Finding one's bliss, let alone following it, can be quite a challenge, and that is the case for Cambridge professor, P.R. Chandrasekhar. Chandra's failure to be awarded a Nobel prize in economics (yet again), and an unfortunate altercation with a bike, make him a reluctant late starter to such a quest. California is his destination, where with his estranged family's blessing, he submits to a course in self-awareness at the famous Esalen Institute, a first step on the road to enlightenment ...
An amusing, insightful and gently satirical story that reminds us that it is never too late to re-evaluate the important things in one's life. [Larger font]
Some of our group found this one hard going and a little boring. Others thought it was an interesting read.
We ALL liked this book, and it was a great book to finish the year with. Those in our group who had done meditation made our discussion very good.
A light read, not too preachy. The majority enjoyed it and one found it relatable due to her own family struggles.
Overall, the group enjoyed the read. It was easy to read, maintained one's interest and was an insight into family, values etc.
Mixed reactions to this book. Central character not that likeable.
Most of the group did not like this book...especially the perceived right wing character of Professor Chandra and the tidy ending. They just couldn't believe, given the rough state of the professor's relationships, that everything would be so tidy and rosy. One member, however, loved the book. She saw the characters as amusing stereotypes and chortled aloud through the book.
Generally people found this easy to read and amusing, with plenty to say about family dysfunction, academia, and the 'self help' industry and its empty promises.
We enjoyed reading about Professor Chandra's journey to discovering what was important in his life.
It took a few chapters to begin to connect with this book. Most members wanted to shout "don't say that", or "look beyond the end of your nose", but as the book went on it was more obvious that Chandra was beginning to allow himself to explore being present, and becoming more aware of his effect on others. Those members who read the book a second time were more appreciative of it.
Everyone read right through. The book was well-written, the characters were believable with good visual references. Cross cultural references were exposed.
Easy light read, but entirely forgettable. We found some aspects a bit difficult to believe, but the characterisation was well done, and we spent most of the discussion focused on this. Not a high recommendation - a bit lightweight...We found it mildly amusing, but none of us found it "so so so funny".
Most enjoyed the professor's journey.
A witty, funny and ironic story. It is authentic and very, very human. Many of the themes were relatable to our experiences, especially seeing our parents in our own parenting. Overall it is rather sad, and although Chandra does try to rectify his mistakes, we are not sure he gains his bliss. Enjoyed by all. Excellent notes.
"Beautifully written". "Too much Californian psycho-babble". "Just like every family, really".
We all found the book disappointing. It seemed rather obvious with no fresh insights. We could not warm to any of the characters, except perhaps Jasmine. However we had a good discussion about our own experiences of "finding bliss", none of which involved Big Sur! We found our discussion had covered all the material suggested by the questions before we considered them.
Book was mainly enjoyed by all. A few of us became bored halfway through. We had interesting discussions regarding relationships between parents and children and expectations with parents. Chandra's solution or attempted solution by attending a 'retreat' triggered interesting reactions from our members. An easy to read book.
A light and easy read. Provoked an interesting discussion on family relationships, and expectations.