on 7 November 2011
The main character in "The Saint," James Otis, is a wealthy collector of Gandhi memorabilia, with a drive to do good and an apparent disregard for his own health and safety. One of the things that struck me about this story was how well it integrated the story of Gandhi (both good and not), for those who might not be familiar with his life story. Gandhi's story also gives insight into Otis and his motivations. What didn't occur to me while reading the story was that it was actually true - a misconception corrected after the fact. The adventures of Otis and Broudy (who I now realize was the story's narrator) read like fiction. That the story is true is even better and gives great insight into spirituality and religion along with current politics along the border of India and Tibet. One of my favorite passages was this succinct explanation of the difference between two of the world's major religions: "Christianity is premised on man's imperfection. Hinduism is premised on his perfectibility."
**Originally written for "Books and Pals" book blog. May have received a free review copy. **