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on 23 February 2006
Part biography, part history, but mainly a journey of a man trying to understand the place of Buddhism in a modern India.
Even as a former scholar of Indian civilization and religion I discovered many new and interesting facts. Pankaj has researched well; the book strikes a good balance between academic rigour and accessibility.
India is described honestly and beautifully - from an insider's perspective but without partiality. He is clearly fascinated by his country and loves the people who either made a mark on its history, or struggle to exist from day to day. For an outsider there is a clarity about why India throws up problems and questions for the visitor trying to understand where modern India is going now and why the reality is so different to our preconceptions of India. All of this is cleverly interwoven with the main, important facets of the Buddha's life and message.
The Buddhist reader will feel refreshed and never patronised. The student in search of Buddhist knowledge could hardly do better than start with this book. Unlike the thousands of books on Buddhism out there, this one hardly ever repeats or goes over familiar ground. I believe he has achieved the near impossible by writing as though this has been a fresh discovery for him, rather than being passed from a particular tradition. You will be carried along by his curiosity and his style.
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on 26 June 2011
As a Dharma practitioner and a traveller to the pilgrimage sights in India, I found this book full of insights and clear philosophical discussions. The parallel story of a young man's intellectual and spiritual development illuminates the difficulties many young educated people have in India today. A terrific book, deeply thought-provoking and essential reading for those who want to understand the Buddha's life and philosophy both in the context of his time and that of the modern day.
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on 9 January 2006
Right away I would like to make clear that I am not a reader of non fiction but Pankaj Mishras book An End to Suffering is one of the most engrossing reads that have come my way lately. A skillful combination of Indian travel writing, Buddhism, philosophy and a quick look at Indian history makes it an easy read for anyone interested in making a start in those subjects.
His own wide ranging experiences and reading form the basis of the book which makes the writing personal and intimate without sacrificing an objective point of view or facts and figures.
Thouroughly enjoyable, makes me want to read all his other books.
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on 29 April 2010
Pankaj Mishra is an intellect/ genius, this book is probably my best read, thought provoking and his comparison of Eastern and Western Philosophies is in detail and again highly thought provoking. His speculation of what Buddha might have had prescribed in current times is equally interesting. A very hard and intellect read in the background of his travel experience in India and abroad makes it more beautiful....had to read some paragraphs few times over to understand.....Definitely recommend
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on 6 May 2013
This is an excellent book,giving a very clear history and exposition of Buddhist thought and the common strands in the Western philosophical tradition, in a well researched and erudite comparative study. It is part travelogue, part autobiography and works beautifully as an account of the author's own spiritual journey. Highly recommended.
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on 17 February 2015
Brilliant, secular, sensitive and engrossing exploration of Buddhism with politics and travel writing thrown in! Superb!
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on 4 April 2015
Interesting
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