Genre: Travel/spiritual memoir
Finished Reading: December 2012
This book is subtitled “A Journey Through Thailand”. It’s written by an American who went to Thailand to “become a monk” (Buddhist) for a temporary period, encouraged, it seems, by a Thai monk whom he knew in the US. But he hadn’t done his homework, and when he got there he found that the amount of time he had set aside wasn’t enough (it was a few short weeks), and he had to abandon his plan. Instead he visited various places in the country, usually associated with Buddhist monasteries.
Weaver gives us no background. Why he chose to make this trip, what his wife (who is mentioned quite a number of times) thought about it, whether he has always been Buddhist (I suspect not) – absolutely nothing to give us a context. In this, the book is very lacking. As a spiritual memoir, for me it didn’t really cut the mustard. He thinks of himself as different from other tourists, and in a sense he is, but I didn’t really empathise with him as much as I wanted to.
He gives some interesting pictures of Thailand. But the main message I took from the book was: for heaven’s sake, do your homework before you go somewhere.
My rating: 3/5
BOOK #4 FOR THE “AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 BOOKS CHALLENGE” (THAILAND)