Out on a Limb

    by Shirley MacLaine



It’s tough to critique a book like this because, as a reviewer, you can’t really be “objective.”  You must commit yourself:  Do you buy into the author’s theories of astral planes, UFOs, and reincarnation?  Or do you think it’s a bunch of superstitious nonsense?  If you pooh-pooh the material, you can be accused of being closed-minded.  If you agree with the author’s claims, then you might be as loopy as she is. I happen to think there is something to this “higher power” business.

Out on a Limb is structured in two parts:  Part of the book details movie star MacLaine’s love affair with a married politician; the second and larger portion of the memoir depicts her journeys around the world, meeting with like-minded people in search of deeper meanings to life.  The love affair grows tiresome to follow, but MacLaine’s discoveries about past lives, karma, and yes, UFOs, are sometimes fascinating, sometimes annoying.

Did she convert me to her beliefs?  Not entirely.  But I won’t dismiss her concepts as groundless, either.  As a friend of MacLaine’s says of her spiritual quest, “It can drive a guy nuts, but it made me look deeper, too.”


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