Walking Through Walls is the memoir of Philip Smith, an artist and former managing editor of GQ. It follows his upbringing in Miami with his decorator father, Lew Smith, who also just happened to be a very powerful psychic healer. Philip begins his story when he is a child and his parents are the social butterflies of the town. Lew's initiation into the world of natural healing comes first through diet changes, when he decides that his family needs to eat a macrobiotic diet. From there he continues his exploration into mind-body connections, and begins to learn how to contact and be contacted by spirits. It is these spirits that share with him the revolutionary healing techniques that he will use to perform miracles.
I enjoyed this book at the beginning, reading about his parents' lives in Miami, and his father's decorating business. It was interesting to see how Philip's mother reacted to his father's explorations - she continued her coffee and cigarette habit even while her husband and son were living almost exclusively on brown rice. And Lew's spiritual journey was fascinating, whether or not you believe in any of the things he participated in. But after Philip's parents split up, and his father began to use his "pendulum" the book lost me. Lew just got too far out there, and while he may have performed miraculous healings, the explanations of his methods were just beyond kooky. The lengths that Philip went to as a teenager to try to escape his father and the spirit guides was entertaining, and gave a glimpse of what it must have been like to live with a man who performed excorcisms and received communications from the spirits on a regular basis. I know this was not the author's intention, but the book left me feeling sorry for Lew Smith, the man whose life was hijacked by "spirit guides" who left him no time for himself or his family.