Oct 9, 2016

Dex's Book Review: Kingdom of Ten Thousand Things

Gary Geddes is an award winning poet,writer,editor and critic.He has written and edited more than thirty books,including the best selling Sailing Home.Most recently,he was distinguished Professor of Canadian Culture at Western Washington University in Bellingham.

This book is about the journey of Gary Geddes quest to follow the trail of Huishen,a Buddhist monk,who escaped  from Kabul to China to avoid persecution and was reputed to have traveled from Afghanistan, across China,and on to the Americas in the 5th century before Columbus.

To retrace the voyage of Huishen,Geddes's journey seems almost impossible: from war torn Kabul,through the Himalayas and across the Taklamakan desert,to China and on to the Central America.

In his 18 months journey,Gary detailed the difficulties and the adventure of his travel,from jets,buses,taxis,ferries,a container ship and even donkeys and camels!

And along the many cities and temples he visited,Gary made it a point to try to uncover the historical records of Huishen .However, almost all of his inquiries drew a blank and to add to his disappointment, of the many people he had  interviewed,from Buddhist scholars to Tibetan monks,most do not seemed to know the existence of Huishen's journey.

I am surprise that not much of information is being written on Huishen's background,beside knowing him as a monk,after all he is the star in this book.

As there were no official records of Huishen's journey, many a times Gary made assumptions of "Huishen could be here" as he traveled  through his journey.What this book lack is the thriller instinct for the reader to stay engrossed.

With his "half-way around the world" journey,this book will make an interesting read for those who enjoy travelogue,discovery and adventure  channels.

Rating: 6/10

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