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Buddhist Books > Can a political thriller have a Buddhist theme?

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message 1: by John (new)

John | 5 comments Hello,

I'm John Lathrop, author of The Desert Contract, which came out in 2008 (John Murray, Publishers), and The End of the Monsoon, which will be out this August.

I'm not a Buddhist, but my wife was. She was a strong influence. I spent 7 months in Cambodia, and that also was a strong influence (among other things, I discovered by accident a pain-free method to stop smoking!) I went there to find the material for a political thriller. But from the very beginning, I wanted to insert a Buddhist element.

This reading group strikes me as very Buddhist indeed, and I'm interested to see if anyone thinks that an element of spirituality is compatible with a political thriller.

I can only make available the first chapter, as a downloadable PDF from my website, until the book is published in August. The first chapter sets the scene in a genre-like way, but only hints at the Buddhist theme to come. It's at http://jplathrop.net.

Two questions: Does anyone know of a similar effort? And, what do you think of a literary project that suggests that a woman, a devout Buddhist but deeply into moral conflict, may still, despite that conflict, ascend further up the ladder toward enlightenment, perhaps even become what one writer describes as a 'stream entrant'?



message 2: by Larry (new)

Larry (dralas) | 29 comments HI John

I look forward to reading the chapter you are offering, I will comment again after I have done so. Until then you might want to look at SHE STILL LIVES: A Novel of Tibet by Bill Magee and other titles of Buddhist fiction at www.snowlionpub.com click on all books then click on Buddhist Fiction.


yours in the dharma

message 3: by Merrikay (new)

Merrikay | 4 comments Are you familiar with Jon Burdett's work? He can't write fast enough for me to be happy! I will buy your book without even reading the first chapter. Can't get enough of Buddhist fiction of any kind. Let's me have some escapism while still keeping me a LITTLE bit on track anyway! I often learn lots and especially get new perspective on,e.g. struggling to live ethically in the world. I look forward to publication and will check your previous work.

message 4: by Gary (new)

Gary | 8 comments seeing as buddhism influenced the 1st novel in japan why wouldn't it have influence on fiction elsewhere since ... genre or otherwise ... yr asking is itself "buddhist" & doubles the credibility of your concern ... my 2cents anyways ... am looking forward to reading ... ( wld be glad to post a review at patheos.com buddhist portal ) ... good luck w/ the launch ...

message 5: by John (new)

John | 5 comments Thanks, Larry, Merrikay and Gary for your comments. I have to admit I'm pleasantly surprised. I wasn't sure a project such as mine would be welcome. I shall look at snowlionpub.com, check out Jon Burdett, and take a look at patheos. Thanks for your encouragement!

message 6: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Check out Buddha of Brewer Street by Michael Dobbs. I havn't read it yet, but it seems buddhism themed and a thriller.

message 7: by John (new)

John | 5 comments My God, apparently these blog topics are never too old to be replied to! Thanks, Amanda, I'll check it out. Here's my site, by the way: www.jplathrop.net. There's a couple of entries regarding Buddhism.

message 8: by Amanda (new)

Amanda No problem, looking forward to checking out your book.

message 9: by Kristi (new)

Kristi (kristicoleman) This looks like a great book! I added it to my TBR!

message 10: by Amanda (new)

Amanda I can't vouch for it. I picked up a secondhand copy a while ago, but I havn't got round to it. I'd like to find/read more Buddhist fiction actually. I know of a few more, like Buddha Da and Buddha: A Story of Enlightenment which I havn't read yet; and of course, the classics The Journey to the West which I'm part through, and Siddhartha, which I quite liked. The Third Eye was awful though.

message 11: by Kristi (new)

Kristi (kristicoleman) I read A Single Eye by Susan Dunlap..it's the first in a series, and takes place at a Zen retreat and focuses on a Roshi and his student as the main characters. Very interesting mystery if anyone is interested in something like that.

message 12: by Rod (new)

Rod Horncastle I think every religion should try and have a good murder mystery that heavily explores ethics and morality throughout a crime drama...and whether a god or cosmic something Oneness even gives a damn.

Maybe I should write one. Nah!

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