Any additional comments?
I'm always on the lookout for Buddhist-themed novels and so downloaded this one despite it's mixed reviews. It's been in my library for a while and I've dipped in and out of it from time to time - wanting to like it and wanting to give it a full chance. I don't seem to be able to get into it. The story is a bit thin; the protagonist a bit 'in your face'. I like the idea of the novel, but don't feel that it is pulled off and have decided not to persevere with trying to finish it..
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
Definitely. I've listened to it three times.
What did you like best about this story?
Makes you laugh, makes you sad, a thoroughly entertaining story well told. If you're interested in Buddhism, even a tiny bit, get this book.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
yes, if you have the time
This was an interesting listenand an easy start to learning about buddha's ideas. I am encouraged to go and seek more information. It was well read and the narrator's voice was engaging.
The story was interesting in and of itself even if you do not have an interest in Buddhism.
It is also a book to listen to again
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
I was hooked from begining to end. Funny, insightful and totally addictive.
I got to the end and listened again straight away.
I was curious to hear more after I listened to the sample.It starts well, you sympathise with the lead character, and it is an honest portrayal of someone who has lost his direction and finds himself alone, jobless and disappointed with life. The character of Geoff is very likeable, but after the initial chapters you find yourself a bit lost. Its not going to offer you much insight into Buddhism, but it is engaging and realistic characters help it along. Not the best of my choices.
First of all I would say that I enjoyed listening to this audio book which was well read. It is a good mixture of everyday life and wisdom, the 'hero' is interesting and you soon grow to care for him and hope that his life turns out well.
However you will be misled if you don't know anything about Buddhism because it is only half way through the book that it is admitted that 'it's Buddhism but not as we know it Jim'. In fact it's Nichiren Daishonin Buddhism which is unlike any other branch and has a controversial history.
Buddhism as practised by the vast majority has a core teaching called 'The Noble Eightfold Path' and this is mentioned briefly in the book. To accompany the study and implementation of this teaching meditation is taught to make it easier to live in the present and to see the transience of all phenomenon. This is not even mentioned!
The core teaching of Nichiren Daishonin Buddhism is chanting, especially the words Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. This is not Buddhism and was never taught by the Buddha.
As a quite conservative guy I was drawn to the Buddha's teaching because of the way it investigated why we suffer and came up with some common sense answers. Sure there are some parts of the teaching which I find hard to believe but I take these on trust because the bulk of what is said is so right on.
Chanting obscure words and reciting the Lotus Suttra (again mentioned in the book) is nonsensical.
It's a great shame that a chance to bring the real Buddha's teaching to a wider audience has beem wasted.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Great introduction to Nichiren Buddhism. I've been practicing buddhism for 15 years and still find this useful (do get tired of the main character though... so whingy)