2017 READING CHALLENGE RECOMMENDATIONS
The new year is a time to challenge yourself to reach new […]
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In Bones of the Master, George Crane and his good friend, Zen monk Tsung Tsai, went to Mongolia to find the grave of Tsung Tsai's teacher and build a shrine in his honor. Now, this is the story of the second journey.
Crane's prior book was a surprise success that sold well and got great endorsements, reviews, foreign rights sales. Crane is an excellent writer--a mix of Jack Kerouac, Bill Bryson, and Peter Matthiesen--and his adventures in China, Mongolia, and the US with his delightful, profound neighbor and friend, Zen Buddhist monk Tsung Tsau is one of the great unlikely pairings in the Don Quixote/Sancho Panza tradition.
Beyond the House of the False Lama traces Crane's adventures as a writer, wanderer, and anarchic but still failing student of Zen. It begins in 1996 at the edge of the Gobi Desert in Inner Mongolia, where he and his teacher and friend, Zen Master Tsung Tsai, are forced by a sandstorm to end their quest to find the lost temple at Two Wolf Mountain. It continues with a harrowing, near disastrous attempt to deliver a ratty, 58 foot ferrous cement sailboat to Granada. Setting sail from Key Largo into the heart of hurricane season, with a crew of eccentrics and outlaws, led by the infamous Captain Bananas. They run with a disintegrating sailboat into the perfect squall. The tale endsin the winter of 2003, when after weeks of desert travel, Crane and his companions---the nomad Jumaand and the young, beautiful Mongol girl Oka, his bed mate and bodyguard---stand beneath the remote cliffs of Delgaz Khaan in Outer Mongolia's South Gobi. Here, Crane, after burying his long dead father, sets out on a new quest, looking to find what the nomads call Windhorse, "the beginning of the wind," but finds what every nomad knows, that every road is more a direction than a destination.
Living on the edge---flirting with death, sex, and lust, with nomadism and Zen---Crane is a passionate observer of the physical and metaphysical world, able to bring alive the emotions and desires that lie at the heart of a life. Wind is the Purpose has the texture, vividness and intimacy of a conversation with the reader. It is a story of people, places, and adventures; of myths and mysteries transmuted and transposed into poetry and prose. It is a travel memoir and a wild spiritual search.
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