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5.0 out of 5 stars Almost like going there?
Shopping For Buddhas is a book that describes the author's search for a "perfect" Buddha statue during his stay in Nepal, which sounds simple, even dull. That simple description doesn't tell you that the book is based on a series of stand-up shows and that Jeff Greenwald has a great eye for detail and a humourous turn of phrase. At the same time he provides a huge amount...
Published on 6 Jun 2011 by mistersaxon

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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More than shopping
The author has managed to keep a consistent story line, with the purchase of the Buddha statue as the main story. But you also get to know more about the country of Nepal, it's people and culture through his efforts to find his Buddha. Sometimes though it can be pretty annoying to follow his attempts to find the right statue and the authour gets lost himself in his story...
Published on 3 Dec 2001


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5.0 out of 5 stars Almost like going there?, 6 Jun 2011
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This review is from: Shopping for Buddhas: Travel Literature (Lonely Planet Journeys) (Paperback)
Shopping For Buddhas is a book that describes the author's search for a "perfect" Buddha statue during his stay in Nepal, which sounds simple, even dull. That simple description doesn't tell you that the book is based on a series of stand-up shows and that Jeff Greenwald has a great eye for detail and a humourous turn of phrase. At the same time he provides a huge amount of detail about the cultural background of Nepal, of the Hindu symbolism that the statues and carvings, paintings and buildings all represent, the history of the country and he even manages to touch on subjects such as the problems in Nepal with drugs, art theft, poverty and the government.

All of the information is historic however since this is not a new book - my copy has an afterword dated March 1996 - and Nepal has changed a lot since then including a civil war and much unrest. As such the book provides a very entertaining and interesting background to the country but is probably not that helpful as a current guide for visitors planning a trip to the country - which you might expect from the Lonely Planet branding.

As someone who has visited Nepal more recently, I found this book to be a great way to backfill my knowledge of the country and a great way to map my experiences there onto the historical and cultural background of the country. And, of course, whether you plan to go there or not, the book is hugely entertaining: well written and thought provoking but without ever being dull or heavy to read.

I heartily recommend the book to anyone who enjoys travel literature, good stories and some culture and history thrown in.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Shopping for Buddhas, 10 Jun 2010
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Ms. D. Mccauley "fortuna" (Harrogate Yorkshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Shopping for Buddhas: Travel Literature (Lonely Planet Journeys) (Paperback)
I read this book in a library out of general interest in Tibet/Nepal. However it was such a funny, charming, informative and very moving book that it was clear early on that it was more than just a "travel guide". Longing to read it again I ordered it from Amazon. My vague interest in Buddhism became far more than just an interest - because of the down to earth way Jeff Greenwald related his experiences. He somehow humanised the Buddha and the many deities connected to Buddhism and Hinduism, making this very complex subject easier to begin to understand. Greenwald has a wicked sense of humour and re-reading this book has opened a lot of doors for me. Namaste!
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An amusing insight into the Nepalise culture., 12 Feb 2001
By 
Colin Bolton (Nottingham, Nottinghamshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Shopping for Buddhas: Travel Literature (Lonely Planet Journeys) (Paperback)
An author who can invoke the sights and smells of Kathmandu proceeds with an amusing character whose self imposed mission is to find the perfect statue of Budda. A very entertaining tale highlighting the tension between advancing the spritual self and amasing material goods. For those who have been to Kathmandu it will resonate with your memories, for those that haven't then it should inspire you to go!!
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More than shopping, 3 Dec 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Shopping for Buddhas: Travel Literature (Lonely Planet Journeys) (Paperback)
The author has managed to keep a consistent story line, with the purchase of the Buddha statue as the main story. But you also get to know more about the country of Nepal, it's people and culture through his efforts to find his Buddha. Sometimes though it can be pretty annoying to follow his attempts to find the right statue and the authour gets lost himself in his story. Some chapters are pretty descriptive and gives you a deeper understanding about a subject, while other chapters just makes you lost and doesn't fit in with the overall story. If you haven't been to Nepal, it is a good purchase to get some basic understanding of it.
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Shopping for Buddhas: Travel Literature (Lonely Planet Journeys)
Shopping for Buddhas: Travel Literature (Lonely Planet Journeys) by Jeff Greenwald (Paperback - 1 Sep 1996)
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