Suggested Reading Time: 14 days
Before I start with the review, I would like to mention that Pankaj Mishra has been one of my favorite writers over the last few years. In general, I have enjoyed most of his works and this is one, which particularly stands out. This book is essentially a pot pourri of number of writing forms: part travelogue, part a study of Buddhism, part a personal memoir as well. So the biggest challenge was to identify the category to be ascribed to this book: I simply could not nail it one. Well, we can safely say it is book on Buddhism. That is the kind of liberty we can take.
The book in essence traces the Buddhism in the sub-continent and the effects it has had on the people and as well the intellectuals. It discusses how Buddhism spread to Europe and the western circles, and the ensuing discussions that took place on it. In between as this, the author adds anecdotes about his own journey through the Himalayas. All in all, it’s makes for an engrossing read by the problem with the book is that is gets too detailed at times, with the author’s penchant for academic research being clear for all to see. So you would have to read this with a pinch of salt:
This books forms excellent material for reading comprehension, with few of its parts being particularly good reading material. Also this would be another variation with respect ot the kind of books we have mentioned here in this space.