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Download The Lady and the Monk: Four Seasons in Kyoto Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Lady and the Monk: Four Seasons in Kyoto, by Pico Iyer Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (643 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Pico Iyer Narrator: Ralph Cosham Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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When Pico Iyer decided to go to Kyoto and live in a monastery, he did so to learn about Zen Buddhism from the inside, to get to know Kyoto, one of the loveliest old cities in the world, and to find out something about Japanese culture today—not the world of businessmen and production lines, but the traditional world of changing seasons and the silence of temples, of the images woven through literature, of the lunar Japan that still lives on behind the rising sun of geopolitical power.

All this he did. And then he met Sachiko.

Vivacious, attractive, thoroughly educated, speaking English enthusiastically if eccentrically, the wife of a Japanese “salaryman” who seldom left the office before 10 p.m., Sachiko was as conversant with tea ceremony and classical Japanese literature as with rock music, Goethe, and Vivaldi. With the lightness of touch that made Video Night in Kathmandu so captivating, Pico Iyer fashions from their relationship a marvelously ironic yet heartfelt book that is at once a portrait of cross-cultural infatuation—and misunderstanding—and a delightfully fresh way of seeing both the old Japan and the very new.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “[Iyer] is a sharp-eyed and thoughtful observer, and he is successful in evoking the life of Kyoto’s malls, temples, and back streets, moonlit nights on the water, and the vulgarity of the Westernized nightclub and amusement quarter.”

    New Yorker

  • “With his light touch for travel writing, Iyer selectively weaves the plaintive love poems and stories of Buddhist priests into his narrative. His sensitive treatment is recommended for most travel collections.”

    Library Journal

  • “A personal and evocative work filled with much gentle humor, intelligence and insight.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • New York Times Notable Book

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Kathleen Dannenhold | 2/13/2014

    " A beautiful love story that also captures the fulfillment of a life lived with focus and spirituality. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Zedder | 2/7/2014

    " I had pretty high expectations going into this, because I've really liked everything else I've read by Iyer and because it's widely recommended. But it's only alright. It's hard to take his fascination with Zen seriously, for instance. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Jessica | 2/3/2014

    " A lucky find at Moe's books in Berkeley! Gauzy wistful travel memoir about a gaijin and a Japanese housewife who become friends in Kyoto while their lives are in transition. I found myself loving the two characters who are caught together in limbo, and internalizing Sachiko's phrasing ("when I little children size") enough to miss it now it has gone. Iyer's Kyoto is a sensory delight and that kept me reading in spite of the amateurish sociological insights he sprinkles throughout, marring what would otherwise be lovely bits of description about teahouses, schoolchildren, seasonal foods and so on. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Dennis Blanchette | 1/25/2014

    " The book that made me want to go to kyoto "

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