"Grayston offers an excellent example of work that emerges when disciplined scholarship, seasoned experience, and refined pastoral awareness are free to converge and collaborate in the creative mind of a writer. Thomas Merton and the Noonday Demon both informs and transforms the reader with a pilgrimage that begins with the unexpected discovery of letters in a Camaldolese monastery and goes deep into the most challenging terrain of Merton's spiritual journey . . . and our own."
--David Joseph Belcastro, President of the International Thomas Merton Society
"This book presents a thorough, engaging, and enlightening study of Merton's major periods of instability resulting from his desire for greater solitude . . . Through this marvelous piece of scholarship, the reader will gain new and fascinating insights into the life, vocation, and struggles of this great twentieth-century spiritual master."
--Paul M. Pearson, Director of the Thomas Merton Center
"Donald Grayston's sensitive, inquisitive, and probing examination of the spiritual disorder at the heart of Merton's restiveness is a gallimaufry, a rich mosaic of psychologically penetrative insights, a tantalizing portrait of a modern gyrovague's disquiet, a potpourri of snippets and shards of sapiential quality."
--Michael Higgins, Vice President for Mission and Catholic Identity, Sacred Heart University
"Scholarly, accessible, relevant. Grayston unpacks the complex tale told in this hitherto unknown correspondence from a critical period in Merton's life and shows us yet again the human fallibility that somehow gives Merton greater not less appeal and relevance to the contemporary reader. As we see Merton struggle with his questions about 'vocation' and the 'will of God,' we find ourselves also being drawn into those same questions in our own lives."
--Angus Stuart, Past Chair of the Thomas Merton Society of Great Britain and Ireland
"Grayston brings together the complexities and paradoxes of Merton's spiritual restlessness, desire for solitude, and late, romantic relationship with his nurse. The credibility of Grayston's work is sustained through an impressive and detailed use of sources, some of them new to Merton readers. Grayston writes with considerable verve and originality and with a readiness to make judgments where they are needed."
--Ross Labrie, Professor Emeritus, University of British Columbia
"This work will certainly take its place as one of the most important biographical studies of Thomas Merton and serve as a significant supplement to the standard accounts of Merton's life by Michael Mott and William Shannon."
-- Patrick F. O'Connell, as reviewed in American Benedictine Review
"This book is quite amazing. It is good and clear and strangely challenging. It tells us about a Merton we would as soon not know about while we also learn to admire him. It is well organized, not preachy, and compassionate. It is well researched and charitable. It is both difficult to read and a pleasure. It makes you wonder. It enlightens, both a scholarly book, well written and compelling. It tells us several stories: Merton's quest; the author's quest; and implies everyone's quest in seeking the will of God. It is about indecision and revision and the need to know, but finally it reminds us that we have a need to accept the fact that we must have faith. It is about vocation and seeking, hoping, and praying and it is a mystery-detective story too, well worth reading."
--Victor A. Kramer, as reviewed in The Merton Seasonal