The Skull Mantra

The Skull Mantra

Paperback - 1999
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A Chinese official is murdered in a slave camp in Tibet. One of the prisoners, a disgraced Chinese prosecutor, is ordered to write a report accusing a Buddhist monk. He discovers the real culprits are Chinese officials and American miners, but the truth may hurt the camp more than a lie.
Publisher: New York : St. Martin's Minotaur, c1999
ISBN: 9780312385392
Branch Call Number: MYS PAT
MYS PAT
Characteristics: 403 p. ; 21 cm

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PeterRLD
May 29, 2019

A book that I couldn't put down, although by the end I wasn't sure I understood everything that had happened. There was a lot of magical talk by Buddhist monks, which normally I don't like, but the main character would then ask "WTF?" and it would be rephrased in more logical ways. (Example - someone gets killed and the monks say "a demon is walking the land". Then the explanation - "people are afraid to leave their houses.") I did feel admiration for the monks' approach to the horrible conditions they were enduring - after a monk gets thrashed to an inch of his life by the evil Chinese, he prays for his attacker's soul rather than taking the more Western approach of arranging an ambush to get his own back on him. The author is obviously rooting for the Tibetans - his descriptions of the Chinese bureaucratic system is hair-raising. Without taking his every word as gospel, I nevertheless find myself more concerned about US involvement with China than I was before reading the book.

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ReadRobin
Aug 15, 2012

The insights into other attitudes and understandings are most helpful. Ignorance and misunderstanding contribute to the evils of coercion and other violence. China's destruction of Tibetan people, culture, and religious institutions reminds me of the European Holocaust and the Nazis. Robbing a culture to enrich a government or a small number of individuals is shameful and disgusting. Certainly China has a huge population and that brings many problems. I loved this book and highly recommend it. I will be reading the other books in the series.

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