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on July 10, 2014
It's a good book, explains Buddhism well.
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on May 14, 2012
I read it at night. Its informative, funny and as most things Buddhist- enlightening. I loaned my girlfriend my original copy and never got it back. I had to re purchase the book. Its worth it!

No! If any of you contact me to borrow my new copy, sorry, I wont loan it anymore. Go buy your own! :) :)
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on October 19, 2007
A worthwhile read; key concepts and terms explained. Covers plenty of material. Gives details on Theravada, Mahayana and Vahrayana Buddhist traditions. Excellent for beginners and useful source book for the more adept. Add this book to your library.
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on July 16, 2007
This is a Real Idiot's Guide for idiot's.This is a very confused book confused author,can make heads or tails of what he wants to convey it seems to me that he's making fun of Buddhism.I do not like this book at all.I have been studying Buddhism for more than 20yrs and I bought the book for my grandaughter to start reading,What a mistake and so glad that I looked at it first she would be very confused by now.
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on January 27, 2007
If you're a general interest reader who wants to know a little more about Buddhism than the average person, you MIGHT like this book....but I doubt it. It's Buddhism-lite at it's worst. The information is at a minimum and and lame attempts at humor are at a maximum. It was downright boring to read. I had to force myself to finish it, with the hope that it would get better. It didn't.

If you REALLY want to learn something about Buddhism, I would recommend "What the Buddha Taught" by Walpola Rahula.
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on November 13, 2006
I found this book to be great fun to read. Buddhism is a complex subject, with a variety of different cultural approaches, all of which the author

covers in a simple, clear, entertaining way. The book is packed with Buddhist anecdotes, snippets of interesting information and enough immediate information on the basics to ensure that anyone who is ready for Buddhism, will be inspired to read more and perhaps start practising meditation. Buddhist philosophy is challenging for anyone whose mind has 'been around' this world long enough to now know there is more to all of this than meets the eye!
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on December 4, 2005
I am young. I am unknowing. And I am in search of the truth.

For those of you that hear the call of the East and are drawn to it, this is a fantastic place to start.

Unlike the Idiot's guide to Taoism (which gets WAY too caught up in how Taoism affects our culture...if you read it, you'd know what I mean) this guide gives us a lot of facts about Buddhism, its schools of thought, meditation techniques, and other fun ti-bits.

However, the only daraw-back of this book is that it doesn't cover as much ground as I wish it did. However, this is just meant as a starting place. Read some books by the Dalai Lama if you wish to learn more.

But this book captures that love and compassion that is at the root of Buddhism, and because of that I am grateful I found this book.
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on March 18, 2005
The book is a fair introduction to Buddhism, but I just did not like how the author put so much of his own opinion into the text. I am quite certain that he didn't realize how much of his own opinion was in the book, because he wouldn't be much of a Buddhist otherwise (since Buddhism is about self-discovery).
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on November 10, 2004
Initially, I had great skepticism - c'mon a "Complete Idiots" book to get me started down the Buddhist path? Really? It just seemed so...so...*American*. But, I had to start somewhere, and my good friend Ben recommended it to me, so I gave it a shot. Now, having finished the book, I realize I owe both my friend and Gary Gach an immense debt of gratitude - this book is really amazing.
One problem I (and many others) have had with other beginning Buddhism books is that the format isn't one that's easy to soak up; the flow isn't as logical as this one's, or not enough detail or context is given to drive points home to a more understandable place. Gach has done a phenomenal job of keeping things simple enough not to overwhelm a newcomer, yet goes into enough detail to keep things interesting and real.
Gach goes beyond teaching the basic belief system into giving examples of how to apply what we've learned in real life, and where else to look for more information. He offers dozens of anecdotes, many koans, a plethora of historical tales and data points, a glossary, and a multitude of other items. One small criticism I have of this book is that he very often doesn't cite his sources when giving statistics.
Throughout the book, Gach returns to important concepts, but not in a manner which I found to be condescending at all - it was merely helpful to be reminded of X, Y, and Z at certain points throughout the book, because they were important to the current subject. The author gives the reader a very solid foundation to build his or her beliefs upon, should the reader desire, including a rich and detailed historical background of Buddhism throughout the world.
I will be unreservedly suggesting this book to anyone who expresses an interest in this spiritual path.
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on November 10, 2004
Initially, I had great skepticism - c'mon a "Complete Idiots" book to get me started down the Buddhist path? Really? It just seemed so...so...<b>American</b>. But, I had to start somewhere, and my good friend Ben recommended it to me, so I gave it a shot. Now, having finished the book, I realize I owe both my friend and Gary Gach an immense debt of gratitude - this book is really amazing.
One problem I (and many others) have had with other beginning Buddhism books is that the format isn't one that's easy to soak up; the flow isn't as logical as this one's, or not enough detail or context is given to drive points home to a more understandable place. Gach has done a phenomenal job of keeping things simple enough not to overwhelm a newcomer, yet goes into enough detail to keep things interesting and real.
Gach goes beyond teaching the basic belief system into giving examples of how to apply what we've learned in real life, and where else to look for more information. He offers dozens of anecdotes, many koans, a plethora of historical tales and data points, a glossary, and a multitude of other items. One small criticism I have of this book is that he very often doesn't cite his sources when giving statistics.
Throughout the book, Gach returns to important concepts, but not in a manner which I found to be condescending at all - it was merely helpful to be reminded of X, Y, and Z at certain points throughout the book, because they were important to the current subject. The author gives the reader a very solid foundation to build his or her beliefs upon, should the reader desire, including a rich and detailed historical background of Buddhism throughout the world.
I will be unreservedly suggesting this book to anyone who expresses an interest in this spiritual path.
0Comment|4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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