Monday, 19 August 2013

Thoughts on The Buddha, Geoff and Me

This book was part of last week's Library Loot and I must say for the most part it was quite an enjoyable read (listen as I have the audio book).

I have long had an interest in Buddhism and I checked this book out because I liked the title.  I had heard of it before but it wasn't a book that stuck in my mind to pursue and I only checked it out because I saw it on the new books shelf.

Overall I enjoyed the story. However I think it could have been a bit shorter.  But backing up a bit... The story is written by Edward Canfor-Dumas.  The audio version is read by actor Nicholas Bell.

The story is told in the first person by a man named Ed. Ed is going through a difficult time in his life. Ed is a literature graduate but he has little motivation to do much with it. He wants to instantly be the author of a best selling novel but doesn't want to put in the work to do so.

He tends to spend a bit too much time on the couch with a bottle of booze.
His girlfriend Angie has just dumped him after quite a long time relationship and he is quite obsessed with getting her back.  This is looking quite questionable.  He needs to get off his backside and start thinking about people other than himself.

One day he meets a man called Geoff in a pub.  Geoff talks a great deal about Buddhism but he also smokes and drinks and his life doesn't seem to have much direction either.  He works as a window washer and it turns out there is much more to Geoff than originally meets the eye.

The story then continues on throughout discussing the conversations they have together. Geoff becomes a mentor to Ed.  Every issue or problem Ed raises with Geoff seems to have a pretty neat solution if only Ed could approach his problems from a Buddhist perspective.

At times Geoff's lectures get a bit tedious (at least they did to me) but then I know a fair bit about the teachings of the Buddha so it seemed repetitive.  If a person was approaching this book for the first time with out knowing much about Buddhism they would no doubt learn a bit about this religion from a meaningful perspective.

Religious fiction can always be a bit tricky I think but this story is not told in a preachy way and the path is always open for Ed to choose which way he goes.

There are some other characters that pop up along the way that I really enjoyed.   This book is a very pleasant read, it has some inspiring passages in it and if I was feeling a bit down or tired when hearing this story (unabridged of course) it would pick me up I think.

Sometimes things are packaged a little too neatly I thought and also resolutions were perhaps laid out also a bit too easily but there were a couple of surprises that made me sit up and take notice. I cared about the characters and was interested in seeing how it would all end up.

There are times when you want to kick Ed in the backside and tell him to get with the program but of course one can't be forced to follow pathways they are not ready for yet.  That became quite clear. But does Ed ever get off his backside and see what is out there for him??   You'll have to read the book to find that one out.

I don't rate books but if I did this would be a quick average read and it had enough ideas in it that I could think about to keep my mind ticking over.


  1. First, can I just say how much I love the Penguin?! This book sounds like an interesting way to introduce Bhuddist ideas to a wider audience, in a way that doesn't seem too much like preaching.

    1. Thanks Lisa. Drawing the Penguin brings out my inner 8 year old. You're right about this book. It really does give a lovely explanation of Buddhism applied to everyday life. Always lovely to hear from you, Pam

  2. Sounds like a book I would enjoy!
    Thanks for sharing :)

    1. I quite enjoyed it. If you have any interest in this area you probably would like it. Good luck with it. :-) cheers, Pam


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