Another World
A Retreat in the Ozarks


Hear William Claassen interviewed on WCPN, Cleveland's NPR affiliate.

Around Noon (3/13/08)

“The author skillfully mingles details from his life with those of the monks and monastery visitors, adding flashbacks to his past and sketches of his dreams. Claassen's blended religious background makes this an inviting book for readers of any or no faith, and his photographs provide added visual interest.”

Publishers Weekly (11/07)

“Claassen's personal writing style in this memoir-meditation switches back and forth from reality to surreality, from inside to outside the author's mind....Sincerity imparted in the occasional one-to-one, author-monk dialogue is reminiscent of conversations that might take place in a 12-step group gathering. They are from the heart....All these mental meanderings have culminated in the birth of this small, to-be-treasured volume....In total, they represent Claassen's six-decade milestone, a gift to his readers and himself.”

The Bloomsbury Review (7-8/08)

“His thoughtful prose shows both monk and visitor in deep reflection, using time apart from the world as a means to understanding it better.”

The Sunday Oregonian/Portland (1/11/09)

“Claassen believes that the monks have much to teach our society ‘living simply, practicing the art of listening, honoring ritual and ceremony, being good stewards of the land, maintaining a daily meditative spiritual practice, emphasizing cooperation rather than competition, and honoring the value of silence.’”

The Kansas City Star (1/30/08)

“’Another World‘ takes the readers behind the scenes of Assumption Abbey, a secluded Trappist monastery in the foothills of the Missouri Ozarks, where 14 monks live in prayerful community and bake fruitcakes to support themselves....He (Claassen) participates in the daily schedule of prayer and worship and gradually finds himself quieting down. As new visitors arrive, he detects a difference between his newfound peace and their city tension....The book is written without advocacy for this way of life, but the reader comes to understand its appeal.”

Erie Times-News (6/17/08)

“As Claassen describes his walks around the winter grounds - often blanketed in snow - a reader can sense how his own spirituality seems wrapped in a down of comfort and protection. ‘Each retreat day I peel back yet another layer of consciousness and, in doing so, reach a deeper level of awareness and vulnerability.’ During his retreat Claassen meets a Baptist minister, a former Hare Krishna, an older gentleman from rural Missouri on his first retreat, nuns and businessmen. All are on a spiritual journey, and this makes for a unique situation not easily had in the uncloistered world.”

Columbia Daily Tribune (12/08/07)

“For years, discussions of faith have been dominated by right-wing Christians. But William Claassen's Another World shows two alternative Christian faith traditions - one of contemplation and thoughtful community engagement; one of liberation theology and a commitment to freedom from oppression and hate.”

Eugene Weekly (Oregon) (09/25/08)

“...tag along with William Claassen to experience the quiet miracles happening in monasteries today. ”

Paul Wilkes, Producer/Director, PBS Documentary “Merton: A Film Biography

“William Claassen makes a strong and loving case for the continuing pertinence of the monastic life for contemporary seekers.”

Lawrence S. Cunningham, author, Francis of Assisi: Performing the Gospel Life

“ is refreshing to read William Claassen's Another World: A Retreat in the Ozarks. It deserves a wide readership.”

Brother Patrick Hart (Trappist), author, The Intimate Merton: His Life and his Journals

“William Claassen's reflections show that monasticism has a radical signpost for all of us to live in greater concordance with one another and with the world around us.”

Charles Fracchia, author, Living Together Alone

Another World is, among the countless books published this year, a stand out volume, a wonderful book that deserves countless readers.”

Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (02/01/08)

“His text is laced with quotations from St. Benedict and other writers and philosophers, as well as excerpts from hymns and poems. Readers who found inspiration in Kathleen Norris's The Cloister Walk will appreciate finding this volume on library shelves.”

Congregational Libraries Today (7-8/08)

“He (Claassen) weaves his own musing with those of the monks and fellow visitors while observing the time-honored rhythms of the community. Reading this feels a bit like a retreat unto itself.”

Donna Marchetti, Newhouse News Service (2/26/08)

“Up at dawn, no room service, and outings consisting of walks in the woods - not what we normally think of when planning a vacation. But for William Claassen, the daily life at a monastery brings peace of mind and a deeper knowledge of self. Another World is just that - a spiritual journey into a completely different plane of existence.”

Vicki Landes, Reader Views (2/04/08)