HOBO SAPIEN: Freight Train Hopping Tao and Zenby Wayne Iverson
Garrison Keillor meets Jack Kerouac meets Mahatma Gandhi in this wry, roadwise scripture. Hobo Sapien is a series of freight train parables born out of the author's twelve-plus years riding freight trains, combined with lessons learned in his seven-year stint as a Self-Realization Fellowship monk, plus the added bonus of fascinating railroad history. Non-fiction… See more details below
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Garrison Keillor meets Jack Kerouac meets Mahatma Gandhi in this wry, roadwise scripture. Hobo Sapien is a series of freight train parables born out of the author's twelve-plus years riding freight trains, combined with lessons learned in his seven-year stint as a Self-Realization Fellowship monk, plus the added bonus of fascinating railroad history. Non-fiction readers buy books to learn something, for reference, or to be entertained. Hobo Sapien fills all three bills. Readers will get a unique immersion into the underground world of the hobo. The spiritual takes are written with a subtle humor that helps the medicine go down. It is not your parent's self-help book. Armchair adventurers, rail fans, spiritual seekers, and academia nuts will all gather intriguing information from this missive. It is vastly different from other hobo books because of its unparalleled combination of adventure, rail history, humor, and spirituality. The author's background is also unique and varied. Not many hobos have gone from Yale to rail or from hunk to monk.
REVIEW BY MARTY SHAW:
Wayne Iverson lives an interesting life. He didn't become a hobo because of any misfortune, but to satisfy an unfulfilled sense of adventure. He later became a monk because of a similar desire to learn more about the spiritual side of life. These two seemingly different paths converge to transform him into a `hobo sapien.' According to Iverson, `hobo sapien' means wise hobo and he explains that both hobos and mystics lessen their material desires. While mystics do it to focus on their souls, hobos do it to experience freedom. Iverson further explains that there are two types of freedom - freedom without responsibility and the type of freedom we should all try to achieve, freedom with responsibility - doing what we ought to do when we ought to do it.
The author's adventures are mixed with life lessons learned while hopping trains but the entertainment value is never over-ridden by any type of preaching. The types of moral lessons tucked within the pages can best be described with an example from the chapter titled "The Headless Hobo," where he describes the time that he stood up on a boxcar while facing the caboose. He noticed that his shoe was untied so he kneeled down to tie it. Mere seconds after stooping down, the train went under a low bridge. Lesson learned?
"When riding a freight train, it's extremely important to know what's going in front of you. Looking backwards can be hazardous to your health. It's like nostalgia. It faces you toward the caboose of life. The good old days were rarely that special. Live in the present and face forward or life might just knock your block off."
In addition to the rail-riding tales and the small doses of spiritual insight, Iverson's stories also provide a brief history of the various rail systems that stretch across the terrain. In telling the history of the railroad, he also provides a history of the land and some of the events that shaped it.
"Hobo Sapien: Freight Train Hopping from Tao to Zen" is a fun book to read that offers just the right amounts of spirituality, history, and hobo adventure. No one part overpowers the other so the reading remains light, entertaining, and informative all at the same time. Those who enjoy light-hearted non-fiction adventure, spiritual zen-like lessons taught through life stories, or the history of the American West will find this book especially enjoyable.
Marty Shaw, Austin, TX - Amazon Review
Fascininating incidents teken from Iverson's over 12 years of riding freight trains... I especially appreciated the moments when surprises popped up in unexpected punch lines to bring home a spiritual truth.
Brilliant, entertaining, informative, and often hilarious.
- Reed, Robert D. Publishers
- Publication date:
- Sold by:
- Barnes & Noble
- NOOK Book
- File size:
- 1 MB
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