Who was it who asked, "Why does the devil have all the good tunes?"The seven "deadly sins" are not to be found in scripture as such, but they have been a staple of Christian preaching since the early church. Ken BazynAEs The Seven Perennial Sins and Their Offspring is more indebted to literature than to personal experience, ethics, or the contemporary obsession with psychology. Drawing upon a vast storehouse of reading from a wide variety of disciplines, Bazyn offers a "thick description" of each of these "root" sins, setting them in a broad temporal, cultural, and human context. The range of reference is enormous. We are as likely to encounter Madame Bovary as Evagrius Ponticus, Jay Gatsby as Blaise Pascal, Francois Truffaut as Francis of Assisi, testifying to the perennial nature of the temptation to pride or anger, gluttony or sloth. We succumb to them over and over partly, says the author quoting Jorge Luis Borges, because "our minds are porous with forgetfulness." With the widespread adoption of the Revised Common Lectionary, topical preaching--on the creed, the ten commandments, the beatitudes--has fallen out of use. Thus the even greater need for a book like The Seven Perennial Sins. Without ever moralizing, by means of anecdote and story, the book provides a serious, but often amusing, account of the dark side of the human comedy.