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The Magician of Lhasa

4.7 out of 5 stars 145 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0984207015
ISBN-10: 0984207015
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

David Michie, PhD, is the internationally published author if "Buddhism for Busy People", "Hurry Up and Meditate", and numerous other books, including a successful series of novels featuring the Dalai Lama's cat. He is a meditation coach to both secular and Buddhist audiences, and a cofounder of Organisational Mindfulness, which caters to the corporate sector. Michie holds a doctorate in Communications Strategy.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 290 pages
  • Publisher: Trapdoor Books (December 7, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0984207015
  • ISBN-13: 978-0984207015
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (145 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #129,951 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
It is not always that a book touches you to the deepest core. One such book was the 'The Good Earth' by Pearl S Buck. After a very long time I read a book with a similar impact on me. The book has balanced the fast pace of a thriller with the considered pace of dharma teachings. It holds the attention of the reader through out and one starts identifying with the characters- in particular Tenzin Dorje. Tibetan Culture, the Prophecy of Padmasambhav, the dedication of the guru and disciple towards each other is fascinating. It paints a picture of a different more gentle world where one can imagine art and culture flowered. On the other hand the cut throat world of big business flows with its relentless pursuit of winning at all cost. And at the point when dharma crosses the corporate path, magic happens.

Then through a series of conversations, the teacher explains the correct perspective on issues troubling the young hero. These conversations are universal in their appeal and would benefit anyone reading the books. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to understand & apply Buddhist thought to their daily lives. Congratulation for having written a very very special book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My mother recently read this book and absolutely loved it, so much so she asked me to post this review on Amazon to share her thoughts about this remarkable book:

"I loved The Magician of Lhasa. Seldom does a book move me to the point that immediately upon completing it, I write to the author to thank him or her for sharing the gift of their storytelling. I tend to choose books that are more difficult to read, as I always enjoy a literary challenge. This book was a pleasurable read. It reached me in places not many other books have.

David Michie combines spirituality and science seamlessly. I enjoyed the way he moved between time, place and space. I followed him back and forth through Tibet, London, California and India, through different time-periods but never for a moment felt what was happening to the characters was too vast or too distant for me to touch, smell and feel. He took me along with him and I felt completely at home in each time, place and space. The story he has weaved - the people you grow to feel for are so real - I wanted it to not be fiction.

There were sections of the book when I felt as if the Dharma was personally spoken just to me. And I literally found myself weeping with joy.

Read The Magician of Lhasa ... you will not be disappointed."
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Format: Paperback
I think this tidbit, from the publishers website, can give you a bit of insight to what this book has in store... "Trapdoor Books believes that by giving a new voice to authors without imposing overtly commercial constraints on their work, the stranglehold of formulaic writing can be broken and the world of fiction, along with the real world, can provide a better and more rewarding experience for all of us." Wow!

I believe wholeheartedly they, Trapdoor Books being the "they", have truly broken the mold with this book. Not only is the idea fresh, but it's fiction, not a manual on Buddhism or meditation. Maybe I am just not as aware, but I believe there aren't many "Buddhist" themed fictional works out there, and if I'm wrong point me in the right direction.

That being said, I haven't sat down and read a book this quickly in a while. The story is laid out in two separate tales, each running concurrently, it seems at first, throughout the book. The first story introduces us to a young and upcoming nano-technology scientist named Matt Lester. Matt's claim to fame is a project titled Nanobot, which sparks interest from an overseas investor who is willing to move Matt, and his girlfriend, to the US to broaden the horizon of the project. After much chagrin he is able to convince said girlfriend to move away from her family and trust in his and her own career. The future is bright, or so it seems...

The second storyline transports us to 1959 during the Red Army invasion of Tibet. We are acquainted to Tenzin Dorje, a young and novice Tibetan monk. After news reaches his monastery, his Lama sets in motion a plan that the monks in the monastery had been fearing, yet planning for, many years ahead of the invasion.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am interested in everything about Tibet and Tibetan Buddhism so the premise of this book sounded perfect for my taste. However I was disappointed at the stereotypical characters and the presentation of the Tibetan Buddhist philosophy in simplistic new agey soundbites (and avoiding the less palatable aspects of vajrayana).

This book has double story lines, one set in Tibet in 1959 (during the Chinese invasion) and another in 2007 in London and LA. The Tibet story concerns the efforts of a lama and his two young students to smuggle some precious ancient Buddhist texts out of Tibet to save them from destruction by the Chinese soldiers. The modern story follows a young couple as they relocate in LA from London when the man accepts a fabulous job offer from a tech company. Inevitably and preposterously the two story lines of course intersect. Multiple story lines seem to have become a fad of our times and many writers employ it as if it were the 11th commandment. In the context of the overall story in this book however, the structure seemed appropriate.

Between the two, I didn't find the modern (Matt and Isabella) story line all that interesting. On top of that (or maybe because) the characters came across as both banal and insincere. I also felt there was a lot of extra padding stuffed in there for no apparent reason other than to add more pages to the manuscript (so that it approached the magical 300). For the record, the quantum physics related passages are very few and uninformative and if the writer really wanted to make a claim about parallels between the explanations of quantum physics and the Dharma, I'm not sure why his protagonist had to work in nanotechnology instead..
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