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4.6 out of 5 stars
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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Showing 1-10 of 58 reviews(5 star). Show all reviews
on 6 May 2001
Make no mistake, read this book and , whatever your views on the various routes to enlightenment it espouses, you will laugh a lot. Out loud and, according to my wife, annoyingly. This is the funniest book I have read since, well, Stephen Pile's Book of Heroic Failures (written a long time ago), which, now I come to think of it, has similar themes. I can imagine Mr Pile adding a section on the 'the world's least successful attempt at tantric sex - when a Ms Isabel Losada of Battersea went on a weekend workshop ... without a partner.' Or the world's least successful massage, 'When a Ms Losada of Battersea nearly lost her skin being 'rolfed'.' Indeed a number of these routes to happiness seem spectacularly unsuccessful, but others, surprisingly, appear to actually work - eg. colonic irrigation which left the author with an 'inexplicable feeling of happiness and well-being'. I am definitely going to try it - when I've plucked up the courage.
In addition to finding the book extremely funny and well-written, for me as an anglican Christian,it was also a bit of an eye-opener. I confess to long-harboured, deep suspicions about 'alternative' therapies. For many Christians (and the author appears to be of the 'post-evangelical-sits-lightly-to-actually-going-to-church' variety), there will be lots of questions about some of the 'new-age' practices described, about which the church is usually highly suspicious. But Isabel tackles each of her encounters with a healthy scepticism, and given the Archbishop of Canterbury's recent remarks about the value of new-age insights, this book provides a very accessible cynics guide to a number of well-established 'alternative' therapies. If like me, you too are sceptical then I would heartily recommend this book, at least if you're not easily offended by four letter words....
A great read, a surprisingly useful reference book, very funny (it needs to be placed in at least three sections of your local bookshop - health, humour, religion, books with odd covers, etc) and a book that demands a sequel exploring more roads to happiness - how about pyramids, crystals, yogic flying, thalassotherapy, or astral projection? But, as the book says, take care of yourself out there.
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on 19 May 2001
The powerful kick in this marvellously witty and worthwhile book comes with one's really "getting" what's behind the refrain, sung up and down the Battersea Park Road: "Use everything for your learning, upliftment and growth."
This book is a travelogue, an outer journey -- in this case through one personal-growth and self-development workshop to another -- reflecting the author's inner journey of self-discovery.
Stepping gingerly and with often hilariously self-deprecating humor, Isabel picks her way through the minefield of contemporary self-help and personal-growth offerings. Beginning, in London, with the Insight Seminar, where she picks up, among other useful tools, the lynch-pin concept of using everything we experience in our lives for our "learning, upliftment and growth," through colonic irrigation cleansings, past-life regressions, tantric-sex workshops and back again, the author guides us on her Odyssey of self-discovery.
Barely hidden behind the humor on this enlightening journey are bright nuggets of wisdom, many lessons to be learned, ample opportunities for ... yep, you got it: "Learning, upliftment and growth." As one of the workshop teachers reminds us, "the real journey is with ourselves."
Don't be misled, or merely entertained, by the comedy of it all. Genuine self-growth and transformation is frequently painful and often frightening. Thank you, Isabel, for the laughter along with the lessons.
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on 13 April 2001
I found myself snatching time at work to read Isabel's book; it's a real page-turner. I don't normally find time to read much, but I made time to read this from cover to cover in a couple of days. It really made me laugh, it was great to read such a personal story told in such an open way. I'm a bit of a sceptic about "workshops" and "that kind of stuff" but this book really opened some doors for me. It didn't try and push things at me, it just told me about someone else's experiences, warts and all.
The book reminded me of Bridget Jones. But I always felt with Bridget Jones that I wanted to turn a page and find that she'd actually learnt something and made progress towards what she wanted - it was so frustrating. Here is a book of a journey that does actually go somewhere, and on the way makes a lot of funny observations on life. Isabel is disarmingly honest and open about her experiences and the people she met.
It's a great combination of information and a very funny story of discovery. From dancing around nude and tantric sex to colonic irigation and hitting cushions with plastic pipes - I wanted it to go on and on when I got to the last page!
Despite my scepticism about "things new-age", having read the book, I'm going to try at least 3 of the things myself.
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on 30 June 2001
I loved listening to it on Radio 4 Book of the Week. The book is great too. An emotional roller coaster. I enjoyed the writing style, which is wonderfully irreverent. I did not want the book to end. (I have since lent it to a friend - who has not returned it - another single mother - who said it was like looking in a mirror.) An amusing and very revealing guide to some of the alternative therapies that are out there. Gave me courage to have a go at some more. Still not convinced about the colonic irrigation though.
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on 15 May 2001
The first page already had me hooting with laughter and I was careful not to read the rest of the book whilst travelling, for fear of disturbing all those passengers engaged in conversations on their mobile phones (grrr). Isabel's quest for enlightenment is a delightful journey to follow. It had me in stitches at times (and thinking "that sounds familiar" - Not the colonic irrigation bit, of course...). Her open-hearted candidness is touching and, in a way, very bold. The book left me with a smile, a warm glow and a sense of wonder at Isabel's tenacity in her unceasing and often hilarious quest for knowledge and enlightenment.
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on 18 April 2001
I picked up this book while waiting for a flight at Stansted. As an American fifty-year old male, I have been on a similiar journey as Isabel. The joy of this book is that she teaches us a bit about each of the activities from her own experiences.
A subtext is her description of the food served as each of the explorations.
The book is brilliant. I found myself participating in some activities, laughing at others. Her style also helps us to laugh at ourselves.
The book is heart warming and a must for everyone who has gone of that search to find their true self.
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on 9 July 2001
A new friend lent it to me and I loved it. One of the few books I read in one evening ... and then read again slowly. Have done lots of self-development and been a colonic irrigation fan for 10 years (although I prefer my therapist to Isabel's) but the other stuff she chose to do was pretty thought-provoking and, in her hilariously flip fashion, was well described. I would need the Insight seminar plus CODA and anger management, although never having thought I was co-dependent nor carrying around issues of unresolved anger. I've copied the addresses down just in case.
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on 6 July 2001
Gives a light introduction to ways to enjoy life more, and relieve stress without feeling as though you're reading self help books. Nothing is rammed down your throat and you feel as though you've gotten the average jane soaps view of the courses and healings. above all it makes an entertaining read. I felt the reason why she needed to go on this road to enlightenment was not missing from the book, in fact it wasnt as important as the road itself. we shouldnt need to have a reason to wake up and get the most out of life, it's already short enough!
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on 20 May 2001
Let's face it, a large proportion of people who go in for big doses of self help come out either holier than thou or with even more "issues" than they had before. Luckily Ms Losada isn't one of these people. She brings an irreverent sense of humour and a healthy amount of cynicism to areas of ooglygooglyness many of us don't want to touch. The result is an amusing and insightful book which will touch parts of you that you do not always show the light of day. As a book, it defies categorisation, and for me is all the more better for it.
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on 25 May 2001
Just to say, well done and thank you, Isabel Losada, for writing such a brilliant and inspiring book. It really was one of those rare books that you can't stop reading but then don't want to finish (last happened with 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory', about 15 years ago!).
Your excellently proven and thought-provoking comments came at exactly the right time of my life (i.e. 'Aagh, need happiness! Can't get it through buying new t-shirt from Top Shop!'), and have helped put into words what I think I needed to see. If you see what I mean.
I know I'm not an acclaimed writer from an exclusive newspaper/literary review, but thank you all the same for providing some inspirational life advice!
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