Bodhisattva Blues by Edward Canfor-Dumas is the sequel to his previous novel, The Buddha, Geoff and Me. For those of you who have not yet read that novel and would like to, please skip the rest of this review and head to this page instead.
We will try to avoid spoilers here as much as possible, but it isn’t going to be easy, so don’t say that you weren’t warned…
Given the events that transpired at the end of The Buddha, Geoff and Me, it was always going to be difficult to predict where any possible sequel would go, but most of us would probably have predicted that it would be all about how Nichiren Buddhism had transformed the life of the protagonist, Ed.
Well, most of us would be wrong.
Bodhisattva Blues catches up with Ed a decade after the events of the previous book, but life hasn’t exactly gone as swimmingly for him as we might have hoped.
We don’t want to give too much away, so we’ll stay safe and quote directly from the jacket copy:
Ed is stuck in a rut – His part-time ‘career’ is going nowhere, his love life’s a joke and his wallet’s always empty.
So much for bringing you up to speed. In this novel, Ed bumps into an old friend and ends up getting ‘sucked into a drama of street crime and high-stakes property dealings’. Once again, it is just when his life is descending into chaos that he turns to the principles of Nichiren Buddhism.
Described as, ‘A book for everyone who’s ever wondered whether enlightenment really is compatible with the daily commute’, Bodhisattva Blues is every bit as good as The Buddha, Geoff and Me. We were actually quite disappointed with the situation that was revealed in the first chapter, but that was because we cared so much about Ed, and we had hoped that he would have made more progress in his life. Of course, his lack of progress is what drives this sequel, so we can’t really complain too much.
We won’t talk more about the plot of this book, but we can tell you that the writing is, once again, superb. The story moves along at a good pace and has a wonderful cast of vividly imagined characters that will remain with you for quite some time afterwards. In short, if you enjoyed The Buddha, Geoff and Me, then this sequel, Bodhisattva Blues, is a must-read.