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on 3 September 2017
Such an exposure of how the search for the answers and all its best intentions never comes without cost - and on a bigger level - a fascinating insight to how power corrupts! Thoroughly engaging and contains anecdotes that made my eyes pop out at times! I love how Tim just wrote the facts and events as they happened - with little subjective judgement - he simply leaves you to respond to what he writes most fo the time.
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on 13 February 2004
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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on 24 August 2011
Of all the books available that exlore the dark underbelly of the quest for peace and love, Tim Guest's account gets right to the bone. The chilling story is made especially poignant by its accurate reference to real events and the movements and developments of the Shree Rajneesh Ashram as it moved and spread in the 70s and 80s.
There are victims and heroines in any life story yet it is difficult to decide which side of the fence each charcter of Guest's story occupies. In a sense, the post-war generation, and their off-spring, seem destined to fail in their quest to change the world and yet compelled, nonetheless to try.
If the worst possible harm can be done with the best possible intentions, Tim Guest's 'My Life in Orange' shows us just how.
Cherry Coombe
Author of ORANGE.
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on 3 February 2004
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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on 14 November 2009
In the early 1980s I lived in Swiss Cottage, and there was a sanyassid 'health club' (described briefly in this book) up the road, so there were lots of maroon-clad people in the neighborhood. I had a strong and not entirely rational dislike of them, which I couldn't entirely explain. With hindsight we can see that there was a nastiness at the centre of the Bagwan's empire, but I didn't really know about that then. I think it was the way in which the cult took the things that I believed in (communal living, renunciation of materialism, "liberation") and turned them around into their opposite. So it was OK for the Big B to have gold-plated Rolls Royces, and other cult members had to like that to show how they'd moved beyond materialism. Liberation and freeing yourself from control meant being subject to the arbitrary control of the cult's apparatchiks, who could send you around the globe to another commune with or without your children, order you to break up a relationship with someone you loved and who loved you -- in the name of love, of course.

Tim Guest's book describes all this, from the perspective of a child of someone who was initially highly regarded by the cult, but who later fell from grace and was punished for it. Some of the stories are really quite nasty - the Oregon ranch seems to have been awash with guns, homeless people from across America were invited in as 'friends' and then given tranquilisers in their food, the cult spread salmonella in restaurants in the nearby town.

This is a rather upsetting but moving book - the more so because some of the people who joined the cult seem to have been quite nice and to have done so for what must have seemed like good reasons.
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on 3 January 2004
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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on 30 January 2004
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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on 12 January 2010
I have been putting off writing this review - I have read the book twice and keep dipping into it. When I picked it up last time in August I noticed in the news that it's author, Tim Guest, died of a sudden heart attack in August 2009, aged 34. The book reads so much more poignantly now.

It evokes so many emotions - personally I had no time for his mother, caught up in an utterly brainwashed lifestyle, ironically close to that which she was trying to escape from in the first place. The heartache of the author who goes to the doctor as an adult complaining of leg pain, only to be told that years of standing on tiptoes looking for his mother in a crowd has wreaked havoc on his hamstrings. Initially the idea of an alternative lifestyle is very appealing and radical and exciting - but it spirals into a hell of suspicion, separation and some very damaged people.

Such a good book!
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on 18 February 2004
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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on 29 January 2004
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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