Eric Kampmann is an interesting character, he heads up two publishing concerns, Midpoint Trade Books, and Beaufort Books. Beaufort Books made the headlines last year as the publisher of the very contentious O.J. Simpson penned, If I Did It. This was the book that ended up in court, the Goldman family prevailing, and wresting the potential monetary gains from O. J. Simpson.

Somehow, based on the notoriety of the case, I had assumed that the president of Beaufort would be a pretty hard nosed S.O.B. The fans of O. J. (all three of them) argued vigorously that he should retain the rights to the book, meanwhile the Goldman family were seen by many as accepting ‘blood money’. In an interview that I had with Fred Goldman, he admitted that he lost a few friends because of If I Did It.

Eric Kampmann completely surprised me with Trail Thoughts. He is a very quiet and contemplative man, someone who has a deep rooted religion, and someone that finds great strength in writings from the Bible. As he explains in the foreword, life in Manhattan can sometimes be not quite as exotic as the location itself. Eric was down for the count in his young life, but he found strength and purpose through the Bible.

The Bible is to some a little hard to read, much of the original material was handed down as oral history, and much of it has gone through translations, and modifications, the language as a result is archaic and sometimes confusing.

Trail Thoughts takes a fresh look at some of the passages and their relevance to life today. One passage per day for the entire year. This is a very personal book, and one that I think will get a wide audience. This is the perfect book for the “I have not read a book since grade school” crowd. All you have to do is commit to reading one page a day.

One of the gripes that I usually have about this type of book is that the comments are just as incomprehensible as the original verse. Eric Kampmann does not do that, he puts his half page commentary in easy to understand terms. In fact he even makes reference to contemporary fiction, with J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord Of The Rings being his favorite.

The Bible is without question one of the most important books ever printed, so important, that many scholars have invested their whole lives in unraveling the mysteries contained within it. Some look endlessly to find the historical links with other documents, some look for the wisdom found within  the pages, yet others speculate more on the more cultural and alas more ephemeral message perceived.

You can get your own copy of Trail Thoughts from Amazon.

Simon Barrett

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