Buddha or Bust – Perry Garfinkle

Another Amazon Kindle Daily Deal 99p book.  I don’t think I’d have bought it if I hadn’t been away and a bit bored of the book I was reading but it was interesting and I have learned more about Buddhism from reading it.

Perry Garfinkle is a journalist and has dabbled in Buddhism for many years.  He set out to write an article on Buddhism for National Geographic and it turned into this book.

Garfinkle looks at the history of Buddhism and consider how although it originally migrated from East to West many of its modern developments are moving from West to East.

I hadn’t realised how many different forms Buddhism takes or that it tends to adapt to the culture of the countries it survives in.  Adapting, changing and, according to this book, growing.

The book helped me to understand the appeal of Buddhism and to understand more about its central tenets without making me want to delve in and discover more.  This, for me, was an intellectual exercise in curiosity rather than creating a need to delve deeper on a more spiritual level.

I think the author was what held me back from emotionally engaging with the book.  He comes across as self-centred and not very likable.  This made reading the book like a chore to plough through and a not very enjoyable experience.

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