reviews

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    Working Off Karma Paid Member

    BANGKOK 8John BurdettNew York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2003318 pp.; $24.00 (cloth)Tailing an American suspect through the gridlocked streets of Bangkok, a Thai policeman witnesses his partner’s gruesome murder. What would Buddha do? John Burdett’s Bangkok 8 tells the story of Sonchai Jitpleecheep, a police detective in Bangkok’s eighth precinct determined to avenge his partner’s death. But Sonchai is no ordinary policeman. He is an arhat, a former Buddhist monk exiled to the police force by his abbot to work off some troubling karma. To Sonchai, Buddhism is not an exotic faith; it is the constant backdrop of his daily life, a simple fact of his existence. He acknowledges that not everyone sees things this way, as he explains to the reader early on: More »
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    Books in Brief Paid Member

    Awakening to ZenThe Teachings of Roshi Philip KapleauEdited by Polly Young-Eisendrath and Rafe MartinScribner: New York, 1997256 pp., $22 (cloth) A compilation of never-before-published teachings, given over the course of thirty-two years, from one of the first American Zen Buddhists and the author of The Three Pillars of Zen. Roshi Philip Kapleau’s style is consistently humorous and touching, and bears the stamp of his own teachers Harada Roshi and Yasutani Roshi. This book is a gift from a master to his students at the close of an illustrious career. More »
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    History and Truth Paid Member

    The House of WidowsAskold MelnyczukSt. Paul, MN: Graywolf Press, 2008256 pp.; $16.00 (paper)History’s neither a searchlight nor a camera: it’s a flickering candle we use to read the marks on the wall as we crawl from that cave where only shadows of images play. —Askold MelnyczukMore »
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    Unplug Yourself Paid Member

    MEDITATION MAY BE our last, best refuge from iPhones, Treos, iPods—and our overscheduled lives. Now Vipassana teacher Sharon Salzberg has come up with a way we can slow down, ditch our electronic gadgets—temporarily, at least—and go on retreat without leaving home. Unplug, her new interactive kit (Sounds True, 2008, $26.95), provides everything you need to visit your “inner Wyoming” (that place of “peace, spaciousness, clarity, and freedom that exists within each of us”) for a restorative hour or day or weekend.More »
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    The Shadow Knows Paid Member

    View the print version of this article in PDF format Kagemusha: The Shadow Warrior Akira Kurosawa, Director The Criterion Collection $39.95; DVD More »
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    Prelude to a Poem Paid Member

    View the print version of this article in PDF format The Book of Martyrdom and Artifice: First Journals and Poems 1937–1952 Allen Ginsberg, edited by Juanita Lieberman-Plimpton and Bill Morgan Cambridge, MA: Da Capo Press, 2006 523 pp.; $27.50 (cloth) Collected Poems 1947–1997 Allen Ginsberg New York: HarperCollins, 2006 1,189 pp.; $39.95 (cloth) Howl [Annotated] Allen Ginsberg, edited by Barry Miles New York: HarperPerrenial, 2006 194 pp.; $18.95 (paper) More »