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Arbeit: Little Buddha Gordon McGill
(Based on a story by Bernardo Bertolucci)
OTHER INFORMATIONS: The book was first published by Pan Books Limited in 1994. This story is composed of two parts and nine chapters.The first part plays in Seattle – the second in Kathmandu in Tibet and in Bhutan (high in the Himalayas). The author wrote this stoy in prose.
SUBJECT: The book tells about a ten-year-old little boy called Jesse and some Buddhist monks, who think that Jesse is the reincarnation of one of their most respected priests (Lama Dorje).
SYNOPSIS: One day Lisa goes to work, where she meets a Buddhist monk called Kempo Tenzin. He asks her some questions about her son Jesse and goes very happily away. Some weeks ago Kempo Tenzin, Lama Norbu and Chompa stand in front of their house and they say that they come on a very special mission. Lama Norbu explains Lisa and Dean that they think that their son Jesse is the reincarnation of Lama Dorje. Lisa and Dean allow the monks to tell Jesse something about their religion and their culture. The young boy learns very much and the monks want him to come to Tibet because there are two other children who could also be Lama Dorje. So Dean goes with his son, Chompa and Lama Norbu to Kathmandu. With Gita and Raju(these are the other candidats), they all fly to Bhutan. There some Buddhist monks recognize that Gita, Raju and Jesse are the reincarnation of one person of Lama Dorje. Then some days ago Lama Norbu dies. At the end Jesse does what Lama Norbu asked him to do and sprinkle his ashes in a river in America.
CHARACTERS: This story contains of one protagonist called Jesse Konrad. He is ten years old, very intelligent and is the reincarnation of Lama Dorje. He likes geometry, playing Gameboy and stories about Siddhartha.
His father Dean Konrad is an architect. He is a very sarcastic person who can get sometimes really agressive but he loves his son.
His wife Lisa Konrad is a teacher at Jesse´s school. She is the quiet and sceptical person in this family. She does not like the monks because she thinks that they could take Jesse away from home.
Chompa is about 20 years old and very dynamic.
His teacher was Lama Norbu, who is about 60 years old. He is a wise man and he likes to tell stories about Siddhartha. He is one of the importants monks in Bhutan.
Kempo Tenzin is chairman of the“Dharma Center“ in Seattle.
Raju works at a circus. He likes playing with Jesse´s Gameboy and he is very introvert. He is like Jesse a reincarnation of Lama Dorje.
Gita lives with her mother in a house in Kathmandu. She is very arrogant and thinks that she is the only reincarnation of this famous Lama.
PERSONAL OPINION: I liked this book because it was not very difficult to read and it is on one hand funny and on the other hand very serious. I also liked the way how Lama Norbu talks because it makes you think.
I think the author wanted to tell us something about Buddhism and about the problems that “old“ people have with different cultures which children do not have.