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The Holy Man

4.29  ·  Rating Details ·  704 Ratings  ·  117 Reviews
In a witty parable about pilgrims seeking answers from a holy man, each chapter tells another personal tale of human problems and shows that gurus' cures never really cure anyone, they simply reveal the good things that are hidden from view. BOMC. QPB.
Paperback, 173 pages
Published March 8th 1995 by Riverhead, Putnam (first published 1995)
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Jul 31, 2009 Salsadancer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone looking for a simple gift of faith, inspiration, wisdom
This book is a metaphor (in the tradition of the Canterbury Tales) for the various journeys each of us take to find wisdom. Often we feel that someone or a place will give us the results we seek in life, but eventually the realization grows on us that the answers are already programmed in ourselves.

The basic story: A line of pilgrims snakes up a mountain to see the Holy Man in the small house at the top. Each chapter stands alone as a vignette, telling the tale of a different character, yet the
Jan 18, 2013 Leah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
Recommended to Leah by: No one
Holy buckets. I started this book only 18 hours ago. And with 3 and a half hours of sleep, about 2 hours of eating food, 3 hours of hanging with family, I probably realistically read the book in a matter of 9 hours or so, and I must admit that The Holy Man has incredibly changed my life.

Oh my word. I was intrigued by the author's inspiration for this book, since I have also been a "connoisseur" of insomnia and wishing it would turn to creative thought. She "invented an alternative to counting s
Mel Darling
Mar 10, 2015 Mel Darling rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This book is simple yet profound. Its messages are powerful. It says so much by using basic examples of events we encounter in real life. Susan Trott so beautifully captures how much a positive, altruistic, and motivated mindset can transform the lives around you. I'd recommend this to anyone, and I read it yearly like it's a religious text because of how much of an inspiring impact it has had on my own life. The other two books, The Holy Man's Journey and The Holy Woman, are just as enjoyable, ...more
It has a very zen vibe and as such it's not quite as preachy as it might otherwise have been. It's cheeky and sweet and about all these people who come to this one place but encounter enlightenment in unique ways. It is moralistic, but it's not too syrupy and it is very endearing.
Jan 25, 2009 Nancy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of my all time favorite books. I always have a few copies on my shelf for gifts. It is a short easy read about a line of pilgrims waiting to see the Holy Man and the lessons they learn while waiting in line.
Sep 15, 2010 Chris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-own
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 expect
Jan 23, 2008 ayrdaomei rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: young people, fans of morality tales and accessible philosophy
Shelves: finished
The Holy Man is a collection of short stories (each only 4 pages or so) about - wait for it - a Holy Man and the people seek him out. It's set in the modern world, but setting it in the modern world doesn't change the fable-like quality of the stories -- everyone's problems, doubts, and insecurities have a universal, timeless quality.

The Holy Man is a regular person, but he channels qualities of all the holy men in human history, and as such, his answers and responses to people's concerns also h
Louise Silk
Nov 17, 2011 Louise Silk rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spirit
The Holy Man is a delightful collection of little stories about people waiting in line to get to speak to The Holy Man, a regular guy named Joe with a deep sense of humanity. He takes each problem, doubt and personality into hand and folds it back onto itself to give the perfect answer.

What we see throughout is how the line itself brings the answers to each person's problem, doubt, and insecurities with a universal, timeless touch.

The stories are short and sweet telling a simple moral tale that
Jan 09, 2012 Amy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This little book is a gem. It tells the story of a holy man who lives high on a mountain and dispenses advice to the many travelers who line up for months out of the year to get a chance to see and speak to him. Trott is a charming writer and the moral parables she weaves through the story are uplifting and inspire the reader to live better and to treat everyone he or she encounters as holy.
Sheila Callaham
Feb 17, 2012 Sheila Callaham rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this short, inspirational book! Each chapter is a vignette in its own right, highlighting the human search for happiness and the deeper meaning of life. The gently told stories explore how ego and our love of things over people often trips us up.

An absolutely delightful read! I gave my first copy to my mother and had to buy a second one to keep on my shelf for frequent quick reads!
Apr 15, 2009 Rah~ri rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very cute. Light.
Fast read ... read it the other night?
Not many high hopes for it,
It's one of many similar books?
Reminiscent of Grudas ... or was it Gibran?
But either way i did end up liking it
and thinking of the folks in the story,
the tales told.
Made me smile!

Will recommend it to folks I know :)

Jun 14, 2013 Deb rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very quick little read, not sure it's profound but I suppose it would be called so. I was hooked on page 24. You will certainly see yourself and others in the interwoven stories. A good read whether you are searching for something or not.
Eurydice Caldwell
This book is a gentle and positive reminder of lessons we are here to practice. It has aided my honesty and openness. It relates to me on every level and if you want a lovely story to read, it is wonderful in it's simplicity.
Sheila Guevin
Oct 13, 2015 Sheila Guevin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my all time favorite books.

It is timeless and inspirational.

The profound impact hits me the same every time I read it.

Quiet. Peaceful. Thought provoking.

Top ten all time favorite books.
Apr 09, 2013 Hannah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
Recommended to Hannah by: Leah Laky
Major life lessons that show you that the journey you take is the true healing element in life.
See the depth behind the mundane.
Kate Burgan
Dec 04, 2012 Kate Burgan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, spiritual
One of the best and beautiful stories I have read about the "journey" to find spiritual self.
I read this book again every year.
Barbi Schulick
Nov 21, 2014 Barbi Schulick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A favorite of mine for many years. Many satisfying insights woven into a delightful and poignant tale.
Feb 02, 2014 Liz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone seeking
Entertaining, captivating and very revealing. A modern allegory of the age old search for meaning. We follow pilgrims up a mountain to meet a Holy Man and find ourselves among them. (I was more than one pilgrim.) Where we tend to think of life's problems as complex and at times insurmountable, the answer may be very simple. I enjoyed reading about the "Holy Man's" own thoughts and struggles, confirming that no one has all the answers all the time. A quick read with lots to ponder. Its wisdom is ...more
Jun 15, 2011 Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A friend from church let me borrow this little book. Like most people said, it's a very quick and light read, but has many nuggets of wisdom embedded in the vignettes.

People - called pilgrims - from around the world travel to the mountain where the Holy Man lives and wait in a line during the summer months, waiting their turn to seek guidance and council from him. From their stories we learn to have patience, compassion, treat others with kindness, and enjoy life instead of worrying, among other
Janice Hoffman
Aug 19, 2014 Janice Hoffman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of my all time favorite books. I have drawn so much from this little gem over the years.
I have it on my nightstand with only a couple other books.

Should you choose to read this book, you will see a little bit of yourself in all the different people on their pilgrimage to meet and see the Holy Man. I bought it because of a recommendation from a bookstore employee. I am so glad I did. I also give this book as a gift. A real gem.
Feb 02, 2016 Lauren rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Holy Man lives on a hill and people from every surrounding village, and some from even farther, come to ask his advice on every matter. There are small chapters of about 4 pages that introduce some of the pilgrims that have made their way to the Holy Man's house. The advice and words he dispenses are beautiful and sometimes humorous.
Rana Ansari
Feb 23, 2015 Rana Ansari rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Susan Trott's inspiration to write this book came when she was counting the people waiting to see a holy man, as an alternative to counting the sheep, to combat her insomnia.
This book is a compilation of interconnected, seemingly pragmatic short stories, infused with sublime intrigue and enlightenment.
But what ever happened to her insomnia?
Gudjon Bergmann
Sep 13, 2016 Gudjon Bergmann rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Upending the stereotype, Susan Trott writes about the 'holy man' as you have never seen it done before. The book offers tremendous insight into human aspirations and psychology through enlightening conversations, simple stories, and plenty of humor. A must read for anyone on the spiritual path.
Jan 12, 2015 Penny rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was bought for me as a gift by a friend who said it had changed her life. I found it a wonderful and engaging little book which I read over a couple of days and I will definitely return to this again. I am not sure if it has changed my life, but I have certainly been given something to think about!
Heather C.
Our most recent book club pick. Three days after I finished it I can tell that it will be a story that I enjoy and think about much more after closing the last page than while I was actually reading it. A short tale about people who travel to get advice from a "holy man" about their problems. Most of them seem to work out the problems on the trek up the mountain, and some seem to not really be wanting to hear the answer they need. A few learn simple, real life lessons that are representative of ...more
May 07, 2015 Ecosthetics rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A recommended chapter-a-day, devotional kind of book. Both the Holy Man and it's counterpart, The Holy Man's Journey are short but thought inspiring. They will likely cause the conscientious person to look closely at her/himself, and possibly to adjust their world-view.
Danny Durazo
Dec 17, 2015 Danny Durazo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
great quick read -- people come from far and wide to see the Holy Man and gain answers to some of life's biggest questions
Jan 29, 2016 Nathan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Inspiring in a way. This book was introduced to me by a teacher, and has since been one of my favorite re-reads.
Suanne Laqueur
Apr 14, 2016 Suanne Laqueur rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-five-stars
In thirty-four lovely chapters we meet the Holy Man, his fellow monks at the hermitage, and the pilgrims who line up every day for a chance to see him. Each interaction between pilgrim and Holy Man is witty, human, charming and gently profound.

The first book in a trilogy, followed by Holy Man's Journey and The Holy Woman: Book Three of The Holy Man Trilogy
Oct 13, 2014 Catherine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I rarely give five stars. That fifth star for me is for stories that are a joy to read aloud.
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