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Buddhism for Western Children

2.93  ·  Rating details ·  30 ratings  ·  13 reviews
Set on the coast of Maine and in the high desert of New Mexico in the late 1970s through the early 80s, Buddhism for Western Children is a universal and timeless story of a boy who must escape subjugation, tell his story, and reclaim his soul.

In search of community and transcendence, ten-year-old Daniel’s family is swept into the thrall of a potent and manipulative guru.
Paperback, 284 pages
Published October 1st 2018 by University Of Iowa Press
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Average rating 2.93  · 
Rating details
 ·  30 ratings  ·  13 reviews

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Joseph Spuckler
Sep 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: literature

Buddhism for Western Children by Kirstin Allio is a novel about ten-year-old Daniel and his family and life following a guru. Allio is the author of Clothed, Female Figure and Garner, which was a finalist for the LA Times Book Prize for first fiction. Her honors include the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35 Award and a PEN/O. Henry Prize.

The story is told through the eyes of Daniel, a ten-year-old boy, and their family's quest into spirituality. The guru and living god is Avadhoot Master
Oct 15, 2018 rated it it was ok
Kirstin Allio's Buddhism for Western Children delves into the cult mindset as told from the perspective of 10 yr. Daniel. The language is descriptive, sharp, and encourages the reader to focus and be pulled into the story. The problem for me was that I just could not get pulled in. The slightly modern styling and presentation of information just isn't my preference when reading. I pushed though to finish, which is why this review has been delayed past the publishing date. I wanted to care for ...more
Sep 28, 2018 rated it did not like it
Buddhism for Western Children review - no spoilers - DNF / 0 stars
Unfortunately I couldn't finish this one. The writing style coupled with the lack of punctuation when someone is talking and the random lowercase words which should be capitalized ( it definitely is intentional) was too frustrating for a type A person like myself to handle. I did give it a try though, the premise was and still remains intriguing. Maybe you will fair better at it than I if you're interested. It publishes October 1.
Sep 17, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley
I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley for free in exchange for an honest review.
Buddhism for Western Children was a strange, occasionally hypnotic book. It often made me angry and disgusted with adults who sacrifice their children in the name of their own spiritual journey. The book tells the story of Daniel, whom the Guru later renames Jubal. Daniel/Jubal is ten years old when his mother and step-father decide to travel from Halifax to the Guru's compound.
It is very quickly obvious to
Mar 03, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2019
I DNFed this one. I just couldn't continue it because as I read more and more, it became more confusing. There were all these characters that I could not remember. There was a lack of dialogue and the whole story just felt flat. The idea was interesting, but the way it was portrayed was lacking.
May 07, 2019 rated it did not like it
One star might not be fair since I couldn't finish it. I really tried, but had to call it quits after a few chapters. The writing is terrible and makes no logical sense for the reader to follow. It became frustrating enough to force me to return it unread to the library.
Jan 09, 2019 rated it liked it
Somewhat bizarre, clever finish, altho' i'm a bit unclear how Daniel made it happen, or what the impact was.
Jan 07, 2019 rated it did not like it
Couldn't get past the first 2 chapters. Just not for me.
Lois Plale
Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was ok
I would have liked this better if the language was easier to understand. It was difficult to follow
Renia Carsillo
Jan 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Haunting, beautiful, and engagingly weird. This one is going to stay with me for awhile.
Suzanne McGregor
May 12, 2019 rated it liked it
Wierd, and sad.
Breakaway Reviewers
Oct 09, 2018 rated it it was ok
I feel like the little boy who can see that the Emperor is naked!

Ray and Cleary MacFarland, reluctantly accompanied by their son Daniel, ten-years-old, leave everything that has made up their lives so far, and journey to California to join the group led by Avadhoot Master King Ivanovich, the Guru.

Daniel must come to terms with this cult, the craziness that it all entails and even having his name changed (on the whim of the Guru) to Jubal.

I felt like I had taken LSD or some other kind of
Dec 24, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
Well, this was a strange one. The prose does a great job of capturing the cult craziness, but it can be hard to read at times, and sometimes it doesn't make sense (although maybe it's not supposed to?). It was a difficult read but not awfully long. And I must say the ending was good.
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