Saturday, 14 August 2010

So... is it a real book or just an imaginary one?

Picked up Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah from the second hand book stall in the market for tuppence, and if you're like me and enjoy having your brain stretched then I would highly recommend it. 

The story is narrated by a man who lives by travelling from town to town giving plane rides for a living, and Donald Shimoda, who is doing the exact same thing, having quit his two previous occupations; one as a mechanic, and one as a messiah.  Yes, you heard me -miracles and all.  During the time the two men spend travelling together, Shimoda attempts to explain to Richard why he quit, and how he can learn to see past the world presented to us as reality.

It's really a fascinating book, one of the ones that suddenly makes you aware of things that you had probably known, or secretly suspected, about life for a long time, but perhaps had forgotten or put to the side.  One or two parts are a little contrived, but the idea behind the story, the two main characters, and the setting more than cover for those moments, so I didn't really mind.  It'll probably be a tad hippyish for some people, but then I guess you only get out of these things what you're willing to put in.  If you don't want to consider anything new, you won't.  Personally I spent a couple of hours after I had finished it just thinking it all over.
My only real negative would be that, as with most books on the metaphysical, you shouldn't take it as gospel without questioning it, as some of the reviews on it seem to do.  It's engaging, thought-provoking, and inspiring, but not infallible.  But nevertheless, definitely worth a read.  It's one of those books that, although not lengthy, makes you wish that the world could be better than it is, and to question the simplest of the things you do from day to day without thinking.

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