Book of the Month - June 2012

The travel book Ólann mo Mhiúil as an nGainséis by Gabriel Rosenstock is June's book of the month on
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Ólann mo Mhiúil as an nGainséis
Ólann mo Mhiúil as an nGainséis
ISBN 1 902420 78 0 - Book of the Month, June 2012

This travel book follows the author and his wife on their travels through Dubai, India, Hong Kong, Japan, Australia, Chile and the US, charting both a physical and spiritual journey. Rosenstock regales us with hilarious tales of persistent Indian salesmen, suicidal mules in the Himalayas and the 39 million gods resident in Mumbai. He extols the healing properties of the urine of different animals, he ponders whether his biro might be mightier than the khanjar (a type of dagger), and wonders if a haughty pig in the streets of Mumbai might believe that she is in fact a sacred cow!

As well as being witty, the book is philosophical and reflective at times. The author’s strong pacifist philosophy is constantly referred to, a philosophy that is strengthened by his visit to Hiroshima. Rosenstock also strives to point out to his readers the similarities between our culture and those he encounters, encouraging us to see kinship where we would usually only see differences.

Rosenstock is a practitioner of Japanese Haiku poetry, and the book includes many of these three-line poems inspired by his travels, as well as several thoughts for the day.