Submitted by cheesus on 11 January 2013 - 9:36am
Ostensibly the autobiography of a washed-up 50 something who goes to South-East Asia for the ladyboys and stays for the Buddhism, Baddha works hard to alienate anyone who might enjoy it. Tourists, travellers, gongs-and-pongs Western Buddhists, mathematicians, NGO volunteers and chicks without dicks all get a slap from the narrator for not being, well, him. The heavy spiritual lifting is freelanced to an LSD-induced muse whose contributions are helpfully italicised so you can skip over them and get back to the tales of sex and drugs, which the narrator cheekily admits to doing himself, before beautifully summing the whole thing up in a couple of elegant sentences a page and a half from the end. It's all pithily lyrical and there's plenty of fun along the way, with fascinating diversions on time, spelling and grammar, and enough morning-mist-levitates-the-temples travelogue gush to please the camera-totting poverty-porn coach trippers it despises.
Length of read:
Might appeal to people who enjoyed:
Elson Quick is apparently a pseudonym of a well-known author who also posts here under another assumed name, so this book will appeal to anyone who likes Why You're All Twats And I'm Not by Burt Kocain.
One thing you've learned:
I'm the kind of tourist who sticks his lens up monks' robes and slaps snot-nosed toddlers just to make their eyes widen, and the kind of spiritual seeker who thinks Buddha is like, really wow, so I took a lot of Quick's finger pointing personally. Ultimately though he's charmingly stylish in his destruction of the reader's ego and you have to give in to his gentle insistence that there's a better way to live - his.