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The Wisdom of Donkeys: Finding Tranquillity in a Chaotic World Paperback – 5 Mar 2009
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"An amazing book... Erudite, acutely observed and spontaneous. My guess is that it will become what
they call a classic" -- John Berger
About the Author
Born in Liverpool, England in 1960, Andy Merrifield taught geography for over a decade in assorted British and American universities. He's author of four previous books, including biographies on two twentieth-century French philosophers. He now lives and writes in a small rural community in France's Auvergne region.
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Top Customer Reviews
I now feel qualified to lead my donkey around the quiet lanes of the Ardeche taking time out from the bustle of normal life. I will have to learn the art of patience so often neglected in everyday life but I feel that Andy Merrifield's excellent and insightful guide is gently easing me into that frame of mind. I will of course be bringing a brush and a curry comb with me on my trip and hope that I can produce not a book but a smile from my long suffering friend. It will be a challenge.
As another reviewer has pointed out, it is NOT a travel book in any accepted sense of the word. There is a journey, but the author's journey is more of a spiritual one rather than a physical one. It is more a self-help book. He doesn't record where he went, what he did and what he saw, as such, he writes down how he felt and how he bonded with his donkey. When I picked it up I thought it would be a bit like Tim Moore's Spanish Steps, which I enjoyed immensely, but it isn't. For a start there is no humour. On the whole this is a bit too, well, SERIOUS. Like I said, the publishers have chosen to market it in the "mind, body, spirit" genre, which tells its own story and goes a long way to describing its new-age feel.
Another slight problem I had with this book was that I couldn't ever quite get away from the feeling that the author was anthropomorphising -- that's easy for me to say! -- "Gribouille", his asinine companion. I kept thinking: is he really thinking that or is the author just fancying that he is? Of course the author is just fancying it, but does that make it so? Also, I could never get away from the fact that this was very mid-life crisis territory. Some middle-age men buy a sports car. Merrifield bought a donkey.
But having said all of these disparaging things about the book I will now offset them by saying that there WERE many profound and insightful things about donkeys said by the author. There are lots of facts and nuggets of information about donkeys' behaviour, how to care for them etc.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An encouraging account of slowing down to appreciate life and naturePublished 7 months ago by Mrs. A. S. Blenkinsop
Terrible, awful rant of one man's rather dull ego. I didn't even finish it. I hoping for a cross between David Mitchie and Carlos Casteneda, what I got was a just argument for my... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Gillian Bayley
Best little travel companion you could wish for. I want to follow in their footstepsPublished 14 months ago by Eileen Wass
Enlightening and inspiring. Bite size readable chapters, to pick up and read as and when you need some peace. Read morePublished 23 months ago by phil minns
I enjoyed this book very much, about a man and a donkey . It had the feel good factor about it.Published on 24 Mar. 2014 by CD
Started reading and couldn't put it down till I finished...beautifully written, intelligent, poignant, perceptive. A real joy to find this book!Published on 15 Jan. 2014 by precy