Review of "Buddha Da" (Anne Donovan)
Author(s): Liz Niven
Copyright holder(s): Liz Niven
A Glaswegian painter getting involvit in Buddhism micht no seem a likely subjeck maitter fir a novel, in fack it’s a gey astonishin idea, bit it works an it works weel.
When Jimmie sterts tae seek oot the weys o the Lamas and the peace o meditation, ither things hae tae tak a back seat: his drinkin, his meat eatin and his conjugals wi Liz his lang-sufferin wife.As faur as his dochter Anne Marie is concernit, there’s nae wey she’s gan tae a Meditation Centre wi him as she’d, ‘miss Who Wants to be a Millionaire.’
There’s humour aw through ‘Buddha Da’ – moistly o verra gentle sort bit ayeweys addin tae the central themes an issues gan oan throu the buik, that is, the quest for happiness, the wheen weys possible.
At first, when Anne Marie is dispairin o her Da taken up this new hobby, she can mak licht o it, as in when her Mum, Liz, tells Jimmie,
‘Just watch they don’t brainwash you.’ Anne Marie’s response is, ‘They’d need tae find a brain first.’
Howanever, later, as Jimmie becomes mair an mair engrossit in the trappins o Buddhism tae sic an extent he leaves the faimilie hame tae live at the Centre, Anne Marie’s return tae the scuil efter the Christmas holidays casts a shadda ower her thochts. Whit will she tell her pals aboot her holidays? ‘…oh yeah, ma da left hame, by the way. Aye, stayin round the Buddhist Centre noo.’
The buik skillfully moves aroon in the heids an vyces o the three central folk, Jimmie, Liz an Anne Marie. Aw thir vyces ur exactklie as ye’d hear fae Weegies oan Glesca streets the day, an the authenticitie o the recordin shines oot.
This mergin o Glasgow an Zen, the fine parallel atween Karma, yer fate, an the time worn Scots idiom,’ whit’s fur ye’ll no go by ye’, are explorit, as weel as the trappins an comparisons o Buddhism an Catholicism.
Add tae this a rich insicht intae mitherhood an faitherhood an the intricacies o paintin an decoratin. Oh an dinna forget, thir’s cutting a CD wi chantin Tibetan lamas owerset wi Indian lyrics an fragments fae the Catholic hymn ‘Salve Regina, mater misericordie’. Aw this an ye hae ‘Buddha Da’ -no tae be misst.
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Review of "Buddha Da" (Anne Donovan). 2023. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved 10 December 2023, from http://www.scottishcorpus.ac.uk/document/?documentid=1007.
"Review of "Buddha Da" (Anne Donovan)." The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow, 2023. Web. 10 December 2023. http://www.scottishcorpus.ac.uk/document/?documentid=1007.
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