From war torn Afghanistan, through the snow capped Himalayas and across the burning sands of the Taklamakan desert, to a rapidly modernizing China and on to the Central American jungles it is an impossible journey, but one that Gary Geddes eagerly undertook in order to retrace the voyage of the legendary 5th century Buddhist monk Huishen Geddes was long fascinated with stories of Huishens life and travels this Afghan holy man fled Kabul for China and may have crossed the Pacific to North America 1,000 years before Columbus.The length and breadth of this expedition, and its difficulty, would have been amazing enough on its own, but Geddess trip takes on an added dimension and poignancy due to its timing he reaches Afghanistan one month before September 11, 2001 and arrives in China as the tragic events unfold.Along the way, Geddes encounters Afghan refugees, Pakistani dissidents, Tibetan monks, Buddhist scholars, a KFC outlet in Luoyang, mysterious cairns in Haida Gwaii, and ghostly remains in Mexico As the Silk Road morphs into superhighways, ancient sculptures turn into military targets, Geddes glimpses, in the collision of past and present history, important clues for imagining a workable future....
|Title||:||Kingdom of Ten Thousand Things: An Impossible Journey from Kabul to Chiapas|
|Publisher||:||Sterling March 1, 2007|
|Number of Pages||:||400 pages|
|File Size||:||786 KB|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Kingdom of Ten Thousand Things: An Impossible Journey from Kabul to Chiapas Reviews
I have come to enjoy travel books. Through them, I have visited, among other places: India, Italy, Bali, Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, both poles, and the list is expanding. When I found this book in the "Let's-Clear-Out-Our-Warehouse" section at a major dealer after Christmas, I was excited about "traveling" again. This book promised to combine two of my interests: records of travel and Faith Journeying. This book is written by a pilgrim who wanted to find an answer to a question that, at times, seemed only important to him. The question being "did a Buddhist missionary, Huishen, travel from the Kabul to the east coast of the Americas in AD 458?" His quest to find the answer to this riddle is the premise of this book.
What could have been such a promising book -- a modern journey through the historical route of a 5th century Afghan monk (Huishen) purported to have crossed the Pacific -- falls flat, missing out on almost every opportunity to provide historical context, relevant or insightful musings on the relationships between the present day countries and the world of Huishen, or even transcriptions of the records attributed to Huishen, which the author only obliquely references. Rather, we're left with detailed scatalogical commentary, unbelievably corny humor, questions so politically naive as to be beyond the pale ("Do you think Tibet will ever be free?"), extended commentary from the author's journal from times at which he was admittedly delirious, and more! The author seems to believe that the fact that he is a poet exempts him from things like "form" and "content" while he is writing prose, much less "information," "narrative structure," or "a good editor." Avoid this book at all costs.
The premise of this book is wonderful - tracing the path of a Buddhist monk who is reputed to have traveled from Afghanistan, across China, and on to the Amreicas in the 5th century. One might expect, at the least, that a poet writing about his travels would produce a book that would have beautiful descriptions of people, places and things. At best, one could hope for exploration of insights and thoughts about what it is to be a traveler - actually and metaphorically, and speculation about the spiritual import of such a journey.
I found this book to be engaging as well and for lack of a better word... fun. To me, this book is not so much about making political statements or discovery, or about trying to provide a dissertation on the turmoil in asia or the americas. I took this as a journal of a man who was trying to find himself just as much he is trying to "rediscover" the steps of an obscure monk in history. If you take it as such, you would find that the things he describes are much like what you would see if you traveled to places like cambodia or indonesia and you would enjoy the book. I did not like the abrupt changes transitions into a recollections or choppy timeline. The descriptions of the characters he meets are certainly poignant and sometimes revolting. However, Mr. Geddes ought not think that all chinese women are crazy about him.
Explore Gary Geddes' emotionally charged, spiritual terrain with him as he passionately traces the pre-Columbian steps of Afghan monk, Huishen, to North America. The compelling poetic prose, humorous at times, subtly reveals much about the political concerns of China, the Middle East, and Central America while transporting the reader into a significant adventure that is both history lesson and pure escapism. Comparatively, think about doing the dishes while singing along to Bob Marley's "One Love/People Get Ready." It's at once engaging and liberating.