Book Reviews

Here are some of the reviews from

By W.S. Jul 30, 2017 

I just finished reading Jolted Awake, and am strongly moved by it. Richard Levine's written testimony of his life is sincere, open-hearted and loving. I am not part of the BDSM community, and was hesitant to read this book. However, Jolted Awake radically changed how I feel about M/s relationships. Because of Levine's words, I understand that I may be wired differently from him, but can appreciate the growth he experienced on his path. Previously, I felt judgmental about M/s relationships, and now, can accept this path as simply another path to achieve personal growth. Thank you, Richard.   

By D. G. Jul 22, 2017 

While I am not part of the BDSM community, I found Richard Levine's book to be inspiring. The story of Richard's life definitely kept my interest and I found that I couldn't put the book down. Interspersed with the story, and more important to me, was Richard's enlightened perspective on what was happening. This is a deeply spiritual book which opened my eyes to another way of life. There are many paths to self-realization and Richard has shown me that the BDSM path is one of them. I really appreciate his vulnerability in dropping all the acceptable masks and showing up as his true self.   

By M. M. Mar 12, 2017

Inner struggles of a man seeking freedom and ending with finding love as well. It may be different from what the mainstream society thinks it should look like but it is love nonetheless. A boy's love for his mother, brother and ultimately his master. As a heterosexual woman I enjoyed the genuine and honest portrayal of a gay man's discovery of himself and his journey to get there. The author is obviously a very sensitive man who has also been involved in humanitarian activities that we can all learn from ....well done!  

By T. L. Mar 9, 2017 

It takes a man of high emotional intelligence and spiritual development to be able to open his heart and his history to the world. I was so impressed by Richard's candid stripping away of the parts of him that did not serve his life's purpose. The course of my own life has been severely altered by his words and his service to the man who guided his life. I ended up purchasing multiple books and giving them as gifts to those who I felt could see his life as as an example of devotional bliss and gratitude. I want to thank Richard for the gift he gave us all by sharing his story.       

By E. S. Nov 13, 2016 

I have had the honor of knowing Rick for about 6 years now, and hearing from him at conferences and classes. He and Skip have been a guiding light towards the spiritual fulfillment I have sought. I experienced an intensely emotional awakening when I first met these kindred spirits who were teaching at a conference, and who were so much further along the path than myself. When they spoke, their words were such truth as I had thought did not exist outside my own beliefs. I spent that weekend in tears; moved so intensely by their wisdom, and a feeling of coming home. This book documents Rick's journey, so purposefully pursued, and wonderfully evolved. All through this book are the pearls of wisdom that are the secret to spiritual success, as well as the road map to find the anchors that will help secure you to the path. Thanks to Rick, I finally found out about the SOM Church of New Thinking. And, at long last, was able to find others focused not on an organized set of religious rules, but rather the development of spirit, and recognition of the ego for what it is. Rick's work has set out not only the story of his journey, but is a road map and instructional guide for one's own evolution as well. I am grateful to Rick for his wisdom, and his book.    ·      

By H. C. C. Sep 21, 2016 

Levine should be lauded for extreme courage, openness and authenticity. His tone is pitch perfect. You can clearly feel that his aim is to communicate… not to preach. This is not a didactic tract; it’s an authentic and loving effort to tell his personal story (warts and all). And what a story it is! The information about spiritual practice/s is excellent and far-ranging. The original poetry (that ends several chapters) is heartfelt. The cited quotes and teachings have been chosen with rare intelligence and sensitivity. The story is one that will resonate, no matter how different your own story. I’m a “vanilla” person and found this to be a treasure map for my own spiritual – and often tangled – path. This is a valuable book to read for everybody: kinky, not kinky or semi-kinky. It’s all in the service of letting in the light. Amen to that.   

By S. G. Sep 13, 2016 

I am not part of the “kink” community, yet I related deeply to Levine’s book. He recounts, in exacting and thrilling detail, the unfolding of his inner life, from the very beginning, to losing his dad when he was age 10, to self-esteem and identity issues, and to worlds and ways of being that are perhaps unexpected, but turned out to make complete sense to this reader. The momentum of one person’s ride through life is chronicled in a most compelling way, with palpable, well written narration of the evolution of the author’s self-awareness, leading up to his own psychological and spiritual awakening. Though admittedly out of the mainstream, the author’s awakening is nevertheless a universal, sacred arc that touched my inmost being. I highly recommend the book to those who are curious about the nature of their own consciousness, and about the inner lives, and the behaviors and feelings, of those around them.     

By H. G. Sep 11, 2016 

I knew nothing about the subject, but I was intrigued. Levine's path to enlightenment turned out to be a gripping tale well told. His journey may not be for everyone, but for him it seems to have worked out miraculously well. The book is extremely well written, and I could hardly put it down. Highly recommended.