Sunday, October 15, 2006


Amazon link
Author Interview

This book must be read.  There is nothing else to it!

I started reading it abot 6 weeks ago when my sister gave it to me and said - Henry - I think you'd like this book!  I thought - hmmm - it's a good length - will last at least a month and probably will keep me going while flying to China.  I looked at the back and it was apparently about a guy who'd escaped prison and lived in Bombay with various exploits.  I thought it looked good so took it along.

Little did I know.  I think the words in this book will seep into my consciousness and change the way I think.  The reason I love to read is that it transports me to another world and allows me to live out two lives.  I can pick up the book and no matter where in the world I am I am living the lives of those characters.  I can look up and see the world around me and then I'm inexorably drawn back into the world created by the author.

This book was something different.  It is the first book I've read with such a poetic feel.  Reading it for the first time is one of those experiences that can never be repeated and I can duly envy all those in the world who have not read these words in this order before.  It is like watching Faulty Towers for the first time - for people that have never seen it before there is a treat, an ultimate pleasure open to them that is closed to those that have seen it.

The I cannot and will not seek to explain the book.  There are no words other than the authors that can do that and you must read every one of the 900+ pages to understand this.

The book ends with the author finally moving on and reaching the place he seeks.  I think he accepts his lot and embraces it.  This is his life and he finally realises that the only way to survive (let alone be happy) is to let the experience flow over him.  I have just realised too that this is something that he comments on far earlier in the book when a friend tells him that he cannot resist experiences and must let things happen to him.  Although this is attributed to an Indian personality trait, I think that this is the most profound realisation in life.

When we realise we must accept our lot and we embrace our situation that creates our future we can begin to control our fate.  I suppose it's counter-intuitive that accepting what could be termed fate allows us to control it but I think resisting the inevitabilities of life forces us down a line we do not control, while accepting them allows us to mould the situations we face to suit us.


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