The Seven Mountains of Thomas Merton
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The Seven Mountains of Thomas Merton

4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  156 ratings  ·  8 reviews
The only authorized biography of Merton-a New York Times bestseller and a nominee for the Pulitzer Prize-this book was based on interviews as well as Merton’s unpublished writings. New Afterword by the Author. Index; photographs.
Paperback, 720 pages
Published November 18th 1993 by Mariner Books (first published 1984)
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“When I reveal most, I hide most.” ~Thomas Merton

I thoroughly enjoyed this biography savoring it as I spent time getting to know an author—who I consider more of a friend—better. I do not, however, recommend Seven Mountains of Thomas Merton for someone who has only a casual interest in Thomas Merton. Better to find a smaller/shorter bio, or better yet, try one of Merton’s many little gems on contemplative prayer. Come to know him first through his insightful writing.

Seven Mountains of Thomas Mer...more
whew! a complicated man! that such a friendly & loquacious soul could persevere as well as he did (perhaps not so very well, really) under the vows of chastity, stability, obedience & silence is remarkable in & of itself. he was a man starved for love & friendship. while his social activism was straight from the gospels, his flirtation with Eastern religions troubles me, and I think it was unwise - for him. I'm not sure he had good enough personal boundaries to pull that off.
While this biography of Thomas Merton did fill in the gaps of my knowledge of the poet/monk/activist, it was certainly a slow read. There was a lot of time spent on dissecting literary works and the biographer's style was a tad long winded. I probably learned more than I wanted to learn!
Jan 14, 2011 John added it
Ok, I admit to turning slightly Catholic during the Holidays. This is good to read alongside his actual journals which are of course the source for much of the detail here. I'm on volume 3 of the journals.
This book is a must read for any Merton fan or critic. It outlines in sometimes harsh detail the life and trials of Merton. It helps you to understand the man behind the popular writings.
A fair and well-researched biography. However, my personal views on Merton are a hopeless muddle.
Mar 02, 2008 Lorna_tran added it
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Lovely biography of a monk. It's one of the books I won't let go of.
Jul 29, 2011 Sara marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
1985 finalist
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