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j guevara (lower case'j' and 'g') musician/storyteller/soul food chef.
Global citizen and incurable peregrinator
Have pen – Will travel.
Last known address, 24n82w
on Sep. 15, 2010 :
Here are some of the pre-pub reviews, all five stars. One of the greatest book I've ever read.
Driven by the voice of Nature, Reid Fuhrman challenges Earth's highest mountains to the deepest valley of the soul. Be it mysticism, tradition, or science, there are no sacred cows. What's left is reality with the power to take back your freedom—Life, as Nature intended.
"A mission of physical and mental determination, through the eyes of an exceptional storyteller. Bravo!
Ed Dean, author, The Wine Thief * * * * *
... intriguing, insightful, humorous. A Himalayan trek that explores Man's relationship to Nature, one another, and the planet. Humanity is at an evolutionary threshold. What we do and the consequences are at the heart of this message. Listen, and then decide.
Reader's Favorite * * * * *
Aldus Huxley, Carlos Castaneda, and Jack Kerouac on steroids.
Chris Campbell, author, TBINR * * * * *
At last, a book that really does have something for everyone, wrapped in humor and biting wit ala Twain, Carlin, and Pryor. Although you may never travel to the Himalayas, after reading The Keepers of Himal, you will be able to say in all honesty, "I have been to the mountains."
American Chronicles * * * * *
(reviewed long after purchase)
on July 22, 2010 :
The Keepers of Himal by j guevara
Many have made the claims, but at last, a book that really does have something for everyone. The outdoor and nature lovers will enjoy it thoroughly; maybe even learn a thing or two. Travelers will learn of places the common tourist never sees. Those looking for social commentary will find it, wrapped in humor and biting wit ala Twain, Carlin, or Pryor. Those looking to improve their life and take command of its circumstances might just find the answers they seek. There's a bit of romance that defines an excellent example for the basis of a relationship, and enough action to keep even an action junkie like me happy, all told in a well-written, fascinating, cohesive story that draws the reader in, and carries him along at a fast moving, exciting pace.
Even though it shows India in a way I least expected, I greatly appreciated that j guevara's novel has no "sacred cows" when it comes to taking the mysticism and archaic nonsense out of religion, traditional beliefs, fakirs, science, or New Age pseudo-spirituality, bringing it down to Earth as nature intended, in a perspective that anyone can grasp.
I'd also add that although the book is always better than the movie, this book is the movie. Characters, scenes, and events are so perfectly described, it was as though I was actually watching a film.
The Keepers of Himal, is told through the eyes of Reid Fuhrman, a seeker looking to understand the whispered voice of what Nature is trying to tell him.
"Though Nature's voice was faint, I could not imagine being more content than when trying to decipher her message. Patience may have its virtue, but I now see that everything comes not to those who wait, but to those who are content. This same contentment is what brought it all on, for listening is what I was doing when this odyssey began."
Reid, a freelance writer by trade, cranks out just enough writing to finance his seasonal jaunts in the wilderness where he tries to hear nature's voice.
"I simply immerse myself into what might appear to be emptiness, a void. Yet, it could not be more complete, for this is where I listen to what Nature has to say."
On one of his solitude excursions deep in the woods of Northern Maine, a lost stranger happens by Reid's campsite one evening.
"... trout started jumping like they did every evening at dusk. In ten minutes, I caught three beauties, enough for breakfast, too. I got a fire going, tea steeping and put on a pot of rice. Suddenly, I felt that unmistakable sensation. Someone was coming. Spend enough time alone in the wilderness and sensing another presence is the first instinct that returns. I wouldn't call it a sixth sense. It's more as if all the other five senses are working together."
Through the course of the evening, the stranger tells Reid about a journey he must take to the Himalayas.
"...I have learned much from those who live there. Watching you sit this evening, I saw one who wants to learn. Near a village called Dhungla there is a man you must meet. His name is Sunam. What he knows of the natural world, you cannot imagine. He can teach you those things you wish to learn. I know he would welcome you."
After much soul searching, Reid undertakes the challenge. What transpires on this journey is the heart of the story. What he comes to understand by the end, which he shares with the reader in detail, is a revealing conscious awareness of who and what humanity is, the role we play in nature, and how to take it back. But you have to read the entire story for yourself, because the groundwork is carefully laid out so that the reader experiences the whole adventure exactly the same as Reid did.
You may never have the opportunity to travel to the Himalayas, but after reading The Keepers of Himal, you will be able to say in all honesty, "I have been to the mountains."
Some will get more out of it than others; most will keep going back to it. Regardless, from the blue collar workaday person to the white collar select, all will want to reread this time and time again, for everyone will find something they didn't catch before. Granted, it may seem to get deep towards the end, and will take some contemplation to fully understand. I still don't understand that part fully, but I'm working on it, for there is one convincing thread that runs through the entire story,
"...how simple mysteries can be… when the truth is finally known."
I read guevara's last novel, The Twain Shall Meet, and once again I have to ask: Is this really fiction?
(reviewed within a month of purchase)