Great Dragon's Fleas

Great Dragon's Fleas

by Tim Ward

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This mild follow-up to What the Buddha Never Taught begins promisingly almost a year before the events chronicled in that book. Ward is once again trekking through Asia in search of spiritual knowledge and fulfillment. He gains a much sought-after audience with the Dalai Lama, who offers him some practical advice. Then, in India, Ward becomes a student of a prominent Tibetan monk (the ``dragon'' of the title, whose infestation of fleas is said to be the result of his compassion for all living creatures). All of this displays the same humor, affection and verve that Ward demonstrated before. Unfortunately, after he leaves this divine tutelage, the story loses steam quickly. His rambles through Tibet (where he nearly runs afoul of the Chinese bureaucracy), Sumatra (where he encounters an odd cult that blends Christianity with cannibalism) and China (where he finds that the Buddha may have once been incarnated as a woman) comes off as banal spiritual tourism, enlivened only occasionally by flashes of inspiration. In a postscript, the author pleads for freedom for Tibet, long suffering under Chinese domination. (Sept.)

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Ten Speed Press
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