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Don't Make A Sign On The Boat, Stories From Burma

RRP $18.99

A collection of stories from Myanmar (Burma), told by Sayadaw UNyaneinda, Abbot of the old Burmese Temple in Bodhgaya and written down in this form by Susanne Isabel Krajanek, born in Austria and living in Bodhgaya, India, for many years. Hidden in most of the tales is some piece of advise, such as how to manage a certain situation, or to show how things generally turn out. Some are simply amusing in the Burmese way. 'Don't Make a Sign on the Boat' is a well-known and well-loved proverb in Burma and very typical for the people's Buddhist attitude of mind. It has much to do with our continuous attempt to preserve things, which are by nature transient and passing. Between two variations with the same title, concerning young people just starting out on their life's journey as the first story, and an old couple in the last, is set a rich variety of different themes, which also draw a beautiful picture of the daily life in the villages and small towns in the countryside along Burma's Great River. There are farmers, fishermen and storytellers, rich men and poor shopkeepers, the Joker, the King and the Wise Man, the Little One who challenges Wind and Rain and the Two Blind Men. Also, the Hunter, Tiger, Dog and Monkey teach us lessons. Always somewhere included is the Buddhist monastery, the monk and the gods of the rivers and trees. Each one is not only a story, but also shows very common situations in life. We clearly can see the love of the Burmese people for the fantastical and surreal, for their old gods and kings and for their Buddhist Tradition. We find a mixture of simplicity and complex psychology. There are often sudden humorous twists and turns in the course of events, which seem rather absurd. Some of the stories are quite old, but, if one forgets about the kings, they could happen today, because in the villages, in the life of the simple people, there has not changed that much.

Three Men In A Boat

RRP $15.99

Three Men in a Boat is a classic tale of lighthearted comedy and misadventure by Jerome K. Jerome.
Also known by its full title: Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog), this book follows the escapades of three fellows named George, Harris and Jerome. The latter, being the author himself, is referred to only as 'J' throughout the story.
The trio contrive to journey along the Thames in what they intend to be a easygoing boating holiday. The three friends all claim to share various illnesses and to suffer from overwork. Upon agreeing to make their way up the River Thames they bring along J's dog, Montmorency, for the ride too.
Jerome mainly sticks to the story of the river journey, but also includes much humorous digression, usually taking the form of memories of past amusing events, into the tale. Highlights include the trio's miserable attempt at making Irish Stew from leftovers at the campfire, and a trout made from Plaster of Paris.
The book, first published in 1889, was a big success among late Victorian audiences, but attracted scathing reviews from critics who found its informality and use of slang to be very vulgar. However among the everyday reader the book was an enormous success, with sales strong for decades after its publication.
Unusually for books of the era, the humour has dated well - the believable friendship and banter between the blokes aboard ship continues to resonate with the modern audience, while several of the comic set pieces carry an eternal lighthearted humour.

A House-boat On The Styx. By

RRP $16.99

A House-Boat on the Styx is a book written by John Kendrick Bangs and published in 1895. The premise of the book is that everyone who has ever died (up until the time in which the book is set, which seems to be about the time of its publication) has gone to Styx. This does not appear to be the conventional Hell described by Dante in The Inferno, but rather the Hades described in Greek myth (both of which had Styxes): a universal collecting pot for dead souls, regardless of their deeds in life.


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