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My Life in Orange Paperback – 20 Jan 2005

4.1 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Paperback, 20 Jan 2005
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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Granta Books; New edition edition (20 Jan. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1862077207
  • ISBN-13: 978-1862077201
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.5 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 389,741 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

‘An uplifting and closely observed memoir’ -- The Observer

‘Guest’s poignant reconstruction is an eye-opening story of an extraordinary upbringing’ -- Sunday Times

‘Hilarious and heartbreaking story' -- The Times

‘Hilarious and shocking...a remarkably level-headed assessment of what drove his parent’s generation to seek an alternative way of life’ -- Guardian

‘Intriguing and often humorous mix of straightforward 1980s nostalgia and cult delusion…often absorbing and always astute’ -- Irish Times

From the Back Cover

A hilarious account of growing up in a commune. --Irish Times
At the age of six, Tim Guest was taken by his mother to a commune modeled on the teachings of the notorious Indian guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, who preached an eclectic doctrine of Eastern mysticism, chaotic therapy, and sexual freedom. Tim and his mother were given Sanskrit names, dressed entirely in orange, and encouraged to surrender themselves into their new family. While his mother worked tirelessly for the cause, Tim--or Yogesh, as he was now called--lived a life of well-meaning but woefully misguided neglect in various communes in Oregon, England, India, and Germany. When the movement finally collapsed amid allegations of mass poisonings, attempted murder, and tax evasion, Tim and his mother started a new life. In this poignant and funny memoir, Tim Guest chronicles his experience of being left alone on earth while his mother hunted heaven, and concludes with a heartening account of how they find each other again.
[Tim Guest s] wonderful account of a frankly ghastly childhood is hilarious and heartbreaking, and it says much for the resilience of the human spirit that he has grown up sound in mind and body without a trace of bitterness towards his mother. --Daily Mail (London)
"A unique, eloquent, child's eye view of growing up in a commune and the price paid for a parent's search for bliss. A complex and superbly told tale of longing and repair. Guest is a fine writer at the beginning, I think, of a distinguished career."--John Lahr
An extraordinary memoir. --The Sunday Telegraph (London)
Tim Guest writes for the Guardian and the Daily Telegraph. He lives in London.
A Harvest Original
" --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's hard to write a review for this book: it's very different from anything I had read before (amd I am a bit of a bookworm!!). In fact, I don't normally go for authobiographies at all... However, I decided to buy this book as I was intrigued by its subject matter. It certainly looked like Tim Guest had one of the most bizarre childhood... Other Amazon reviewers seemed very impressed with the book so I bought it on impulse. And, I am so glad did. This book is amazing... The experiences and traumas that the young Tim went through are told with such sensitivity. And it's unbelievable how he can tackle what must have obviously been painful memories without any trace of a judgemental or self-pitying attitude. And this guy is approximately my own age... WOW! What an accomplishment... Well done Tim!
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By A Customer on 3 Feb. 2004
Format: Paperback
Set against a backdrop of the delirium of the early eighties--rebellion against "capitalism" and the "nuclear family", free love and corruption--the story follows his mother's own troubled quest for enlightenment at the price of her child. What's unusual about this poignant and incidentally hilarious search is that the story has a successful, hard-won resolution. This moving, funny and fascinating book is truly a remarkable debut. Guest writes with an articulate and deeply touching voice, weaving his personal story and photos with a thoroughly well researched account of the rise of this 'alternative' community. A must read for any parent, child or aspiring cult leader.
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By A Customer on 3 Jan. 2004
Format: Paperback
I bought this book yesterday as a totally random choice, I just wanted to say that I thought this book was a great read, some parts made me feel sad but I think the authors sense of humour countered this beautifully. If you too have come upon this book by chance and are reading through the reveiws to try and decide whether it is worth a read, buy it!
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Format: Paperback
This book is truly delightful. Yet also thought provoking and touching. The story of a young boy losing his home and mother and their rediscovery of each other is beautifully written without a trace of self pity and with much compassion. Then there is the story of the commune of Osho Rajneesh. Again wonderfully described with evocative stories that communicate the feeling of it all far more than any simple factual description ever could. Though Tim Guest also weaves into the story the dramatic events of the rise and fall of a religion, and this too is fascinating to read. And then there is the wider story for us all connected with hope and disappointment, loss and rediscovery, suffering and its redemption through love. You will not regret buying and reading this book! I loved it and having read it promptly began to read it again. And it was just as good if not better the second time!
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By A Customer on 17 Dec. 2003
Format: Paperback
Buy this book - it may not leave you with a warm orange glow, but it should certainly leave you with many thoughts and new insight into a cultural revolution.
I have just finished reading a preview copy and I am struggling to contain my emotions.
The book is very well composed, fluctuating between the intensely personal experiences written with candour and intelligence and a historical perspective providing a lot of information which has helped me understand the reasons for many events in the commune and in my life.
I am filled with admiration for the finished product, jealous that I am not the one to write it, have enormous sympathy for and new understanding of my oldest friend, a desire to spread the word to anyone who has tried to comprehend what we went through, and most of all I am filled with pride that Yogesh is still my friend and always will be.
I cannot recommend this book highly enough to anyone with any interest in Sannyas, child development (especially alternative theories!) or just as a intensely interesting read.
Maybe I am biased - ok, I am definitely biased - but this is the best book I have ever read.
Swami Prem Majid
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Format: Paperback
I have just finished My LIfe in Orange and wanted to pass on how fantastic I thought it was. Tim Guest writes beautifully about his childhood. He manages to be both funny and poignant about the extraordinary time in his life when his mother became a disciple of the Bhagwan. Incredibly, there is not an ounce of self-pity. As a record of those times - only twenty years ago, but already a life-time historically and culturally - Guest's book is revealing, witty and wise. As a memoir about childhood and the way children view the world, and understand it, it is charming, touching and heartbreakingly honest. But most of all, and most unusually, this book is about forgiveness - how we begin to repair the damage between and within families; what we are left with after the storm. This is a uniquely generous, important book. I recommend it highly.
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By A Customer on 18 Feb. 2004
Format: Paperback
Loved it. Read this one through from cover to cover in two days! Tim's story of growing up in a commune though somehow still growing up in isolation is very moving - there were points when I laughed, became very angry and felt desparately sad. that said, I was always impressed by the way the authour avoided self pity, and delivered a witty narrative that kept me involved until the last page.
go buy it - it's very good
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