Jake Fades: A Novel of Impermanence

David Guy, Author . Shambhala/Trumpeter $19.95 (210p) ISBN 978-1-59030-433-4

An aging Zen master and bicycle repairman confronts his mortality and looks for a successor in this dharma-heavy novel by longtime Zen practitioner Guy (The Autobiography of My Body ). Narrator Hank, in his mid-50s, accompanies Jake, his teacher of 22 years, on a weeklong trip to Cambridge, Mass., where Jake is scheduled to lead a retreat. Hank, though aware that 78-year-old Jake's beginning to slip mentally, is surprised when Jake starts talking about leaving a new Buddhist teaching center to him. Hank balks, thinking he isn't capable of filling Jake's spiritual shoes. As the pair tour the city's cheap restaurants and meet with Madeline (who is overseeing the conversion of an old house into the new Buddhist center) and a host of locals, Jake keeps the pressure on reluctant Hank. Though not much actually happens beyond talking and eating, Guy conveys, through Hank's koanlike interior commentary and Jake's dialogue, the subtleties of Zen practice. Readers into the dharma will find this novel worthwhile. (Apr. 10)

Reviewed on: 11/20/2006
Release date: 04/01/2007
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 210 pages - 978-1-59030-566-9
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