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The Guru Looked Good Paperback – January 30, 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
Without knowing anything about me personally, Szabo clarified most of the nagging questions I'd had about the organization - I was involved in Siddha Yoga for over fifteen years and know friends and family who were involved much longer - and helped me put together a puzzle I believed unsolvable. Szabo brilliantly lays bare (without pointing fingers or attacking anyone else's "experience") the dysfunction festering at the core of Siddha Yoga, and the troubling dynamics surrounding it's charismatic leader.
In the past, almost everything I'd ever read about Siddha Yoga that was "critical" (mainly the magazine articles in the 1990s, in particular The New Yorker piece, O Guru, Guru, Guru by Lis Harris) seemed laced with a nastiness that felt personal and led me to question the motives of the authors. Szabo's book is the opposite - not an attack against an organization but rather one individual's personal account.
In a straightforward, here's-my-story-draw-your-own-conclusions way, Szabo inspired me look back at my own experience with Siddha Yoga and trust teh things I'd always felt intuitively but couldn't articulate - suspicions and secrets I'd buried as successfully as Siddha Yoga had buried the truth of its own history.
Szabo helped me finally reconcile the disparity that was always present between my own personal experience (which was overwhelmingly positive) and the things about Siddha Yoga "the organization" that continued to gnaw in my gut.Read more ›
and this is a decent, intelligently written book, but it isn't quite the expose' I had hoped for.
Not too exciting, rather blase' -- I prefer Szabo's other book, The Imposters, which is more dynamic and expressive -- and "outrageous," which makes for a more interesting read.
At the end of the account, the author mentions her belief that Gurumayi might be a cult leader, but she doesn't explore this idea nearly enough... she is very sketchy, in this regard -- the reasons for her belief are not "fleshed out" at all. (After all, the transgressions of Gurumayi don't seem that extreme or scandalous -- her errors seem rather mild and "tame," as compared to other exposes I've read, such as Holy Hell by Gail Tredwell. Now, THAT'S a gripping read!, a fascinating expose' of the so-called "hugging saint.")
I kept waiting for the book to pick up speed, for something to happen, in a big way -- but it really never did, to my way of thinking.
I probably wouldn't have bought this book, had I known this. I don't feel it deserves the "rave reviews" others give it -- but, of course, what "jazzes" one person may not do so for another.
It's obvious from the beginning of the story that the author is dealing with low self-esteem and involves herself in the ashram life in an attempt to escape rather than overcome her issues. In the end she runs away from her escape to begin where she left off and seems to blame her place of refuge for her delusion rather than taking responsibility. The author's tone has an undercurrent of bitterness and complacent naivety throughout.
The writing style is frank and open but the point seems lost. The story takes the reader into the middle of the authors life but never comes to any sort of purposeful recognition. It's a bit bland in that way. At the same time, it conveys clearly how the writer felt within her ashram life; lost. A lot of people will resonate with that, especially those who've walked on a spiritual path.
The title suggests that the guru did something wrong; that she "looked" good but was "bad". The story shows no such thing. I understand that there are a lot of stories out there about the dark side of Siddha Yoga. Some of which may be true, I don't know. But in TGLG there is no ground for this reasoning. The title is misleading in this way. The author was welcomed into the ashram, having no money and few skills to offer. She was housed, fed, valued and trained and almost always given what she asked for. What she wanted and didn't get was the kind of experiences and relationship she wanted, things that cannot be manufactured.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I can appreciated someone's experience but there is a bigger picture here. This is one person's account juxtapose to, I would guess, a few hundred thousand people having a positive... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
I grew up around the ashram. It was nice to relive some of that. But the book is felt droning and doesn't really go anywhere. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Jeff Jacobs
I slogged through this hoping to find some redemptive quality. The only redemption came from considering what this Guru endured with this woman? Read morePublished 9 months ago by Dickens Fan
WYY'a review of the book is excellent. It is clear that the author, Ms. Szabo, was quite needy. Most entries (originally blogs) had to do with how much attention she was... Read morePublished 15 months ago by sara
This is a sincere account of someone who spent ten years of her life in Siddha Yoga movement. The book is certainly well written and I read it with interest, but I was anyway a bit... Read morePublished on June 7, 2014 by GUIGNETTE Jean-Paul
Disappointing. An easy read, for sure... but a pretty superficial account of the author's years with SYDA yoga. As for what she learned... Read morePublished on March 27, 2014 by didi02453
Extremely well written. Very easy to read with an excellent flow. I felt as if I was right there experiencing everything with her.Published on November 22, 2013 by Andy C.