This book charts Moore Ede's journeys through India and Turkey, as he travels around in search of spiritual experiences. He meets various gurus and attends religious happenings and festivals, in between which he describes the landscape and people.
As you would expect, a man who's searching for unusual experiences in India doesn't have to look far, and it's not long before he meets some extremely bizarre people and gets into some strange and at times frightening situations. Depending which way you look at it, Moore Ede is either brave or foolhardy, as he seems happy to walk around remote parts of India on his own with a fistful of cash, merrily following people he meets to even more remote areas on a promise of meeting spiritual gurus. Happily, he somehow avoids getting mugged, and we are treated to a vivid portrait of India and then Turkey, and their various religions and beliefs. Accounts of his experiences are peppered with quotations from writers, travellers and poets.
The book is full of conflicting ideas and forces - not only the strange juxtapositions and divisions of a developing country, where modern technology, lifestyles and attitudes contrast with ancient traditions and extreme poverty, but also Moore Ede's internal conflicts. He is searching for something beyond rational thought, but can't help analysing his mystical experiences from a rational perspective. Whilst the physical journey has its tribulations, it is his inner journey which proves much tougher.
Having described all manner of magical events, some quite obviously fake and some apparently beyond rational explanation, the narrative progresses to an ultimately uplifting ending.
All Kinds of Magic was a really enjoyable book, extremely well written and researched, that has left me wanting to visit the places he describes.