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Beyond The House Of The False Lama: travels with monks, nomads, and outlaws
Beyond the House of the False Lama chronicles the adventures of George Crane — a wanderer, poet, romantic, and not-so-good student of Zen Buddhism who travels the globe in search of life's purpose. In his previous book, the highly acclaimed Bones of the Master, Crane and his monk sidekick, Tsung Tsai, went to Inner Mongolia to find the grave of Tsung Tsai's teacher and build a shrine in his honor. The two were turned back by a sandstorm at the edge of the Gobi Desert, so Crane must now return alone to complete the task.
His quest begins in upstate New York with a challenge from Tsung Tsai. Crane heads out, looking for adventure and for the feeling that life is good, big, and mysterious — a feeling that's easy to lose in today's buttoned-down America. Crane's path leads him on a harrowing, near-disastrous attempt to deliver a ratty 58-foot sailboat with a crew of eccentrics and outlaws from Key Largo to Grenada during the heart of hurricane season. Then it is on to Paris to search for love, and finally back to Mongolia, where Crane and his companions — the nomad Jumaand and the young, beautiful Mongol girl Uka— stand beneath the remote cliffs of Delgez Khaan in the South Gobi. Here Crane, finally able to mourn his long-dead father, sets out on a new quest, looking to find what the nomads call the “beginning of the wind.” He finds what every nomad knows: that every road is more a direction than a destination, and that in losing your way, you often find yourself.
A voyage of discovery and the testament of a free spirit, this is a story of people, places, and adventures, of myths and mysteries transmuted and transposed into poetry and prose. Both a travel memoir and a wild, spiritual search, this book makes the quest for enlightenment more entertaining than it has ever been before.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
George Crane is the author of the internationally acclaimed Bones of the Master. He is an occasional poet and translator of poems from the Chinese. With Tsung Tsai, Crane translated A Thousand Pieces of Snow. His writing has been published in eleven languages. He lives mostly on the road.
"A finely crafted prose poem of a book that sparkles with the wisdom born of anguish and longing."
—Stephen Batchelor, author of Living with the Devil