Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Qty:1
  • List Price: $17.99
  • Save: $4.71 (26%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 10 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
Fourth Uncle in the Mount... has been added to your Cart
Condition: Used: Very Good
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Fourth Uncle in the Mountain: The Remarkable Legacy of a Buddhist Itinerant Doctor in Vietnam Paperback – October 3, 2006

4.8 out of 5 stars 67 customer reviews

See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$13.28
$8.70 $1.68

Best Books of the Month
See the Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.
$13.28 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Only 10 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

  • Fourth Uncle in the Mountain: The Remarkable Legacy of a Buddhist Itinerant Doctor in Vietnam
  • +
  • Secrets of the Talking Jaguar
Total price: $27.80
Buy the selected items together


Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Part memoir, part record of "a bygone culture," this charming book recounts Nguyen’s extraordinary experiences in South Vietnam during the 1950s, ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s. An orphan whose parents were killed by French soldiers when he was a baby, Nguyen was adopted by Thau Van Nguyen, one of Vietnam’s most respected spiritual leaders and faith healers. "My father told me about his religion… and about the responsibility he carried for our people," Nguyen writes in an early chapter. "He said that he was passing that responsibility on to me, and that over time I would master the skills and acquire enough power to be able to help many people, too." Nguyen’s descriptions of years he spent training with an herbal medicine specialist, an acupuncturist and a near-mythical hermit called "Fourth Uncle" take up most of the book. But the volume also contains a wealth of information about Vietnamese history and culture, about popular beliefs in spirits and magic and about Nguyen’s religion, Buu Son Ky Huong (a form of Buddhism). Presumably transcribed by co-author Pivar, a Shiatsu therapist, from what must have been hundreds of hours of recorded interviews with Nguyen (who has been living in Vermont since 1986), the text has the inescapable, unsophisticated feel of an oral history. This plain style sometimes heightens the wonderland mood of the book, which combines gritty passage about war with accounts of playing with jungle animals, meditating for days on end, trapping ghosts insides jars and winning martial arts tournaments. An adventure book strung through with passages on selflessness and mindfulness, this volume is excellent choice for readers interested in Vietnam and Buddhism.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

“[A] charming book . . . the volume contains a wealth of information about Vietnamese history and culture … an adventure book strung through with passages on selflessness and mindfulness, this volume is an excellent choice for readers interested in Vietnam and Buddhism.” ―Publishers Weekly

“This is a magical, mesmerizing story; a complicated tale of Vietnam's anguished history, of healing and faith, and of a young boy's miraculous coming of age.” ―Ken Burns, director of Jazz and The Civil War

“When I had read the first few chapters of this engrossing biography, I had stopped a dozen times to recall my times in the Delta and the towns and villages that are mentioned in the book. By the time I had finished – I wanted to go back…. A thoroughly enjoyable read.” ―Captain E.G. Adams, The Air America Log

Fourth Uncle in the Mountain is a great story about two simply good men. It is told simply, but simplicity should never be mistaken for a lack of emotional complexity, intellectual refinement, or overwhelming humanity. It is all that.” ―The Asian Reporter

“…an unputdownable tale, told in an intimate, oral style with an unassuming wisdom, a thrilling, Castaneda-like search for knowledge as well as a moving tribute to the most profound love between a father and son.” ―Nick DeMartino, University Bookstore, Seattle (selected as University Bookstore's 2004 Book of the Year)

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Image
Looking for the Audiobook Edition?
Tell us that you'd like this title to be produced as an audiobook, and we'll alert our colleagues at Audible.com. If you are the author or rights holder, let Audible help you produce the audiobook: Learn more at ACX.com.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 1st edition (October 3, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312314310
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312314316
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #645,949 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is a window into a Vietnamese culture that is almost an alternative reality. Quang's extraordinary journey is a chronicle of war, folk medicine, encounters with spirits and ghosts, narrow escapes, mentorship with his healer-father, and tutelage under martial artists, sorcerors, and cave hermits. The report is so persuasive and lucidly written, I needed to frequently check the validity of my own (Western) version of the objective world as I read the book.
Quang learns Chinese medicine and pulse diagnosis from his father, and spells, charms and incantations from other teachers. The magic Quang learns or witnesses with those teachers is fascinating. The magic proves to be an effective manipulation of the physical world, altering events, demonstrating uncanny powers, and curing or creating illness. I realized our Western science is just another kind of magic, a magic that has been codified and generalized. This is reflected in our version of the objective world.
The wonder of this book is the humble and gentle way, through Quang's story of growing up in Vietnam, it presents us with an opening into seeing the world as truly a more varied and mysterious place than we had previously imagined.
Comment 16 of 17 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Fourth Uncle in the Mountain -- A Memoir of a Barefoot Doctor in Vietnam reveals a world that has all but disappeared in most of Asia, a world where Buddhas, earth spirits and shamans are as real as the food you eat and the bed you sleep in. The book itself opens in a trance, where Quang addresses the "flesh-eating sun" and makes the clouds "bang into each another." When I lived in Taiwan 25 years ago I had watched the shamans invite the earth god into their bodies, swallow ash, moan, jerk, swoon and beat themselves with red maces, write holy charms, and spray the afflicted with cascades of tea and saliva as fine as an evening mist. I was an outsider looking in. Quang's book, however, helps me see and understand what the shamans see. He writes from the perspective of an insider looking out, where it is the outer and not the inner world that is out of balance.

The imagery in this book is rich and yet the writing is clear and light. Arranged into short chapters, each story unfolds, offering at times distant and at others close, a perspective on the many people key in Quang's life. Their stories weave in and out of one another, each carrying his or her own yin and yang of energy. As one of the other reviewers commented, it is a pity that the Vietnamese names were transposed into American name order as this makes it harder to recognize and remember the identities of the personalities. Also, some of the Vietnamese terms were mispelled. However, these are issues that can easily be corrected in future editions of the work. What Nguyen Van Quang and his co-author Marjorie Pivar should be remembered for is their tireless devotion to revealing with loving detail the flowers, fruits, flavors, and fauna that make Vietnamese life so distinctive.
Read more ›
3 Comments 11 of 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
First I have to claim a bias: I've known Dr. Quang for several years and have been his patient. He's truly one of the most remarkable people I've ever met--compassionate, simple in the sense of having nothing unnecessary in his life and surroundings, and quiet with silence that arises from the core of his being. We in the West, when we go to doctors, are looking to be repaired, and believe that when something goes wrong with us, it's somehow an isolated event affecting some part of us only, rather than an expression of our overall being, a disorder of our universe. When I first visited Dr. Quang, I had a worrisome condition that caused me a great deal of fear. When I asked him why this was happening to me, he smiled kindly and said only, "Everybody gets sick." It was a turnaround point for me, in that it took me out of myself and connected me with all of humanity. I immediately relaxed, and the greater part of the fear was gone, which put me in the place where real healing could begin. When I read this book, I found it filled with such moments, and with tales of a place and time when a people lived day-to-day with wonders and miracles and the understanding that all we need or could want is already there, within us, waiting.
2 Comments 11 of 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In buddhist legend, meditation adepts attain a "samadhi fantastic beyond description". This is Fourth Uncle. The magic, sorcery, and martial art stories give way to the natural magic of one pointed concentration - in the cave of the primoridal, original, and pristine mind. I enjoyed this book so much, in spite of the tragic backdrop of pre and post Vietnamese war history. There is a great human truth here, that goes beyond religions, in the narration that radiates out through the eyes of a child coming into adulthood. There is also a lot of what is called by aboriginal peoples, "indigenous knowledge" about Viet Nam, which sadly may be disappearing because of enviromental desecration. This book is also a hommage to the folk doctor tradition. This tradition, so vital to the revitalization of the human spirit, is also in danger of being marginalized by institutionalized medicine. Better that it be accommodated for what it is - natural wisdom.
Comment 11 of 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
Fourth Uncle in the Mountain: The Remarkable Legacy of a Buddhist Itinerant Doctor in Vietnam
This item: Fourth Uncle in the Mountain: The Remarkable Legacy of a Buddhist Itinerant Doctor in Vietnam
Price: $13.28
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com
Want to discover more products? Check out these pages to see more: portable mosquito net, acupuncture needles