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The Battersea Park Road to Enlightenment Paperback – 9 Apr 2001


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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC; 4th Impression edition (9 April 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747553181
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747553182
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.4 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 124,480 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

Isabel Losada leaves no stone unturned--literally--on her trip down The Battersea Park Road to Enlightenment. Wishing to live her life "completely, abundantly, joyfully and stupidly" she makes an entertaining travelling companion as she describes her efforts to move away from her in-a-rut life where "nothing was changing". And she takes us everywhere with her: a life-skills course in North London; a convent retreat in Oxford; T'ai chi in France; a massage in Bath--even the past as she explores her previous incarnations. The journey is invigorating and exhausting and enriched by the numerous characters she meets en route.

The book is much more than a travelogue, however. Losada describes with considerable skill and sensitivity the breakthroughs in the lives of people around her--the woman who starts to work through childhood abuse, for instance, and another who confronts the bullies from school--and her honesty is refreshing and often surprising (her description of colonic irrigation takes the breath away). Often she picks up useful nuggets of inspiration that the reader can take away and digest and these are sprinkled through the text. Intercut throughout is her life with her daughter in a "shoebox" in Battersea and her burgeoning romance with Mark, the man she meets at a hypnotherapy seminar.

Losada has an entertaining and witty style and comes across as somewhat bossy but likeable all the same. And the stones she doesn't leave unturned?

The first part of this new experience involved sitting up and lying down again on to a row of hot stones that had been laid down to head up the muscles on either side of the spine. Damned clever
. --Christina McLoughlin

Review

'Candid, thought-provoking, sassy and very, very funny' Daily Telegraph 'Searching and honest' Independent on Sunday 'Remarkably revealing' Mail on Sunday 'Brazenly probing' Scotsman

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

60 of 60 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 6 May 2001
Format: Paperback
Make no mistake, read this book and , whatever your views on the various routes to enlightenment it espouses, you will laugh a lot. Out loud and, according to my wife, annoyingly. This is the funniest book I have read since, well, Stephen Pile's Book of Heroic Failures (written a long time ago), which, now I come to think of it, has similar themes. I can imagine Mr Pile adding a section on the 'the world's least successful attempt at tantric sex - when a Ms Isabel Losada of Battersea went on a weekend workshop ... without a partner.' Or the world's least successful massage, 'When a Ms Losada of Battersea nearly lost her skin being 'rolfed'.' Indeed a number of these routes to happiness seem spectacularly unsuccessful, but others, surprisingly, appear to actually work - eg. colonic irrigation which left the author with an 'inexplicable feeling of happiness and well-being'. I am definitely going to try it - when I've plucked up the courage.
In addition to finding the book extremely funny and well-written, for me as an anglican Christian,it was also a bit of an eye-opener. I confess to long-harboured, deep suspicions about 'alternative' therapies. For many Christians (and the author appears to be of the 'post-evangelical-sits-lightly-to-actually-going-to-church' variety), there will be lots of questions about some of the 'new-age' practices described, about which the church is usually highly suspicious. But Isabel tackles each of her encounters with a healthy scepticism, and given the Archbishop of Canterbury's recent remarks about the value of new-age insights, this book provides a very accessible cynics guide to a number of well-established 'alternative' therapies.
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42 of 42 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 19 May 2001
Format: Paperback
The powerful kick in this marvellously witty and worthwhile book comes with one's really "getting" what's behind the refrain, sung up and down the Battersea Park Road: "Use everything for your learning, upliftment and growth."
This book is a travelogue, an outer journey -- in this case through one personal-growth and self-development workshop to another -- reflecting the author's inner journey of self-discovery.
Stepping gingerly and with often hilariously self-deprecating humor, Isabel picks her way through the minefield of contemporary self-help and personal-growth offerings. Beginning, in London, with the Insight Seminar, where she picks up, among other useful tools, the lynch-pin concept of using everything we experience in our lives for our "learning, upliftment and growth," through colonic irrigation cleansings, past-life regressions, tantric-sex workshops and back again, the author guides us on her Odyssey of self-discovery.
Barely hidden behind the humor on this enlightening journey are bright nuggets of wisdom, many lessons to be learned, ample opportunities for ... yep, you got it: "Learning, upliftment and growth." As one of the workshop teachers reminds us, "the real journey is with ourselves."
Don't be misled, or merely entertained, by the comedy of it all. Genuine self-growth and transformation is frequently painful and often frightening. Thank you, Isabel, for the laughter along with the lessons.
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39 of 39 people found the following review helpful By tim@hedger-gourlay.com on 13 April 2001
Format: Paperback
I found myself snatching time at work to read Isabel's book; it's a real page-turner. I don't normally find time to read much, but I made time to read this from cover to cover in a couple of days. It really made me laugh, it was great to read such a personal story told in such an open way. I'm a bit of a sceptic about "workshops" and "that kind of stuff" but this book really opened some doors for me. It didn't try and push things at me, it just told me about someone else's experiences, warts and all.
The book reminded me of Bridget Jones. But I always felt with Bridget Jones that I wanted to turn a page and find that she'd actually learnt something and made progress towards what she wanted - it was so frustrating. Here is a book of a journey that does actually go somewhere, and on the way makes a lot of funny observations on life. Isabel is disarmingly honest and open about her experiences and the people she met.
It's a great combination of information and a very funny story of discovery. From dancing around nude and tantric sex to colonic irigation and hitting cushions with plastic pipes - I wanted it to go on and on when I got to the last page!
Despite my scepticism about "things new-age", having read the book, I'm going to try at least 3 of the things myself.
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32 of 32 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 10 April 2001
Format: Paperback
Like Bridget Jones but better! Much as I enjoyed Bridget Jones I found it irritated me after a while because all she would do is complain. Isabel Losada on the other hand has managed to explain herself in a different way. She observes her attitude and attempts to focus on the positive at all times. She effectively mixes enough genuine information about the courses along with the story. This book will appeal to everyone. Whether you read the book for the entertainment factor or because of a genuine interest in the courses she undertakes you won't be able to put the book down. Careful with reading the colonic irrigation chapter on the tube though, people end up staring at you in a weird way, wondering why you're blushing so much! Read it you'll see what I mean.
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