The Holy Man

( 6 )

Overview

They came from far and wide to see the Holy Man, to find new direction in their lives. They walked away, forever changed by simple words of wisdom so powerful, yet so universal, that their stories are an inspiration to us all. This acclaimed national bestseller is a warm and witty parable of the human search for happiness.

Buddhism and insomnia led novelist Susan Trott to invent an alternative to counting sheep: she counted a line of people waiting to see a holy man....

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Recorded Books, Inc., 01/01/1996, Audio Cassette, Ex-Rental. Very Good condition. Audio Cassette. Case Good. Original artwork may contain stickers or shelfware. Quality guaranteed!

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The Holy Man

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Overview

They came from far and wide to see the Holy Man, to find new direction in their lives. They walked away, forever changed by simple words of wisdom so powerful, yet so universal, that their stories are an inspiration to us all. This acclaimed national bestseller is a warm and witty parable of the human search for happiness.

Buddhism and insomnia led novelist Susan Trott to invent an alternative to counting sheep: she counted a line of people waiting to see a holy man. Each chapter of this warm and witty parable tells the tale of a pilgrim seeking answers--and finding them in marvelous and unexpected places.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Trott, who has won a wide readership with her individualistic, witty novels Divorcing Daddy, may touch some readers with this charming and quirky, if sometimes woolly, fable about a 72-year-old holy man named Joe and the pilgrims to whom he dispenses advice. Joe, who likes to allude to Jesus and Buddha, is very human and fallible, clandestinely taking pills for his heart ailment. Most visitors are rushed through his mountain hermitage in 20 seconds; he rarely talks to them but many seem to benefit anyway, letting go of egotism, envy, arrogance and other spiritual ills. Joe's wisdom too often seems lifted from fortune cookies ``Your life, stripped to its essence, is pure gold''. He glibly recycles Eastern ideas, as when he tells a grieving widower that his wife ``was never yours. Nothing that you have is yours,'' and he occasionally slips into New Age psychobabble ``Einstein completely abandoned his ego.... Then he was free to think, free to release his intuitive power''. But his basic message-tolerance, overcoming greed and ignorance, recognizing the inherent holiness of people and nature-shines through Trott's prose. BOMC and QPB selection. Mar.
Library Journal
Trott, the author of eight novels e.g., Sightings, LJ 6/15/87, changes gears with this work, which is best described as a deceptively simple Buddhist parable. The eponymous holy man is Joe, a World War II veteran, who suffers the loss of his family and goes in search of answers-a quest that eventually leads him to a hermitage on top of a mountain in an unnamed country. Because of his goodness and wisdom, Joe is sought each summer by thousands of people who stand in line for days, even months, only to be given a one-minute interview. The author recounts the experiences of people waiting in the line, the transformations wrought by their interviews with Joe, and the inner problems of Joe's monks. The reader learns of a drunkard who becomes sober, an angry man who has his last tantrum, a warrior who finds peace, and a famous man who learns humility. While Trott offers up facile answers to complex problems, the simplicity of her tale and the lucidity of her writing make this novel a major contender in the inspirational self-help field.-Andrea Caron Kempf, Johnson Cty. Community Coll. Lib., Overland Park, Kan.
Janet St. John
"Reminiscent of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, Pilgrims from all walks of life make a trek to see a holy man named Joe, a kind of Dalai Lama/Jedi master. The book cleverly encapsulates much of the human search for wisdom and happiness. The Holy Man dispenses a fresh brand of wisdom with wit and modern insight."
Andrea Kempf
"... the simplicity of her tale and the lucidity of her writing makes this novel a major contender in the inspirationl self-help field."
Rima Farrone
"This is one of the most exquisitely beautiful books to be published in many years. It runs the gamut from philosophy to religion with a scattering of gentle fables mixed in. It overshadows attempts to corner holiness. It is a sweet and gentle tale bound to become a favorite, read and reread through the years."
Diane Manuel
Susan Trott finds lunacy in the grandest places. One finishes this slim book with a hoot, but begins to realize days later that there is much to savor. Trott's wit is quirky and unpredictable as when she describes the sage's ruminations: "I'm not reallly the holy man, I'm the holy chatterbox." But her imagery and straight-arrow truisms can be breathtaking.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780788705601
  • Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC
  • Publication date: 1/1/1996
  • Format: Cassette
  • Edition description: Unabridged, 3 cassettes, 195 minutes
  • Age range: 9 years

Meet the Author

Susan Trott is the author of ten previous novels. She lives in Northern California with her husband, where they share a cottage and fishing boat.

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Table of Contents

1 The Line
2 The Hermitage
3 Feelings
4 Angry Man
5 Drunkard
6 Fearful Woman
7 Lovers
8 Grieving Man
9 Famous Man
10 Violence
11 Kindness
12 The Robe
13 Punishment
14 Ego
15 Impatient Woman
16 Rivals
17 Jealous Man
18 The Question
19 Exasperation
20 Heart
21 Shirker
22 Choice
23 Persecuted Woman
24 Fussiness
25 Delusion
26 The One
27 Killer
28 The Puzzle
29 The Game
30 Happiness
31 Covetousness
32 Dandelions
33 Rice Run
34 Joy
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 6 )
Rating Distribution

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(5)

4 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 15, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A Great Journey

    This book is sometimes classified in self-help or inspirational. It's an interesting take on each of this. It brings some cool insights and ideas but does so in an intriguing way. Apparently, the idea for this book grew out of the pre-sleep practices of the author during bouts of insomnia (or at least, times of difficulties falling asleep). She imagined a long line of individuals winding up a mountain path to visit a Holy Man.

    Exploring the idea of turning it into a story, she includes the expected anecdotes and Confucius-style quips of advice but goes beyond that. About half of the focus in the book is spent following specific individuals as they slowly traverse the long line up the mountain. The trek up the mountain usually takes a number of days and thus each would-be-visitor spends hours and days introspectively preparing for the visit, dealing with their own individual demons (alcohol withdrawal, impatience, sense of entitlement, etc) such that by the time they reach the home of the Holy Man, they have often come to their own solution to their problem and merely thank the Holy Man and go on their way.

    The other half of the focus naturally focuses on the Holy Man himself. His own introspections. His interactions with the various individuals. Those who visit take three basic forms: 1) Those who don't even recognize him for who he is and move on quickly. 2) Those who have solved their problems on the way up the path. and 3) Those who he sits and talks to either to gain insight in how their problem was solved or how it could be solved.

    The methods and advice of the Holy Man are simple and easy to understand, but (as sometimes indicated by the complaining visitors) are either too simple (and thus they don't think they'll work) or <i>too hard</i> to the extent that the visitor doesn't actually want to undertake the required effort.

    I really enjoyed this book. It's a simple read. Many of the individual stories are compartmentalized such that a single chapter (or sometimes two or three chapters) can be used as exemplar for a specific topic.of advice and insight. Each chapter has a title that corresponds to its general theme. So the book can be used for quick nuggets of inspirational advice. Reading the story as a whole (or just the first and last chapters) provides a higher level story of the Holy Man and his trajectory.

    One of the key pieces of advice that the Holy Man gives to everyone is that "we are all Holy. I am Holy and you are Holy. And we should treat everyone with this understanding in mind." As we apply this to ourselves, it not only gives a new perspective on life and the people around us, but it also allows the entire book and the story of the Holy Man to act as an allegory for our own life. If we are all Holy, then surely, the thoughts/path/advice/trajectory within his life apply to us just as well.

    If you're interested in a quick, creative, fun, inspiration read, I can recommend this book. The style is simple and accessible while also being insightful. It's delightful and profound without being presumptuous or pretentious.

    ****
    4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2005

    A Lesson Learned and Not Forgotten

    In high school I took a college level english course. This book was read to the class, after which we would right our thought's or interpritaions of each chapter. I learned much from this teaher, and this book. I have always remembered it yet for years had forgotten the title. Ironicaly while laying in bed one night the name came to me. I since have purchased the book and given it as gifts to many close or impactful people in my life. Read each chapter carefully and reflect, it's amazing the thought processes it prevokes.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2004

    MUST HAVE!

    This is an extremely quick read. Turns out to be one of those books that even if you don't pick up again, you're still compelled to OWN ONE! The book is not mind-boggling yet VERY DEEP...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2003

    Can't Put It Down

    This clever perspective of everyone's search for enlightenment, answers, direction will draw you in - giving you the opportunity to see yourself and your own longings in the multi-faceted souls waiting in line to see Joe - The Holy Man. I thoroughly enjoyed it and find it in my recommendations list for years now.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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