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Fischer, former abbot of the San Francisco Zen Center and a poet, has left Zen behind to join Odysseus in his long wander to Ithaca in this touching and curious book. Fischer uses any insight handy-Jewish, Christian, Buddhist, or otherwise-to uncover guides for enriched and conscious living in Homer's stories about his sea-tossed hero. In a way, Fischer's approach reaches back through Fenelon's Telemaque(1699) into the age-old tradition of allegorical reading, except that his lessons are not about the Christian life but the modern ecumenical spiritual life. Neither quite literary criticism nor theology of any stripe, Fischer's book may well appeal to readers not yet reached by more traditional approaches to spirituality. For most collections.