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Book Review: The Dalai Lama’s Cat, by David Michie

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Book Review: The Dalai Lama’s Cat, by David Michie

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Book Review: The Dalai Lama’s Cat, by David Michie

The Dalai Lama's Cat cover art

The Dalai Lama’s Cat
by David Michie
October 1, 2012
Review rating 3/5

A cute tale about an arguably Buddhist cat and his experience living with the Dalai Lama.

And that’s about all I can say.

It’s not bad. As I mentioned, it is a pretty cute tale. The issue is, perhaps, that it’s not the kind of literature I’m used to reading. I generally read either gripping stories that keep you guessing or textbooks – and this one falls square in the middle. It’s not much of a tale, as it barely has a plot at all and there are never any stakes, yet it’s also not quite a textbook as it lacks the proper structure of one or the more direct teachings. It seems to me it tries to both entertain and teach about Buddhism at the same time and falls flat on the process.

That’s not to say I don’t expect others will like it. Not having any plot resolution to look forward to was a problem for me, but I can very much see some people liking, or loving, this text. And if you have never studied Buddhism, this might show you some insights or even teach you some basics in a more entertaining way than a Buddhist guide. Just as well, for people who are often afraid of other religions, people who feel any religions other than their own is automatically heresy, this book might help as it paints Buddhism as it is: A set of beliefs that’s very, very compatible with basically anything out there.

The problem for me is, this is not a proper tale as it lacks a directed plot. And as for its teachings, I found them too basic and the format they’re given in too clumsy to get much from it. I would have rather read either a proper novel or a book on Buddhism – and even if I had wanted to learn about Buddhism with stories, there are more than enough excellent parables that would do the job perfectly -, but once again that’s just me. Your own mileage might vary, and in all honesty I’m sure you could do much worse than reading this one.

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