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4.2 out of 5 stars
10
4.2 out of 5 stars
King of the Castle. Choice and Responsibility in the Modern World
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on 24 June 2017
I love this book so much I keep giving it away and having to buy it again!
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on 15 August 2009
Having read "Islam and the Destiny of Man" and admired the author's style and eloquence, I turned to this, his earlier book published in 1977 with great expectations. To be honest, I was rather shocked to find he presented a much more serious almost harsh tone here. The book tread similar ground but Gai Eaton comes across as almost unforgiving and even dismissive as he brings modern society under scrutiny and invites us to challenge what we have come to take for granted. We are asked to question the norms that we allow to govern our lives on a daily basis and judge whether we have come to accept the pursuit of the mundane as a substitute for what should be our true, higher goals.
Without a doubt there is so much that is new and refreshing and eye-opening in this book and there is food for thought in abundance. Even so, I would label this book as one more accessible to intellectuals. As an ordinary person with a merely adequate education, I confess that I struggled with some of the finer points he was trying to make and maybe lacking the ability for refined thinking I began to suspect that it was bordering on repetitive. These reservations notwithstanding I have to point out that Gai Eaton is an original and compelling voice and one that we should be taking heed of in these times where the world often feels topsy-turvy and when we are witnessing the erosion of fundamental human values. If you're looking for an easier read I would heartily recommend "Islam and the Destiny of Man".
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on 15 August 2009
Having read "Islam and the Destiny of Man" and admired the author's style and eloquence, I turned to this, his earlier book published in 1977 with great expectations. To be honest, I was rather shocked to find he presented a much more serious almost harsh tone here. The book tread similar ground but Gai Eaton comes across as almost unforgiving and even dismissive as he brings modern society under scrutiny and invites us to challenge what we have come to take for granted. We are asked to question the norms that we allow to govern our lives on a daily basis and judge whether we have come to accept the pursuit of the mundane as a substitute for what should be our true, higher goals.
Without a doubt there is so much that is new and refreshing and eye-opening in this book and there is food for thought in abundance. Even so, I would label this book as one more accessible to intellectuals. As an ordinary person with a merely adequate education, I confess that I struggled with some of the finer points he was trying to make and maybe lacking the ability for refined thinking I began to suspect that it was bordering on repetitive. These reservations notwithstanding I have to point out that Gai Eaton is an original and compelling voice and one that we should be taking heed of in these times where the world often feels topsy-turvy and when we are witnessing the erosion of fundamental human values. If you're looking for an easier read on similar subject matter I would recommend "Islam and the Destiny of Man".
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on 16 September 2003
It was St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuits, who said in the preface to his 'Spiritual Exercises' that it is 'not the abundance of knowledge that fills and satifies the Soul, rather it is the inward sense and taste of things'. This book by Gai Eaton bears testimony to this truth. The influence of the author's friend T. S. Eliot pervades the book - Eliot's 'The Waste Land' acts as a sort of template for the very chapter structure (so that, for example, Chapter One is subtitled 'Unreal Cities'). But don't let the text's Modernist credentials put you off this book. For this book is not simply about to gather a few broken shards of civilisation into its 216 pages. Rather the book clearly identifies for its readers the cosmic role and responsibility of man. Man, says Eaton, is created to pray, not to work. For society to get a spiritual focus seems a pretty well-nigh impossible task, yet this is the call of this book. But unlike many books on a similar theme Eaton is able to suggest some realistic answers to life's problems. And the fundamental answer is getting one's relationship with God sorted.
Eaton quotes extensively from the bible as well as the Qur'an. If he didn't say so in his introduction, you never know that he was a Muslim. The perspective of the book is, however, totally God-centric. Remarkable and refreshing. A wake-up call to people of faith everywhere. Ultimately what's important claims Eaton (like St. Ignatius) is a real, living, faithful relationship with our maker. Not an abundance of knowledge.
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on 4 March 2001
Gai Eaton has really put the hammer on the nail with an awakening call to a young muslim like myself. a MUST read
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on 8 December 2000
Gai Eaton wanders through the assumptions 20th century life and beliefs are built upon. He writes from the position of a practising muslim who was not born into islam. The reason I enjoyed this book so much is that the author brings into his work content from a surprisingly wide array of sources, and does so with much skill.
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on 15 August 2009
Having read "Islam and the Destiny of Man" and admired the author's style and eloquence, I turned to this, his earlier book published in 1977 with great expectations. To be honest, I was rather shocked to find he presented a much more serious almost harsh tone here. The book tread similar ground but Gai Eaton comes across as almost unforgiving and even dismissive as he brings modern society under scrutiny and invites us to challenge what we have come to take for granted. We are asked to question the norms that we allow to govern our lives on a daily basis and judge whether we have come to accept the pursuit of the mundane as a substitute for what should be our true, higher goals.
Without a doubt there is so much that is new and refreshing and eye-opening in this book and there is food for thought in abundance. Even so, I would label this book as one more accessible to intellectuals. As an ordinary person with a merely adequate education, I confess that I struggled with some of the finer points he was trying to make and maybe lacking the ability for refined thinking I began to suspect that it was bordering on repetitive. These reservations notwithstanding I have to point out that Gai Eaton is an original and compelling voice and one that we should be taking heed of in these times where the world often feels topsy-turvy and when we are witnessing the erosion of fundamental human values. If you're looking for an easier read I would heartily recommend "Islam and the Destiny of Man".
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on 4 April 2007
This has to be one of the most amazing meditations on the proverbial 'meaning of life' ever written. Amazing because it is so beautifully poetic and so spiritually moving and fulfulling. This book (as you may guess!) had a major impact on my life. Its wonderful deconstruction, based on religious principles, of the fallacies and illusions of the modern world is delivered with such poetic and imaginative force, that it knocked me over. And it is not just saying what is wrong with our deeply secular world, it provides a moving reminder of who we really are, and why we are here.

You may disagree with so much of what he says, but you should still read, enjoy and reflect on what Eaton says. Compared with Gai Eaton, Thoreau seems a child before a true sage.
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on 4 February 2013
Inspiration to all persons for further thinking on the modern life. Eventually the author converted to Islam like Martin Lings, believing Islam as the religion for eternal peace and happiness..
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on 29 September 2015
Good
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