Mountain Shadow Question #20--What was the point?

Murder on the Orient Express by ‎Agatha Christie

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Liz
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Mountain Shadow Question #20--What was the point?

Unread postby Liz » Sat Mar 18, 2017 9:54 pm

What was this book about? What was the theme or point?
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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Mountain Shadow Question #20--What was the point?

Unread postby nebraska » Sun Mar 19, 2017 4:32 pm

My expectation was that this book would be a continuation of the Shantaram story. I thought the book would tell me what happened in the lives of the characters I had come to know in the first book. As if Shantaram was beginning/middle and the Mountain Shadow was middle/end. That was what I wanted it to be. In that view, characters interacted and things happened in the world, and there was a natural emotional journey as a result, but the emotional journey was incidental. I thought the whole Madame Zhou story line was exciting and fascinating, for instance. It was a lot of action with little emotional transformation.

Since coming to the question and answer part of ONBC "doing" the Mountain Shadow, I have read different comments about a spiritual transformation being the point of the book. Perhaps that is what was supposed to be the central theme and it went over my head. That could cause the endless philosophical discussions and lectures and aphorism exchanges to make more sense. In that view, the interior dialog and journey was the point of the book and all the physical characters and their actions were a side story to help move the spiritual journey along.

In a way, I think the book tried to have it both ways and the end result was a rambling jumble. I am unsure what the point was.

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Mountain Shadow Question #20--What was the point?

Unread postby Liz » Wed Mar 22, 2017 12:09 am

nebraska wrote:In a way, I think the book tried to have it both ways and the end result was a rambling jumble. I am unsure what the point was.

Me too.
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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Mountain Shadow Question #20--What was the point?

Unread postby fireflydances » Tue Mar 28, 2017 9:37 pm

In a sense, maybe Roberts tried too hard. He had a great story with Shantaram, and a bunch of folks dying to see what would happen next. And part of that was how Lin would grow and change, how the prisoner would grow into another kind of man. But trying for an overarching truth? Or to make it all work out right? I don't completely understand.
"Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed and some few to be chewed and digested." Sir Francis Bacon, Of Studies

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Mountain Shadow Question #20--What was the point?

Unread postby SnoopyDances » Fri Apr 07, 2017 3:22 pm

I think the philosophical journey was more needed in this book than the first. In Shantaram, Lin clearly stated that he didn't believe in anything, yet was always open to a philosophical discussion or lecture. He clearly needed a father figure to guide him and friends that didn't require anything more from him than his company.

In Mountain Shadow, he realized he needed to believe in something...himself, if nothing else. He could be better and do better. He had the money, "fame", power, high-placed business associates, safety in the Company, even a girlfriend (Lisa). But he was not happy. He still visited his buddies at the slum and kept tabs on them. He still tried to help those that were faultering (the Geminis, Vikram, etc.). He still pursued Karla even after he learned about her role in the Company.

He wasn't sure what he wanted or how to get it, he just knew he wasn't happy with this life and needed to change it. He sought out advise/philosophy from everyone, studied the various religions and gurus, immersed himself in various cultures and music. He chats with Karla were they only thing he felt sure about. It gave him a sense of comfort and familiarity.

He found he was very forgiving, even loving; a gentle soul that was more spiritual in practice than the spiritual leaders were with words.
In Mountain Shadow, I think he finally found himself and what he was looking for in life....even if he didn't always realize it.
In the end, I think he found peace with himself, his past, and his world.

Yes, I thought the ending was a little hokey, but he had to come full circle somehow.
Yes, the book was violent and bloody, but isn't that life in a crime family?
Yes, the discussions were long, tedious, and sometimes hard to follow for us, but it was how he and Karla communicated best. They understood each other in a way no one else could.

Yes, this book was much darker than the first, but isn't always darkest before the storm, followed by a giant rainbow?

I don't think the story rambled too much, it was just a different type of journey than the first book. Clearly the first book was meant to be fun and somewhat whimsical journey set in a new and exotic land. And just as clearly (to me) as the second book needed to be a giant brick to the face reality.


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