Baddha

Author: 
Elson Quick
It's about: 
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: 
Medium
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.

Comments

But I fail to see where I come out of it at all well. I was at pains to give myself a thorough kicking, too. I could hardly have presented myself less flatteringly. Perhaps the irritating sense of superiority you perceive comes more from the crap I write here? Hmmm?

I thought you came across as a helluva guy. Classic anti-hero, I'm thinking Nicolas Cage for the movie. Keira's people are interested in Nui, with a couple of cuts.

"Ostensibly the autobiography of a washed-up 50 something ..." The fuck it is. There's nothing ostensible about that book.

Charles Hawtrey for the lead role and Peggy Mount as the love interest.

I'll just put the head in.

but do you mean it's all completely true, or all completely made up?

... and Old Guy is a totally real Imaginary Friend.

Will rectify that. I was a bit hesitant from the title... figured it was a piss-take bashing of the status quo (in this instance Buddah, but also Elvis, Jesus, Quennie, Mum, Pa, Gramps, and others). Nevertheless, will give it a go... 200+ pages is a bitch to write. (Respeck!) And hell, I might learn something.

that "Baddah" may refer to "Baddah Konasana" (a basic yoga pose) and is not necessarily an amalgam of Bad-Azz and Buddha.

I've just finished a 400-pager, which better make me some money this time (Baddha won't turn a buck, unfortunately) or I'm going to eke out my days getting more and more washed up. Baddha was almost as quick to write as it is to read. Mainly because I didn't have to make anything up. Some characters are extremely well disguised, some are presented as they really are, with their own names or very close variants. A lot of the lines that they speak they actually said; I'd note stuff down all the time. And it all happened - every last bit of it. Even the card trick, which remains for me the most inexplicable thing that happened from that time.

along with a Led Zeppelin dvd and "Fifty One Tales" by Lord Dunsany.
Looking forward to it!

Dunsany is a big favourite of mine. I used to have a first of Fifty-One Tales, too. And The Sword Of Welleran and a few others, some with the fantastic Sidney Sime illustrations.

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