Messiah’s Handbook: Reminders for the Advanced Soul, by Richard Bach
Hampton Roads, 1571744215, 216 (unpaginated), 2004

I adored Richard Bach’s Illusions, so I was rather excited when notice came that a review copy of the Messiah’s Handbook was on its way. I’m not sure what I was expecting, perhaps an expansion on Illusions, or something more obviously related to it, however this is not the case.

Messiah’s Handbook is a tiny book of aphorisms and quotations taken from some of Bach’s other works, notably Illusions, One, Jonathan Livingston Seagull, Out of My Mind, and The Ferret Chronicles.

It’s intended use follows the example of other bibliomancy tools of this type: ‘Hold a question in mind, please. Now close your eyes, open the handbook at random and pick left page or right’ (from the forward). The results tend to be more interesting than traditional books of this type, of course, being Richard Bach, they’re a little quirkier, and occasionally with some spice: ‘Spacetime is a fairly primitive school. But a lot of folks stay with the belief of it even when it’s boring, and they don’t want the lights turned on early.’

It’s small, it’s cute, and underneath the dustjacket the covers of the book are blue suede as in Illusions, but unless you’re already a big fan, at 12.95$US it’s an expensive countertop impulse buy at the giftshop