadows Scattered Shadows
A Memoir of Blindness and Vision

John Howard Griffin
ISBN 1570755396 (9781570755392)
Orbis Books, 2004
£12.99

Category: Biography

Robert Bonazzi, editor, sums up his author: "John Howard Griffin lost his eyesight but never lost his vision." (p.16). It's an apt summary.

Although a memoir, this book reads as powerfully as any novel: Griffin, who died in 1980, takes you with him through his experiences, from a bombing raid in WW2 into blindness and paralysis - caused by injuries in that bombing raid - and back, incredibly, to sight and mobility.

Music lies at the heart of Griffin's life and reverberates throughout this account, carrying him from a position of no faith, where God is a myth, to spiritual enlightenment, with God at the centre. It's no easy ride, however: there's raw emotion, anger and pain along the way, yet always openness, wry humour and profoundly down-to-earth observations on life, relationships, sexuality and the writer's art.

Bonazzi has done a superb job in bringing this collection of Griffin's memoirs together. Some readers may find Griffin's down-to-earth style a little too blunt for their taste but it nonetheless deserves the widest possible readership.

Phil Groom, June 2004

Phil Groom is this site's Webmaster and Reviews Editor. He's a freelance blogger, writer and web developer who spent ten years managing the bookshop at London School of Theology alongside eight years writing web reviews for Christian Marketplace magazine before he came to his senses and went independent. You can find him on facebook or follow him on twitter @notbovvered.

From a review previously published in Christian Marketplace Magazine, reused here by kind permission.
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